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Publication & Wordmark Design  |  Fall 2023 

Mohk•sou: a Fictitious Karate Magazine

Project Description

Mohk•sou mimics the structure and elegance of the martial art form of karate through layout, harmony, and bisociation. Mohk•sou reimagines the purpose of karate from an offensive form of combat to a contemplative way of life.

Mohk•sou is controlled, intentional, arranged, connected, active, and fluid.

Mohk•sou is not aggressive, chaotic, irrational, clumsy, and inconsistent.

Mohk•sou is an upheaval of conventional forms of combat that whispers, connects, and flows as it contemplates the relationship between peace and defensive action.

Wordmark Concept Development

Typeface exploration

Process sketches

Final typeface

Philosopher was eventually chosen for its form and universality. The designer originally released it with intentional errors in the typeface to encourage designers to work with it instead of just using it. The slanted pseudo-serifs gave the typeface a connected, fluid feel. Philosopher’s tall x-height and low contrast were also important factors in the final typeface decision.

Final iterations

Final Wordmark Solution  

Original Typeface

Final Wordmark

Publication Instance Concept Development

The body copy organization and layout were established first and then further reworked once graphics and images were added. The goal was to harmonize the peace and defense within karate and capture this bisociation within the spreads.

Feature article spreads

Interview article spreads

Table of Contents

Front cover

Final typefaces

Noto Sans JP
was paired with Noto Serif JP because, not only do they support Japanese characters, but they are also legible at small sizes and fit well with my concept of integrating the peaceful and defensive sides of the Japanese martial art.

Identity specifications

Final Solution  

After creating the cover for the first issue of the publication, I then designed another cover for a different issue to test if my system would support different text and images and work from issue to issue.

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