Neko Atsume

Discovered this type when I got curious about the game ‘Neko Atsume’. At first I was distracted by the fact that I couldn’t understand the purpose of the game, but soon I noticed the conscious decisions that were made about the type.


The game was originally created in Japanese, this is important because the English version seems to have gotten directly inspired from it.  Now I don’t know much about legibility of Japanese type (katakana?), but the purpose of it is pretty obvious: it’s meant to be cute. If anything, the purpose of the game is to be cute, so the type is used to help that purpose.

Now even though the type helps the cuteness along, I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing that the colourful bubble letters are slightly illegible (in the Japanese version). It’s clearest in the green one, where the details of the letters are getting lost amongst the bubbles. This doesn’t happen as much in English since the type doesn’t have ligatures or any such crossing areas.

What I noted was that the Latin type was also meant to resemble the Japanese type, in the way the letters are formed and angled, it isn’t simply bubble lettering. From an aesthetic point of view, I like it, but I don’t think it’s good design. It makes the game look cute, but also a bit tacky.

What is a good design choice though, is that they chose to stay away from the colourful bubble lettering for the smaller type, where there are lists. It’s good since it makes sure legibility isn’t an issue. Although, it could be better by choosing a typeface that looked softer (more rounded), but also legible.


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