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What is the Onick font?

While researching the history of Onitsuka Tiger’s branding and graphic design, I came across an odd, yet highly appealing piece of custom lettering on the company’s ONICK ski boots from the 1970s. Reminiscent of aspects of the typeface Black-Out by Eli Carrico (released by my type foundry Wordshape), yet vertically compressed with razor-sliced counters and odd stencil element that makes up one of the legs of the “K”, the ONICK lettering is a potential source for an intriguing modular font. More…
I immediately thought of Ryoichi Tsunekawa as a potential collaborator to bring this piece of lettering to full-fledged life in the contemporary context. Based in Nagoya, Tsunekawa runs an independent type foundry called Dharma Type, including three specialized foundry sub-labels: Flat-It, devoted to display lettering; Prop-A-Ganda, a series of fonts inspired by and based on retro propaganda posters, movie posters, retail sign lettering & advertisements in the early 20th century; and Holiday Type, a series of decorative and retro scripts for holiday use.
The past year has seen a flurry of notice of his work abroad, having been featured in both MyFonts’ “Creative Characters” and YouWorkForThem’s newsletter. As the work of most Japanese type designers is almost wholly unnoticed abroad, for Tsunekawa to be interviewed by two of the most popular type distribution companies in the world is definitely something beyond the norm. Perhaps it is because he works independently, or perhaps it is due to the charm and friendliness with which his typefaces are infused. Either way, this attention is both welcome and appreciated.
Beyond mere charm, Tsunekawa’s work is nuanced, detailed, and accessible due to its high level of finish. His fonts stand apart from his contemporaries in Latin typeface design in Japan due to his fascination with pop, vernacular and historical lettering from “non-pure” sources- whereas type designers like Kunihiko Okano and Akira Kobayashi have spent years analyzing the essence of Western letterform construction and unlocking the essence of Latin forms, Tsunekawa views surface and the awkward nature of his sources as being of value, as well.
His irreverence for the formal doctrines of history imbue his typeface designs with a rugged inventiveness that would be missed by most- glyphs without source designs are guessed at and approximated, often in a manner wildly divergent from what Western eyes would assume. It is in these moments that I find sheer delight in Tsunekawa’s work and what make me most pleased to invite him aboard Neojaponisme and Onitsuka Tiger’s type development project.
His assorted typefaces show an eclecticism in finish and as holistic systems- Tsunekawa’s return email to me about the proposed type project showed a digital sketch of how a completed typeface family from the source lettering might look, rendered with an effortlessness and dedication to detail that belies a skilled craftsperson. Further development showed Tsunekawa’s rigor- the typeface in development rapidly featured glyphs ignored by many: a full set of fractions, Eastern European diacritics and accents, superior and inferior numerals, alternate characters, and custom ligatures – all designed with regulated, detailed spacing.
ONICK is a typeface Tsunekawa should be proud of- an homage to a moment in history rendered in the absolute best fashion. We are proud to present it to the world!
–Ian Lynam

Onick Font families

The Onick includes the following font families:

  • Onick

Onick Preview

Here is a preview of how Onick will look. For more previews using your own text as an example, click here.

Is Onick A free font? Is Onick Free to Download?

No,Onick is not free to download. You will need to pay for it I'm afraid. Almost every font that we list on HighFonts.com is a paid-for, premium font. We do have a Free Fonts section where we list free fonts that you can download. There is no point trying to find a free download of Onick so please don't waste your time looking.

It is highly unlikely that you'll be able to find Onick for free. There's a lot of websites that will say "Free Download" but these are just attempts to get you to click on a link which will either take you to an ad landing page or you risk getting viruses on your computer. In the rare occasion that you do find a free download for Onick remember that it's illegal to use a font if you didn't pay for it!

If you really want Onick and you want to truly own it the legal and safe way, then click here to visit the download and purchase page on MyFonts.com. Here you will be able to obtain the proper license. The designer and publisher deserves to be paid for their work, as they have put in the hours and the creativity to produce such an amazing font. Good luck with your purchase and future use of this font. :)