Clothes shopping can be a hit-and-miss affair in Japan, a country where most people are the size and shape of popsicle sticks. And, of course, Japanese fashion is famously strange at the best of times. Enter UNIQLO. UNIQLO is Japan’s version of The Gap, and Steph and I have had pretty good luck finding clothes there.
Japan is a madly seasonal country, and clothing stores are no exception. If you see a shirt or a flavor of ice cream you like, you’d better buy it now because they might not have it next week. The upside of this is that it’s always fun just to drop in and see what fun novelty T-shirts they’ve got today. American baseball team shirts are popular, and there are always a lot of random campy print T-shirts in styles from old-west to 1970s.
The funny thing about random events is that they inevitably make occasional uncanny patterns and you never expect it. Thus I was surprised when, while waiting for Steph to try on some clothes, I stumbled upon a whole series of shirts about… fonts. The first one that caught my said (backwards) “Character Set Calligraphy Bitmap”. I looked below it and saw another: “METAFONT”. I kept looking and the typographical joy kept flowing: “OPENTYPE” “sans-serif” “ASCENDER”. These shirts are all produced by T-26, a font foundry whose fonts we sell at MyFonts and, in fact, whose shirts Steph has bought for me before.
Steph prevented my from buying the whole set, but I did walk out with two.
But the story does not end there. No more than a couple weeks later, we walked into another UNIQLO store, and there in the window was a Seattle landmark from my youth. Unable to believe the coincidences with my own life that UNIQLO was throwing at me, I walked out the proud owner of a new Pink Elephant Car Wash shirt.
For those of you who are curious, here is a picture of the whole rack of T-26 shirts: