[Story]The Familiar Global Font, LINE Seed.

In my eyes, it looks like this, what do you think? 

First Meeting 

In January 2020, when COVID-19 had not yet become a serious concern, I visited LINE PLUS, the company behind the messenger app LINE, to discuss various aspects of font development. During our initial meeting, we had the opportunity to engage in conversations about LINE PLUS, the font development process, and upcoming workshops.

Afterward, we reviewed LINE's brand keywords, philosophy, references, and other materials to gain a clearer direction for font development.


Fonts serve as a vital tool for expressing a brand's identity. Therefore, when a brand is well-defined, it becomes easier to envision how to create a tool like fonts. In this regard, working with LINE PLUS was an exciting project, given their well-organized brand identity.


Before initiating the project 

LINE PLUS entrusted Sanoll with the development of LINE Seed in Korean, while the Latin script was handled by Dalton Maag, a longstanding partner of Sanoll. LINE PLUS had been in communication with Dalton Maag even before discussions with Sanoll began. Since LINE PLUS primarily targets international markets, the importance of the Latin script was paramount, requiring the sensibilities and expertise of a local font foundry.

Global fonts that encompass multiple languages often involve collaboration with various local foundries. However, collaborating with multiple foundries can complicate communication. Sanoll has a history of working closely with various international foundries over the years. Dalton Maag, as one of these longstanding partners, made this collaboration a pleasant experience. 

I had previously participated in collaborative projects with Dalton Maag, which gave me firsthand knowledge of their professionalism and expertise. This experience reinforced my confidence in them as partners.


In February 2020, members of Dalton Maag visited Korea for a workshop involving all three parties. Workshops typically begin with building mutual understanding, which lays the foundation for understanding how to represent a brand's image through fonts.


During the workshop, mutual understanding means getting to know each other's thoughts. Through this process, we were able to narrow down the range of images that each of us had in mind while still staying true to the initial direction discussed with LINE PLUS. This process is essential because people often have varying perceptions of the same image.

For example, during this workshop, one of the keywords that emerged was "witty." LINE PLUS considered this term to be close to "emotion." By using "emotion" as a starting point, we expanded our thinking to consider "witty" as equivalent to "funny" or "humorous." While this may seem trivial, the degree of interpretation can vary from person to person, making it crucial to identify these nuances.


At Sanoll, font development progresses through three stages: Prototype, Product, and Publish. The Prototype phase involves proposing designs, receiving feedback from clients, and refining design concepts. In Dalton Maag's terminology, they refer to this phase as Ideation and Concept stage. 

Based on our prior discussions and the workshop's outcomes, we delved into the design exploration process. Notably, we focused on harmonizing the size and proportions of Korean characters drawn by Sanoll and Latin characters drawn by Dalton Maag to ensure their compatibility. We also explored the size and proportions of characters for ideographic languages (Chinese characters and kana) and Thai characters. Sanoll and Dalton Maag were capable of addressing these aspects since Sanoll specializes in CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) fonts, while Dalton Maag has expertise in handling Thai characters.


The Product phase involves creating the entire character set based on the established design direction. As characters are gradually developed, new design issues or in-depth discussions arise. LINE PLUS conducted testing tailored to the actual usage environment to enhance usability and font expertise.

Specifically, LINE PLUS often uses emoticons in their designs and expressed a desire for the font to facilitate their use. Additionally, they aimed for more sophisticated typography when typesetting.

To address these requirements, we incorporated emoticons directly into the font and added OpenType features such as ligatures and alternates to enhance font flexibility. LINE PLUS demonstrated a commitment to making the best choices and maintaining a flexible discussion framework to ensure they could execute their plans effectively.

OT feature - Ligatures


The Publish phase involves developing the created characters into font files. The Latin characters by Dalton Maag were created first, followed by Sanoll's Korean characters, resulting in the development of "LINE Seed." The font was initially released for internal use within LINE PLUS. Approximately one year later, on Hangul Day in 2022, the LINE Seed microsite (link) was publicly unveiled, making it accessible to everyone.


Global Font LINE Seed

As the name suggests, LINE Seed symbolizes a seed, signifying its deep roots in LINE, LINE PLUS's flagship service, and its growth alongside users. Currently supporting four languages—Latin, Korean, Japanese, and Thai—LINE Seed provides a consistent voice for LINE's services.

LINE Seed represents a font that embodies both the emotional and smart aspects of LINE PLUS. It may appear simple at first glance, given its focus on simplicity as a Gothic font. However, it showcases a tender side upon closer examination. By maintaining the straight-line forms of the LINE logo and incorporating clear curves, LINE Seed becomes an endearing font that reveals its warmth the more you get to know it. When you want to create a familiar impression that resonates with a wide audience, LINE Seed is a font that can assist you!