Earlier this week I was contacted by a designer at Mattel Toys in California. I was told that a font called Sile which I created back in 2015 was being used on a new toy range for a Sanrio character called Gudetama.
There will be some people reading this that will instantly know what that means. I didn’t have a clue. Beyond the fact that my font was being used it didn’t mean an awful lot to me.
I should explain that I do get emails from time to time from people that have used my fonts on things they’re creating. My fonts are free to use but it’s always nice to see one of your fonts in the wild. Normally those emails are about tote bags or other similar items that people are selling on Etsy. Small bespoke stuff usually.
What On Earth Is Gudetama?
Having no knowledge of Sanrio or Gudetama I did a quick search and my world was well and truly rocked. Gudetama is huge. He’s also an egg. A lethargic, depressed, indifferent egg yolk with an often visible butt crack.
Gudetama is a fan of phrases like meh…, don’t care, I can’t and I’m lazy. He seems to have cracked (pun intended) Japan and is doing the same in the USA too.
Gudetama Is Huge
My search returned aeroplanes emblazoned with Gudetama alongside credit cards, cafés, restaurants, lipsticks, chopsticks, plush toys, nightlights, handbags, hoodies and a whole load more merchandise. There’s a short anime series with over 500 episodes to date. The official Gudetama Instagram account has 282,000 followers. His Twitter account is closing in on a million. There’s even an official hashtag #askgudatama. It’s crazy big.
At this point I was starting to feel like Homer Simpson when he first discovered his face on a box of Mr Sparkle washing powder.
For those that want to get to know a little bit more about Gudetama, check out this video from Vox that gives a little bit of background to how this unusual character came to be…
The whole thing is still really strange to me, I’m obviously ecstatic that my font is being used alongside a really popular character from the same company behind Hello Kitty, but at the same time I’m a little stunned.
I’ve told this story to colleagues and friends a number of times now and the reaction varies. There are people that instantly recognise the name Gudetama and are subsequently really interested and others that are similar to myself, people who have no idea what it is and have never seen it before.
I’m really excited to see the toys when they launch next year and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get my hands on some. I’m still not totally sure whether they’ll be available in the UK or not.