1. I don't understand
  2. This is scary
  3. Are they angry?
  4. Can I talk to them?

What comes to mind when you think about psychiatric and neurological disorders?
For many people, encountering these conditions brings up feelings of fear and uncertainty.
This could be because they lack knowledge of these disorders
and have no experience in communicating with people that suffer from them.

  1. Lack of knowledge of the disorders
  2. Lack of experience in communicating with patients

In addition to providing medicines for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders,
Otsuka Pharmaceutical is working to increase awareness of such conditions.
With the goal of giving people a closer insight into them,
Otsuka has created the "Connect pen & Notebook",
in addition to hosting an interactive photo exhibition titled "Face to Face Portrait Exhibition".

Learn about the disorders

While the symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, along with neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease can differ, they are all disorders of the brain resulting from malfunctions in neurotransmission. However, very few people are aware of this fact: a survey showed that only 6% of respondents mentioned the brain or nerves when asked what the four disorders had in common.

Percentage of people answering that bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease are all the result of malfunctions in neurotransmission.

Date: February 2015
Respondents: 310 men and women surveyed via the Internet
Research organization: Macromill

This research led us taking our first step in teaching others to better understand
that these conditions result from brain disorders;
just as a failure in the functioning of the stomach or liver can cause phyical illness,
a failure in the brain's circuits can cause psychiatric and neurological disorders.

To do this, we created the "Connect Pen & Notebook",
a set containing an illustration of the brain's neural circuits
and a pen filled with electrically conductive ink.

Activities for learning about the disorders

Connect Pen & Notebook

The "Connect Pen & Notebook" enables users to get a clear image of the abnormalities in the patients' brains by drawing lines using electrically conductive ink to connect electric circuits within the notebook. When the circuits are correctly completed, LEDs are powered on one by one.

We have been using this kit for workshops held in universities and workplace training seminars since 2015. The electric circuits within the notebooks were created by people suffering from psychiatric disorders, and paid for their work through the non-profit origanization Silver Ribbon Japan.

The Pen & Notebook set

University workshop

University workshop

University workshop

About the Connect Font

As a part of this project,
we created a unique font
which can be downloaded free of charge.

The Connect Font is used to express the concept of "connect",
and is used in the Connect Pen & Notebook set.

It includes all 26 upper-case letters and 11 numbers and symbols,
with each character being formed from a circuit.
The font won an award at the ONE SHOW international advertising awards.

Those interested in the Connect Pen & Notebook
are welcome to download the font free of charge.

We hope that the Connect Font with its electrical circuit motif
will help you make the right connections in your mind to understand these disorders.

The Connect Font may only be used by those who agree to the conditions of use; by downloading the font you are agreeing to the conditions.

1.Editing the font or lending, selling, or transfering it to another party without permission is explicitly prohibited. There are no limitations on personal use.
2.Otsuka Pharmaceutical takes no responsibility nor is it liable for any damages incurred through usage of the Connect Font. Furthermore, Otsuka Pharmaceutical does not guarantee the functionality or effectiveness of the Connect Font.
3.There is no technical support available for the Connect Font.
4.The Connect Font only supports the English alphabet (upper-case letters).
5.The above conditions may be changed at any time without notice.

Help your friends make connections
in their understanding by sharing the Connect Font!


This project has won several awards.


    The Cannes Lions Awards are one of the
    three biggest awards in the field of advertising.
    This project won the bronze award
    in the healthcare division in 2016.


    one of the world's three largest advertising awards,
    gave the Connect Font a merit award in 2017.

  3. Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity

    Spikes Asia, often referred to as the "Cannes Lions of Asia," awarded this project the Silver Award in 2016.


    This project received the Bronze Award
    in the healthcare division
    in the 2015 CLIO Health Awards,
    one of the world's three largest advertising awards.

Learn how patients feel

Those suffering from psychiatric illnesses report that having
the understanding of people around them help aid their recovery.
When suffering from an illness,
it can be very hard if those around you don't understand,
and accuse you of being lazy, or tell you that you've changed.
We started this project in the hope that it would encourage people to consider
the situation from the standpoint of the patients,
and lead them to support sufferers in their recovery.

A project to help people understand how patients feel

Face to Face
Portrait Exhibition

A photography exhibition that changes when you come face to face with it.
This exhibition simulates the experience of meeting patients face to face and listening to their stories.
It demonstrates that understanding patients' feelings can aid them in their recovery,
and emphasizes the importance of listening.

The venue is fitted with life-sized panels displaying people who suffer from disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
When you sit in front of the panel and face the person, it's almost as if you are actually sitting there with them, listening as they open up and share their story. The sufferers talk about times when they were struggling to cope with their illnesses and the kind of understanding and support they received from the people around them during their recovery. As their stories progress, the sufferers' dark expressions gradually lighten, showing their recovery.

At the end of the process, they share the following messages.

"Three years after the onset of my symptoms, when my family accepted my illness and made an effort to understand, the burden I had been carrying became lighter, and I discovered a new sense of hope."

"A kind friend of mine persevered with teaching me how fun it could be to take on new challenges, and I slowly changed."

"Even when I got irritated, my friend was always patient with me. Our relationship stayed the same as it always had been."

This project began in 2015, and has been held at different scales in multiple venues since.


The project has won various awards.

  1. Spikes Asia

    Known as"Asia's Cannes Lions."
    Winner, 2017.


    Japan's only award for the comprehensive evaluation
    and promotion of design.
    Winner, 2017.