Skip to content

Connecting sound and leather

Origin of SYRINX

SYRINX began as a leather speaker.

SYRINX is another name for the reed flute (panflute) held by Pan, the Greek god of sheep, and is said to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.

One day, Pan, the sheep god, happened to see the beautiful fairy Shrinks and fell madly in love with her. Unable to accept the half-breed's feelings, Shrinks had his form transformed into a river reed in order to escape. Pan cut the reeds, made a flute, and played it to comfort himself.
パンフルート Photo : ©︎Kazuhiro Shiozawa,
2020Instrument made by Radu Nechifor (collection of Fumiko Sakuraoka)

Optima, with its origins dating back 500 years

The SYRINX logo uses the elegant and graceful font "Optima.

And Optima is a font with a curious connection to leather.

Optima is the work of German type designer Hermann Zupp (1918- ). While traveling in Florence in 1950, he stopped by the Basilica di Santa Croce and was struck by the inscription on a 15th-century tombstone, which he drew on a 1000 lire bill he had on hand.

Based on that sketch, the 500-year-old design was given a new life and reborn as Optima.

Optima Inscription on the tombstone of Santa Croce Church in Florence

Connecting Sound and Leather

Florence is a city of artistic leather production and a sacred place for leather craftsmen.
And the Church of Santa Croce, which Mr. Tsup visited, has a particularly strong connection with leather. The church houses the Scuola del Cuoio, a famous leather school that attracts students from all over the world, and the Santa Croce church district has developed into a leather goods artisan district.

About 40 km down the Arno River from the church, you will reach the town of Santa Croce, which has the same name. This is the birthplace of vegetable tanning and one of the largest tanning districts in Europe, with more than 250 renowned Italian leather tanneries concentrated here.

In search of a soft and heavy leather for sound, we came across vacchetta leather tanned in Santa Croce, and that is how SYRINX began. Today, most of our products are still made from Santa Croce tanned leather.

We adopted Optima because of its beautiful proportions, but closer examination reveals a series of mysterious connections, which make us feel a sense of fateful fate.

SYRINX connects sound and leather.