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The Japanese Foundry Scene

March 15, 2017 by Guest Author: Toshiya Izumo (

This piece focuses on the Japanese font foundry scene. It is a scene in constant change, a result of bankruptcies by individual companies, mergers, start-ups and constantly shifting licensing models. In what follows, I intend to provide an overview of the most important foundries today.

An interview with Roxane Gataud

March 08, 2017 by
David Sudweeks
David Sudweeks

David Sudweeks interviews French type and graphic designer Roxane Gataud on the creative process of the award-winning typeface Bely as well as how graphic design and type design fit together in her life—and she reveals her first type crush. This interview took place during TypeCon 2016 in Seattle, where Roxane received the Society of Typographic Aficionados’ Catalyst Award.

Japanese Typography – Latin Alphabet

March 06, 2017 by Guest Author: Toshiya Izumo (

Why do the Japanese use the Latin Alphabet? How long have they been using it? Francisco de Xavier, a Catholic missionary from Spain, set foot on Japanese soil in 1549. He had been sent by the Portuguese King João III. After having worked in various places in India, he was to become the first Christian missionary on the archipelago. In order to learn Japanese, he and his successors used the Roman letters of Portuguese to write down the pronunciation of the Japanese words.1

What is OpenType *now?*

February 23, 2017 by
David Sudweeks
David Sudweeks

When reports of new experimentation with the old TrueType GX standard came last year, I was hopeful this might at some point emerge as a new font format, (and I wasn’t alone). What I didn’t suspect was that this variable font technology would become part of OpenType itself. So here’s a quick look at what OpenType is capable of since version 1.8 was announced last fall.

Japanese Typography – Writing System

February 19, 2017 by Guest Author: Toshiya Izumo (

How do the Japanese write, exactly? Many people think that the Japanese simply write in “Japanese”. The truth is, however, that they use a fusion of different character types, and most of them are not so obvious. In the following, I provide an overview of the foundations of Japanese writing.