Please update your browser. Why?
News
Featured

Japanese Typography – Writing System

Japanese Typography – Latin Alphabet

March 06, 2017 by Guest Author: Toshiya Izumo (www.japanesetypography.com)

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

Japanese Typography – Writing System

February 19, 2017 by Guest Author: Toshiya Izumo (www.japanesetypography.com)

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.

The perception of black & white and the effect of contrast

August 22, 2016 by
Ferdinand Ulrich
Ferdinand Ulrich

Several type designers and typographers insist, that the shapes enclosed in the letters and around them should not be underestimated, and in fact, they are the most significant aspect of a typeface. Since we read contrast, it is important to know about this relationship, when it comes to designing a page of text—be it digital or print. Knowing that the letters and surrounding shapes can take on any color, we still refer to them as ‘black’ and ‘white’ in discussions. This essay is a collection of observations.

Adventures In Space: Optical Kerning

August 08, 2016 by
Yves Peters
Yves Peters

In the spirit of summer blockbusters, I am adding a sequel to my Adventures In Space series. In the second part, about kerning, I mentioned the Optical Kerning setting in Adobe Illustrator. It can improve the spacing of amateur fonts or some typefaces in large display sizes, but – because it ignores the careful manual spacing and kerning of any typeface by a pro-level designer – the setting often creates more problems than it solves. Below are three instances where it will definitely not work. And yes, I am writing this post because I have been there too, scrutinising my screen and wracking my mind trying to figure out why the text looks off. And then go “Argh, of course! Optical kerning…”

The Abbreviated Typographer

August 01, 2016 by
Yves Peters
Yves Peters

There are a lot of abbreviations which are commonly used in the world of typography, and especially digital fonts. Some relate to glyph sets and font formats, others to design traits and foundries, and so on. Their meaning may be obvious for the seasoned type user, but I can imagine that many type novices – and even regular users – can be confused by a good number of them. Here’s a comprehensive overview.