Happy Font Day, Japan! Source Han Serif turns 1, and more

When we released Source Han Serif this time last year, we knew the news would be of interest in Japan, but we never expected an official holiday would emerge. April 10 is now formally registered as Font Day in Japan, and our colleagues there haven’t missed the chance to celebrate its second year.

Celebrating one year of Source Han Serif

One year since its launch, Source Han Serif has proven to be hugely popular — a typeface suitable for editorial use, with seven different weights for variety, and with an immense number of glyphs to support Chinese Simplified and Traditional, Korean, and Japanese languages (including region-specific glyphs). Ryoko Nishizuka was the principal type designer for the project, and it was an enormous collaborative effort with designers from the other foundries involved as well.

Don’t miss our walkthrough of the Source Han Serif website itself, designed by Wenting Zhang — it’s full of neat details that illustrate the potential for a Pan-CJK typeface like this one.

Ten Mincho is in our free tier

Also from Ryoko, Adobe Originals released Ten Mincho last autumn, a delightful serif typeface for Japanese (and, with Ten Oldstyle from Robert Slimbach included in the typeface, also can be used for languages using Latin characters). We’ve just added it to the free tier in our library, so you can use it without a paid Creative Cloud subscription — though you’ll still need to log in with an Adobe ID to sync it to your desktop.

Font Day in Tokyo

Our colleagues in the Adobe Japan office organized Font Day events at the Yahoo! Lodge in Kioicho, Tokyo. Ryoko Nishizuka was among the participants for a “Meet the Typeface Designers” panel, which addressed the realities of type design and what the day-to-day of the job looks like.

A second panel comprising Japanese UX, web, and graphic designers discussed general themes around typography and using digital fonts; Taro Yamamoto joined this discussion. And for a lighthearted finale, Masataka Hattori from our Type team in Japan hosted a “Font Finding Quiz” along with a few type experts.

All of the “Meet the Typeface Designers” panel participants represented foundries with typefaces available on Typekit — a great chance to get to know them if you aren’t already familiar! Apart from Adobe, look for Japanese type from Morisawa, TypeBank, Dai Nippon Printing, Fontworks, Jiyukobo, and Visual Design Laboratory.

Further reading: Two different takes on Japanese type at Adobe

Bryan Lamkin (EVP and GM of Digital Media at Adobe) offers his reflection on the Japanese type offerings from Adobe in this blog post. It’s definitely an exciting time to be working with type, and we love his enthusiasm for it!

The people who have been in the type industry for 20 or 30 years have seen some remarkable transitions in design technology, and we’re fortunate enough to have several of those people on our team here — including Taro Yamamoto, Senior Manager of Type Development on the Adobe Type team in Japan. His newly-published article, “Thirty Years of Japanese font development at Adobe,” is featured on Adobe Japan’s Creative Station blog in two parts. (For the English translations, see Part I and Part II here.)

Maybe we should make Font Day an international holiday next year and expand it to the United States? Happy Font Day to you and yours!

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Sally Kerrigan

Content Editor at Typekit. Usually knows the way to the nearest public library. Lives in San Francisco in real life, @draftwerk in Twitter life.

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