Kazuraki: Adobe Systems' Groundbreaking New Japanese Typeface

lunde's picture

A week ago I gave a 90-minute lecture to the Japan Society of Northern California about Kazuraki, which is the first genuinely proportional Japanese font. Although a significant portion of the lecture included a live demo of this font in Adobe InDesign, I thought that some of the people on this forum would enjoy going through the presentation, along with seeing its specimen book. You can download both of them from here.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks Ken!

John Boardley's picture

What a feat. Wonderful. ETA?

lunde's picture

We're looking at an early 2010 release.

Dr. Ken Lunde
Senior Computer Scientist, CJKV Type Development
Adobe Systems Incorporated
lunde@adobe.com

blank's picture

This is just so cool I want to learn Japanese just to use it. Congratulations to everyone involved for expanding the definition of “experimental type design” to such an extreme!

ebensorkin's picture

This question may be answered by a more careful re-reading of the documents linked to above but - It seems like in addition to all the programming and testing involved to get both horizontal and vertical relationships the way you want them, a release of this kind also could not take advantage of a skeleton+stroke basis for building glyphs,especially beyond the most common 3000 or so, and so would be far more labour intensive for that reason as well. Is that correct?

lunde's picture

Yes, considering that each glyph is effectively a calligraphic work of art, and individually drawn, the regularity that would result from the use of glyph elements would detract from this effect. At least, that's my opinion.

If a larger Japanese type foundry, with more than one designer, were to take on the design and development of a similar typeface, they could potentially include a larger number of glyphs. Kazuraki has a single designer. Well, "single" in the sense of there being only one. Ryoko Nishizuka is married and has a daughter.

BTW, I just dug up the page on Morisawa's website that shows the original form of Kazuraki when it won the Silver Prize at their 2002 Typeface Design Competition.

Dr. Ken Lunde
Senior Computer Scientist, CJKV Type Development
Adobe Systems Incorporated
lunde@adobe.com

lunde's picture

Kazuraki was released on 12/07/2009 in our North America Type Showroom, and on 12/21/2009 in those for Japan, France, and Germany.

Dr. Ken Lunde
Senior Computer Scientist, CJKV Type Development
Adobe Systems Incorporated
lunde@adobe.com

ebensorkin's picture

Really awesome! Congratulations!

riccard0's picture

Reasonably priced, too! :-)

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Is the latin also completely new?

lunde's picture

The Latin glyphs are derived from Brioso Pro Semibold Display. They are "derived" in that they are scaled 108% to better match the Japanese glyphs.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Brioso and Trinité was what first that came to mind. It is a good companion, but still I think it’s sad that the designer didn’t draw something original.

lunde's picture

We were originally planning to leave the Latin glyphs completely out of the font, but encountered too many assumptions/dependencies that forced us to include the glyphs. One of these dependencies was related to IMEs.

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