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Akira Kobayashi

Description

Biography of Akira Kobayashi: Studied at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, and later followed this up with a calligraphy course at the London College of Printing. Freelance type designer since 1997.


Professional experience

  • April 1983–March 1989: Sha-ken Co. Ltd, Japan Typeface design department
  • December 1990–June 1993: Jiyu-kobo Ltd, Japan
  • September 1993–March 1997: TypeBank Co. Ltd, Japan
  • March 1997–April 2001: Freelance type designer
  • April 1998–April 2001: Lettering-course teacher at Nihon Designer Gakuin (polytechnic) in Tokyo, Japan

Awards

  • In the 1998 U magazine type design competition: for Clifford (""Best of Category and Best of Show"" categories);
  • In Kyrillitsa'99 competition: for ITC Japanese Garden.
  • In Linotype's 3rd International Digital Type Design Contest in 2000: for Conrad (1st prize, text category)
  • In the Type Directors Club's type design competitions of 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001: for ITC Woodland, ITC Japanese Garden, ITC Silvermoon,FF Clifford, and Linotype Conrad respectively.

Linotype Conrad was based on the fifteenth-century type by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz: the two German printers active in Rome at that time. They produced a unique, slightly-out-of-balance-but attractive type.


I have designed a couple of typefaces inspired from the past, but this time the original print acted merely as a reference. The distinctive lowercase 'a' and some other letters were inspired by Sweynheym and Pannartz's second roman type, but I revived the type in a more informal way. Here I used the historical type as a springboard. The resulting type looks different, taking on a rather contemporary and lively look.

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