The Akko™ and Akko Rounded typefaces are remarkably handsome siblings from an illustrious typographic family tree. This pair of distinctive designs will show themselves well-suited for a deep and wide range of applications, both in traditional print and on the Web.
“Akko is a melding of several sans serif typefaces from the past,” reflects Akira Kobayashi, Akko’s designer. “ITC Woodland, which I drew in 1997, is built on my fondness for Cooper Black. When I designed TX Lithium, in 1999, I envisioned a new ‘techno’ look, drawing on the ‘industrial strength’ appearance of DIN, which I admired. I was thinking of these earlier designs when I began to sketch Akko.”
“I used a single design skeleton for the Akko series,” Kobayashi continues. “My initial concept was to create a sanserif typeface with rounded corners. The overall impression was to be a friendly design – although its structure has a hint of German Textura type.” As the design developed, however, Kobayashi began to realize that a second, “unrounded” typeface was a natural outgrowth of the basic letterforms.
Although he is deeply immersed in digital technology, Kobayashi still starts his design process with pencil and paper. “I always sketch on paper, normally drawing about ten to twenty characters by hand before I begin working on my computer. Then, I design the rest on screen.
About the Designer
Kobayashi began his career in letters at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, where he studied from 1979 to 1983. His first professional experience in type design was at Sha-Ken Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of phototypesetting machines. After several years at Sha-Ken, Kobayashi left the firm in the late 1980s and traveled to London to study English and calligraphy. A year later, he returned to Japan to design type for Jiyu-Kobo. He promptly produced a font for setting Japanese, with a six-weight Latin version as a complement. From Jiyu-Kobo, Kobayashi moved on to TypeBank. Among other projects, he created 17 Latin alphabets to accompany the foundry's Japanese fonts. From 1997 to 2001 Kobayashi worked as a freelance designer and won numerous international awards for his typefaces.
After completing the design of the Latin alphabet to accompany Type Project’s Axis Japanese fonts in 2000, Kobayashi moved to Germany in 2001 to assume the position as type director of Linotype (now Monotype). Since then, he has worked with Hermann Zapf and Adrian Frutiger in reinterpreting their classic types, including the Palatino®, Optima®, Avenir®, Frutiger® Serif and Frutiger® Next families.
Kobayashi’s Akko and Akko Rounded have simple, compact letterforms, making them economical in terms of layout space. The designer comments, "Sometimes it seems that I spend more time worrying about whitespace than I do designing the letterforms.”
Kobayashi also paid particular attention to the character counters and the places where strokes join. The subtly curved diagonal strokes of characters like the A,V, K, v and y ensure that no ‘dark spots’ distract from text copy. In addition, Kobayashi drew a suite of ligatures to accompany the standard characters. “I made c-t and s-t ligatures to add a historical context to the family. I also drew c-h, c-k and s-c-h ligatures for the setting of German.”
The Akko designs, which take their moniker from the first two letters in Akira and Kobayashi, will prove themselves to be exceptionally versatile. Akko projects authority, while Akko Rounded is amiable and inviting. The designs retain their legibility from small text to billboard size settings, have great appeal on screen and in print, and clearly stand apart from less distinctive sans serif typefaces.
The lighter weights are ideal for blocks of textual content, while the bold and black designs will create compelling headlines. This is a family with ‘design legs’ – it will perform in a variety of projects with grace and aplomb.
Licenses for desktop fonts
A typical desktop font EULA will allow you to install the font on your computer for use with authoring tools including word processors, design tools and other applications that permit font selection. Fonts can also be used for creation of print documents, static images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) and logos. The cost of a desktop font license is determined by the number of workstations on which the font is to be used.View the desktop EULA for this family
Licenses for Fonts.com Web Fonts subscriptions
The Fonts.com Web Fonts license provides access to a selection of fonts for use on websites for use with CSS@font-face. Font delivery from our global network is available through all subscriptions – even our free plan. Some plans include the option to self-host, access to desktop fonts, and use of our FontExplorer X font manager and Typecast design application. The price of a plan is determined by its pageview allowance and other features included.View the Fonts.com Web Fonts subscription license agreement
Licenses for mobile apps
A mobile app license permits the embedding of the font into the iOS, Android or Windows RT mobile platforms. Licenses are platform-specific meaning a separate license is required for each platform the font is embedded into. Licenses remain valid for the total operating life of the app and a new license is not required to cover free updates to the app.Learn more about licenses for mobile apps
Licenses for electronic publications (eBooks)
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Server licenses authorize the installation of a font on a server that is accessed by remote users or website visitors. These licenses are commonly used by Web-based businesses providing goods that are personalized by its users such as business cards, images with captions and personalized merchandise. Users are not allowed to download the font file and the font may not be used outside the server environment. The font may not be employed for a software as a service (SaaS) application in which the service is the actual product and not the means of providing the product. Server licenses cover a set number of CPU cores on production servers (development servers are not counted) on which the font is installed. The license is valid for 1 year.Learn more about server licenses