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You are here: Home / Conferences / Montréal 2017 / Programme

Is harmony possible between East Asian and Western glyphs?

When Sat 16 Sep 1230
Where UQAM, Cœur des sciences
What
Who Taro Yamamoto

In the West today, East Asian type remains a mystery for many. Very few people know that a typical Japanese font usually includes Western glyphs, and that it is necessary to select and adapt —or design from scratch—a Western typeface with appropriate attributes, such as stroke widths, glyph widths, counter spaces, and size. The goal is that both Japanese and Western glyphs look optically well-balanced when they are incorporated into the same font and used to typeset multilingual text. It is also necessary to prepare full-width Latin glyphs that are enlarged and expanded to fill the em-box better for compatibility with existing typographic conventions in Japan. This can be a perturbing task, even for highly-skilled Western type designers.

The speaker will explain how desperately difficult it may be to assimilate the visual appearances of East Asian and Western type, using examples taken from the Pan-CJK font family, Source Han Sans, co-developed by Adobe and Google, and will discuss in what ways the two different kinds of glyphs can be coordinated, so that they can be combined in a harmonious way, like a happily married couple.

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