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You are here: Home / Type & typography / Kazuraki: under the hood

Kazuraki: under the hood

By Ken Lunde. Conventional CJK fonts are designed on the principle that each of their thousands (or tens of thousands) of glyphs occupies a fixed design space, typically a square, but sometimes a rectangle. Kazuraki, which was inspired by the handwriting of the famous 12th century Japanese artist, writer, and poet, Fujiwara no Teika, and designed by Adobe's Senior Type Designer, Ryoko Nishizuka, breaks this assumption. Designing the glyphs for fully-proportional CJK fonts, along with determining their horizontal and vertical metrics, presents several challenges. Turning this raw data into a fully-functional OpenType/CFF font requires special techniques to ensure that it behaves as expected in modern applications. This effort includes techniques for making the proportional metrics the default for both writing directions, horizontal and vertical, along with the proper handling of special glyphs, such as the hiragana ligatures that are intended to be used only for vertical writing. This presentation focuses on the technical hurdles that were overcome so that Kazuraki, with its unique typeface-design characteristics, could be implemented as a fully-functional OpenType/CFF font. Also covered is the broad extent to which the techniques used to design and implement Kazuraki are fully applicable to other CJK fonts besides Japanese. This presentation is intended to serve as a continuation of the "Kazuraki: Its Art & Design" presentation. From the 2012 ATypI conference in Hong Kong

PDF document icon ATypI_Hong Kong_Lunde kazuraki.pdf — PDF document, 3.36 MB (3528121 bytes)

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