As announced recently at Adobe MAX, Japanese font vendor Morisawa and Adobe have entered into a partnership that makes Morisawa Japanese fonts available through Adobe Typekit. For designers and creative professionals who work in international markets, this is huge.
Morisawa is the leading provider of digital fonts in the Japanese market. Not only that, but they have been in business for over 90 years, and are the only Japanese foundry to have successfully made the transition from traditional type to digital type. Morisawa digital fonts are considered the highest quality fonts available, in a market that cares a great deal about quality.
However, up until now, Morisawa fonts were only available in Japan. This made it very difficult for designers working on multinational accounts to acquire the fonts, which are coveted for their quality as well as the variety of available faces. The lucky few with offices in Japan could make purchases directly, but the rest had no access and were unable to include Morisawa fonts in their international campaigns.
Fortunately, Morisawa realized the demand for their fonts went far beyond the borders of Japan, and earlier this year, they opened a US subsidiary, Morisawa USA. With this expansion, the agreement with Adobe to include the fonts with Typekit could be inked. Both Morisawa fonts, and those of their subsidiary, TypeBank, are now available.
Dynamic Subsetting: Optimizing CJK Fonts for Web Use
Adobe had to do some work on their end to make Japanese fonts available in Typekit. The basic character set for most Japanese (and Chinese) fonts is on average more than 20,000 characters. That’s a lot of characters. For desktop usage, this was not that difficult, but the size of the character set was a challenge for web pages, which have to load quickly. To address this, Adobe developed a technology called dynamic subsetting, whereby, in web applications, only the characters used on the page are requested and cached. For more on CJK Typekit technology, see the post announcing East Asian web font support at the Typekit Blog.
Using Morisawa Fonts
Using Morisawa fonts in Typekit works exactly the same as any other Typekit font. On the Font menu from within your CC application, click “Add Fonts from Typekit.” This brings you to the Typekit page, at the top of which there is now a choice for Japanese. Click on that tab, and the full list of 20 Morisawa and TypeBank fonts is displayed, along with other Adobe Japanese fonts.
Once you select the fonts, they are synced with your system and listed on your application’s font menu. In InDesign, like other CJK fonts, they are listed after the Roman fonts.
Now, designers everywhere have access to fonts that are the most respected and widely-used in Japan. For campaigns that target the Japanese market, it doesn’t get better than this. International identity programs can now easily take advantage of the availability of the fonts, while knowing that they are using fonts that will meet the approval of the discerning Japanese audience.Tags