I was fortunate to cover the Japanese print market and font technology for Seybold Reports when it still had the original editorial staff. Pete Dyson, George Alexander and the Media PA staff were the best group of people I ever worked with. Until they were all let go in 2004, Seybold was a great and highly respected publication that everybody in the industry followed. After a purge under a robber baron Softbank Media stewardship that destroyed the Seybold business model, it limped on through several owners, but a golden era was over.
After that I was a technology reporter covering Japan for Off The Record Research (OTR Global), then became a Nichiren Shu priest and helping out with their English language publishing and web efforts. The rest of the time I goof off and write this blog. If you enjoy reading it please click on an ad, it helps support my writing. My email contact is here, or via Twitter @Kanjo
Here are some of the Japanese articles I wrote for Seybold. They are good background material if you want to understand the evolution of Japanese fonts, typography and technology. Most of these are PDF, eventually I hope to convent them to web page versions.
- Inside Hiragino covers the creation and development of the OS X Japanese system font Hiragino.
- The Second Wave of Japanese DTP covers the developments of Japanese high end DTP typography and Japanese Open Type font features.
- SING: The Final Frontier For Japanese DTP looks at Adobe’s failed attempt to solve the Japanese Gaiji font problem.
- JANPS (Japanese Newspaper Production Show) discusses Japanese font developments with Tomihisa Uchida of Iwata Corporation. Uchida san is one of the top Japanese font engineers who has seen and done it all. One of these days I plan to sit down with him and do a proper retrospective interview of his amazing career.
- Page 2004 covers Japanese OpenType extended character sets and encoding issues.
- Japanese Handset Publishing examines the short lived phenomenon of keitai novels.
- Quark XPress 8 J covers the release of version 8 and the death of Quark XPress in the Japanese market.