Akira Kobayashi.
Creative Type Director.

In his words.

It’s important to remember that letters do not stand by themselves; they have to work together to form words. When they do not satisfy me, I change letterforms rather freely.

Creative Type Director Akira Kobayashi has nearly four decades of experience and an extensive background in Japanese typeface design. After studying at Musashino Art University in Tokyo for four years, Akira Kobayashi accepted his first job at phototypesetting manufacturer Sha-Ken Co., where he was involved in the lengthy and intricate process of designing Japanese fonts.

After leaving this role he studied calligraphy at the London College of Printing. Akira worked at Jiyu-kobo Ltd. and Japan TypeBank Co., Ltd. before becoming a freelance type designer. In 2002 Kobayashi released Optima Nova – a modernization of Hermann Zapf’s Optima design – and in 2009 he partnered with Adrian Frutiger to update his eponymous typeface family. More recently, Akira directed the development of Tazugane Gothic, Monotype’s first original Japanese typeface. Over the course of his career, Akira has designed more than 50 font families including DIN Next, Akko Pro and Neue Frutiger, and worked with major brands including Sony, UBS and Panasonic.

Studio releases.

Akira Kobayashi