Akira Kobayashi studied at Musashino Art College in Tokyo from 1979 to 1983, and six years later followed up with a calligraphy course at the London College of Printing. Akira’s type design career began at Sha-Ken Co., a phototypesetting manufacturer, until 1989. His next three years were at Jiyu-Kobo, Ltd. where he designed the Japanese font Hiragino Mincho and 6-weight Latin variation Hiragino Roman for Dainippon Screen Co. From 1993 to 1997 he worked at TypeBank Co., where he designed Latin alphabets to accompany all 17 of their Japanese fonts.
Since 1997, Akira has worked as a freelance type designer, and won a plethora of awards: The 1996 Morisawa Contest awarded him an Honourable Mention for his Socia Oldstyle. He won the Type Directors Club’s first type design competition in 1998 with ITC Woodland; Best of Category and Best of Show with Clifford at the first U&lc type design competition; and the Gold Prize of the Linotype Contest 2000 for his Conrad family.
Akira has now become Type Director at Linotype Library GmbH in Bad Homburg, Germany.