Akira Kobayashi
Biography of Akira Kobayashi: Studied at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, and later followed this up with a calligraphy course at the London College of Printing. Freelance type designer since 1997. Professional experience April 1983–March 1989 Sha-ken Co. Ltd, Japan Typeface design department December 1990–June 1993 Jiyu-kobo Ltd, Japan September 1993–March 1997 TypeBank Co. Ltd, Japan March 1997–April 2001 Freelance type designer April 1998–April 2001 Lettering-course teacher at Nihon Designer Gakuin (polytechnic) in Tokyo, Japan October 2000–April 2001 Part-time curator in the printing workshop of Printing Museum, Tokyo, Japan Since May 2001 Type Director at Linotype GmbH Awards In the 1998 U magazine type design competition: for Clifford ("Best of Category and Best of Show" categories); In Kyrillitsa'99 competition: for ITC Japanese Garden In Linotype's 3rd International Digital Type Design Contest in 2000: for Conrad (1st prize, text category) In the Type Directors Club's type design competitions of 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001: for , and , FF Clifford, and , respectively. Linotype Conrad was based on the fifteenth-century type by Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz: the two German printers active in Rome at that time. They produced a unique, slightly-out-of-balance-but attractive type. I have designed a couple of typefaces inspired from the past, but this time the original print acted merely as a reference. The distinctive lowercase 'a' and some other letters were inspired by Sweynheym and Pannartz's second roman type, but I revived the type in a more informal way. Here I used the historical type as a springboard. The resulting type looks different, taking on a rather contemporary and lively look. I assume that the Linotype Conrad is the first revival of the Sweynheym and Pannartz type, though it does not closely resemble the original. Linotype Conrad is a trademark of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, which may be registered in certain jurisdictions, exclusively licensed through Linotype GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. ITC Woodland, ITC Japanese Garden Ornaments and ITC Silvermoon are trademarks of International Typeface Corporation.

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