Jack Yan was born in Hong Kong in 1972. He founded Jack Yan & Associates in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1987, establishing it as the country's first digital typefoundry and paving the way for other type designers from there. Since he began, he has worked tirelessly for the type community, being one of the founders of TypeRight, and the typographic columnist for Desktop magazine in Australia since 1996.
Jack's contributions to type technology began with input into QuickDraw GX, Apple's attempt at more complex fonts in the 1990s.
In the 21st century, Jack devoted some time to starting the print edition of Lucire, the international fashion magazine, which began online in 1997. Lucire was notable in using type from independent designers and was arguably the first New Zealand general consumer title to adopt typefaces exclusively from that country. He also worked on numerous private, international typeface commissions.
His work has tended to be traditional and restrained, though a number of his typefaces for private accounts have been decorative.
Jack's interests are varied. They include automobile design and marketing, a fascination for international cultures, Confucianism, politics, diplomacy, intellectual property law, French impressionism, and the music of John Barry.