Eiichi Kono

Research output: Other contribution


Meiryo typeface, designed for Microsoft Windows Vista, is the first new comprehensive Japanese typeface designed specifically for on-screen reading (as opposed to a print-based font transferred to a screen context), and is fast becoming an industry standard. As Team Leader responsible for the conception, design and realisation of this innovative typeface, Kono worked closely with Takeharu Suzuki of type designers, CandG Inc. Tokyo, and Matthew Carter of Carter and Cone Type Inc. Boston, whose Verdana font is the most popular Latin font for PC. Working as one of an international and select group of type designers and technical specialists with Microsoft ClearType technology, he and his team worked to a brief requiring the introduction of an aesthetic and legible typeface utilising ClearType that could be used successfully for immersive, on-screen reading. A systematic investigation of possible design solutions was followed by a sustained programme of rigorous testing, in order to achieve better interface usability and production process. The resultant Meiryo font has an exceptionally large character set, complying with the latest Japanese Industry Standards with over 40,000 kanji, hiragana, katakana and extensive Latin glyphs, and completed within only two years. Meiryo is in OpenType format which has cross-platform compatibility with any operating system (Microsoft, Apple, Linux) and, as a compact universal typeface suitable for screen, its wider significance is underlined by its availability and usefulness for hand-held computers (PDAs), mobile phones and electrical appliances in any language display. Its importance was reinforced by the award of the 2007 Tokyo TDC Type Design Prize.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMicrosoft Windows Vista
Place of PublicationInternational
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Kono is a Senior Research Fellow at Brighton and a leading international typographic designer. His achievements include the redesign of the London Underground Sans (known as New Johnston) and the BT telephone directory space-saving and legibility study.


  • Japanese Typeface


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