East Asia Tour 2014

For the first time in my life, I visited three East Asian countries in a single trip: China, South Korea, and Japan. I have had trips that involved two countries—South Korea & Japan, China & South Korea—but never three. This particular one was also done in the span of only one week.

The purpose of this trip was to visit the three type foundries who were involved in the Source Han Sans/Noto Sans CJK project: Changzhou SinoType (常州华文) in Changzhou, China; Iwata (イワタ) in Tōkyō, Japan; and Sandoll Communications (산돌커뮤니케이션) in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to thanking each company in person, we also used the opportunity to discuss particulars of the project, in terms of what worked well and what didn’t, and I also demonstrated the processes that I used to take their raw glyph data and turn it into the final fonts. All three companies gave us a warm welcome, and were very gracious hosts. We had excellent lunches and dinners with all three companies, which allowed for greater social interaction.

Masataka HATTORI (服部正貴) from our Tōkyō office traveled with me to China and South Korea, and Jinho KANG from our Seoul office participated in the meeting with Sandoll Communications. In addition to Masataka, Taro YAMAMOTO (山本太郎) participated in the meeting with Iwata.

China: Changzhou SinoType

This was the first time for me to visit Changzhou SinoType, and it was a real treat. My last trip to China was nine years ago, in Beijing. Curt HUANG, who founded Changzhou SinoType in July of 1991 (this happens to coincide with when I joined Adobe), showed us their entire operation, which included seeing his vast collection of hand-drawn and paper-based typeface designs, and a demonstration of making hot metal type in an adjacent hot metal type foundry.

South Korea: Sandoll Communications

This trip represented the second time I have visited Sandoll Communications. The first time was nine years ago. The location is the same, but we were able to see much more of their operation this time.

This trip provided to me an opportunity to finally meet face-to-face the typeface designers for the hangul portion of Source Han Sans/Noto Sans CJK. One of them, Soo-young JANG (장수영), is shown on the right in the above photo. Although not shown in the photo, Joo-yeon KANG (강주연) is the other typeface designer who was involved in the project. The lady on the left is Soohyun PARK (박수현), another one of their talented typeface designers.

During the visit, Soo-young gave to me a gift in the form of the original typeface design concept for the hangul portion of Source Han Sans/Noto Sans CJK, which is shown above (click on it to see a much higher-resolution version).

Japan: Iwata

The last part of this trip involved flying to Japan to pay Iwata a visit. The last time I visited Iwata was a year ago, and it was great to have an opportunity to visit them again, especially now that the fonts have been released.

This was the first time for me to be in Japan on Halloween, and as you can see from my colleagues shown above, it was quite festive. Seriously, though, it was very interesting to see first-hand how a different country celebrates this holiday.

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