Japanese Typography – Past, present and future

Shoko Mugikura introduces here the typographic idiosyncracies of a truly beautiful language:

As a native Spanish speaker, I concur with her assessment that Japanese is not a particularly difficult language to speak (cultural aspects aside) given its phonetic nature. What I think is particularly challenging to learners of the language, is to master the combination of two different alphabets and the Chinese-originated ideographic characters (which may even have different pronounciations according to where they are placed).

japanese bottle art

The result in today’s screen-based communication exchanges (Internet, mobile, etc), can very well be a somewhat confusing, if not totally chaotic, potpourri of oddly combined characters. When designing websites that are to appeal to a Japanese audience, it is important to take UI layout, design, structure (amongst many other elements) into consideration and create a website formatted in a way that makes sense to the native Japanese eye (even if it seems complete anarchy to you!). Always consult with a native speaker, or even better a Japanese person involved in the process of web design and copy layout.


2 thoughts on “Japanese Typography – Past, present and future

  1. Howdy fantastic blog! Does running a blog such as this
    take a large amount of work? I have no understanding of coding
    but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near
    future. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject nevertheless I just had to ask. Many thanks!

    • Hey Josefina! Glad you enjoy my blog, thanks so much for the positive feedback. With WordPress you don’t really need to know any coding (it helps you if you want to make a much more sophisticated site and for minor tweaks here and there), but with the tools they give you, you should be able to start your own blog without any problem. Give it a go, it’s good fun, it does require commitment though, but it’s really worth your while. Let me know how you go and if you need anything else 🙂

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