Shueitai

2012/6/1

 

Shueitai: Past, Present and Future

shueitai family

Shueitai is a typeface that has been under ongoing development for more than a century, starting from the days when Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) was still known as Shueisha.

As Japan underwent rapid modernization during the early years of the Meiji era, Shueisha, believing that printing was a business befitting a modern civilized society, began operations with a focus on letterpress. Before long the company expanded into developing its own typefaces. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, in 1912 it completed a full range of Mincho type, in sizes from Sho-go (#0 size, 42pt) through Hachi-go (#8, 4pt), which it called “Shueitai,” a new style that came to form one of the two mainstreams of Japanese typefaces and continues to have a significant influence on font design even today.

The Shueitai typeface is distinguished by abundant variations matching the size of type and the changing demands of the times. Whether it is the spirited and powerful Sho-go, the delicate and flowing San-go (#3, 16pt), or the bright and solidly reassuring Shuei-Mincho, all Shueitai typefaces share a vibrant brushwork that adds an expression of eloquence and a burst of brilliance to every printed word.

In the past century the world has witnessed vast changes in the environment surrounding the printed world, with the transition first from letterpress to Desktop Publishing, and most recently to e-books. But no matter how this environment might evolve, the written word remains the basis of communication, and the importance of beautiful and readable typefaces stays unchanged.

In preparation for the changes that will inevitably come during the next one hundred years, today DNP has launched a major project for renewing the Shueitai designs. Through its continual reinvention, Shueitai, a typeface consistently adopted at the vanguard of the industry, perhaps represents Japanese innovation at its very best.

 

Shuei-Mincho

For this newly redesigned Shuei style, while retaining the typeface's earlier characteristics, in the finer details we reverted to the artistry of the days of movable type and pursued the typeface's quintessential form. By making the horizontal strokes thicker than other Mincho typefaces, we maintained black clarity easy on the eyes, with minimal flicker of thin lines.

Characterset: Adobe-Japan1-6(Pr6/Pr6N) Japanese

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Shuei Sho-go Mincho

In this truly masterful typeface, the kanji characters evoke powerful linear movement and the kana project a sense of speed. In the project to update Shueitai for the 21st century, while referring to the sample book from 1929 when the original was completed, we revived a typeface imbued not only with great strength but with calm fluidity as well.

Characterset: Adobe-Japan1-3(Std) Japanese

shueitai family

 

Shuei KakuGo Kin / Shuei KakuGo Gin

We developed two varieties of kana for Shuei KakuGo, i.e. “square Gothic,” typefaces. Kin carries on the earlier design, with a cheerfulness suited to standard usage. Gin makes use of the Mincho framework for main body usage and, like Mincho, is well suited to use in long passages.

Characterset: Adobe-Japan1-3(Std) Japanese

shueitai family

shueitai family

 

Shuei MaruGo

This is a rounded Gothic typeface newly developed to expand the appeal of Shueitai even further. As part of the Shueitai family, Shuei MaruGo has a framework modeled on Shuei KakuGo Kin. It features a design with cozy warmth while carefully preserving neatness of expression and good taste.

Characterset: Adobe-Japan1-3(Std) Japanese

shueitai family