• Transform magazine
  • April 22, 2024

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Monotype announces acquisition plans for Japanese type foundry Fontworks

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In a move designed to satisfy a now global demand for Japanese type design, global type specialist Monotype has announced a deal to acquire Fontworks, a company considered one of the best-known providers of type design in the country. As part of a deal which is scheduled to close in Q3 of 2023, Fontworks’ team, type inventory, IP, technology and services will join Monotype.

Established in 1993, Fontworks has since become internationally recognised as a leading type foundry. It launched the industry’s first ever font subscription service in 2002, Leading Edge Type Solution, which will now be owned by Monotype, along with its Mojimo and FONTPLUS services.

Already one of the world’s largest collection of font styles, the acquisition of Fontworks will add a further 260 font styles to the Monotype’s library. With Fontworks’ fonts being used by most Japanese television stations and the country’s top 10 video game markers, the company has been highly influential in Japanese culture.

Akira Kobayashi, creative type director at Monotype, says, “We are delighted to announce that Fontworks, one of Japan’s most prestigious type foundries, has joined the Monotype family. I’ve collaborated with Shigenobu Fujita and the Fontworks team for many years, so I know first-hand the depth of expertise and industry insight this partnership will bring to Monotype. Fontworks-designed typefaces have a special place in Japanese culture and we look forward to bringing Fontworks’ type excellence to even more creative professionals in Japan and beyond.”  

Ai Harada, CEO of Fontworks, adds, “This acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for Fontworks, thirty years since the type studio was founded. Monotype has an unparalleled reputation as a global provider of quality type solutions, and we are excited to join a team who, like us, wake up every day thinking about type. As part of the Monotype family, Fontworks will be able to better support Japanese customers and ensure Fontworks’ type designs reach new audiences internationally. The international market for Japanese type is growing rapidly – together, Monotype and Fontworks will help accelerate it further.”