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Developer's Concept

1. What is a "Universal Design" font?

Michio Miyazaki

Chiba University Engineering Dept. Grand Fellow
(retired 2006)
LIM Technical Advisor

In various areas of design, there is something called "universal design." Universal design was first proposed by Ronald Mace as a standard that adhered to seven key tenets, such as safety and ease of use. Nowadays, there is a boom of universal designs, and with such variety, the original purpose of the concept has been lost.
In recent years, we have seen the sudden rise of the "ubiquitous society" -- one in which computers and information are everywhere. Society is also aging rapidly, and traditional styles, such as paper printing, do not transfer well to the world of electronics. Mobile phones and PCs have trouble displaying fonts designed for older media.

So how can universal design apply to the typefaces of our current era? What does today's society demand? Let us first consider characters for electronic displays.

2. The Need for Universal Design

Historically, fonts have been designed for printing, where the need to arrange a large amount of characters demands balance and small font faces. However, character amounts are lower on digital displays using Uni-Type, which raises the demand for fonts with large type faces. Even with smaller fonts, it is important the characters be easily read and are distinctive on the screen.
Using the concepts below, we aim to realize a large-face font with high legibility. And, of course, one which is beautifully designed.
  1. Clear, defined lines
  2. Appropriate line thickness
  3. Emphasis on character-defining elements
  4. Line flow that enhances visibility
  5. Maximum space inside lines
  6. Buffer space around lines
  7. Test unique new font designs
These key elements have been realized within the internally developed Uni-Type fonts of LIM Corporation Ltd. We have already received great praise for the achievements pioneered in font display design, and we will continue to improve all aspects listed above to make our fonts more easily identifiable for the user.

For more details, please feel free to email us.