The thirteenth AR Inc.


The long winter and tunnels are over, and the real spring of the publishing era is here!

Company landscape

AR Co., Ltd. is a design company that deals with a wide range of books, magazines, and Web design. Most of them are magazines and books, so-called editorial design, and we deal with a wide range of non-commercial publications such as general books and magazines, catalogs and pamphlets, and especially books and mooks for children account for a large proportion. We asked Mr. Kikuchi, Representative Director and Art Director, who is engaged in design-related education, consulting, and writing activities beyond design activities, to talk about LETS as seen from the design industry.

LETS is very meaningful to the publishing world

Representative Director / Art Director Minori Kikuchi

Recently, it has been said that the publishing recession, etc., and I think that the past 10 years have been various times exploring various ways of traditional publishing and future publishing, but DTP and workflow in the publishing world I feel that something like the ideal way of publishing, including the above, finally reached the bottom and reached a turning point. It's still a paper medium, but for example, how to assemble letters, design, how to publish, publication style, distribution route, what kind of media will be linked, and finally come here and realize them. I feel that we are in the phase of how we should evolve as a business. There are such movements regardless of fields such as large, small and medium-sized, specialized fields, and I think digital is the core of that. It's digital as a means, not a purpose.

As a font for expressing publications in Japanese, there is a flow of DTP bitmap fonts, PostScript, OCF, CID that has been cultivated so far, and from now on electronic type with OpenType and PDF / X-1a. I think that the workflow of drafts will become a very ordinary environment. At that time, the most important thing is the usability of the font. Users with LETS contract licenses can use any of the fonts provided by LETS regardless of the presence of fonts. Also, even if there are differences in platforms and OS environments such as Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, and Windows, compatibility can be achieved at the design level. Let's say LETS is not only the distribution of fonts, but the usability of fonts in publishing. I made that model case, and I think it is now in shape. LETS that can be used without restriction and does not cause stress. This is very meaningful for the publishing world.

Future license

One of the deciding factors of the introduction is that it is supplied as a CD-ROM instead of a floppy disk. FD is a thing of the past as a medium, like, for example, the latest Porsche with an 8-track cassette deck, which is too strange.

Normally it's a hassle to install one font at a time, but with LETS you can install all fonts with one key. From now on, it is not the time to buy multiple Packaging, but how much usage rights to give to the computers and users who are using it and how much annual budget can be taken is the way to license the corporate think. As a user, the most important thing is to be able to smoothly migrate to a new machine or OS and use it without any problems as before. If we manage and operate it correctly within the range of the number of contracts, we are very helpful to LETS, which can easily replace it anytime.

Even though the number of typefaces is increasing, payment is only the amount fixed every year!

From the standpoint of our designers, as with the release of the Chikushi series, it is wonderful to have a system where the new typefaces and families can renew their usage rights just by updating the annual license fee. think. A new data CD-ROM will be sent to you automatically and all you have to do is install it. It's really easy, and I'm grateful that there is no additional charge. Although the number of typefaces increases steadily, a new budget does not occur and only the amount fixed every year is enough. It's very similar to the broadband flat rate system, so it's very comfortable for the user. I'm sure you all think the same way.

The basics of editorial design are Mincho and Gothic. Gothic with serifs and Mincho that can be used in the Text, this is essentially rice and miso soup with editorial design. If the basic rice and miso soup are not delicious, the table will not be highly satisfied. So is the rice and miso soup Text typeface Toka Text in Heading but it is that very good to the Ming Dynasty and the Gothic divided to to go uniform as Tsukushi series.

You can directly convey the image to the client

We mainly do editorial design of magazines and books, but we do not totally decide the design and the designation of the letters, but only the client publishers and editors who are our clients. In most cases, we will decide it while consulting with. Of course, we may make suggestions from here. When making a proposal, it is difficult to convey the image only with Fonts, so I will show you the actual typesetting. Especially since there are many books related to picture books and early childhood education, I am particular about the kana shape. Ultimately, it is necessary to specifically compare the characters and simulate a large number of fonts. At such times, LETS has a wide variety of typefaces, and I am very pleased that I can directly convey the image to the client, and that is also a design proposal for us. There are some fields of editorial design that consist of two typefaces, and there are fields that require a great deal of display typefaces such as picture books and early childhood education. There are specific requirements for work related to early childhood education, and it is no exaggeration to say that we cannot work without LETS.

What changed after the introduction was that by comparing a lot of typefaces, the font designer's way of thinking about typefaces became very clear. It will eventually be a study for the designer. This is what a good typeface is for anyone who can see with interest and consciousness by repeating huge simulations, and what is a good typeface for each book / magazine. I think that the eyes for seeing will surely be nurtured.

LETS that can smoothly reuse past assets

It is always true that I have been involved in the production of picture books for a long time, but for resale of books I made in the past, for example, there is a request that I want the data assembled with the old Seurat Plus (OCF font). If it is a slight revision, it may be easy to reuse the existing version data, but it is often not compatible if the environment such as the OS, App or font version at the time of production is different, so it can be reproduced accurately can not. Digital data does not deteriorate in terms of data, but it becomes obsolete in terms of version. Currently, most font vendors have stopped selling OCF fonts and their Support has been discontinued, but since Fontworks also provides and Support OCF fonts with LETS, past assets and version data are It is very helpful to be able to use it. Even Mac OS X can be used in Classic environment.

What changed after the introduction was that by comparing many typefaces, I became able to understand the font designer's way of thinking about typefaces very well. It will eventually be a study for the designer. This is what a good typeface is for anyone who can see it with interest and consciousness by repeating a huge amount of simulation, and what is an appropriate typeface for each book/magazine. I think that the eyes to see will definitely be cultivated.

Improvement of Kana design for text and regular typefaces

One of the requests for typeface design is the improvement of kana design for text and regular typefaces. This does not mean that the design is good or bad, but I feel that the designs of the pseudonyms of Greco, Utrillo, and Klee are a bit wild. The text typeface should have a feeling of flowing water and a gentle feeling when assembled. Especially when using it in textbooks, detailed parts such as “splashes” become important. Therefore, I think that if I brush up a little more, I can enter the field of textbooks more. Also, since Utrillo and Klee currently have only M and DB weights, I would like to add another thin L and have 3 weights.

Hope to expand LETS overseas

As a request for LETS, I hope that overseas users can also join. I was very interested in teaching my acquaintance about LETS. If accustomed to think, but it clear that there is a legal problem and piracy problem, authentication, online and establish a secure environment Downloads the form that it is, I think whether it is not ideal. There should be a lot of Japanese publications not only in Japan but also overseas, and of course there are Advertisement, editorials, and pamphlets for Japanese people. I think there are people who are very helpful not only in Packaging sales but also in expanding LETS overseas. For example, if you study abroad to study design, you can use LETS. Since other font vendors aren't doing it, I think there will be more people approaching it even if it is limited.

I think that the font industry as a whole will be energized if Fontworks grows by developing this business model steadily, so please do your best.

< Editor's note >
I visited the office just renewed the day before the interview. Almost all of the staff were devoted to design work in a noisy environment called Power Mac G5 + Cinema Display. I can't help but feel that myriad ideas and designs will surely come out of this simple and modern space and be sent to the world. We will continue to develop and grow LETS, and if each industry cooperates and cooperates well, it will lead to the activation of not only the font industry but also all the font related industry markets such as design, DTP, publishing, printing, etc. I think.

Company Info

Company name AR Co., Ltd.
Head office location 9-6-28 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Albergo Nogizaka
TEL 03-6804-5470(代表)
Establishment July 1985
number of employees 7 (as of November 2010)
Business description Planning of graphic design, various media and products

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