Japanese-Inspired Fonts

I’m very picky about fonts in general. I think rather than being a connoisseur I’m just straight-up snobbish at this point, picking at what fonts are used in mediums such as comics (even professionally-lettered comics) or on the sides of trucks, but I try to make something good out of that snobbery nonetheless.

Like many fonts, a bunch of Japanese-inspired fonts seem somewhat lazy now (or at least oversaturated in use – no Chinese Takeout, no Kudasai, no Karate anymore pleeeease, they are good fonts but so commonly), to be used on your local buffet restaurant sign or on paper invites to some mundane event. Still, there are a few of which I am font. Ha, see what I did there.

Ole Fredrik Ekern’s “Gami


If you have any reservations about the idea of a font based off of origami shapes, put them aside. This is an excellent-looking font by itself, but in execution it shines even better. It’s hot! It’s sharp! Ow, I got a papercut!!

Chris Hansen’s “Shoguns Clan

Ink or blood?

A great font for fans of grunge splatter (which I will admit I am weak to). It’s the only font of its kind that I’ve grown a consistent liking for. I even used a slightly modified version of it for the logo of a game concept in one of my student portfolio pieces. It may have been the only decent part of that piece…

Vic Fieger’s “Osaka Sans Serif

Osaka, sans-serif

It’s bold, and I like it. Makes me think of subways.

Allen Walden’s “Japan

Japan as a Font

A very simple font that evokes feelings of modern Japanese style.

Ray Larabie’s “Nagomi


Another very simple, very elegant font.

Clément Romier’s “Mister Jun

Mister Jun

A headline font inspired by Jun Seba AKA Nujabes.

I’m still looking for more good Japanese- or Asian-looking English alphabet fonts (bonus points for brushstroke-style), so if you like any others, show ’em to me!

On another note, fonts like these drive me absolutely batty, because they so closely resemble Japanese (or try to and fail) that it gets aggravating to look at them.

More Font-Related Niceness

There is more of a variety of nice Japanese fonts than I previously believed. There are really no limitations when it comes to font style in any language, so take a look at these websites for nice sources of fonts.

Jayhan’s 12 free Japanese handwriting fonts – I was actually looking for some of these for one of my comics. Yay!

Ninhongoup’s 10 Beautiful Japanese Fonts – I spent so much time at a few of the sites listed here downloading fonts. I may buy some of the pay ones later on when I have use for them. (Fonts are expensive! But nice!)

Soh Tanaka’s 10 Japanese Typography Websites & Free Downloads – A kindred spirit links to more Japanese font websites. I’ve been to all of them, and they have quite excellent free fonts and fabulous pay fonts.

Japanese Fonts – Links to a whole bunch of fonts, some of which are more general, equivalents of Helvetica.


Awesome Website: Wonderwall

Wonderwall is an interior design firm established by Masamichi Katayama. And it’s AWESOME. And what’s more, its website is also AWESOME.

A wall of wonderful
I like full-screen websites when they're simple like this.
Display of designs

I do enjoy a well-presented Interior Design website, so this is excellent. What’s impressive about the site itself can be seen in motion, so go and click around. On top of all that site-ly goodness, the company also has a very nice body of work.

As an all-around design geek, I’ll be making more posts like this.

Japanese Bar Codes

I actually still have a lot of entries planned/in progress for this blog. I just had a sudden decrease in free time due to the acquisition of a new job, but I do have a bit of hefty updating to do (also to the site itself). Expect a few design- and video-related posts in the future. Also, media commentary??

Anyways, I like to see practical things with a creative/cute design spin. I was going through the backlog of Engrish.com Brog posts (because for some reason I had never read them, despite being a big fan of the site since 2000) and saw these adorable Japanese barcode designs.

My favorites are umbrella-related.