Ascender Corporation to License IBM Heisei Japanese Fonts to Hardware and Software Developers

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IBM's Heisei fonts are now available to companies looking for high quality, highly legible Japanese fonts to include with their products. These Heisei fonts are available in TrueType and OpenType formats with Unicode support, and can be customized by Ascender to meet the specific needs of developers.

Ascender Corporation today announced that it has licensed IBM's range of Heisei Japanese fonts. Ascender will make the Heisei fonts available for sublicensing by hardware and software developers immediately. The Heisei fonts have been engineered for optimal display on screen and in print.

Under the agreement, Ascender can offer the Heisei fonts to software and hardware developers in various font formats including customized implementations and encodings. The Heisei font data ships with the standard Japanese characters sets which include Kanji and Kana (Katakana and Hiragana) characters.

There are three Japanese font styles available; Heisei Kaku, Heisei Maru Gothic and Heisei Mincho. These font styles were some of the first typefaces designated by a group of type foundries formed by the Japanese Standards Association (JSA). As a member of the JSA and as part of its commitment to support high quality typography, IBM commissioned the development of their own Heisei families to use in its products.

Heisei is one of the most legible fonts available and is an industry standard for the Japanese market." said Brian Kraimer, Vice President of Ascender Corporation. "Developers that utilize the Heisei font in their products will be conveying the professional image they demand for their products in Asian markets."

Ascender has extensive experience providing high quality font solutions to the developer market. This experience, combined with the Ascender team's long relationship with IBM made Ascender a natural choice to help IBM make its Heisei font technology more readily available to the industry.

About the Heisei Fonts

Heisei Kaku Gothic is a modern Gothic, or sans-serif, design whose kanji glyphs have simple stroke shapes. Its hiragana and katakana characters have slightly curved strokes, offering a good balance between simplified and traditional letterforms. The standard weight is designed for use with Heisei Mincho.

Heisei Maru Gothic is a traditional round gothic typeface with relatively larger counter-spaces. This gives it a kind of openness and brightness. There are no unnecessary stroke features so printing on low-resolution output devices is optimized.

Heisei Mincho is a modern Mincho design with relatively large counter-spaces and simplified strokes utilizing many straight lines. For better reproduction on low-resolution output devices, its horizontal stroke width is heavier than other standard Mincho typefaces. Lighter weights of Heisei Mincho are suitable for printing books and business documents.

More information about the Heisei fonts can be found at

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable clients, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. IBM Typography provides font solutions that allow consistent operation and appearance across all applications and platforms. For more information, visit

About Ascender Corp

Ascender Corporation is a Chicago-based company specializing in custom font development and multilingual Unicode compliant font solutions. The company's founders have been involved in the development of many of the most highly regarded fonts presently used in computers, phones and printers. Ascender has the expertise to solve complex font technology issues, the imagination to create font branding solutions, and the initiative to create value for our customers.


Bill Davis

Ascender Corporation

25 Northwest Point Blvd, Suite 975

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 USA

Phone: (847) 357 0730 ext. 10

Fax: (847) 357 0731

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