Akira Kobayashi, born in 1960, started his career as a type designer at Sha-Ken Co., Ltd. in 1983. In 1989, he studied calligraphy and typography in London. On his return to Japan in 1990, he joined Jiyu-Kobo. From 1993 to 1997, he worked for TypeBank, where he designed a Latin alphabet to match the digital Japanese fonts of the foundry. Afterwards, he became a freelance type designer and won numerous international awards. In 2001, he moved to Germany to assume his current position as type director at Monotype GmbH (formerly Linotype). Akira Kobayashi has also collaborated with the two pre-eminent designers Adrian Frutiger and Hermann Zapf to modernise their earlier type designs. He is a frequent speaker at international type conferences and is a juror in prestigious international design competitions.