Making sinograms for Japanese


Hi there,
After playing around with the shapes of Japanese signs, I want to step up the pace and truly produce sinograms (kanji).
I guess I should use smart components, but I don’t know to how many components I have to break down the sinograms. I mean, there should be at least one component by radical (部首) (and mabe the radicals themselves have to be made of smart components), but maybe smaller components are also useful. Do you know if there is a method that Japanese designers use, or everyone makes his own “recipe” of production and I have to create mine?

PS : Thank you for the tutorial about Hangeul, that was very interesting!


We are working with several designers to build a simple default set or smart components. But there won’t be a standard. It depends on the style of your typeface and personal preference.


The exact breakdown of smart components vary depending on the design, so it’ll never be exact. If the font is as big as Adobe Japan 1-3, then I estimate you will need well above thousands.

It’s tough anyway, smart components do not behave particularly well with later revisions, so you should plan carefully how to use them. At the same time, you cannot know how every piece will fit together if you’re building SJK font the first time. But you have to start somewhere.