DNP Produces Letterpress Japanese Edition of MA VIE A PARIS from Astier de Villatte

Uses DNP Original Font - Shueitai

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has produced a letterpress Japanese language edition of MA VIE A PARIS, first published in January 2016 by French ceramic maker Astier de Villatte. The new version uses Shueitai, an original DNP font that has developed a reputation for being aesthetically pleasing and easy to read, and will be available from Japanese book stores and H.P. DECO on a sequential basis from June 2017.


Astier de Villatte was founded in Paris in 1996, and maintains the only ceramic atelier in Paris. The brand is also popular in Japan, which apart from ceramics has also branched out into intricately handmade accessories, perfumes and writing materials. Company founders Ivan Pericoli and Benoit Astier de Villatte maintain an emotional attachment to movable type print, and in 2015 purchased the only remaining type setting studio in Paris. With this as a starting point, in January 2016 the publisher Les Editions Astier de Villatte was established, and MA VIE A PARIS, produced in letterpress as the first publication. An English edition followed in September of the same year. The Japanese edition, has been created in cooperation with DNP as a partner, which has developed an established track record in letterpress printing since the founding of the Company in 1876.


MA VIE A PARIS is a guidebook that lists more than 300 institutions, from the doctors, dentists, plumbers and even acupuncturists that are of practical use in our day-to-day lives, to the restaurants, cafes and hotels that visitors to the City of Light seek out. These locations are conveyed to the reader by Messrs. Pericoli and Astier de Villatte in much the same way as they might pass along useful tips to a close friend by adding insights and comments, which help us gain a glimpse of the daily reality of Paris as viewed through the unique sense of Astier de Villatte.
The Japanese version approximates the format of the French and English versions, based on 392 pages of 182×134 mm paper. With softcover binding, the new edition includes gilt-edging on all the three exposed sides of the text block , a specification referred to as All Edges Gilt. For the printing, Sasaki Katsuji Co., Ltd. has typecast the print based on the Shueitai matrix held by DNP. The type setting and printing has been carried out by First Universal Press, while the binding has been conducted in cooperation with Makoto Seihon Company.
Maruzen Publishing Co., Ltd, a DNP Group Company is publisher, and the newly published edition will be made available at outlets of H.P France SA, a company that deals in Astier de Villatte products, and book stores throughout Japan.

- Information




Benoit Astier de Villatte, Ivan Pericoli and Victoire Louis


Mika Fujita and Junko Takasaki


Maruzen Publishing Co., Ltd


182 X 134 mm

Number of pages





8,000 yen – not including tax

[Printing and Binding Process]

1, Typecasting

Molten metal, such as lead is poured into a matrix, to create individual type faces.

2, Type picking

The selection of individual letters and figures from a shelf in line with the needs of the text.

3, Typesetting

Punctuation marks, symbols and ruled lines are added and arranged into lines and paragraphs. When a page has been finished according to the specified layout, it is bound with kite string.

4, Printing

When the typesetting page is complete, it is set in a printing machine, and printed.

5, Binding

The printed materials are stitched with a yarn, bound with adhesive, and covers attached and formed into a book.

[DNP, Letterpress and Fonts]

Shueisha was the predecessor to DNP, which was founded as a company in 1876, shortly after the Meiji Restoration. Shueisha developed printing type sales and printing business using Gutenberg typography-based cutting edge printing equipment of the time. Although DNP ceased typecasting and typesetting of letterpress in March 2003, facilities covering virtually all processes of letterpress are still stored in-house. In order to produce publications in the Chinese character-based culture of East Asia, it is necessary to prepare printing types for all Chinese characters in a wide variety of typefaces and every size, and as a result, it is necessary to maintain vast numbers of individual characters along with the equipment to print those characters. Today, there are few companies throughout the whole of East Asia that maintain such facilities on a similar scale to DNP.
In addition, the Shueitai font used in the Japanese edition of MA VIE A PARIS, is the same as the original typeface, produced by DNP for over 100 years since the period it was known as Shueisha. Along with Tsukijitai, Shueitai is regarded as one of the two mainstream Japanese print trends, is used in many books and dictionaries, and has developed a firm reputation with editors, designers and readers, as an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-read typeface. Since 2006 DNP has been working on a renewal of Shueitai, and licenses the resultant font in Desk Top Publishing environments and e-book viewers.

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