Oh, hi.

Wordshape is a hybrid type foundry, publishing entity, distributor of the Japanese graphic design magazine IDEA /アイデア and related Japanese graphic design books, and a software company that makes Kimbo, a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator.

Wordshape is based in Tokyo and run by graphic designer, writer, teacher and critic Ian Lynam. When Ian was a teenager in the late 1980s, he would order 7” punk and hardcore records and zines through the mail, and the most magical days were when the mail would come bearing hand-addressed packages filled with the sounds and texts that would largely help define his life. In the late 1990s, he’d become enthralled with type design and delight in the designs brought forth into the world by individuals who had the same pioneering spirit.

Wordshape is the synthesis of these loves: of writing, of publishing, of making meaning, and of sharing.

In addition to our library of retail fonts, we also design custom fonts for clients of all sizes. From the modification of existing fonts, to the design of a complete family from scratch, we design typefaces to fit most needs.

Some of our clients include:

Condé Nast
Hofstra University
Japanese National Tourism Organization / JNTO
Miranda July
Onitsuka Tiger
Red Bull
Tokyo Fashion Week
Universal Films
Warner Brothers
Whole Foods

Check out our type design and identity design work here and do feel free to get in touch!


How do you ship items order online?

Everything is shipped International SAL (Space Available) via Japan Post.

How much is shipping?

Shipping is included postage paid on every physical item that Wordshape sells.

Do you offer tracked shipping?

Tracked shipping is cost-prohibitive from Japan. We do not offer tracking.

What do I get when I buy your fonts?

Well, technically, you aren’t buying them—you are paying for a license. Wordshape typefaces will be provided in desktop (.otf, .ttf) and web font (.eot, .woff, .woff2) formats.

Can I customize Wordshape fonts?

You are not permitted to unpack, modify or otherwise change our software. We offer customization of any of our retail fonts, as well as expanded language support. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Do you create custom fonts?

Yes—we do! Please get in touch!

I am a student—do you offer discounts on your fonts?

Kind of. We price our type more affordably than through our distributors to encourage people to buy type directly from us.

Font Licensing

We offer a variety of licenses for our retail typefaces. Please drop us a line if you’d like to see our license agreements.

Contact Us


3-75-3 Hatagaya
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0072

〒152-0072 東京都渋谷区幡ヶ谷3-75-3