A Case Study

The core business at Suntory is primarily focused on soft drinks and spirituous beverages. For eighty years, the company has been distilling excellent whiskeys with international renown. The field of soft drinks became a similar success factor when the company acquired the Pepsi Cola bottling rights for Japan. In addition, Suntory is also involved in the floristry and gastronomy sectors. Among other achievements, Suntory developed the first rose to blossom with blue petals.

Beyond business, the company founder Shinjiro Torii considerably shaped the development of Suntory with his vision of reinvesting company profits for the good of society. In connection with its core business in the beverages industry, for instance, Suntory places special emphasis on the protection of nature and environmental awareness. Among other efforts, Suntory has also opened an international art museum in Osaka as well as the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, a concert hall now known throughout the world for its unique acoustics, especially for classical music.

To better suit its identity as a dynamic company with a unique commitment to society and the environment, Suntory decided to rework its public appearance. In the middle of 2003, the company began looking for international support. Masao Takaoka, a renowned type specialist, recommended Akira Kobayashi, Type Director at Linotype GmbH. After initial discussions with Suntory, Akira Kobayashi brought Matthew Carter on board as well. In his career, Matthew Carter has produced such highlights as Microsoft’s Verdana and Georgia. When he turned 60 in 1997, Matthew Carter was honored with the Type Directors Club medal for his lifelong contributions to typography.

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