WHENEVER WE watch a movie, we feel an intimacy with the subtitles on the
screen. Where does that intimacy come from? If you pay a little attention to a
style of the letters those subtitles are typed in, you can find the reason
easily. Most of the movies you watch use the same font, taenamu. The creator of
this font is Kim Tae-jung (`80, Dept. of Electronic Engin.) who is running "Tae
System" now. The Yonsei Annals met him on Nov. 11, and talked about his life
Kim Tae-jung is a chairman of the "Tae System". He began his business after
returning from studying in the U.S. to develop the computer industry in Korea.
At first he started with two desks but now the business has expanded to a bigger
company, which mainly offers consulting services about Internet and various web
services connected to online community and educational websites. Working in the
computer field, he realized the need to develop a font for computer usage. At
that time, nobody sold and bought fonts, and if someone wanted to use a letter,
he had to make it by himself. To solve this problem, he created the font with
two other designers, and it became a small part of his business, "Tae Screen
Letter". Now, it is one of the most famous works and he created about 300 types
of letters. "Taenamu has dominated in the subtitle market for over ten years,
and now people feel unfamiliar when they see other style of font on subtitles. I
really did not predict that this style of letter would be a hit. It is
worthwhile that the letter I made received great affect from the public and has
been used for a long time," says Kim. He adds that he is proud of his work,
because he has contributed to the cultural industry by creating the font,
He emphasizes that the key of his success is relationships with people. At
first he started with his two companions, and he made a big deal in three
months. If it were not for the help of those two designers, Kim Tae-soo and Kim
Hwa-bok, he might not have created various styles of letters. After that, he
could sell them through his network that he had made throughout his life. "I met
many good people during my lifetime. If you treat someone sincerely, he/she will
also responds to you with a true heart," says Kim.
During his days at Yonsei, he tried to make relationships with various people
regardless of their major. As a university student, he was a member of a band
named "Sky, Wind, Stars, and Poem". It was a joint band of Col. of Engin.
and Bus., so he met many friends and seniors through this activity. In 1981, the
band advanced to a final selection of Kangbyun Song Festival and its song was
popular among university students at that time. He also met his wife in Yonsei
Univ. and it is one of the most valuable memories for him in his campus life.
Kim recalls his campus life and says, "There was no romance in my campus life,
because of the constant police presence in the campus under a military
dictatorship in those days. However, if someone asks me what the most memorable
thing in my campus life was, my answer is always relationships with various
He advises Yonseians, both as a graduate of Yonsei Univ. and senior in life.
"Study is a basic obligation of a student. I believe all Yonseians know that
already. So, I would like to give you two more pieces of advice. Meet various
people and keep challenging!" He deplores the fact that students select their
major and college just according to their grades on the KSAT (Korea Scholastic
Aptitude Test), not according to their aptitude. Under this circumstance,
students cannot adjust to their campus life and are bound to lose interest in
their daily lives. "It is important to find your aptitude during your university
days. Challenge your life and accumulate various experiences when you are young.
Then, find out what you are good at and what you are interested in! If you fear
change, you cannot improve yourself. I hope Yonseians can change themselves and
finally, find true ego."
Now he is mainly concerned with
developing software, but as a commemorative event he is planning to release
about 40 types of new style letters, which are not yet available to the public.
Through his good impression and kind attitude, I could realize how he made many
friends during his life. I hope many Yonseians can find the treasure of life at