Chiharu Tanaka was born and raised in Tottori, Japan. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Textile Design at the Tama Art University, Tokyo. She worked in Tokyo at the Creative Communication Company Lesmains as a designer for four years before leaving Japan in 2005 to pursue further education in the United States. In 2009, she received her MFA in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Her design practice is shaped by her experiences in different cultures and in textile design, advertising, graphic design and type design, which was the focus of her Masters Thesis. Because of her experience living and working in two different cultures, she has always had an interest in finding a balance between Eastern and Western design. She is especially passionate about creating functional and innovative typefaces.