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You are here: Home / Conferences / Hong Kong 2012 / Programme / 11–14 October – General programme

The front and behind

Chinese printing typeface design
When Sat 13 Oct 1425
Where Hotel Icon
Who Liu Zhao

In this presentation the author will describe the Chinese printing typefaces from humanistic, social, and scientific aspects.

Chinese characters are dynamic because of the ways they are created, occupying a unique position in Chinese arts thanks to an enduring calligraphic tradition. Strictly speaking, designers in China need to have some level of philological and calligraphic basis. Based on character-formation and the art of calligraphy, Chinese character typeface design inevitably will be affected by some sort of traditional aesthetics, such as Songti’s thin horizontal stroke and thick vertical stroke in its earliest origin can be attributed to Yan Zhen-qing (a famous calligrapher). Grid used in printing typeface design also received influences from those such as calligraphy Jiu Gong Ge (3x3 grid) as the ground forpositioning. In the process of specification of the orthography, the state requires the strokes of Songti to be close to Kaishu as much as possible.

The social nature of the typeface design. Chinese believe calligraphy is the face of a person. Therefore, the judgment of the Chinese characters have ethical and moral factors. For example, the work of Yan Zhen-qing is respected for his moral. In addition, "The emperor like therefore I like it more", the calligraphic style drove the evolution of typeface style over the dynasties. The same happened to typeface design after the founding of PRC, such as Songti One (Ci Hai, a well-known Chinese lexicon and character dictionary), Songti Two (Selected Works of Mao Zedong), is the result of the implementation of the national Chinese characters simplified characters and cultural, political propaganda of new state.

The scientific nature of the typeface design. With the widespread use of typeface, font design exploration in the Qing Dynasty for the first time demonstrated the production, printing, typesetting process of the movable type printing fonts (Jin Jian Wu Ying Dian Movable type printing typography program Specification). One of the most important methods of modern typeface design is the Second Centerline Theory. In addition, a uniform gray, comfortable to read, stable focus, small font is recognizable are also standards of typeface design. The development of science is also counterproductive in Chinese character typeface design, the clarity of the Chinese characters on-screen display, and storage of Chinese character font also determines the quality of a font. This presentation will focus a scientific design method of Chinese characters.

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