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

Chinese typeface recognition in public space

When Sat 13 Oct 1450
Where Hotel Icon
Who Cunzhen Lin

This paper approaches the study of design methodology by means of examining the application of Hanzi (Chinese character) typefaces.

Due to the differences in structure and recognition patterns of Hanzi and Latin letters, there have been differences between the studies of typography in public spaces. In the development of Latin typography, matured research methods are available, whereas there’s a lack of research in Chinese typography in public spaces.

Based on the history of Hanzi and a summary of research work in different disciplines, this paper combines design, psychology, information science, and tries to analyze the statistics of strokes, structure, and construction of Hanzi characters. It summarizes the factors that influence legibility of Hanzi characters, which leads to the legibility study of Hanzi characters with clarity as the goal and strokes as the starting point.

This paper departs from the relation between black and white, and the principle of legibility, and sets up a research framework in terms of quantity and quality. Its qualitative research will evaluate the amount of black and its quantitative research will be focused on white. Using statistical analysis, the author discovers the relationship between major Hanzi typefaces, their strokes, texture and legibility. Based on statistics and calculation, this paper examines mathematical relationships between different parameters, and the threshold of black and white in terms of recognizability, ultimately ways of analyzing and testing the legibility of Hanzi typefaces.

This paper tests the accuracy of this theory by experimenting with typefaces used in directional signs on highways. This test could be a basis on which the presented theory could be further applied in other areas. This paper will be useful to the development of typefaces, and different levels of designing, choosing typefaces and standardization of using typefaces. To use quantitative research method in basic research is conducive to the continuation of Chinese Hanzi culture.

Keywords: Hanzi character, typeface, legibility, public spaces, highway, main stroke, texture, quantitative research, qualitative research, research, multi-disciplinary, sociological research method.

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