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Mandarin Typography

It’s not easy to consider the forms of letters without taking into consideration their meaning. When I saw Chinese characters, however, I didn’t have any choice. The only thing I could understand about the signs and ads in China was the emotional tone or mood created by the way the characters were presented. Take these two signs, for example:

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The first, by its crisp lines, conservative coloring and clean presentation, is clearly intended to be taken seriously. It presents itself as professional and respectable; dependable but not stuffy, modern but not informal. This sort of typography would be appropriate for a bank or real estate office, perhaps, but would feel flat on a sports drink or coffee shop.

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The typography in the second image is loose, playful, casual. The informal shapes of the characters, with their thick, bubbly lines, along with the coloring of the sign, implies a relaxed atmosphere, a business or service where fun is more important than precision. This sort of typography would be appropriate for a pet store or fast food restaurant, but not for an insurance agency or auto mechanic.

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To read more articles like this visit: For EMM, Travel, Type Design, Typography

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