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Keynote delivered at Same/Difference: Multilingual Typography Symposium 2011

Bilingual typography in Hong Kong has a long history. While much has been written about bilingualism in Hong Kong from a linguistic point of view, little has been done from a typographic standpoint. Through a systemic approach, this presentation will examine some case studies of Chinese–English bilingual typography in Hong Kong and attempt to establish links between the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of bilingual typographic communication. Two types of bilingual typography will be explored: 1. where two languages appear to be parallel to each other in terms of their literal meaning; and 2. where one language is embedded into another, termed as ‘code-mixing’ in linguistics. A descriptive and theoretical framework will be presented. These theoretical investigations will afford a glimpse of the socio-political and socio-linguistic evolutions of bilingualism in Hong Kong as well as shed light on the factors which influence the effectiveness of various approaches to bilingual typography.

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    Bilingual typography: Hong Kong case studies Bilingual typography: Hong Kong case studies Presentation Transcript

    • Bilingual typography: Hong Kong case studiesKeith TamInformation Design LabSchool of Design · Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversitySame/difference: Multilingual Typography Symposium 2011Hong Kong Polytechnic University18 August 2011© Information Design Lab, Hong Kong Polytechnic University 2011
    • Bilingual typography is all about visual harmony?
    • Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 2008
    • Shatin, Hong Kong 2009
    • Central, Hong Kong 2007
    • Truck graphics, Hong Kong 2008
    • Peng Chau, Hong Kong 2005
    • 字 A
    • 字 a
    • 字 a
    • 字 word
    • 字 Word
    • 字 WORD
    • Chinese and English are linguistically and anatomically very different 字 Aahxg
    • Former Tai Po Market railway station architectural lettering c1913 (now Hong Kong Railway Museum)
    • Former Tai Po Market railway station signage c1913 (now Hong Kong Railway Museum)
    • War memorial arch at the Zoological and Botanical Gardens 1928
    • Central Government Offices lettering c1957
    • So Uk Estate architectural lettering c1960
    • Victoria Park School of the deaf entrance sign c1960
    • Riots in Hong Kong 1967 http://djyimg.com/i5/403112643869.jpg
    • Pages from the Laws of Hong Kong, Official Languages Ordinance, passed in 1974
    • Kowloon Tsai Park original lettering c1964
    • Kowloon Tsai Park swimming pool sign c1964 (?)
    • Kowloon Tsai Park sign post-1997
    • Kowloon Tsai Park sign, possibly post-2000
    • Exit sign, Mass Transit Railway, Hong Kong
    • Bilingual typography is all about visual harmony about how various constituent parts of each language interact with each other under many different contexts for many different purposes
    • Insert in my secondary school report booklet c1984 (?)
    • Secondary school testimonial 1992
    • Secondary school testimonial 1992  English only
    • Secondary school testimonial 1992  Chinese only
    • Secondary school testimonial 1992  Inserted dynamic information only
    • A model for investigating typography Culture 文化 Language Typography Technology 語言 文字信息設計 科技 Aesthetics 美學Keith Tam 2010
    • Pragmatics, syntactics & semantics work in tandem to communicate effectively visual elements and principles, rules of visual Syntactics perception how it is understood, how meaning is created (verbal & graphic language) Semantics Pragmatics how it works for the user, in terms of searching and accessing information in a given context
    • Typography is a verbal–graphic hybrid language Visual VerbalKeith Tam 2011
    • Typography is a verbal–graphic hybrid languageMultilingual typography becomes a meta language Language 1 Language 2  Visual Visual Language 3 Verbal VerbalKeith Tam 2011
    • Types of bilingualism / bilingual typography Two languages presented as Parallel 雙語並行 equivalence of each other One language is embedded into Code-mixing 語碼混合 another below the clause level (words and short phrases) One language is interweaved into Code-switching 語碼轉換 another at clause level or above
    • Types of bilingualism / bilingual typography Two languages presented as Parallel 雙語並行 equivalence of each other One language is embedded into Code-mixing 語碼混合 another below the clause level (words and short phrases) One language is interweaved into Code-switching 語碼轉換 another at clause level or above
    • An analytical model for bilingual typography Verbal language (content) Status relationship Semantic structure Global visual hierarchy Local visual hierarchy Verbal–graphic language (form)Keith Tam 2011
    • An analytical model for bilingual typographyglobal Status Sequence Categorization Groupingproperties 地位 排序 類別 群組local Hierarchy Sequence Categorization Groupingproperties 層級 排序 類別 群組 Graphical & spatial attributesKeith Tam 2011
    • Is the (swiss) grid the ultimate solution?Typographie by Emil Ruder c1967
    • Is the (swiss) grid the ultimate solution?Typographie by Emil Ruder c1967
    • Is the (swiss) grid the ultimate solution?Typographie by Emil Ruder c1967
    • Is the (swiss) grid the ultimate solution?Typographie by Emil Ruder c1967
    • Analyzing a sample of bilingual typographyHong Kong Independent Film Festivl programme guide 2011
    • Le French Mayprogramme guide 2011
    • Are two or more elements the same or different in terms of . . . Status? Category? Grouping? Semantic Language? Sequence? level?  by looking at and comparing graphical & spatial attributesKeith Tam 2011
    • Using cityscapes as an analogy . . .Hierarchical element – it’s more important than everything elseDistinguishing element – it’s different from everything else
    • Using cityscapes as an analogy . . .a landmark such as a large cathedral is both ahierarchical and distinguishing element and it becomesa focal point of a city
    • Using cityscapes as an analogy . . .an eceletic cityscape – everything is different fromeverything else! Lacks focus and does not facilitatingsearching or grouping
    • Our eyes never stay still – they keep looking for patterns and organization Fixations = 2/10 to 8/10 seconds Movements between fixations = 1/100 to 8/100 secondsPatterson 2002 p.213
    • Difference in run length Language 1 Language 2 Because of the nature of the language, a large gap is created
    • Different sequential order Language 1 prioritized by order in sequence Searching for the starting point of language 2 becomes more difficult
    • Same run length, different column width Language 1 almost becomes a Being more than three times the column sidebar or margin notes rather width of language 1, the visual precence than the main text of language becomes greater, hence more emphasised
    • Parallel setting in list and matrix configurations
    • Parallel setting in list and matrix configurations
    • Parallel setting in list and matrix configurations
    • Customary reading directionsSheung Wan, Hong Kong 2008
    • Customary reading directionsSheung Wan, Hong Kong 2007
    • Truck graphics, Hong Kong 2010
    • A comparative descriptive framework (graphical & spatial attributes) Chinese  中文 English  英文 Chinese  中文 English  英文 A  Type style 01 Songti or Mingti  宋體或明體 seriffed  襯線體 A  Spatial sequence 01 order in vertical sequence  縱向排序 order in vertical sequence  縱向排序 字體風格 02 Heiti  黑體 sanserif  無襯線體或等線體 空間排序 02 order in horizontal sequence  橫向排序 order in horizontal sequence  橫向排序 03 Kaiti  楷體 — 03 sequence assumed via position sequence assumed via position 04 Fang Song  仿宋體 — 位置引申的次序 位置引申的次序 05 cursive  草寫體 cursive  草寫體 04 sequence assumed via graphical attributes sequence assumed via graphical attributes 視覺屬性引申的次序 視覺屬性引申的次序 06 display  標題字 display  標題字 05 order of appearance in linear sequence order of appearance in linear sequence 07 calligraphy  書法 calligraphy  書法 線性流向的出場次序 線性流向的出場次序 08 handlettering  手繪字 handlettering  手繪字 06 reveal or hide after interaction reveal or hide after interaction 09 writing tool ﹠ material  書寫工具及物料 互動後揭示或隱藏 互動後揭示或隱藏 10 typesetting and production method  排字及製作方法 07 transform after interaction transform after interaction 互動後轉化 互動後轉化 B  Scale & measure 01 actual point size  實際點數 大小及量度 02 appearing size  視覺大小 appearing size  視覺大小 B Configuration 01 linear stream  純線性流動 03 character height  字元高度 cap height  大寫字母高度 配置方法 02 prose (linear interrupted)  段落(線性中斷) 04 — x-height  X高度 03 verse (lines broken for sense)  詩句(根據字義換行) 05 — ascender length  上椽長度 04 branching (tree)  分支(樹形結構) 06 — descender length  下椽長度 05 list  列表 07 — baseline  基線 06 matrix  表格 08 Ideographic Character Face (ICF) size — 表意字面(內框)大小 C  Reading direction 01 left to right  從左至右 閱讀方向 02 top to bottom, right to left (vertical) — C Weight & density 01 actual stroke width  實際筆畫粗細 從上而下,從右至左(縱向) 粗細及密度 02 weight  重量(粗細) weight  重量(粗細) 03 right to left (horizontal)  從右至左(橫向) — 03 overall density  整體密度 overall density  整體密度 04 — stacked letters, top to bottom 縱向叠起字母,從上而下 D Typographic variants 01 — upper- and lowercase  大小楷 05 sideways, top to bottom  轉側,從上而下 字元變換 02 — all-capitals  全大楷 06 sideways, bottom to top  轉側,從下而上 03 — small-capitals  小型大楷 04 — italic or oblique   草寫斜體或傾斜體 D Alignment 01 justified  左右齊行 05 — swashed characters  花體字 靠齊方法 02 flush left, ragged right  齊左散右 flush left, ragged right  齊左散右 06 — superscript  上標 03 flush top, ragged bottom  齊上散下 — 07 — subscript  下標 04 flush right, ragged left  齊右散左 flush right, ragged left  齊右散左 08 circled & framed characters  圓及方框字元 — 05 centered  分中 centered  分中 09 jiazhu (split-column notes)  夾注 — E Spacing 01 column width  欄寬 10 oblique effect  傾斜 oblique effect  傾斜 空間處理 02 line spacing  行間間距 E Typographic adornments 01 underlining  底線 03 paragraph spacing  段間間距 字元裝配 02 strikethrough  刪除線 04 first line indent  首行縮進 03 paragraph rules  段落嵌線 05 indent  縮進 04 emphasis marks  著重號 — 06 outdent  突出 05 zhuyin (phonetic glosses)  注音 — 07 character spacing  字元間距 — 06 other graphical effects applied to the text  其它字元效果 08 — letterspacing  字母間距 09 — word spacing  字間間距 F Graphical devices 01 text colour  字元顏色 視覺元素 02 background colour  背景顏色 03 border width  線框粗細 04 border style  線框風格 05 border colour  線框顏色 06 other graphical devices  其它標識Keith Tam 2007–2011
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Silkroad inflight magazine, August 2009
    • Xpress The Hong Kong Designers Association journal 2007
    • multiscript ≠  multilingual
    • Multiscript ≠ multilingual  The sign reads ‘Convention & Exhibition Centre metro station’Source: Yahoo news Hong Kong
    • Truck lettering, Hong Kong, 2011
    • Grouping – name Grouping – type of business Syllable-by-syllable transliteration Translation Longer English word spans across Chinese compound wordRestaurant sign, Central, Hong Kong 2007
    • Milk magazine, June 2011  Table of contents
    • Milk magazine, June 2011  Front of book section
    • Advertisment in Milk magazine, July 2007
    • Muse magazine, September 2010
    • Code-switchingMuse magazine, September 2010
    • Code-switchingMuse magazine, September 2010
    • Code-switchingTao magazine, August 2011
    • Tao magazine, August 2011
    • Tao magazine, August 2011
    • Tao magazine, August 2011
    • Tao magazine, August 2011
    • Superlife Express November 2009  Supermarket newsletter
    • Superlife Express November 2009  Supermarket newsletter (close-up)