Hanzi (2016) Movie Script

I think the most important aspect about fonts is that they convey words
If you ask students why they use a certain font
most students don't know the answer
When I used Word, I used to pick whatever font I wanted to use
Which ever I liked was fine
I thought that as long as I bold this thin looking font
the characters can be used as heading font
It's absolutely not the case
Strictly speaking, not many people pay attention to fonts
Most people only care whether the words show up on paper
During former President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008
he used the font Gotham font
It was the first time a candidate paid such attention to fonts
The inspiration of this design came from the fonts on
shop signs in Manhattan
it's a font originated from urban America
One thing I love about living in Taiwan or Hong Kong is
I walk down the street and there's all these ads
And I like them
Why do I, it's not really I like the ads really
Is that I like the Chinese characters
I think they look nice
They make everything look nicer
Fonts are all around us
and they require design
Looking at them
You might not be able to understand how incredible fonts are
But when you write them you'll find out
how much work the font designers put into them
When you study the stories behind fonts
You'll discover that these fonts
they really exist for particular reasons
There's a purpose for its elaborateness
When you explore these reasons you'll find out that
human beings encounter many problems in life
the process of solving these problems
is expressed in something as insignificant as fonts
That's the most interesting part
Allow me to give you guys a briefing on why we're here today
many fonts can be spotted in public
This calligraphy is called Weibei font
Weibei comes in many types
Many Weibei computer fonts are based on this original version
allowing users to apply to multiple situations
hence the font can't be as freely formed as its calligraphy version
This is a basic difference between fonts and calligraphy
Traditional glass doors were hand-painted
vinyl cutting wasn't available in the past, so paint was used
Usually the reversed text was painted in gold on the other side
then a red contour was applied
So this is a pretty traditional style
Even though this is already a vinyl cutting, they kept the old design
The "Chaoyang" sign you can see right there
It's in Mingti and painted by a signage artisan
The style is pretty interesting
For example, the left part of the right character
It's not round, but instead more angular
this is different from the Mingti we usually see
making it a unique design
You can check out the conventional Mingti on the iPad
I like to use shop signs as an introduction to font knowledge
A Chinese Font Walk appeals to
young people's curiosity about their surroundings
We often see fonts in public spaces
We might care when or where a font is used
However, letting people forget about its existence should be a font's natural state
For example, you would only look at signs when
you're looking for an escape door in a hotel
How to use a font
For example what kind of font to use for headings
or what kind of font to use for texts
In the past most people didn't have any idea, so they used them incorrectly
You might have heard that the Taoyuan International Airport
uses Times New Roman for their signs
This is a result of a lack of education
My name is Joe and I'm an independent type designer
also a graphic designer
I studied Type & Media at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague
I started noticing fonts when I was in college
Hip Hop culture was popular at the time
So there were lots of
dancing, street dancing
Rap, and Hip Hop music
I began to pay attention to graffiti abroad
and learned how they change the style of text
I got my Masters at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design
I was able to learn font design at school
This was our textbook
Japanese textbooks teaches the history of both Roman and Chinese characters
It even talks about some basic
application on typesetting and font design
I learned a lot
and started to think about
when you're doing graphic design
Why do you use particular fonts?
If you want me to explain within 10 seconds
how different fonts create mood
I can show you this book
with two cat pictures
It uses the terrifying Koin-tai font
portrays the grouchy cat on the left
while a calm cat is portrayed by a delicate styled font
You understand immediately by looking at the cover
This is an example of creating mood with fonts
Fonts are like actors
Let's say a graphic designer
A graphic designer is like a director
and selecting fonts is like selecting actors
There are no good or bad actors, only if they're a good fit for the role
In general
most people don't care what kind of font is used
as long as the printed product is good
Moveble type printing is the foundation of all designs
is an important introduction to learning design
Printing techniques came first
Slowly the demand for more refined printing appeared
then came the emergence of aesthetics and font design
or font design guidelines
That's how the demand for font design was born
Around May or June of 2014
I got a phone call
The director of Taipei National University of the Arts Museum called me
Some scholars from the UK wanted to visit Ri Xing Type Foundry
They've heard about us
digitizing the fonts while repairing our copperplate printing press
They asked
now that you've digitalized the fonts, why did you keep the copperplates
and transform the foundry to a technology museum?
I told them
That's because it's letterpress printing
and the printed results are vastly different compared to modern printing
To me, even though the font is the same
The product we get from different printing styles
differ greatly
That's worth preserving
Letterpress in Europe is also a declining industry
but their design students still need to learn
about letterpress in their first or second year in university
On a whim
I offered a set of Chinese type as a gift
for their students' studies
They were shocked
Because they didn't know, until their visit
that a set of Chinese type had such vast quantities
and was so massive in size
Movable type printing is officially called letterpress printing
There are four types of printing
Apart from movable type printing or letterpress printing
there is also intaglio printing
which is used mostly
in printing money in our daily life
Then there is stencil printing
which is also called screen printing
that prints the patterns on T-shirts
The last one is the currently mainstream offset printing
It is also called offset lithography
which is a method of mixed water and ink printing
The difference between movable type printing
and this kind of offset printing
is that the latter directly presses the ink on paper
without the mixed water and ink printing process
That's the major difference
When it comes to China's printing technology
it was closely related to the development of Buddhism
It began with Buddhist monk XuanZang's travel to the West to obtain Buddhist Sutras
He started his journey in 629AD
and returned to China in 645AD
Spreading Buddhism
relies on religious scriptures and statues
To become a printed text the script must be easy to read
thus the earliest printed font is Kaiti
In order to achieve easier carving
and better efficiency in printing
neater arrangement between the characters
the style and
structure of Kaiti was regularized
It gradually evolved toward thinner horizontal strokes and thicker vertical strokes
and became the predecessor of the current Songti
But actually
The most commonly used modern printing fonts
Heiti and Yuanti
came from the Songti that was introduced to Japan
Japan redesigned the Songti, and as a result
Yuanti and Heiti were born
They became very important printed fonts
aiding the passing down of knowledge
My name is Nikhil Sonnad, I'm a reporter at Quartz
I work on stories to do with data and also language
I have a particular interest in the Chinese language
So the evolution of Chinese character goes all the way back to the 11th or 13th BC
that's the earliest characters that we know
So the earliest known characters are what's known as oracle bones
These characters were etched onto the bones of animals
What would happen is ancient Chinese Kings will have some questions about
whether we should invade a neighbor or whether we'll have a good harvest this year
And they would ask their priests or their soothsayers to
ask the gods or ask nature what the answer to this question would be
What they would do is they would etch these questions
physically onto the bones of animals or to the bellies of turtles
They would heat these up and then cracks would form when they got hot enough
And then what the soothsayers will do is interpret how these cracks show
Yes we will get a good harvest
or yes we should invade
The next big step that happened was during
the Qin, the original Qin Dynasty
which the mythos behind it was that this emperor took disparate scripts
from all over China and unified them into one script
It's actually quite interesting because the characters are completely recognizable
to a modern Chinese reader
There's one big change that has happened since then which was in the 1950s
the communist party simplified the script
But that simplified script is used in mainland China but
the traditional script is still used in Hong Kong and Taiwan
So that's really a straight line between right now and about 5~700AD
My name is Mo-Li Bai
I've been learning Mandarin at National Taiwan University for more than a year
Most of the time we need to spend
roughly an hour or two practicing writing a day
The way I learn Chinese is that
if I needed to go to the supermarket
I would use my phone to
find out how to pronounce peanut butter in Chinese
in order to find it at the supermarket
That's how I started learning Chinese
Most foreigners I don't think really know what to do with Chinese characters
and I think most Chinese teachers
don't really know what to do with people that want to learn Chinese characters because
They tend to look at the problem like teaching Taiwanese kids
because that's what they did as themselves when they learned
Why did I want to learn Chinese well I always tell people
I didn't chose Chinese, Chinese chose me
Hi I'm Ash, Outlier linguistic solutions
We're currently working on a new way to learn Chinese characters
that's both consistent with the nature of characters themselves
and also based on the latest research into the origin and evolution of Chinese characters
Here at Outlier, we all learn Chinese characters as adults
We know the pain, we know the suffering
We know how much struggle it takes to get from
not knowing any characters at all
to being able to read a page of text in Chinese comfortably
I was getting my undergraduate degree at the time
so I was doing physics and math and all that stuff
And everyday when I do my homework in my mind's eyes all I could see was this
book about Chinese on my bookshelf
and one day I just picked it up and started learning Chinese characters
Basically because I used to watch kungfu movies as a kid
and I just thought characters were cool looking
A lot of people ask me "Oh, Chinese is hard"
I said no it's not hard, it can't be too hard
Can you think of any other language which has been used, spread, communicated
more than 1 billion people in the world over 3000 years?
I can't think of any other languages
I was actually interested in journalism through learning Chinese just kind of interesting path
I was studying Mandarin in Taiwan and
I wanted to find a way that I could use those language skills
to tell stories about what's happening in other parts of the world
That's what let me to pursue journalism
My methods for learning Chinese is
the same method that I would tell anyone who's trying to learn any language
Which is try to understand the etymology behind the word sort of
You need some sort of a system to be able to understand
why this word is set up the way that it is
So the same way that you're studying English, you should understand something like
The word philosophy for example is a combination of
"philos" which means love and "sophism" which means knowledge
So you should be able to combine these types of etymologies together
and that's how I really approached Chinese when I was learning it
Characters components
once you understand what they mean on their own
whether it's water, or speech or something like that, you can really
improve your ability to remember the characters and
make up little narratives of them for yourself
The word for beautiful
which is
pronounced as "mei"
And there's a traditional saying about this character in Chinese it's
"Da yang Wei mei", meaning big sheep is beautiful. Well
I just can't imagine these ancient scholars
sitting there looking for a way to write the word beautiful
and the first thing he thinks of is big sheep
I mean it just doesn't sound right
I was very relieved to find out when I studied paleography, that actually
This is actually "da"
which is a picture of a person standing
and they drew a headdress
So actually, the original version of "Mei" is
a person wearing a headdress
which is a more sensible presentation of the notion of "beauty"
Now the way
They drew the headdress looks similar to this
Which is actually the ancient form of "yang"
So eventually they started writing it as "yang"
which is why it's appears as "yang" here
My name is ShaoLan, Hsueh ShaoLan
Shao means dawn, Ian is the mist in the mountains
So I'm the mist in the mountains in the morning
I'm the founder and creator of Chineasy
Chineasy is a movement to empower people
to understand the most widely used language of the world
I would like people to understand China, Chinese culture
and Chinese language without lost in translation
Look, this means person
It's not very easy to remember is it?
But try now
See? As a picture, it's much more memorable
The character for big is like a person
stretching their arms wide saying "it was this big!"
And of course, a big person is an adult
Or take tree
Here it is. Two means woods
three means forest
I spoke at TED
in less than 6 minutes, I demonstrated how you could learn 45 characters
In English, what you see is what you get
Speaking and reading is a different matter for Chinese
So a lot of very basic day to day words in speaking
are actually very hard to write
And this is because speaking and reading are two
different type of skills to acquire
But Chinese, in a way,
is much simpler
Because the grammar in Chinese it's so simple
There's no tense, there's no gender
For example if I say "I drink coffee"
In English you say
"I am drinking coffee"
"I will be drinking coffee"
"I have drunk coffee"
"I was drinking coffee"
"I had have .I have had had ...drunk coffee"
In Chinese there's no such thing
It's just "I drink coffee"
To know when
You say today, yesterday, 1 hour ago, or tomorrow
That's it
And there's no gender, there's no he or she
That's why when you speak to a lot of Chinese native speakers
They often mix he or she
because in our language we don't have such thing
Living both in Taiwan and UK, I feel like home in both places
and they're very different in a way
and at the same time they are very similar
Both are small islands
and both have rich culture and history
both have very deep languages
We keep the family unit very tight and we have
We both need to think far ahead because
We're such small islands
with limited resources
We always have to globalize
We always have to think big
Walking on the streets in Taiwan, I noticed a lot of
fonts like Kaiti and Leiti
They're used a lot on the streets
The signs on the streets are not just Kaiti and Leiti
Some handwritten signs even use mixed fonts
I find that very fascinating
I really like these things so I took a lot of pictures
My name is Akira Kobayashi
I'm a Roman letter font designer
I design Roman letters in Germany
One of the most memorable things
I'd like to use the Clifford font as an example
It was the first Roman letter font I designed
At the time, I was also working on other fonts
But this font was the reason why I went independent
Therefore I have a close emotional tie with it
I'm Akira Kobayashi, how are you?
Thank you
These two words are the limits of my Chinese
so I'll speak in Japanese from now
I believe you must have used Times New Roman before
as it is a very easy-to-read font
We're not trying to compare fonts here, but
Times New Roman really doesn't have any excessive emotions in it
That's why it is used in news and commentary
that don't require emotions
The Clifford font is used when people need to convey their emotions
or make sure their feelings are noticed
It took me four years to design it
An American designer wrote a letter to me
He's a book designer
And has been designing since the letterpress printing era
He believes that letterpress has many beautiful fonts
But digital fonts leave a lot to be desired
Only a few can be used on book design, the situation is problematic
When he saw Clifford, it caught his eye
So he used Clifford in his book designs
The result was excellent, so he wrote to thank me
He must have really liked the results to have sent the letter
Both Hanzi and Roman letters
share a common aspect, which is the beauty of their lines
They both must express the beauty of characters
During the first 30 minutes
Mr. Akira Kobayashi will demonstrate Roman letter calligraphy
Please follow his demonstration and practice writing
After that
two artisans will demonstrate
what they want you to learn today
Today we'll be learning signage calligraphy with the signage artisans
also I'd like to take this opportunity
to practice lettering with upper case Roman letters
As a sample I'm showing
This is the form of Roman letters 2000 years ago
Traditional Roman fonts we use today
For example fonts like Garamond
The axis of O is tipped this way
It's tipped by 30 degrees
You've done a great job
When a character is enlarged, the beauty of the lines is very apparent
As well as the character's space
I tend to pay attention to the blank part
The blank part includes the overall sense of coordination
Regardless of whether they are Japanese, Hanzi or Roman letters
As long as the blank part is well-coordinated
the character will look beautiful
When you walk on the streets of Japan
Yuanti dominates the signs
There must be a reason
That's why I asked the signage artisans
I went on the streets and interviewed many signage artisans
And asked them to demonstrate the signage writing process
Then I realized Yuanti is much easier to write than Heiti
And so I was able to get an answer
We'll be doing signage lettering from here on and since
the strokes are used differently from Roman lettering
We would like to demonstrate the strokes first
so you might be able to understand it better
Mr. Kobayashi suggest we start with the word signage "kanban"
Because the two characters of "kanban" contain
diagonal lines, horizontal lines and vertical lines
you'll be able to see the writing technique of each stroke
What you can see from a screen is function
Language on screens are for function
Handwriting doesn't represent function; instead, it conveys personality
It represents personal feelings
which can only be expressed by you as a person
For example, we walk at a constant pace
When we write we also have our own comfortable rhythm as well
In order to master the rhythm, writing by hand is very important
Let's start with "water" and "wood"
Let's start with two simple characters
Dutch education is different from Taiwanese education
They spend a lot of time and energy
making students understand origins of things
from hands on learning
For example, written characters are derived from writing
For people who study design
hand-copying characters is very good training
It helps you understand what visual balance is
Helps you understand what visual revision is
We would even suggest graphic designers
to learn about lettering
Ever since the emergence of vinyl cutting
Taiwan's streetscape has become very boring
If you look at pictures of Taipei's street from the 70's
You'll feel that signs were designed with great care
Why was that? It's because they were all hand-painted
This character is unknown to the Japanese
My teacher, who's a calligrapher, once said
he's worried about the prevalence of computer typing
as people write by hand less and less
You see, when we type in our characters
and start to write less and less
We might lose the familiarity we have with written characters
If you want to write beautiful characters
good handwriting is connected with weight, strength and muscles
This looks like a QR code
For me when I was learning how to read and write I thought to myself
If I learn how to write it and I forget
I'll still be able to read, right?
But if I just learn how to read and I forget
then I have nothing
So I always wanted to write myself
For non-natives
they see how convenient it is to just type pronunciations and get this list of characters
To them it's much easier, they don't want to mess with having to write
they say I don't need to know that which I don't think that's true
If you want to use Chinese as a tool
to get a professional job, or to get a degree, even sell stuff in China
it's always going to be better for you if you understand the writing system
Language is most certainly tied into personal identity
I had a very funny story about that myself
I had a list of words
For an English student of mine
I was recording them, and the words were all supposed to rhyme
So I start reading off these list of words I was like "set", "bet", "met", "get"
Wait wait what?
I never even thought about it
but I don't say "get"
I say "get"
I'm from Texas, and I like saying "get"
And I thought to myself: I don't care
who does what to me, I ain't saying "get"
I don't want to say "get", I like "get"
But why would I have those reaction?
Because it's a person identity issue right?
I don't come from an area that says "get"
so when I say get instead of get even though that's not that big of a difference
For me personally I feel the distance, right?
So for a Chinese speaker learning how to write Chinese characters
or for an English speaker learning how to write English
These type of attitudes probably also come into play
I think fonts are a really interesting case of
How a language is understood in a society
Because if you think about
a font it's really not giving you any new information
You can use any font as long as
you're able to read the word or read the characters
It's not really telling you anything different than
if you're using a great fonts or a really ugly font
So it's kind of this question of
why we care what the font looks like?
So I think it's kind of a proxy for how much a society's thinking about
The subtleties of design or the subtleties of expression
There's a lot of fonts that aren't written
I say a lot of font I don't mean the entire font
there's definitely varying levels of how
standard the character form are in a font
A font has a strict definition
It needs to contain at least 7,000 or even close to 20,000 words
When we talk about typefaces in Chinese
I don't think it directly correlates to the word "typeface" in English
Because, in English
the definition of "typeface" refers to the visual style of each specific font
But in a Chinese, the generic term "typeface"
includes anything that's written
on paper, walls, or screens
Nowadays when we talk about typeface
we're mostly talking about their visual style
But when we talk about fonts
we are talking about a software product
It contains a complete tens thousands of characters
and punctuation marks
That is the difference between them
Native speakers tend to focus on
They don't analysis inside of a character
they kind of just see it as a whole
There's a visual theory called the Gestalt Theory
where you can see the shape of an object
when you look at it
It's the same for characters, which
can be generalized as certain shapes
For instance, oh look, this character
This character is a standing rectangle
which means it is elongated
This is its shape
Shapes are like people's body types: tall, short, fat or skinny
If we look at someone today
a person looks round, we would say he's chubby
One of our stereotypical impressions of chubby people
is that they're cute, or something else
As for Weight
Weight is like our eyes and nose
There's a visual focus
when we look at a person, we look at their eyes first
It's the same principle for Counter
when a character is compacted in the Counter, that's the look of traditional style characters
This is normally how they are written
A character with low Weight has a relatively wide Counter
And a character with a high Weight has a more compact Counter
My name is GuRong and I'm one of the type designers at Justfont
When it comes to making font
A Chinese character has two frames
The outer square frame is called an Advance Width
The inner frame that determines the different sizes of the font
is called Reference Frames
The basic concept is that the Reference Frames
must be a little bit smaller than the Advance Width
So when it comes to Letter-spacing
It would already be determined by the Reference Frames
A font needs to be designed
And font designing is a very
difficult job to do
What does this industry need?
It needs designers, engineers, managers
people who understand design concepts
people who put them all together
It's a combination of technology and art
It's an industrial art
Designing Chinese has its degree of difficulty
Compared with Roman characters
It only takes one look to determine that
The number of strokes of Chinese characters is significantly greater
So when it comes to the design
a lot of energy is required
It requires a team of people
In general, a set of Chinese fonts needs
over one year to develop and complete
Let's talk about the number of characters
A Roman font
consist of about 600 characters at the most
But it's about 10,000 to 20,000 characters for a set of Chinese font
It's a 20 to 40 times difference
Okay, well, we used to pirate fonts all the time
It felt as if fonts were generated by computers
I didn't understand how much work goes into creating a font
until I first started working at Arphic Technology
This is Arphic's font creation process
We collect all kinds of character faces
from old books and journals
where you can find different sizes of character faces and character cavities
They come in long and wide types
Then perform a script analysis
This is our manuscript
a manuscript we designed concerning stroke style design
We then have discussions and perform trial production
That's pretty much the font making process
The steps of creating fonts is to decide on a frame first, which followed by the rest
We also pay attention to adjusting the spatial layout
When the prototypes are satisfactory
we mass produce the fonts
and perform quality control after completion of mass production
The font on the top has a lot of variation
A set of font data contains different variations of
narrow characters and long characters
There are also different weight customizations
We also design the UI and content
allowing the selection of different fonts
My name is Sammy Or, I'm from Hong Kong
I'm a font designer
Being in Hong Kong, having a career as font designer
back then it was practically unheard of
I think I must have been the first font designer in Hong Kong
There weren't people working in the field before me
there wasn't really anybody to
reference or learn from
so the process was quite hard
I have always said that us font designers
we are craftsmen
The foremost principle of font design
The most important principle
is one word
It will be very appealing once your design is good
It's the basic requirement for a set of fonts
The LiSong font was perhaps
one of the most important milestones in my life
First of all, well, it's important for me because
it was probably the first
Outline Font, or what we called the PostScript Font
it was the first PostScript font in Asia
It was a great breakthrough
in terms of experience and technology
That's why it meant a lot to me
Designing the LiSong font
and utilizing the Fontographer software to design Chinese fonts
are the two things that I'm most proud of to date
because I used a very simple method
Relatively speaking, from what I know, during that time
to design an entire system of Chinese fonts
It required at least
tens of thousands or a million
I'm talking about Hong Kong dollars here
it takes at least millions to make
an entire system
But I was able to design it using a relatively cheap
Apple Computer
and a software which cost a few hundred US dollars
that was
that wasn't an easy feat
which I think was the most meaningful for me
When you're designing Chinese fonts
you have to consider their coordination with English fonts
On the other hand, let's look at this. The reason why I set this up
is because apart from the kerning
there's coordination with English to consider
Chinese characters don't have a baseline setting
The baseline for English letters is here
which can't line up with the baseline for Chinese characters
it would look like the English letters are falling down
Like this, the baseline is here
The baseline for Chinese characters was originally here
but I moved it higher
Now they look more balanced, not uneven
In the past
especially Chinese font design
only big companies were able to do it
One of the main reasons
was cost, you have to
invest enough to pay two years' worth of costs
I had friends who were interested in designing fonts
But they didn't dare to jump in
because the font design industry couldn't afford to keep designers
Our initial goal in establishing Justfont was
to design a Chinese...
a Chinese Google webfont
I believe a lot of us share this experience, which is
you made a PowerPoint
in which many fonts are used
Then you hand it to your co-worker
a message jumps out
It says it can't find a certain font, so the font is replaced by a system font
Yeah, we all have that experience
So regardless of whether you are transmitting a website or document
when it comes to fonts
we all need them in order to view them
Google fonts is a big one that distributes all these
huge numbers of fonts
And, they distributed through the web and what that means is that
Each user of that font doesn't need to have installed on the computer
so it's the same way that
If you use Spotify you don't have to physically have those computers
or those files on your computer in order to listen to music
You can just pull it in from Spotify
And so in the past the designers were limited to the fonts
you already had installed on your computer
Currently, webfont can only be used in Roman letters
It's because Roman letters are relatively simple
Uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols total between 200 and 300 characters
The files are very small as well
The webfont service provided by Google
simply puts fonts on the web
It's that easy
But Chinese is very complicated
If we put Chinese fonts on the web, there will be a huge disaster
That's because there are about 13,000 Chinese characters on the web
A Chinese font file is about 6-8 megabytes
If, say we put four sets
The computer won't be able to handle four sets of fonts on one page
In the past
font copyright authorization was similar to image copyright
Designers were authorized so they can
use them in their work for different companies
But right now, especially in China
it has changed to end user authorization
meaning that end users are authorized to use them
For about 10 years
piracy was very rampant
People didn't really have the concept of using legal software
it was kind of oblivious for people
As a result, even if font companies were willing to make font
we put in a lot of investment, but couldn't recover the cost
Not to mention that font design was very difficult
So a lot of us ended up abandoning the market
In addition, people can download them free of charge from the Internet
Also the competition from open source fonts
As a result, this market has never recovered
We are now gradually shifting them to the cloud
The business model will be unified
Either you use it for business or personal use
you can use them
This way, it's more transparent
people can make purchases for a single price
The Japanese have a saying
it's a Kanji phrase in Japan
"To work with utmost effort"
Meaning you have to do your best
We can all appreciate this
But when you read Japan's design history, you will notice that
during the postwar era 50s to 60s, Japan also went through
the so-called piracy era that Taiwan experienced
They copied a lot of foreign products
Japan went through this period as well
It wasn't until later that the masters of the middle generation
began to ponder the question
What exactly is the Japanese culture?
Can we combine traditional Japanese culture
with contemporary design ideas?
Japan is very interesting. Many of their TV programs
are similar to Taiwan's "Word of the Day"
Some of you may still remember it
Even today there are still, let's say
Japanese entertainment programs that invite
a calligrapher to judge the handwriting of celebrities
or entertainers or stars and make them write
Each character is carefully graded
There are many activities like this
There's a famous activity called "Gozan no Okuribi" in Kyoto
There are five or six mountains in Kyoto
each have large characters on them, such as the word "big"
and every year
during summer vacations
They light up the characters on the mountains in a ceremony
Those big characters look very beautiful at night
Japan has a lot of customs and festivals
related to characters
So people can keep a close relationship
with their characters
We have been working on building a new relationship
with people via the Internet
during the last few years
We have organized workshops, promotions
and organized many events
Discussion has been very enthusiastic in the community
but no one was willing to get involved in font design
So we decided to start from ourselves
At that time
if Justfont didn't do it, no one would have done it
After we were on board
we started thinking..
What do we do now?
Is there any way for us to solve the lack of funding?
That's how the idea of crowdfunding came to mind
Internet users are now talking about the upcoming birth of
The first crowdfunded Taiwan-made font
JinXuan is about to make its debut
The design team initially planned to raise 50 thousand US dollars
Yet it raised around 0.8 million US dollars within the first three days
The team estimates it will take five years
to complete design of the JinXuan font family
According to the team, during the last 10 years
There were fewer than five sets of Taiwan-made Chinese fonts on the market
Due to the high cost of font design and rampant piracy
the fonts we use today are generally made in Japan or Hong Kong
The JinXuan font expresses Taiwan's unique typeface culture
and conveys the elegance of Hanzi
The way we attracted so much attention
and were able raise such a high amount of money was unexpected
I can only say that it's a lucky surprise
The more attention this industry receives, the better for it
Which means, for the general public, at the very least
they will notice that fonts have copyrights
and understand the issue of font development
And further more it also let people understand that
this industry has its own value and necessity
This way people who are interested and talented will know
that there's such a field such as font design
they can put their talent to use in this field
One of the things I really like about Chinese characters
is they're aesthetically pleasing, just in and of themselves
I mean they just look nice
There's certain forms of Chinese calligraphy where
Cursive script is very difficult to understand
Because I've taken classes from a famous calligrapher here in Taiwan
And I ask him, I'm curious, the guy who spent his whole life basically doing Cursive
Can he just walk around and read any Cursive and he said
Cursive isn't really made to be read
it's made to be enjoyed
You look at it and it gives you an impression and it's that impression
People don't need to know how to design fonts
but they need to know how to appreciate them
Fonts are a link between design and culture
What our society regards as beauty in life
or cultural elements
or values of design
Is simply existing enough
or do we want it to be aesthetically pleasing
or do we want it to be unique
My professor once said to me
you're not a font designer
but fonts are very important
So you must remember as a graphic designer, when you are studying fonts
you have to step back and look at the big picture
You must learn to use fonts from a larger context
We have lots of parents writing to us and contributing their ideas
Because they're second generation Chinese
And they face exactly the same challenge I have
about how to communicate with our own children
with our own language
The language we're familiar with
but they're not familiar with
We're worried that one day they may lose their interest all together
And other parents that are not Chinese upbringing
they could be Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi
and they all share the same concern
Because nowadays because of globalization
the freedom of movement and migration
we're all from somewhere before
But to what extent we embrace the local culture?
To what extent we bring the beauty of our ancestry
into the new places we're settled?
This is a much deeper and interesting question I always ask myself