View profile

Issue #3 — Beijing

New week, new city! From Hong Kong we flew to selfie(stick) nation number one and touched down in Bei

Type Mafia

May 13 · Issue #3 · View online
Hi! I’m Gerben Dollen, smart capo at @TypeMafia. I really enjoy sharing my on- and offline observations. Every now and then I write my musings on design, typography in particular, and other interesting things I come across.

New week, new city! From Hong Kong we flew to selfie(stick) nation number one and touched down in Beijing. Visually less spectacular but interesting for other reasons. Although it seems they can produce everything, it all looks dated crap. From the subway to uniforms, from the city’s urban planning to its architecture.
Let me tell you what caught my attention.

Aware of the Chinese script but always ignored, now I couldn’t. I soon realised the difficulties with this non-Latin script. Well, at least in the opinion of our Western eyes. For instance this packaging’s closure (shown about twice as large), printed onto an uneven surface. So many strokes per character, so tiny little small displayed — how the heck can you read it quickly and fluently?
While using the subway I found myself sneaking at other people’s mobile phones and noticed the uneven paragraph colours. While Latin allows for nice even tones of text blocks, I realised it’s damn difficult when one character has three strokes only and another a dozen in plenty more directions.
Sign painted billboards
Driven by an obsessive attention to detail—ranging from perfecting the smoothest curve to creating the perfect finish by seeking out the precise colour and stock for print—I like the bricks’ honey glazing at the Forbidden City.
No-firecrackers-allowed-sign any ten or so meter around Rem Koolhaas’ building for CCTV. Probably because it caused a massive hotel fire seven years ago.
I’m a sucker for typefaces by legend Roger Excoffon. So it made my day when I passed this shop sign combining Antique Olive Nord with something else — despite the awful font version they got, look at that ‘O’! 🙈
Chinese flag proposals at the National Museum of China
'like a swarm of bees' — National Museum of China, Beijing
Propaganda Art Center, Shanghai
Did you enjoy this issue?
Thumbs up 1ae5a7bdfcd3220e2b376aa0c1607bc5edaba758e5dd83b482d03965219a220b Thumbs down e13779fa29e2935b47488fb8f82977fedcf689a0cc0cc3c19fa3c6bb14d1493b
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue