Archive for Typography

Sinographic memory in Vietnamese writing

Jason Cox sent in the following photograph of the cover of a Vietnamese religious text and asked what was going on with the "characters" along the left and right sides.


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Washirweng

John Considine found this circa 1880 advertisement in the Hong Kong 2013 catalog of Bernard Quaritch (with the note that "We have not been able to locate any other example of this kind of trade card"):

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Too much Victor Mair

I've been reading way too much Victor Mair. In the restaurant of my hotel in London I just saw an English girl wearing a T-shirt on which it said this:


H O
P E

And I immediately thought, who is Ho Pe?

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Misprint on Chinese money

The Taipei Times for June 27 carried the following article: "Debate rages over currency ‘misprint'".

It is a question of whether the upper part of the long form of the character for the word yī ("one"), i.e., 壹, should be written as 士 ("scholar"), the "correct" configuration, with the ends of the upper horizontal stroke extending beyond those of the lower horizontal stroke, or 土 ("land; earth"), as it appears on certain banknotes, with the ends of the upper horizontal stroke being shorter than those of the lower horizontal stroke. Fortunately, yī ("one") is usually written as 一, the simplest of all Chinese characters, consisting of only a single horizontal stroke. The complicated form 壹, with twelve strokes, is used in banking, business, and so forth, to avoid mistakes and forgery.

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Pen|is broken. Please use finger.

Under the rubric "Kerning 101: I rest my case on the importance of spacing", Toni Tan, Director of Cambria Press, sent me this photograph:

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