Bookmark

書籤體

A traditional Chinese sans serif typeface that is suitable for sub headlines and body copy in print. Since Bookmark is designed with this intention, it is clean and legible with a light and airy structure that makes it an ideal typeface to work with at smaller sizes. Subtle organic qualities of its form make it an enjoyable font to use without being overly formal while maintaining order and structure.

TYPE
Typeface Design

TYPE
Typeface Design

ROLE
Research, 
Visual Design

ROLE
Research, Visual Design

TOOLS
Glyphs, InDesign

DURATION 
May – June 2017

The Concept

As a fluent Chinese speaker, reader and writer, I knew from the very beginning that it would be a real challenge to tackle the entire Chinese character set. There are 20,000+ characters used on a regular everyday basis, not to mention special characters, both traditional and simplified character sets and an extensive library used for Classical Chinese literature. Since it was a difficult task in itself to create 20,000 characters in a short span of time, I sought out an alternative—to design a typeface set based on one of my favourite poems (蝶戀花—蘇軾) dating from the Northern Song Dynasty by a famous poet. The final typeface includes 54 traditional characters and Chinese numericals.

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translation
Butterflies in Love with Flowers
Su Shi

Flowers withered with few reds remaining,
Small green apricots are desperately growing.
Lines of swallows return from the south,
Bellow a green river is around a house.
Most willow catkins go less when the winds blow,
Nowhere grows no fragrant grass in the heaven bellow.

A swing inside the wall of the yard,
A path outside the wall-guard.
Walkers on the path come and go about,
Laughs of the beauty on the swing waft out.
Sound of the laughter gradually fades away,
I fret as my love to her is ignored without a say.

Character Study

I researched the historic evolution of Chinese characters, studying its various forms before deciding on the typeface's structure. Calligraphic qualities persisted throughout the years, some with extreme contrasts of thick and thin strokes while others have a loose humanistic touch. I practiced Chinese calligraphy to understand the strokes
and structure.

 

INITIAL CONCEPTS & SKETCHES

INITIAL CONCEPTS & SKETCHES

Typeface Structure

Bookmark took its inspiration from the commonly used standard Chinese font Kaiti (楷體), upon many others in the realm of Chinese calligraphy. After studying various calligraphic forms and popular sans serif structures, I decided to take a spin on well-known serif typefaces and made my own Chinese handwriting the basis of Bookmark. It is the result of a combination of raw handwriting and calligraphy strokes. The humanistic quality of Bookmark is refined to subtle thick and thin strokes and rounded terminals, which does not compromise the
overall structure.

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Typeface Specimen Booklet

Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5 inches

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Next Steps

As a lover of typography design, I enjoyed this project very much since I was in charge of the the entire process, from the initial concept sketches and research, to the execution of individual strokes and characteristics. My interest in the Chinese culture was also a driving force behind the reason why I chose to take on this challenge. I had fun studying the structure of type from different dynasties as I was doing research, as well as practicing writing Chinese calligraphy since it prepared me for when designing the character set. My next steps to expand on this project would be to add to the collection by designing more characters for Bookmark, making it a useable typeface.

Other Works

ReapUI/UX Design

RootEditorial & Art Direction

BookmarkType Design

© Mirabelle Wang, 2018

Find me on Behance and Instagram

Feel free to say hello!
mirabelle605@gmail.com