Bilingual Lettering — (1) Intro

I started a series of Latin-Kanji pairing studies “Bilingual Lettering” in 2016 and built a website for this project. After running the website for 4 years, I decided to move the content to Medium.

About the project

“Bilingual Lettering” project is a series of Latin-Kanji pairing studies for use in bilingual lettering and logotype.This project documents 50+ pairing exercises as well as some thoughts and notes gained through the process.

This project documents 50+ pairing exercises as well as some thoughts and notes gained through the process.

These pairing examples are not solutions for developing systematic typefaces, but the results of customizing the word “TYPE (type)” and “字”(1). Since these two writing systems have very different character structures and are traditionally written using different tools, flexibility will be necessary in order to inject the same personality into both scripts. Each bilingual lettering pair is a custom result, so there isn’t only one solution.

The lettering discussed here highlights pairs that express brand personality equally in both languages, rather than one playing the hero while the other plays a supportive role.

In the next few articles, I will explain my observation and how I created these letterings. I devided them into four section: Observation, Making, Consistency and Alternatives.

The most important criteria for designing a bilingual lettering is expressing the “the same personality” in both scripts, under the premise of designing with legibility and basic type knowledge, rather than limiting to sharing a “similar appearance.”

Here are the 50 pairs of examples:

Read more
Bilingual Lettering — (1) Intro
Bilingual Lettering — (2) Observation
Bilingual Lettering — (3) Making
Bilingual Lettering — (4) Consistency
Bilingual Lettering — (5) Alternatives

Note
(1) In order to compare between each exercise, only use “TYPE (type)” and “字” as specimen. Some expressional form like lowercase g or “na”(捺) unfortunately does not be able to be discussed here.