Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From Italy to Shanghai...

Sunday's presentation did an incredible job at giving me a concise visual history of typography starting half way across the world and ending up in Shanghai. Tracing the journey of typography from Futurism to the creative advertising agencies of today highlighted the importance of the written (or digitally created) word itself. After spending so much time in Chinese class quickly jotting down hundreds of characters, the presentation served as a welcome reminder that each stroke has a certain significance that should not be taken for granted.
Coming from the perspective of a person who knew nothing about typography before Sunday, I thought the presentation did a very good job of steering clear of industry lingo by giving a clear and concise explanation of the history and the direction that each panelist expects contemporary Chinese typography and graphic design to head in.
I also thought that seeing the history of the art form beginning in the early 1900's was a befitting introduction to the story of Pan Jian Feng, whos personal story made graphic design seem much less like an occupation and much more like a way of life. His story did a good job of tying in the importance of the tradition of calligraphy to contemporary Chinese graphic design.

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