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A Study of the Font Design and History of the Mongolian Script

The Mongolian script used by the Mongolian nationality in the northern border of China embodies pluralistic characteristics visually; letters of the Mongolian script originate from the Phoenician alphabet like most other alphabetic writing systems, but it runs in vertical columns of oriental style. Therefore, it is a typical example of the renaissance of regional civilization energized by integrating regional characteristics into the worldwide universal civilization. Based on the development of the times and the evolution of media technology, this presentation reveals the design characteristics of the Mongolian letters and fonts, the process of standardization as well as the constant part in font design and the superficial phenomena thereof. On this basis, this presentation discusses the multiple paths connected to different cultures in the history of font design of the Mongolian script, the interactions and mutual influences in the active process of cooperation between people from different regions, and an active interactive behavior between openness and fluidity based on cultural consciousness, all of which jointly built the magnificent history of font design of the Mongolian script. This further constructed the natural, historical, and national characteristics of cultural exchange in font design.


Lihua Tong

Lihua Tong is from Inner Mongolia, China. She is a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and has a PhD in Design. She teaches at the Inner Mongolia University of Arts, and studies font design and the history of minority scripts, design anthropology, and the history of cultural exchange.

The title of Lihua’s doctoral thesis is “A Study of Aesthetic Elements Affecting the Design of Mongolian Characters.”

Her published relevant papers include:
“A Study on the Pluralistic Source and Transformation of Mongolian Characters”
“The formation and historical background of Mongolian typeface”
“Research on the history of Mongolian character shape design and multi-ethnic communication”

Lihua has published on related topics: “The research project of local ethnic languages and characters of the People’s Committee of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has been completed — Study on the standardization and diversification of Mongolian characters” Subject No MW-YB-2021032.
“Educational Science Planning Project of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region — Research on the history and current situation of Mongolian text font design” Subject No 2020MGH024.MGH024.