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Evolution of Chinese Typeform in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This presentation presents the results of my PhD research, Evolution of Chinese Typeforms in the 19th and 20th Centuries. In the 19th century, Protestant missionaries started preaching to China and tried making Chinese fonts using Western metal-type printing technology. From this point, Western typography competed with xylography that had existed in China for nearly a thousand years, eventually replacing the latter in the 20th century. Along with the introduction of Western technology, Chinese typeforms have undergone complex changes. The presentation will show historical materials I have collected during my research to reflect the critical evolution of Chinese Typeforms. This presentation will also provide my analysis of the Chinese typeforms from different eras, discuss the historical reasons behind the shaping of printed Chinese characters and identify the origins of stylistic features in the presentation.

Xunchang Cheng

Xunchang Cheng

Multilingual typeface designer (mainly Chinese and Latin), documentary director, PhD student of Typeface Design, University of Reading, UK, Chinese Country delegate of ATypI and member of the Chinese Information Processing Society of China. Current research mainly explores the history of Chinese typeforms in the 19th and 20th centuries from the perspective of typeface designers. While studying the history of Chinese typeface design, I am also paying attention to the innovations of international typeface technology, variable fonts, dynamic fonts, and changes in the presentation of characters in different media. Regarding typeface design, I focus on Chinese and Latin text typefaces and bilingual design. I also give Chinese & Latin typeface design workshops for BA and MA students.

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