Thesis: Typography in Cross Cultural Environments

From Spring 2013 to Spring 2014

Download PDF
Typography in Cross Cultural Environments

    This thesis examines the structural challenges when designing in two different alphabet systems, Roman and Hangul (Korean alphabet). English being the universal language, it is common to see this pairing in various design solutions, from packaging to posters to websites. However, Korean communication design has a very short history and for that reason, it adopted prevailing western guidelines. Under the western guidelines, Korean designers face challenges when designing text because the guidelines are not entirely fitting for the Korean alphabet. Therefore, Korean communication design needs structural guidelines for the everyday practitioners to use them effectively when multi-scripting.

    For my solution, I designed typographic guiding principles that allow two different alphabet systems to work harmoniously when multi-scripting. My research builds upon Nanum Type Families, open source typefaces. These guiding principles are designed with two goals in mind—provide thorough suggestions when multi-scripting for the Korean Communication Design community and also encourage a greater appreciation for and use of Hangul within that community.

    This thesis comprises 1 Research Poster, 1 Prototype Poster, Physical Prototypes and a thesis documentation that compiles all of the research and solution into a book.

Research Poster

Prototype Poster

Key Findings: Stacked vs. Sequential

Key Findings: Hangul is both wide and compact

Key Findings: Hangul has no italics

Key Findings: Activity Theory to find opportunity space

Prototype: Typographic guidelines based on an open source typeface, Nanum Type Families