Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

Shui Shan
Grid-based Asian Languages

Because China borders many countries, and is composed of many ethnicities, there are many written languages used in China. When traced back to their origins, many languages are connected in ways including their formations, developments and extinctions. Linguists categorize languages into families based on their interconnections. However, the structures of characters may be drastically different even if the languages are from the same family. The fact that these written languages, when being designed, are difficult to achieve visual consistency has become an obstacle as the importance of people to communicate globally increases today. I studied 9 different writing systems from 6 different language families used in the People’s Republic of China including: Chinese, Tibetan, Uyghur, Mongolian, Phags-pa, Hangul, Katakana, Russian, and Devanagari.

Based on my research, I applied the same grid systems and rules to design this project called Grid-based Asian Languages, and used a video form to introduce the final products. The video contains background knowledge, pronunciation and demonstration of character structures for all 9 languages. The purpose of this project is to study the structure and origins of letter forms from different languages, to test the flexibility of the grid and more importantly to create a more cohesive visual system of different languages.

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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17