YUAN

a lettering system for the citizens of the future 


motivation:

COVID gave me an unique opportunity to live in China for an extended period of time for the first time
since elementary school. During this time, I found out about Xu Bing’s Square Word Calligraphy that he 
has been working on since 1994 (LINK). Unlike Xu Bing’s intention of breaking the culture barrier between
China and the western world, YUAN serves as a generalizable medium, built with colours and geometric
shapes, that embraces individual uniqueness.  


project origin:

YUAN comes from the two Chinese characters 元/原, representing the basic elements and origin. This is
exactly what I want to achieve with this project - using the universal fundamental building blocks of this
world to represent everyone’s origin and identity. 



initial mapping:

The initial mapping uses the outline and negative space of each letters to represent them in a discreet
yet interpretable state. However, there is a lack of variation for each letter and lower case letters are not
represented in this set.


      

axiom elements:

After realizing the shortcomings of the inital mapping, I wanted to go even lower in the system design to
first construct variations within each shapes instead of building each letter and its variations.  


     

testing:

I was quite excited to work out the initial elements of the system, prompting me to try them on a project
I’m currently working on - yi protocol.


     

Note* this is a work in progress, I will update as I make more progress.


Thank you for reading,

BO