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The Development and Future of Hong Kong Typography

Authors: Amic G. Ho


Language usage and typography in Hong Kong are unique, as can be seen clearly on the streets of the city. In contrast to many other parts of the world, where there is only one language, in Hong Kong many signs and billboards display two languages: Chinese and English. The language usage on signage, fonts and types used, and the designs in magazines and advertisements all demonstrate the unique features of Hong Kong typographic design, which reflect the multicultural nature of Hong Kong society. This study is the first step in investigating the nature and development of Hong Kong typography. The preliminary research explored how the historical development of Hong Kong is reflected in its unique typography. Following a review of historical development, a quantitative study was designed: Local Hong Kong participants were invited to provide input on what makes the Hong Kong typographic style unique. Their input was collected and analyzed. This provided us with information about the characteristic criteria and features of Hong Kong typography, as recognized by the local people. The most significant typographic designs in Hong Kong were then investigated and the influence of Chinese and other cultures on Hong Kong typography was assessed. The research results provide an indication to local designers on how they can strengthen local design outcomes and promote the values and culture of their mother town.

Keywords: Typography, Hong Kong, historical developments, multiple cultures.

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