Chiachi Chao’s typography blends Western and Eastern writing styles
Our Next Generation 2022 showcase shines a light on 22 outstanding graduates from around the globe, in seven creative fields. We profile Taiwanese type and graphic designer Chiachi Chao, a graduate of ECAL, Lausanne
A graduate of the master’s in Type Design at ECAL, Chiachi Chao is currently living in Lausanne. The Taiwanese designer created the Kleisch typeface as part of his final studies, describing it as a Latin serif typeface developed for bi-scriptural typesetting. ‘As a typographic designer with a background in Latin and Chinese, Kleisch is my attempt to bridge the connection between the Serif Latin typefaces with Ming typefaces,’ he says, asking ‘what are the similar traits that can bring together two different typefaces from different scripts?’
By blending Baroque and Neoclassical styles, Chao has created a flexible set of modern letterforms that can accommodate the varying weights of different Ming characters.
Research took him from the history of Western and Eastern writing styles, from the technical limitations of early printing to the speed of brushed Chinese calligraphic writing. The evolution of a moveable type version of Ming made the fluid marks and forms of each character much more formalised, while still remaining very distinct and different from conventional Latin lettering. ‘Inspired by the story of Caslon, I imagined myself as a punchcutter in the early 18th century, cutting a typeface based on the Baroque model, but adding the neoclassical taste of Neoclassical time. This is a transitional face between two transitional models,’ he says.
‘Kleisch consists of 16 styles with a variable font that offers adjustable axes (weight and contrast) to adapt with different Ming typefaces accordingly.’ The final typeface was based on the cuts of the 17th-century designers Miklós Tótfalusi Kis and Christoffel van Dijck and the 18th-century German-Dutch typographer Johann Michael Fleischmann.
Dream collaborators: François Rappo, Radim Peško and Kasper Florio.
Wallpaper* Next Generation 2022
More young talents to watch – dubbed ‘22 rising stars for 2022’ and from creative fields spanning design, jewellery, transport, architecture, photography, fashion, and visual communication – can be discovered in the January 2022 Next Generation issue of Wallpaper*, and in this ongoing series at Wallpaper.com.
Our Next Generation showcase of outstanding new talents appears in the January 2022 issue of Wallpaper* (W*273). Subscribe today!
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
Last chance to see: Sharjah Biennial 15, ‘Thinking Historically in the Present’
Built on the vision of late curator Okwui Enwezor, the Sharjah Biennial 15: ‘Thinking Historically in the Present’ offers a critical reframing of postcolonial narratives through major new commissions
By Amah-Rose Abrams • Published
For London Gallery Weekend 2023, the mood is hardcore
With London Gallery Weekend 2023 almost upon us (2 – 4 June), here’s our list of must-see art exhibitions
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith • Published
Birkenstock celebrates its most memorable styles with colourful capsule (and matching socks)
Birkenstock marks the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Gizeh, Arizona and Madrid sandals, respectively, with limited-edition versions
By Jack Moss • Published
Supergraphics pioneer Barbara Stauffacher Solomon: ‘Sure, make things big – anything is possible'
94-year-old graphic designer Barbara Stauffacher Solomon talks radical typography, motherhood, and her cool welcome for St Moritz
By Jessica Klingelfuss • Published
Montreux Jazz Festival posters: a visual history
As artist Guillaume Grando (SupaKitch) unveils his poster for the 57th Montreux Jazz Festival (30 June - 15 July 2023), we reflect on the most memorable designs since 1967, including from David Bowie to Andy Warhol and Camille Walala
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith • Last updated
AA Bronson on the radical, enduring legacy of General Idea
General Idea, an art group that pioneered a queer aesthetic, is celebrated in a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada (opened during Pride Month and running until 20 November 2022). Surviving member AA Bronson speaks about their origins, and impact on art and social justice
By Benoit Loiseau • Last updated
A Practice for Everyday Life gives 59th Venice Biennale a richly surreal graphic identity
London-based graphic design studio A Practice for Everyday Life (APFEL) gives an otherworldly identity to the surrealism-infused 59th Venice Biennale theme ‘The Milk of Dreams’
By Jonathan Bell • Published
Inside Na Kim's vibrant playground for all ages
South Korean graphic designer Na Kim's ‘Bottomless Bag’, installed at Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, is a vivid, geometrical exploration of memory and everyday objects. We offer a virtual tour and find out how the concept came to be
By Andy St Louis • Last updated
Philipp Doringer’s cartographic design: from Bob Dylan to Vienna’s Second District
Our Next Generation 2022 showcase shines a light on 22 outstanding graduates from around the globe, in seven creative fields. Here, we present Austrian Philipp Doringer, a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven
By Jonathan Bell • Last updated
Tom Hingston on designing for Serpentine Galleries, the V&A, and Wallpaper*
London-based art director and graphic designer Tom Hingston discusses his visual identities for Serpentine Galleries
By TF Chan • Last updated
Feminist art: a graphic history
A new graphic novel, The Women Who Changed Art Forever, by Valentina Grande and Eva Rosetti, tells the story of feminist art through four pioneers: Judy Chicago, Faith Ringgold, Ana Mendieta and the Guerrilla Girls
By Harriet Lloyd-Smith • Last updated