Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from Japan!

Holy cow, I've returned! Sorry, blog readers! I've been in the middle of a big life transition that has taken all of my concentration and energy aaand also away on a 2-week trip to Japan to visit a dear friend who is studying Japanese!

WOW, Japan was very visually overwhelming! Especially for someone who wants to look at every bit of signage and printed matter in the country. I took about a year of Japanese way back when, so I was already familiar with Hiragana and Katakana, but had no knowledge of Kanji. I think it was the first time I really thought about what an enormously difficult task Chinese type designers must have. I thought that nothing could be tougher than trying to fit in all of the dips and curves of Sinhala - but I must say, imagine dealing with this. And then try to use this popular Chinese search engine, Shohu. (here's an image, for those without Chinese language support) Wow. Welcome to the web for the rest of the world! It also reminded me of this post at the Ministry of Type on the difficulties of creating electronics interfaces due to the complexity of such characters.

Phew! Anyway, I could go on and on. But what I have been meaning to get to was that I found a few bits of Indic type while I was over there! So here they are! Some beautiful Bengali at an Indian restaurant, some Siddham script (Bonji in Japan) at a Buddhist temple, and what I believe to be Urdu, found at a park! So there you are! It's fun for me to see two different Asian scripts on one sign. It makes me giddy!

So once again, sorry for my extremely long absence. I hope to keep adding to this blog though, so don't give up on coming back! :)