mmmmor (Düsseldorf/Hong Kong) develops and designs communication solutions for analogue and digital media.

Designnonnatively – Design in a Language you Cannot Speak

Artist Book, Self-publishing, Book Design, Silkscreen Printings

Research & Text    
Lai Ping SO

Layout & Typography    
Lai Ping SO

Supervised by  
Prof. Johannes Bergerhause
Prof. Ulysses Völker


Offset Druckerei der Hochschule Mainz
Mainz, Germany

Binding & Production

Lai Ping SO @mmmmor

Designnonnatively – Design in a Language you Cannot Speak

Published on 2 Jan 2017
Artist Book, Self-publishing, Book Design, Bookbinding, Silkscreen Printing
Am I able to design in a language I cannot speak? The project starts with this question and looks into the close relations of language knowledge and typography. Through observing and comparing hidden visual features between three entirely different written languages – German, Traditional Chinese and Hebrew, the project highlights the special characteristics of each script.

Additionally, it was intended to examine the issue by conducting an experimental practice of using a foreign language to design. A non-latin language, Hebrew was selected as the language medium of this experiment. Two main questions were sought to be answered: Is it necessary to understand the meaning of a text before designing it? Also, how does one choose a typeface for a language that he/she cannot read?

Apart from the theoretical text and the experiment, a set of silkscreen prints was made to emphasis two typographic features, ‘counters’ and ‘spaces between words’ of three scripts, and the entire works have been exhibited in Hochschule Mainz, Gutleut Mainz and PXL-MAD School of Arts Hasselt.

Supervised by    Prof. Johannes Bergerhausen, Prof. Ulysses Völker
Author/Artist    Lai Ping SO @mmmmor
Printing    Offset Druckerei der Hochschule Mainz, Germany
Binding & Production   Lai Ping SO @mmmmor


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