Tag Archives: signage

Interview with Design 360°

‘An interview with PolyU Design (Keith Tam)’, in Design 360°, issue 51 (the type issue), June 2014, pp.26–33 (Chinese version) Design 360°: School of Design has just moved into the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, the latest landmark of Hong Kong. Congratulations. The building … more >

溝通的建築:香港霓虹招牌的視覺語言

為香港M+視覺文化博物館《探索霓虹》網上展覽撰寫了一篇關於香港本土霓虹光管招牌的長文,題為〈溝通的建築:香港霓虹招牌的視覺語言〉。文中為香港的地道招牌視覺文化溯源,涉及建築、城市景觀、字體、製作過程等,並闡述一套關於香港招牌景觀的分析架構,圖文並茂。冀能拋磚引玉,為研究、保育、和傳承具香港本土特色招牌發揮開導之效。 Just wrote an essay on Hong Kong’s neon signs for M+, Hong Kong’s museum of visual culture. Titled Architecture of communication: the visual language of Hong Kong’s neon signs, the essay traces the influences and development of neon signs … more >

再略談北魏

有兩本多年前出版,已經被遺忘的平面設計及印刷製作書籍,可說是蒼海遺珠。中一的時候,我買了畢子融、黃炎鈐、鄭偉宗編著的《草圖與正稿》,1985年教育出版社出版,是我的平面設計啟蒙書藉。直至現在,我對印刷製作的興趣未有減退。書中闡述的,是平面設計由初稿到印前涉及到的所有工序,說的當然不是電腦排版了。書中有示範手寫廣告文字,用的是叫「雞腳字」的粗筆標題字體,和內文小字用的北魏體,以小號的圭筆蘸廣告彩書寫。早前到珠海拜會為蒙納設計製作中文字體的香港美術字老前輩郭炳權先生,有幸見到他七十年代手繪廣告字的真跡。他稱內文用的北魏體為「釘頭字」。當年最出名的寫字師傅,標題字筆潤每字十元,內文每字一元,收入可觀。要寫字,動輒要等一星期。五十至七十年代,照相植字仍未普及,活字字體選擇亦少,手寫字樣較為活潑多變,適合用於廣告。郭先生說,當時日航指定要用手寫字,一來喜歡其風格,二來因為照相植字的陰版來自日本,很多城市名稱的漢語用字都欠缺,所以手寫較為方便。

More on MTR signage

I wrote about the use of colours to establish line identities in the MTR system last time. This example shows how inconsistent directional signs can be even for one station, in this case Central. Central Station is connected to Hong Kong Station by a pedestrian tunnel, which is a paid area. So effectively the two stations form one large station with four lines: Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung and also the Airport Express. The example here shows two different ways for destination naming: by line (Tsuen Wan Line, Tung Chung Line and Disneyland Resort Line) and by terminus or stop (Sheung Wan, Airport and Asia-World Expo). I don’t know if passengers would wonder why the Tsuen Wan line shows two platforms, while Sheung Wan only shows one, and no platforms are shown at all in the other two signs. more >

MTR colour coding

Hong Kong’s railway system (MTR) currently has nine lines, each denoted with a colour. The original system only had three lines with three easy to distinguish colours: red (Tsuen Wan), green (Kwun Tong) and blue (Island). When the system extended … more >

Grid (not the Modernist variety)

Signs at the Hong Kong City Hall. I might be generalising, but this is what graphic designers typically do: come up with a ‘concept’ first (in this case a grid of four squares to reflect the architecture I presume), then … more >

No spitting

If you grew up Hong Kong in the 60s, 70s or even 80s you would have seen this sign posted around the city, especially in restaurants and cafés. You still see these signs occasionally, but they are becoming rarer now. I found this in a bakery café in Shaukeiwan. more >