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Reading between the lines from the past of Hong Kong:
Deconstructing 1980-90s Chinese font designs

Hong Kong’s economic growth in the 1980-90s led to the adoption of Western technology, including font and typeface designs, in local design. Applying Western design technologies and aesthetic principles to the glyph structure of Chinese fonts created professional practices and skills, but a lack of professional training caused a risk of losing Hong Kong’s intangible heritage of design practices. Studying Chinese font designs between the 1980s-90s can provide insights into local design culture and raise public awareness of local Chinese font design.

Project Aim

This study aims to reveal the design development process of Hong Kong’s Chinese fonts in the 1980-90s.

Project Objectives

  • To gain a comprehensive understanding of the design concepts, aesthetic principles, structure, and techniques that underlie local Chinese fonts.
  • To explore the landscape of Chinese font design during the 1980s-90s, with the aim of identifying key trends and practices

    Research Method

    • Literature Review
    • Case studies of 3 iconic fonts or equivalent
      [Li Song (儷宋體); Shoujin (瘦金體);  M Comic (漫畫體)]
    • Questionnaire 
    Factors Influence The Development of The Chinese Font Designs

    The study examined the continuing artistic trends of the 21st century to understand the potential reshaping of artistic outputs and the joy of watching creative design works. The digitisation process has enabled new opportunities for artists and creatives to reach a broader audience, and social media platforms have transformed public perceptions of products and organisations by enabling users to co-create works of value beyond the traditional constraints of creative production.


    Practical Application of Bullet Point Systems for Constructing an Information Hierarchy.
    HO, A. G. (2020). In: Markopoulos E., Goonetilleke R., Ho A., Luximon Y. (eds) Advances in Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Communication of Design. AHFE 2020. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 1218. (pp.255-261). Springer, Cham.

    Funded Sources

    Lord Wilson Heritage Trust,  Grants 2022-23

    Culture, Sports & Tourism Bureau,
    The Government of the Hong Kong SAR (Hong Kong,

    Project Reference No.

    01 Sep 2023 – 31 Aug 2026 (forthcoming) 

    Funded amount:
    HKD 206,560

    Principal Investigator:
    Dr HO Amic Garfield (HKMU)

    Research Assistant:
    ​​​​​​​Ms CHAU Pui Wa (HKMU)