Hyun

My work and me

About Me

Hello, my name is Hyun — I am a designer and technologist creating symbiotic relationships between information and people. I am currently working with researchers, engineers and designers at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York.
If you have any questions or have something in mind for discussion, please don't hesitate to contact me.

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Experimental Korean Typography

Experimental Korean Typography

2013 — Recreational

Teaser image for the Experimental Korean Typography project.

CONCEPT: Korean typography has always been an interesting topic to me. The alphabet is split between vowels and consonants. Every character has its own distinct shape and sound, and they are used in a very systematic way to express the written language of Korean. I decided to take the challenge of creating a new shape system for Korean, almost wrapping the letters around and filling it with a solid color.

Process

SQUINTING: The method I approached was to take notice of the biggest visual characteristics per character. I used a variety of simple methods to scan the multiple variations of a letter and added image effects. The natural instinct to squint in order to see more "clearly" was an interesting concept I tested as well; it helped me compare what I saw to the processed images of the Korean characters. Upon extracting the primary shapes as well as the unique character accents, I thought that each letter could still be recognizable when the letters retained their outer primary shape. One of the more interesting features that Korean characters have, is that similar phonetic vowels like "ah" and "uh" are shaped the same way but the vertical orientation of the character is opposite. Using this as an advantage, the visuals actually reuse a lot of shapes, which simplifies the system.
Since each character has a distinct shape, the theory I had was that people would still be able to recognize characters when they are composed to make words or a full sentence. Without context, it would be challenging to understand each individual letter/character when they are alone because of the fact that the shapes are so simple.

Results

Sample manifest of the typeface.
Sample manifest of the typeface.
Close-up photograph of the vowels.
Close-up photograph of the vowels.
Close-up photograph of the consonants.
Close-up photograph of the consonants.