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Guo Yuhai, chief designer of a typeface based on Chinese writer Lu Xun's handwriting at Foundertype. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]
When Steve Jobs made his commencement speech to students at Stanford University in California in 2005 he told of how the calligraphy class he attended at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, years earlier had influenced him.
"I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great," he says.
"It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating."
The aesthetics of calligraphy he learned later turned into a wide choice of fonts in the Macintosh computer he co-invented with Steve Wozniak in the early 1980s, giving lay people the tools to express themselves artistically through their writing in the digital world.
However, on the other side of the Pacific, Chinese people were then still struggling with digitally inputting characters, and of course designing various typefaces to use on computer came much later.
If you visit Disneyland in Shanghai, which opened in June, and closely look at all the signs you may notice that each is not only in both English and China, but that they also bear similar typographical characteristics.