The colophon — About this site

The content

The main focus of this site is about CJK typography, mainly Chinese typography, and there are two reasons why I am focusing particularly on Chinese typography:

Firstly, Chinese is my native language, and so I personally am more familiar with Chinese typography than Japanese or Korean typography.

Secondly, although CJK typography is much better understood nowadays than say ten years ago, the understanding focuses and is based mainly on Japanese typography. It is true that Japanese typography is much more standardized, its written body of knowledge is much larger and much more readily available, and that Chinese and Japanese typography are very similar. However, there are some differences, and these differences do not seem to be generally known.

The site started as a rant against OpenOffice and the Adobe Creative Suite. But recent directions in HTML5 and CSS3 discussions show a certain unhealthily severe general ignorance of basic Chinese typography, including an ignorance of even basic punctuation marks.

Chinese typography, including many basic aspects of it, is seldom talked about, and consequently a lot is not understood. Hopefully, this site will be a small voice that will at least start some discussion on these seldom-talked-about things.

The terminology

Because of the predictability that Japanese standardized pronunciation and romanization offer, when English need to borrow a word describing a CJK concept, it has traditionally preferred borrowing from Japanese. Examples include kinsokushori and warichū — both common typographical terms now — and even kishōtenketsu — a technical term for a decidedly Chinese concept in rhetorics. So this site will use the term kanji instead of the politically-correct term “Han characters”.

When this site uses the word “Latin”, it means pertaining to the Western typographic traditions of languages using the Latin alphabet. Something slightly more specific than “Western” (which would include Greek and Russian, for example), but slightly more general than “English” (whose rules are different from, say, French or German).

The term “CJK”, of course, means “Chinese, Japanese, and/or Korean”.

The picture

The picture appearing on the home and “about me” pages is Vachement timide a.k.a. Introspection II ©2011 Ambrose Li.

The technicalities

These pages are set in Droid Serif and Droid Sans by Steve Matteson.

The layout of this site uses the 1140px grid by Andy Taylor.

This site currently uses HTML 4.01 Transitional. Because the W3C has decided to re-incorporate the U element into HTML5, a transition to HTML5 will be made in the near future.

Some parts of this site uses Javascript. This is unfortunate, but this is not a blog, and Disqus (the system that provides the commenting functionality) requires Javascript, as do the Tweet and Share buttons.

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