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The 6th International Typography Biennale opens in Seoul

The 6th International Typography Biennale opens in Seoul

Posted October. 08, 2019 07:38,   

Updated October. 08, 2019 07:38


“Hangul is made for typo design, which makes it easy to create patterns or shapes using the letters,” artistic directors Jin Dal-rae and Park Woo-hyuk said on Saturday during the opening ceremony of the “2019 Typo Festival: The 6th International Typography Biennale” at the Culture Station Seoul 284.

“We often see international celebrities wearing Hangul T-shirt these days. They think Hangul is very symbolic and beautiful in shape," they said. "It’s us, however, who think those Hangul T-shirts are comical and it is awkward to see Korean alphabet written on T-shirts.”

The 6th biannual event is the biggest typography exhibition in Korea sponsored by the Korea Craft & Design Foundation. This year, 127 teams from 22 countries around the world have submitted their typography works under six categoriesㅡ kaleidoscope, polyhedron, clock, corner, miscellaneous, and objectsㅡunder the theme “Typography and Objects.”

The exhibition hall is filled with interesting objects, such as hangers, furniture, stationery, accessories, and toys that exist around us in everyday life. The “Movable Type Forest” and “Movable Type Tunnel” allow visitors to experience the beauty of foreign languages and the “Variable Font” technology changes the shape of the font depending on their thickness.

“The key to typography is combination. We combine 20 to 30 alphabets to create words and sentences. The Korean word for movable type contains the meaning “alive.” This indicates that each letter is alive and moving. Hangul is the letter, in which consonants and vowels are stacked, detached, and gathered again in an architectural manner.”

The exhibition offers free admission until November 3. The typography designers will have a time to talk with the audience at 2 p.m. on October 9 and 19.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com