Chiachi Chao: Wallpaper * Next Generation 2022


Chiachi Chao’s typography mixes western and eastern writing styles

Our Next Generation 2022 showcase highlights 22 exceptional graduates from around the world, in seven creative fields. We present to you the Taiwanese typographer and graphic designer Chiachi Chao, graduate of ECAL, Lausanne

A graduate of the Type Design master’s degree from ECAL, Chiachi Chao currently lives in Lausanne. The Taiwanese designer created the Kleisch typeface as part of his final studies, describing it as a Latin serif typeface developed for bi-scriptural composition. “As a typographic designer with a background in Latin and Chinese, Kleisch is my attempt to make the connection between Serif Latin fonts and Ming fonts,” he says, asking “what are the similar traits that can bring two fonts together. different from different scripts? ‘

By mixing baroque and neoclassical styles, Chao has created a flexible set of modern letter shapes that can accommodate the different weights of different Ming characters.

His research has taken him into the history of Western and Eastern writing styles, from the technical limitations of first impressions to the speed of Chinese calligraphic brush writing. The evolution of a movable-type version of Ming made the markings and flowing shapes of each character much more formalized, while remaining very distinct and different from conventional Latin letters. “Inspired by Caslon’s story, I imagined myself as a punchcutter in the early 18th century, cutting a typeface based on the baroque pattern, but adding the neoclassical taste of the neoclassical era. It is a face of transition between two models of transition, ”he says.

“Kleisch consists of 16 styles with a variable font that offers adjustable axes (weight and contrast) to accommodate different Ming fonts accordingly.” The final typeface was based on cuts by 17th century designers Miklós Tótfalusi Kis and Christoffel van Dijck and 18th century German-Dutch typographer Johann Michael Fleischmann.

Dream collaborators: François Rappo, Radim Peško and Kasper Florio.

Wallpaper * Next generation 2022

Other young talents to watch out for – dubbed ’22 Rising Stars for 2022′ and from creative fields spanning design, jewelry, transportation, architecture, photography, fashion and visual communication – can be discovered in the January 2022 Next Generation issue of Wallpaper *, and in this ongoing series at



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