Minds Ripen Series: 30, 40, 50, 60, 70
The work was inspired by the following verse in “The Practice of Government” from The Analects of Confucius: “At fifteen, I had my mind set on learning. At thirty, I stood firm. At forty, I had no doubts. At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven. At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth. At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.” In this verse, Confucius accounted for the six stages and processes in the practice of his life. Later on, people interpreted these stages as the ways of socialization in different ages. Therefore, I have translated the living attitude of Confucius into modern scenarios and re-interpreted these stages with appropriate signifiers.
As time has gone by, the form of Chinese characters has evolved into different styles, such Song, Gothic, and Li typefaces. Each brings a different feeling. For example, Gothic is pithy and clean, sans serif, and brings a modern and young image. Li contains a significant trace of Chinese calligraphy and brings a more mature and classical feeling. Therefore, this work will exploit the form characteristics of Traditional Chinese characters and select the signifiers that can express the signified to depict the semanteme and state of the different stages mentioned in the verse.
《 論語 · 為政篇 》漢字設計系列海報
“At thirty, I stood firm”
At 30, the stage of standing firm—the ‘blueprint drawing’ implicates the status of planning for future, ready to get married and start a career. The neat, sophisticated san-serif correctly matches with the image of this stage.
“At forty, I had no doubts”
At 40, the stage with no doubts—use the confident, unrestrained semi-cursive script to imply a 40-year old person with a clear object in his mind. In the poster the typeface structure of ‘no doubts’ was designed into an ‘intersection’; it looks like having plenty of choice, while have has one in mind.
“At fifty, I knew the decrees”
At 50, the stage of knowing decrees –the ‘knowing decrees’ refers to facing everything positively regardless of what has happened, and take it calmly. Life is like the moon; now dark, now full. This work compares changes in life with the moon’s face, using elegant, steady song typeface to show the peaceful mind.
“At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth”
At 60, the stage with obedient ears –‘with obedient ears’ means kind elders in sixties. The sturdy mountain is compared to the mature elders, and the waterfalls implicate the externality. Whatever good or bad from externality, the elders can tolerate and accept. The Clerical script with coherence landscape reveals the atmosphere of magnanimity and sedateness.
“At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.”
At 70, the stage of following hearts—following ones’ hearts suggests freedom and relaxed, and going with the flow. I pictured its image with the wind, and the typeface of lesser seal was chosen for the fluent strokes, showing free and unconstrained of the seventies, while still retaining the no transgressing spirit of the lesser seal.
Designer: Huang I-Chen
Adivisor: Tingyi S. Lin