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Studies in Literature and Language


Vol.11,No.2,2015,pp.82-87
DOI:10.3968/7447

Advantages and Thinking on Design of Chinese Characters Graphics

ZHOU Zhen[a],*

[a]

designs of logos, typography, posters and books as a


major element. They play an important role in visual
communicationdesign,appearingasletterswithsimple
butprofoundmeaninginlogodesign,producinggreat
impact as visual characters in poster design and
generatingbeautifulandpowerfulcombinationofpictures
andcharactersintypographydesign.
In China more works have been created in which
Chinese characters are treated as a design factor, as
current designers focus on nationality and locality.
However,manyworksjustcopytheso-calledtraditional
factors. Works with an emphasis on the visual effects
broughtaboutbycalligraphyofwell-knownpenmen,or
Chineseinkandhollow-strokedcalligraphy,forinstance,
canbefoundeverywhereinvisualcommunicationdesign.
But works that really reflect the essence of Chinese
cultureandconformwiththedemandsofmoderndesign
arestillfewinnumber.Oneofthewaystochangethe
stateisforChinesedesignerstoimprovetheirqualities
andtaste.Andamoreeffectiveresolutionistocreate
systematic design theory and explore practical design
methods. This paper, therefore, tries to analyze the
advantageofthedesignofChinesecharactersgraphics
and explore the ideas on the subject,in the hope of
obtaining a further understanding of the traditional
perceptionwayandcreativethinkingwayofChineseand
makingupforthedeficienciesoftheChineseartdesignin
designthinking,methodandpractice.

AcademyofFineArts,ShandongNormalUniversity,Jinan,China.
*Correspondingauthor.

Received3May2015;accepted5July2015
Publishedonline26August2015

Abstract
GivennowthedesignswithChinesecharactersasamajor
elementbyChinesevisualcommunicationdesignersare
still not adequate, this paper focuses on the design of
Chinesecharactersandtriestoexplorethedevelopment
potentialsandnewideasonChinesecharactersincurrent
visual communication. The origins of the worlds
charactersshowallcharactershaveeverbeenrelatedto
pictures.AsChinesecharactersexpressbothmeaningand
pronunciation and their origins and composition are
closedrelatedtographics,thegraphicdesignofthemhas
agreatadvantage.Thispaperproposesthreeideasonthe
designofChinesecharactersgraphicsonthebasisofthe
studyofthedevelopmentandcompositionofChinese
characters, in the hope of obtaining a further
understanding of the traditional perception ways and
creative thinking methods of Chinese and continue to
developChinesecharacterculture.
Key words: Chinese characters Graphics; Visual
communicationdesign;Designthinking
Zhou, Z. (2015). Advantages and Thinking on Design of Chinese
CharactersGraphics.Studies in Literature and Language,11(2),82-87.
Availablefrom:http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/sll/article/view/7447
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/7447

1. ADVANTAGES OF THE DESIGN OF


CHINESE CHARACTERS GRAPHICS

Some designers believe the graphic design featuring


Chinesecharactershasnoadvantage,comparedwiththat
featuringLatincharacters.Theyarenotsoadvantageous
as Latin characters in design mainly because Chinese
charactersdonothaveremarkableformasLatinletters
do.ItiseasiertouseLatincharacterstocommunicatea

INTRODUCTION
Whenwereadforeignbooksandmagazinesondesign,
weusuallyfindexcellentdesignsfeaturingcharacters.
Charactersofdifferentstyleshaveappearednotonlyin
character designs in large quantities, but also in the

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ZHOUZhen(2015).
Studies in Literature and Language,11(2),82-87

simplevisualimage,becausetheyhavesimplestructures
and few strokes, while Chinese characters have
complicatedstructuresandmanystrokes;andbesides,
LatincharactersaremoreflexiblethanChinesecharacters
asthecontoursofChinesecharactersarelimitedtosquare
whilethatofLatincharactersincludesquare,circleand
triangle. This saying is truly reasonable to a certain
degree, but it does not necessarily mean Chinese
characters do not have any advantage in visual
communicationatall.
ThewriterbelievesthedesignofChinesecharacters
graphicshasagreatpotentialandsignificance.Firstofall,
Chinesecharactersoriginatefrompicturesandbelongto
pictograph.Theyaremorecloselyrelatedtographicsthan
letters, though they have experienced many years of
changesandgonefarfromtheoriginalconcretegraphics.
This constitutes the foundation of graphic Chinese
characterdesigninmodernvisualcommunicationdesign.
Second,afterthousandsofyearsofdevelopment,Chinese
charactershaveabsorbednumerouspeopleswisdomand
laborandintegratedtheartofcalligraphy,typefaceas
well as the forms and works of numerous character
designs. The unique cultural heritage may inspire our
designsinabeneficialwayandputtheminabackground
ofrichcultureandlonghistory.Third,thedesignsmainly
featuring Chinese characters are not only easier to be
understoodandacceptedbytheChinesegeneralaudience,
but can introduce Chinas long traditional culture to
foreign audience as well. All this shows the great
advantage and significance of the design of Chinese
charactersforgraphics.

earliestcharactersbecamemature5,500yearsago,when
agriculture and industry began to develop and the
charactersofMesopotamiaandEgyptfirstachievedthe
degreethatlanguagecouldberecordedcompletelyinthe
sequenceofwords.4,500yearsbetweenwritingembryo
of10,000yearsagoandtheearliestcharactersin5,500
yearsagobelongtoproto-writingphase.
Characters originate from pictures. Proto-pictures
have developed in two directions: They have become
either art-drawing or characters. Primitive people use
graphicstoexpresstheirmeaning,andthesegraphicsare
usually called pictographic writing. However, such
graphicshavenorelationshipwithlanguage,thoughthey
cancommunicateinformation.Anarrow,forinstance,
meansgoingforwardfromhere,andeveryoneknows
that.Butwhenthemeaningisexpressedinlanguage,it
will have various different ways of expression. These
graphicscanbesaidtobetheforerunnerofcharacters,but
theyhavealreadybecomerealcharacters.Thegraphics
thatexpresscertainmeaningshoulddeveloptosucha
degreethattheyarecombinedwithalanguageandcan
recordthelanguagecompletely.Onlyatthattimecan
theybecomeeffectiverecordsofthelanguageandripe
characters.
Manynationalitieshavecreatedproto-writing.But
only few nationalities writings have become mature.
Nowitishardtofindthetracksofproto-writinginareas
whereeducationisdeveloped.Onlyinregionswherethe
cultureneedstodevelopfurthercanproto-writingbeleft.
Some of it is still being used or recreated. Remnant
writingmaterialscanbefoundintheaboriginesinAfrica
andAmerica.Thehistoricalmaterialsonproto-writing
canalsobediscoveredinChinasethnicminorities.

2. CHARACTERS ORIGINATE FROM


PICTURES

2.2 Classical Writing


In3,500B.C.,SumerinMesopotamia(todaysIraq)in
westernAsiacreatedtheearliestcharactersofthemost
historicalsignificance.Thesecharactersfirstappearedas
pictographicsymbols,whichdevelopedintocuneiform
characters. They are composed of wedge-shaped
strokesone end is thick and the other end is
thinwhicharewrittenonsoftclayboardwithasmall
branch.Cuneiformcharactershadbeenadoptedbymany
nationalitiesandusedasinternationalwritinginwestern
AsiaandnorthernAfricaforover3,000years.
HieroglyphicsinventedbyancientEgyptianlivingin
theNilevalleyinnorthernAfricaareslightlylaterthan
Sumercharacters.Theywerefirsthieroglyphsandlater
turned into characters like strokes of cursive writing.
Hieroglyphicshadalsobeenusedforover3,000years
andspreadtoneighboringcountries.Thesymbolsusedby
the writing to express pronunciation become a main
sourceofletterscreatedlater.
IneasternAsia,characterswerecreated2,000years
laterthanthoseofwesternAsiaandnorthernAfrica.In
1,300B.C.,inscriptionsonbonesortortoiseshells,the

Thediscoveriesbyculturalrelicarcheologistsandthe
researchresultsofhistoriansshowtheworldswriting
symbolsareverysimilarinappearanceanddevelopment
laws,buttheyhavetheirownqualitiesandfeaturesas
well.Thoughhumanityancestorsscatteredalloverthe
world, nor did they have communication tools to
exchangeinformation,thecharacterstheyusealloriginate
frompictographicwritingorpictographthatappeared
slightlylater.
Thedevelopmentofworldswritinghistorymaybe
dividedintothreephases,namely,proto-writingphase,
classical writing phase and alphabetic writing phase
(Zhou,2009).
2.1 Proto-Writing
Proto-writingincludescharactersembryobudandthe
immature characters with different degrees of
development.
Charactersappearedassymbolsandpicturesengraved
onrockstenthousandyearsagowhenagriculturestarted
to appear,and they are the embryo of characters. The

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AdvantagesandThinkingonDesignofChineseCharactersGraphics

ancestorsofChinesecharacters,werecreatedinShang
Dynasty in Chinas Huanghe valley. Later Chinese
charactersspreadtoChinasneighboringcountriesand
wereadoptedbyVietnam,KoreaandJapan.
At the early Christian era, cuneiform writing and
hieroglyphics,thetwoimportantcharactersthatrepresent
humanityearlyculture,disappearedoneafteranother.
However,Chinesecharactershavesurvivedandarestill
usednowadays.
Writingresearchershavestudiedtheabove-mentioned
threecategoriesofclassicalwritingthroughcomparison
and found that they are strikingly similar in internal
structure in spite of their quite different appearances.
Theyallbelongtologogramthatexpressesbothmeaning
andpronunciation,andtheprinciplesontheircoinageand
usage may be explained with Chinas traditional six
categoriesofChinesecharacters.Iwillclarifycharacter
coinage principles and the six categories of Chinese
charactersincoinageprinciplesofChinesecharactersin
detail.

pictureshavedevelopedintoearlycharactersafterthey
becomesimple,abstractandsystematicandcarrycertain
pronunciationandmeaning.Bytracingthefamilytreeof
writing, we will find that the worlds most ancient
charactersalloriginatefrompictures.Evenalphabetic
writinghasvariousrelationswithpictures.Nowthereare
hundredsofcategoriesofcharacterswiththeirownforms.
Buttheiroriginsshowmostofthemhavebeenderived
fromafewancientpictographs.Withthisinmind,we
willnotwonderwhytherearesomanyexcellentartand
design works at home and abroad which combine
characterswithgraphicstoaperfectdegree.

3. ORIGINS OF CHINESE CHARACTERS


China is one of the countries in the world whose
civilization started earliest, and Chinese characters
appearedearlyeither.InlegendsCangJieisgenerally
regardedastheinventorofChinesecharacter.Itissaid
thathewastheofficialhistorianoftheYellowEmperor
oranemperorinancienttimes.Hewassaidtobeborn
withthecapabilityorwriting.Duetotheinspirationofa
riverdiagram,heunderstoodthechangesthathappenedin
theskyandontheland.Afterobservingthestarsmoving
inthesky,thepatternsofturtleshells,thefeatherofbirds,
aswellasmountains,riversandfingerprintsandpalm
lines, he invented characters. To celebrate his
achievements,cropsfellfromtheskylikerain,ghosts
yelledatnightanddragonshid.Thelegendthattellshow
Cang Jie invented characters is hardly believable.
Characters should be invented in humans production
practice and social interaction. Ancient Chinese had
graduallyinventedcharactersinthelonghistoricalperiod
after the process of keeping records by tying knots,
carvingpicturesandsymbols(L,2001).
WritingprobablyappearedinChinainlateprimitive
society. The earliest physical materials related to the
originsofChinesecharacterthathavebeenseenarethe
symbolsandinscriptionsonpotteryofoversixthousand
yearsagothatwerediscoveredintheculturalrelicsof
Banpo, Jiangzhai and Yangshao. These symbols have
beenbelievedtohavethenatureofcharactersbymany
writing researchers. There is a pictographic symbol
amongthepictographicinscriptionsonpotteryoffouror
fivethousandyearsagothathavebeendiscoveredinthe
cultural relics of Lingyang River and Dawenkou. The
symbollookslikethesunaboveclouds,andbellowthe
cloudsarefivepeaks(someregardthemasseawater).
Some people think this symbol is the character .
Some pictographic symbols discovered in Dawenkou
culture are very similar to ancient Chinese characters.
Theyshouldbeonecategoryofearlyprimitivewriting
thathaseverbeendiscoveredinChina.
Theearliestcharactersthatcanbeseentodayarethose
carved on bones, tortoise shells and bronze wares in
ShangDynasty.ThecharactersofShangDynastryhad

2.3 Alphabetic Writing


Commerce has been increasingly booming on eastern
Mediterranean islands and the coastal areas since the
fifteenthcenturyB.C.SemiteswholivedinthenSyria
PakistanontheeasternshoreofMediterraneanSeadone
businessforaliving.Theyinventedmanyletters,socalled by later generations, by imitating the phonetic
symbolsincuneiformwritingandhieroglyphicsforthe
convenienceofkeepingbooks.Overthepastonehundred
years, many categories of ancient letters have been
discoveredinthisregion,ofwhichthemostimportant
discoveryisatombstonemadeinthe11th centurybefore
ChristinByblosontheeasternshoreofMediterannean
Sea.Thewritingonitismadeupof22letterswhichare
ancestorsofmostlaterletters.
There are many hypotheses about the origins of
letters.Themostwell-knownoneisthehypothesisabout
Egyptianoriginandanotherimportanthypothesissays
lettersoriginatefromSinailetters.Butthesehypotheses
lack of evidence. In fact, letters, as a completely new
invention,havegraduallycomeintobeingduringthelong
periodofexploration.However,thereisnodoubtthat
SyriaPakistanhadbeenundertheinfluenceofcuneiform
writingcultureandhieroglyphicculture,asitwaslocated
inthecorridorareabetweenMesopotamiaandancient
Egypt,tothesoutheastofitwascuneiformwritingculture
inMesopotamiaandtothesouthwestofithieroglyphic
cultureinEgypt(Andrew,1995).
The origins of the above writing display that all
characters that have ever existed have been related to
pictures.Earlypictographicideographsoriginatefrom
primitive methods of keeping a record of events
(especiallycarvedsymbolsandpictures),whichlaida
foundation for pictographic ideographs because such
methodsaddmeaningtoform.Thesecarvedsymbolsand

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ZHOUZhen(2015).
Studies in Literature and Language,11(2),82-87

been ripe enough to act as a tool to record language.


Charactershavebeendiscoveredonpotterysherds,jade
andbronzewares,butthemostimportantcharactersare
theinscriptionsonbonesandtortoiseshellswhichare
unearthedintheruinsofYinDynastyinAnyang,Henan.
Theinscriptionsareso-calledoraclerecordsmadewhen
theroyalfamilyofYinDynastymadedivinationwith
tortoiseshellsandanimalbones.Bynowtherehavebeen
around150,000bonesandtortoiseshellsunearthed,on
which a total of over 5,000 characters are carved, of
whichmorethan2,000characterscanberecognizednow.
The recognizable characters show they have been
obviously derived from pictures. Some pictures have
changed into characters with few strokes and simple
structuresandfromsuchcharactershavebeenderived
largenumberofnewcharacters(Qiu,1988).
Theinscriptionsonbonesandtortoiseshellscanbe
saidtobeverydevelopedcharacters,thoughthereare
manypictographiccharactersamongthemandmostof
thephysicalobjectsthatcanbedrawnareexpressedwith
graphics.However,theseinscriptionshadgonebeyond
thepicturephaseandturnedintorealcharacterstorecord
language.
Buttheinscriptionsonbonesandtortoiseshellsdonot
represent all characters in Shang Dynasty, as some
charactersinthattimearecravedonbronzewares,pottery
andjade,buttheyarefewinnumber.Theinscriptionson
potteryandbronzewaresappearearlierthanthoseon
bonesandtortoiseshells,besides,theclaninsigniaand
pictographic inscriptions on some bronze wares carry
moreprimitiveelementsthanthelaterdoes.

represents land and sky respectively; and is


composedofandapoint,meaningthesharpestpart
ofaknife.
(b)Pictographspictographsimitatetheshapeand
contourofobjects.andaresuchexamples.This
categoryofcharactersexpressesmeaningthroughshapes
andcontours.,forinstance,expressesrainfalling
fromthesky;imitatesthefrontofanoxhead.The
formationofthesepictographscanhelpusunderstandthe
meaningofaChinesecharacter.
(c) Pictophonetic charactersa pictophonetic
characteriscomposedoftwoparts:Onepartexpressesits
meaningandanotheritspronunciation.andare
such examples. Chinese characters include many
pictophonetic characters, which are coined through
mutual explanation and euphony. Many pictophonetic
charactersrelatedto(water),forinstance,maybe
coinedbyaddingphoneticelementtothepictographic
element,suchas,,,,and
.
(d) Associative compoundsan associative
compoundcombinestwoormorethantwocategoriesof
characters and the meaning of the new character is
derivedfromthemeaningsofthecharactersthatformit.
and are such examples. An associative
compoundiscoinedbyexpressinganewmeaningwith
thecombinedmeaningofmorethantwosymbols.Itis
therefore also called compound pictograph. , for
instance, means a person covered with grass is taking
shelterfromthewindandkeepinghimself/herselfwarm
inaroomwhosegroundisfreezn.
(e) Mutually explanatory charactersmutually
explanatorycharactersadoptthesameradicalandcan
explainthemeaningofeachother.andaresuch
examples.Thepurposeofcoiningmutuallyexplanatory
charactersistohandlethecharacterswhichhavemultiple
meaningsbyaddingtothemacomponentwhichhasa
specific meaning. Such component is the radical of a
Chinesecharacter.Theoriginalmeaningofiscloud,
butitmeanstosayortotalkwhenusedasaverb.By
puttingon,weget,whichmeanscloud,
theoriginalmeaningof.Achinesecharactermay
haveafewmeanings.
(f) Phonetic loan charactersa phonetic loan
characterdoesnotexistatfirst.Anothercharacterwith
the same pronunciation as it is used to express its
meaning. and are such examples. With the
progressanddevelopmentofsociety,peopleneedmore
characters to express their complicated thoughts and
feelings. Phonetic loan characters therefore appear.
Phoneticloancharactersarepictographs,self-explanatory
characters, associative compounds and pictophonetic
charactersthathavethesamepronunciationandareused
to express new ideas. , which originally means
woman,forinstance,isusedtomean(you)later,a
personalpronoun(Shirakawa,2000).

4.
FORMATION
CHARACTERS

OF

CHINESE

TheformationprinciplesofChinesecharactershadnot
been summarized until the inscriptions on bones and
tortoiseshellstookshapeandwerewidelyapplied.They
firstappearinTheRitesofZhouandarecompletedby
XuShenofEasternHanDynasty.AnalyticalDictionary
of Characters is the first Chinese dictionary in China
whichiswrittenbyhandbyXuShen.Inthisdictionary,
hesummarizessixprinciplesfortheformationofChinese
characters,thatistheso-calledsixcategoriesofChinese
charactersinancientChina.
ThesixcategoriesofChinesecharactersincludeselfexplanatory characters, pictographs, pictophonetic
characters,associativecompounds,mutuallyexplanatory
charactersandphoneticloancharacters(Zuo,2005).
(a) Simple Indicativesthe general meaning of
Simple Indicatives characters can be recognized at a
glanceandtheirdetailedmeaningcanbediscoveredby
careful observation. The Chinese characters and
are such examples. By this method of coining
characters,symbolsareusedtoexpressabstractideas.
Thelonghorizontalstrokeinand,forinstance,

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AdvantagesandThinkingonDesignofChineseCharactersGraphics

5.2 Tracing the Origins of Chinese Characters


and Redesigning Them
Chinesecharactersarebasedonpictographsandhavea
closerelationshipwithgraphics.Wethereforemaytrace
andanalyzethegraphsourceofeachChinesecharacterin
designandturnapartofacharacterorthecharacterintoa
graph.ThisistheideaunderneaththedesignofChinese
charactersgraphics.
After thousands of years of development and
evolution, Chinese characters have undergone great
changes in form, structure and writing style. While
charactersgraduallybecomesimpleandusestrokes,their
pictographicfeaturegetslessobvious.Especiallyinthe
periodwhenthesealcharacterevolvedintotheofficial
script,manyChinesecharacterslosttheirpictographic
feature and became symbols that were made up of
horizontalstroke,verticalstrokeandspot.Wetherefore
need to explore and trace the graph source of each
character. Only in this way can we design Chinese
charactersgraphicsthatcombineformandmeaningtoa
perfectdegree.
ThoughthedesignofChinesecharactersgraphicshas
something in common with pictographs, they are
different.Pictographsarevividsummariesofobjects
behaviour,andthedesignofChinesecharactersgraphics
istherecreationofgraphicsbasedonChinesecharacters
thathavedevelopedforthousandsofyears.Thisiswhere
theirbasicdifferencelies.However,itisnoeasythingto
tracethegraphsourceofaChinesecharacterafterithas
evolvedfromaconcretegraphintoanabstractsymbol,
nor is it easy to recover and recognize its essence
concealedbyitsnowstandardandunifiedappearance.It
is easy to accept the method. But how to integrate an
ancientvisualsymbolwithitsmoderndesignelement
creativelyandpresentitwithnewappearanceinmodern
timesthisishardtoachieve.

With the theory of the six categories of Chinese


characters, we could see the close relations between
Chinesecharactersandgraphics.Pictographsdirectlyturn
graphicsintocharacters.Thoughthesecharactersarenot
naturalpictures,theycanpresentwithsimplelinesthe
mainfeaturesofanobjectvividly,orimitatetheoverall
shapeofanobject,orrepresenttheobjectwithapartofit.
Self-explanatorycharactersarecoinedbyaddingcertain
abstractsymbolstopictographs,toexpresscomplicated
objectsthatcannotbeimitatedwithsymbols.Associative
compoundsarethecombinationoftwoormorethantwo
symbols.Pictophoneticcharactersareformedbyaddinga
phoneticradicaltoapictographicradical.Andmutually
explanatorycharactersandphoneticloancharactersare
coinedbymakingchangestoexistingpictographs,selfexplanatory characters, associative compounds and
pictophonetic characters. All this shows that Chinese
charactersarebasedonpictographsanddeservestobe
calledpictographs.
ThesixcategoriesofChinesecharactersproposedby
XuShenmaybenotprecise,buttheyagreatimpacton
later generations. Many archaeological materials of
moderntimesareabouttheresearchintotheradicalsof
Chinese characters. Good results have been achieved
abouttheseresearchesduetotheinspirationofXuShen.
The classification of the six categories of Chinese
characterswillgreatlyhelpustostudyandunderstandthe
rich meaning of Chinese characters and apply the
knowledgetocharacterdesignconcept.

5. THINKING ON THE DESIGN OF


CHINESE CHARACTERS GRAPHICS
5.1 Drawing Materials for Design Directly From
Chinese Characters
Chinesecharactersarelargeinnumber.A Sea of Chinese
Characters published in 1994 lists 87,019 characters,
while the Chinese character library of Beijing Guoan
Consulting Equipment Co., Ltd. that has passed the
appraisalofexpertscontains91,251characterswhose
originscanbefound.Itisclaimedthatthislibraryisthe
mostcomprehensivecollectionofChinesecharactersin
China.ButtheChinesecharactersweuseindailylifeare
3,000 to 4,000 in the number. Font styles of these
characterscanbeuseddirectlyindesign.
IttakesChinesecharactersforthousandsofyearsto
changefrompicturetocharacter.Theyhaveabsorbed
numerous peoples wisdom and labor and boasted
numerous calligraphic fonts, printing as well as
decoratinglettering.Theuniqueculturalheritagemay
inspireourdesignsinabeneficialwayandputthemina
background of rich culture and long history. It is an
undoubtedshortcuttoapplythevaluableculturalheritage
totodaysdesign.Thisisalsothethinkingthatisused
mostbyChinasdesignerstoday.

5.3 Putting Chinese Character Coinage Methods


Into Broad Use as a Design Method
Thearchaeologicalandphilologicalresearchresultsshow
that the princicles of the six categories of Chinese
charactersarenotonlyapplicabletoChinesecharacters,
butapplicabletootherclassicalwriting.Graphicscan
transcendlanguage,socanpictographswhicharesimilar
topictures.Wecanunderstandthemeaningofcuneiform
charactersthatarecloselyrelatedtographics,evenwedo
not know the ancient Egyptian. This is of great
significance to our modern design. We can draw
inspirationfromthestudyofrulesonChinesecharacters
formationofexpressingconcreteandabstractideaswith
graphicsthattranscendlanguage.Howtousethemost
characteristicaspectofanobjecttorepresenttheobjectby
pictographs;howtomakepeoplerecognizeanabstract
ideaataglancethroughself-explanatorycharacters;and
howtocombinetwoconceptstoformanewonethrough
associativecompoundsallthesearesubjectsdeserving
research.

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ZHOUZhen(2015).
Studies in Literature and Language,11(2),82-87

Furthermore, we can learn many useful things by


studyingthechangesofChinesecharactersform.The
formofChinesecharactershaschangedfromconcreteto
abstract, from complicated to simple, from various to
uniform and from disorderly to standard. They have
adoptedstrokes,havebeensimplified,assimilatedand
arrangedaccordingtocertainsequenceandfinallyhave
todaysappearance.Themethodsandprocessesareoften
followedbyustodayinvisualcommunicationdesign.We
may draw more nutritions if we learn the formation
principles of Chinese characters rather than their
appearance.Atpresentdomesticdesignersstillhavea
longwaytogointhisaspectandexplorationsneedtobe
madeaboutit.

constitutesthebasisofthedesignofChinesecharacters
graphics.
NowChinesecharactersarewidelyappliedinJapans
graphicdesign,andinHongKong,TaiwanandSouth
Korea there are excellent apllication examples. For
Chinese graphic designers, they must use Chinese
characters to make designs. They can not avoid the
problem. For usthe descendants of the inventors of
Chinese characters, it is the historical mission of our
designerstodevelopChinesecharacterculture.

REFERENCES
Andrew,R.(1995).The story of writing. London,Thames&
HudsonLtd.
L, S. Z. (2001). Originality of Chinese character. China
YouthPress.
Qiu,X.G.(1988).A survey of Chinese writing.Commercial
Press.
Shirakawa, S. (2000). Chinese character I. Collection of
ShirakawaShizuka,Tokyo,Heibonsha.
Zhou, Y. G. (2009). A talky of world writing. Peoples
LiteraturePress.
Zuo,A.M.(2005).ParticularizationofChinesecharacter.Jiu
ZhouPress.

CONCLUSION
Throughtheaboveresearchintotheoriginsoftheworlds
writing and the origins and formation of Chinese
characters, we may see that the writing in the world,
especiallyChinesecharacters,hasevolvedgraduallyfrom
graphics.TherelationshipbetweenChinesecharacters
and graphics can not be broken, though Chinese
charactershaveexperiencedmanyyearsofchangesand
gone far from the original concrete graphics. This

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