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A New Typeface That Was Built From Designs on Old Book Covers

Finding new values from old relics is a popular way some young creatives today are keeping old Vietnam aesthetics alive.

It all started a few years ago when Le Quoc Huy embarked on his personal project The Lost Type Viet Nam that seeks to document old hand-painted signage he comes across on the street. As the fan page’s popularity grew, it has spawned a community of typeface lovers that carry on the task everywhere they go.

The Lost Type also inspired another crop of designers who take these old handmade typefaces and digitize them. Some prominent digitization projects include Cotdien, Classique Saigon or Lac Tu. In the same vein of vintage inspiration, graphic designer Tong Van Hiep created and released his own typeface Bia Sach Xua earlier this January.

It’s easy to identify where he got his source materials: Bia Sach Xua means “old book covers” in Vietnamese, yet another treasure trove of organic typeface designs to explore. According to Hiep, he got to know Le Quoc Huy’s The Lost Type project two years ago, which piqued his interest in old stamps, magazines, coupons, album covers, etc.

“For me, those images are very valuable, as I get to learn about things that were born before me,” he tells Saigoneer. Bia Sach Xua is his third typeface project and is built upon title designs from 1980s book covers. Instead of a uniform thickness, the typeface has thick horizontal lines and slender vertical lines, “creating an interesting rhythm for the letters,” Hiep says. “I also like how the typeface treats diacritical marks, such as the horn and circumflex.”

Have a closer look at Bia Sach Xua below and visit the project’s Behance page to download it:


Related Articles:

Lost Type: Capturing the Essence of Vietnam's Street Signage Through Modern Typeface

Retro Typeface 'Cotdien' Is an Homage to Vietnam's Old Hand-Drawn Signage

New Digital Typeface L'Hanoienne Preserves Classic Hanoi Hand-Painted Fonts


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