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A Typographic Tribute to Áo Dài in This Elegant New Typeface

Đạt Đỗ, a graphic designer based in Ho Chi Minh City, is embracing local culture through the release of a brand-new typeface, Vén.

Inspired by the signature shapes of áo dài and nón lá, Vén is a sans-serif font that pays tribute to the beauty of Vietnam's traditional symbols. Visual cues in reference to the iconic conical hat were employed in the script's diacritics, while the alphabet is filled with delicate curves to illustrate the graceful contours of the country's national garment.

This is not Đạt's first dabble in Vietnam-inspired letter design, however, as Vén is just the latest addition to the artist's ongoing typographic project. Previous installments of the series include Yến, Kén, Đền and Bén, whose font sets feature bold geometric shapes, while Vén caters to a much more velvety aesthetic.

In an exchange with Saigoneer, Đạt explained that he created the typeface in hope of contributing his perspective to Vietnam's cultural narrative. "I didn't really have to look anywhere else for ideas. The image of áo dài and nón lá has already been well-ingrained in my mind since I was a child, and everything else simply took off based on what I saw and felt as someone who deeply admires his nation's heritage."

“Recently, there's been a lot of cultural appropriation happening across different types of media. Áo dài, among others, is one of the things that's being targeted. Thus, I made Vén in an effort to help protect our national costume against this offense," he also commented.

Though it might be a while before we get the final product, as coding a typeface into a usable font for programs often takes some time, Đạt feels optimistic after seeing the positive reaction Vén has received following his announcement.

You can check out more of Vén's design applications and Đạt's other projects on his Behance page.

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