As one of the pioneering font designers who have modernised Chinese characters, Sammy Or is a true maestro that has laid the foundation of contemporary Chinese font design. With 30 years of experience working with corporations like MTR, Apple and font design company Monotype, Or’s imprint is all over our city life. No matter it’s Hong Kong’s distinctive train station signage or the Lihei and LiSong fonts that we use on Mac, all of the eye-pleasing fonts designed by Or strike a wonderful balance between utility and artistic pursuit.
‘My work is known for its clarity.
‘My font designs are used large format in public spaces and privately by diverse individuals. To function well in all these different contexts, they have to embody a certain universality and timelessness.
‘The clean and crisp lines that characterise my font designs give them a very modern feeling. However, they come from a deep interest in and knowledge of the past, and the formal and technical approaches in Chinese calligraphy, which our ancestors used to bring clarity to everyday visual life and communication.’
‘As my work revolves around fonts and, as a consequence, words, I would like to collaborate on a piece of furniture at which one can write - in whatever manner one chooses, whether that’s by hand or using a keyboard.
‘I don’t want to be overly prescriptive in my requirements. My fonts are used by millions of people to create their own work. In the same way, I want to leave it to you to dictate the form and materials for this piece.
‘What I do ask is that the piece respects and reflects my own preference for clean lines and visual clarity.’