Sunday, June 19, 2005

Ambiguous Design Element

Annoymous emails:

"Hi, I do color separations for silkscreen printing. Lately I have been getting a lot of designs with Hanzi like the one attached. Do they mean anything or are they merely used as an ambiguous design element?"

From my previous email exchange with representatives of apparel companies, these Chinese characters are used randomly as design elements or marketing tools.

= long, perpetual, eternal, forever
= forgive, excuse, show mercy
= bright, light, brilliant; clear
= air, gas, steam, vapor; spirit
= trust, believe; letter
= petal, flower, leaf; brave, a hero; England, English


  1. This is getting a lot closer to the "Engrish" t-shirts and pencil boxes you can get in Japan. It isn't some misguide tattoo attempt to include characters with actual meaning; it's just a bunch of foreign words chosen because *as* foreign entities they convey some sort of atmosphere.

  2. "We beg your eternal forgiveness, as we are clearly full of hot air for thinking that you'd believe these characters mean anything in English."

  3. I salute your interpretation skills. Masterfully done!