abC Art Book Fair

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  /  The Type

Uncovered Signs in Shanghai

Colleague Dong, Jiayu Shi and Jianwen Shen

This exciting book includes more than 170 previously unseen 'ghost signs' that have been fortunately captured by photography over the past six to seven years through the cracks of the rapid urban regeneration in Shanghai. These signs not only carry the memory of the olden days, but also have been witnesses to the social changes and language reform in China over the past century. The thrills of the discovering are bound to be short lived—little can be done to prevent these signs from being painted over, recovered or destroyed. The collection is annexed with bilingual transcription of the signs and an online map of their locations.

The book was short-listed for 2020 abC Art Book Awards, and was awarded "Self-published Photography Book of the Year" in 2021 by Chinese Photography magazine.

372 p, thread-sewn softcover
105 × 148mm


No Parking in Baishilong

Liao Bofeng

Baishilong village is located on the outskirts of the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, it attracts a large number of migrant employees who work inside the SEZ to live here, due to its convenient transportation and cheap rent. This is a place full of energy and life. Since 2016, designer Liao Bofeng has been collecting all kinds of "No Parking" signs in the village. Parking spaces are always insufficient in such a densely populated area, so the main purpose of the signs is to remind drivers not to block entrances and exits. Written with different materials, carriers and personalities, those signs are fascinating with their diversity and roughness in presentation.

The images in this book were collected over about two years and selected so as to present distinctive wordings, character forms, writing styles, materials, sizes, installation environments and other features. These features indicate the educational level, wealth and social status of the writer. While the No Parking signages only serve a singular purpose in the urban space, in this visual archive they are given another chance of being gazed at and thus carry more connotations. Till 2021, Shenzhen has been renewing its urban villages, and most of the vernacular writing in this book are nowhere to be found anymore.

220 p, thread-sewn softcover
182 × 257mm


Collection of Research on Chinese Typography

Atmosphere Office

Having been promoting public awareness of typography and design in the Chinese community for over ten years, The Type introduces the international audience into Chinese typography, design history, and contemporary design criticism through this bilingual volume (English & Chinese) of three booklets.

Titled Shanghai Type: a slice of modern Chinese type history, the first booklet provides a historic overview of state-sponsored type-founding practices in Shanghai since the 1940s. Calling for a re-establishment of the Chinese aesthetic standard in typography, the second booklet Kongquè Project: restoring the mindset of Chinese typesetting excavates Chinese typographic traditions that had been forgotten in recent decades and brings them to the digital era. The third booklet Transcultural type: a dialogue from China records a panel discussion between typographers and designers, both domestic and overseas, about design contexts and strategies in an increasingly multicultural world.

116 + 106 + 122 p
105 × 145mm


T 2020

The Type & Peiran Tan

T is a monthly digital periodical for global Chinese readers, produced by The Type, the leading Chinese research project on typography and visual culture. With its strong editorials and ever-evolving design, T reflects on topics including cultural image, social incidents, technological shifts, globalisation and anti-globalisation in today’s world. Selecting 30 articles from 219 from the 1st – 24th issues of T, this paper collection is a reconnection of past events and thinking that became more relevant at the corner of the 2020s. Writing from the perspective of designers, The Type wishes to address complexity of the world through the lens of visual culture, and also bring back complexity back to the writing of daily design history.

80 p, paperback
260 × 270mm


The Type is an independent Chinese project focusing on typography, design and society. Through writing, publishing, podcasting, events and other activities, it aims to deepen public understanding of the role of design and visual culture in society and promote research in the relevant fields.