Urbanist Hanoi

Back Arts & Culture » Art » Hanoi Designer Turns Áo Dài Into Elegant Modern Typeface

Hanoi Designer Turns Áo Dài Into Elegant Modern Typeface

Has the AODAI typeface captured the elegant essence of its namesake?

Hanoi-based designer Nguyen The Manh is the mind behind many popular vintage-inspired typefaces in recent years. His creations are part of a larger movement by local illustrators, designers and artists to employ elements of Vietnamese culture into their works, be it the art style and stories of hát bội, ancient folk tales, or the capital’s Hang Trong paintings.

Saigoneer has previously written about three of Manh’s past works: Classique Saigon, Cotdien and L’Hanoienne. Even though there are subtle differences between the font families, they share a retro spirit, as evidenced in the use of broad strokes, bold curves and exaggerated diacritics. It goes without saying that they were much inspired by analog street signage from past eras in Vietnamese history.

Manh has built on that same train of thought and released a new typeface back in January this year named AODAI. The muse of the project is self-explanatory: the country’s national costume áo dài. In AODAI, vertical strokes are thick and emboldened to mark a “delicate backbone system of the anatomy,” according to the designer. He was also inspired by the high contrast of Didone typefaces, a modernist genre of fonts originated in the late 18th and 19th centuries, although AODAI is sans serif instead.

To distinguish between lowercase and uppercase, look at circular graphemes like O, C and G, which Manh decided to render with thin strokes in the lowercase versions.

Have a look at the complete alphabet below:

[Graphics by Nguyen The Manh on Behance]

Related Articles:

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

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

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

Related Articles

in Art

'Crystal Cloud' Art Installation in Mu Cang Chai Stirs Controversy


in Art

A Look Inside Manzi's New Contemporary Art Exhibition Space

Manzi, one of Hanoi’s most well-known artistic hubs and a draw for creative crowds, is expanding.

in Art

Abstract Art Exhibition Examines Rural-Urban Divide From Two Perspectives

On February 20, VICAS Art Studio opened its latest exhibition, the endearingly named ‘EM CHÀO CÁC BÁC!’ (‘HI THERE, CITY FOLKS!’) Featuring new paintings from artists Doan Xuan Tung and Nguyen Nghia C...

in Art

Affordable Art Fair 'Art For You' Returns to Hanoi Next Week

Art For You, the art fair organized by Manzi Art Space and Workroom Four aimed at art enthusiasts who can't afford to shop at high-end galleries, is returning to Hanoi next week.

in Art

Art Experts Call for 'Rescue' of Colonial Era Murals Blocked by Buildings

The murals are the brainchild of the first and second class of students and teachers of the École des Beaux-Arts de l'Indochine (Indochina College of Fine Arts), a French-established school that is no...

in Art

Art in the Clouds: Into Thin Air 2 and the Promise of Digital Exhibits

As a metropolis of nearly eight million, Hanoi is like many other Asian cities: blooming with people, culture, and hectic lifestyles. Along with rampant development, the city faces concerns such as ai...