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“Karate, Wonton, Chow Fun: The End of ‘Chop Suey’ Fonts” schools America on the racism of lettered design.

We’re doing everything we can to fight racism, but will it ever be enough?

I hope I delivered those words in a very virtuous font.

But judging by a new CNN op-ed, I may not have.

Posted April 8th, “Karate, Wonton, Chow Fun: The End of ‘Chop Suey’ Fonts” schools America on the racism of lettered design.

The article begins with a test:

Here’s a thought experiment: Close your eyes and imagine the font you’d use to depict the word “Chinese.”

So how’d it look? Did you envision an alphabet rife with “the swingy, wedge-shaped strokes you’ve seen on restaurant signs, menus, take-away boxes and kung-fu movie posters?”

If so, well, your diagnosis ain’t good.

That type of writing — the piece poses — has been a “typographical shortcut for ‘Asianness.’”

As it turns out, the use of lettering that looks supposedly Chinese to reference things that are supposedly Chinese…is cringe-y:

“It’s hard not to cringe at the Chinese stereotypes bundled up with each font package — especially when seen through the lens of today’s heightened vigilance toward discrimination and systemic racism. Critics believe that using chop suey typefaces is downright racist, particularly when deployed by non-Asian creators.”

“Chop suey” fonts, to be clear, have been “cooked up” by type designers in the West.

That would make sense, I suppose, since they’re English fonts.

Read the rest at:

The Real Side

The Real Side

Posts categorized under "The Real Side" are posted by the Editor because they are deemed worthy of further discussion and consideration, but are not, by default, an implied or explicit endorsement or agreement. The views of guest contributors do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of The Real Side Radio Show or Joe Messina. By publishing them we hope to further an honest and civilized discussion about the content. The original author and source (if applicable) is attributed in the body of the text. Since variety is the spice of life, we hope by publishing a variety of viewpoints we can add a little spice to your life. Enjoy!

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