Lisa Huang Studio

Lisa Huang is a French and Chinese typeface designer specializing in Latin and Hanzi scripts currently based in Nantes, France.

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Across Borders

Lara Captan

Across Borders is a cross-cultural and charity initiative led by Mayúscula design studio, which — thanks to donations and sales of posters designed by duos of designers, illustrators, typographers and calligraphers around the world — donates dignity kits to women refugees.

In 2020, Across Borders has been part of the Barcelona Design Week among multiple other exhibitions.

This poster has been designed with Lara Captan, as a result from discussions about both our life and stories as multicultural women.

About the design

Every frontier has a place to cross over, a passage, and every passage meets another at its intersection.

For this piece, we searched for the crossroads between our cultures. We reflected on the shared traits between Chinese and Arabic script: the long use of handwriting as an art form, the stroke system that forms words, letters or ideograms, and the fact that these two scripts are extremely versatile. Letters can stretch and overstretch, going from hyper-organic to hyper-geometric; we were thrilled to face all the possibilities to come together.

Since we began with the concept of “passage”, which, in Chinese, can be translated into two ideograms: “road” and “thread” and have the same equivalent in Arabic. This concept evolved to become an interweaving of the two scripts (metaphor of their respective cultures) using contrasting styles (showing two strong personalities), each enhancing the presence of the other as a way to illustrate how two cultures can benefit from their connection.
Later on, we realized that the word “intersection” (also translated into two ideograms for Chinese and two words for Arabic) has even more relevance both in its literal meaning and our visual treatment.

Photo of Across Borders exhibition.
Photo of Across Borders poster at the exhibition

Exhibition photo credits: courtesy of Across Borders.

Poster design with Arabic and Chinese characters mixed together.
Lara Captan and Lisa Huang poster design for Across Borders 2020.