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Art is the universal langauge.

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Ned, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For those of you who don't know, I operate a photo studio within the Chinatown area of my city. I am Chinese by descent, but do not speak, write, read, or understand Chinese. As such, I am a white-washed boy in this neighborhood, but it is a wonderful place to do business - downtown, central, and in the midst of the business district. Plus, Chinatown is the only downtown location where you can actually find parking for your car (for my clients' sake - I take a bicycle to work as I live only 3 blocks away). Oh, and I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the food... awesome! :D 

    So, naturally I needed my studio name to be translated into Chinese. I already have a number of other ads out written in Chinese, some published in the Chinese papers, and none of which I can read myself (I have a Chinese assistant who fields calls from Chinese clients). In order to be memorable though, one should have a Chinese name. Otherwise, people only call you by your English name, and that could be difficult for many to remember if the language is foreign to them.

    Take for instance KMZ lenses from the former Soviet Union... Their full name is Krasnogorskiy zavod im. S. A. Zvereva (or Krasnogorskiy Zavod), or Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod during the Soviet era. How many of us English speakers can really remember that?

    Even though I do not speak, write, or read Chinese, as the only experienced and professional Graphic Designer whom I can afford to pay, it fell upon my lap to draw my logo anew in Chinese. This is something I do for about 80% of all logos I design in English as well. There is no typeface more unique than one drawn entirely from scratch, and that helps to build a strong brand. This is my regular studio logo (ironically, one of the few I've designed using a fontset instead of drawing each letter out by hand):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    And here is my new Chinese-translated logo. It is not a direct translation, but rather means "Big Eye" Photo Studio. There was no direct translation for Cyclops which the average Chinese person would recognize and understand.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I also do not do calligraphy, but approximated natural handstrokes as well as I could, not being a writer of Chinese. Perhaps somebody who does write Chinese could tell me if it looks wrong or unnatural to them. :) 
    • Like Like x 1

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Oddly enough I was working in PS today and found myself thinking about how my finished images (mostly products) end up on all sorts of international websites and forums using languges I may never know. Sort of amazing really. A little off track, but your thread title caught my attention.

    Thanks for sharing, sorry Im no help with the Chinese. :cool: 
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I was just thinking about Chinese writing today. It's definitely a different mindset to memorize a pictographic writing system. I don't know if I'd be very literate reading/writing in Chinese, I'm terrible at memorization! :biggrin:
  4. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Even the Chinese version speaks to me...photography! Thanks.
  5. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Actually math is the only true universal language, as art also speak to everyone it can be interpenetrated differently from person to person even within the same language speaking country.
    That out of the way now, I would like to say I like your logo design, and ironically I think Big Eye photo studio is a much cooler name than Cyclops Photo Studio. JMHO.

  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    It so happens that those characters are the same in both simplified and traditional Chinese.

    Did you think about that beforehand?

    The calligraphy looks fine to me, though the "big" look a bit like a 6 if I'm far away. The last stroke should curve right instead of left.

    Very minor. Most people would probably assume "big" seeing it.
  7. jar

    jar Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    I know nothing of Chinese, but found it interesting that the character for photo seems to include the character for eye.
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