Yongje Lee


He kickstarted his career in 1999 as a researcher at the ‘Hangul Design Research Center’ conducting research and designing body text fonts. Later on Yongje formed ‘Type Space’ a typographic space for lectures, exhibitions and typography related events. He is publisher of Hiut, a well known Korean typographic magazine as well as principle of Hiut Type School, a school dedicated to typography education. As an educator Yongje has written several books about type and corroborated with other designers such as Ahn Sang Soo and Han Jae Jun. He serves as a committee member of the Hangul Special Commission in the Typographic Society, a member of the board of directors of the Hangul Font Association, as well as the Korean Font Industry Cooperative. He received his MFA and PhD in Hangul Design.


BITS MMXIII Special Workshop
Yongje Lee
November 22, 2013.
2.30 pm. - 5.30 pm.
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.
Available slots : 10 person

"Type design with grid" 

Korean consists of vowels and consonants. In line with this, Hangul has consonant letters and vowel letters. Hangul can be divided into phonemes and syllables. Hangul has the principle of using phonemes to make syllables. King Sejong, the inventor of Hangul explained this principle when he introduced this writing system to the world. Hangul consists of lines and circles. Using lines and circles it works on a modular system. This repetitious methodology makes Hangul a simple and geometric writing system. This principle of writing can be used to generate graphic images or to emulate other writing systems. 

This workshop will look into the modular writing principles of Hangul to create letters of your choice. 

In this, we will look at the consistency, spacing, size, position, and shape of the letters.


BITS MMXIII International Conference
Yongje Lee
November 22, 2013.
Afternoon session
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.

Fundamentals of Hangul Design”

1 Design
Good design, bad design, favored design, disliked design. Instead of getting caught up in such frivolous time-consuming banter, it is much more positive and constructive to express individually what we feel about design and what we pursue and set out to achieve. Our predecessors have set out many avenues and tangents of dialogue in this regard. Among those, I seek to pursue a more human-centric design approach, that is, a complimenting and reassuring design approach. Design at it's very essence is about the pursuit of happiness and often the end result of such emotions. When I say 'human-centric' I am not just talking about humans exclusively. Design that ensure the safety and well being of all living things naturally encompasses human life as well. 

2 Hangul, Hangul Design
King Sejong created Hangul to better the people (here, humans in general) and their dignity. It was a momentous occasion of giving the written word, until then exclusive to the monarchy, to the common people. To successfully do this, King Sejong had to make Hangul simple. Easy to learn, easy to use - Hangul although not elaborate is logical and clear, utilizing basic forms and shapes to create beauty from simplicity.

3 Type Design
Letters for people to communicate, and fonts as the vehicle for such communication. Fonts or type liberated the written word to the masses. Both pursue the same thing. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that fonts or type design is for humanity, and we as type designers need to design for humanity. This means letters that are easy and comfortable to read, letters that are deeply embedded in the local culture, and is aesthetically pleasing to the user. This is the fundamental role of the type designer. 

4 Ggotgil
Letterforms change as often as people's tastes do. They change with time and general consensus. Korean fonts have not had a gradual evolution but rather a sporatic development. Symbolically speaking, the writing culture in Korea has changed from a vertical to a horizontal writing system. Should this be a gradual change slowly introduced and accepted by the general public the writing system itself would have complimented type design. Unfortunately, the writing system in Korea happened abruptly and quite literally overnight. As a result, 2-30 somethings look to vertical writing as a novelty rather than a traditional way of writing and reading.

Ggotgil was developed in an effort to revive this dwindling way of reading. Looking to traditional books and studying older letterforms I designed Ggotgil. However, for me having been educated with a horizontal writing system, designing a font for vertical writing was as foreign for me as another language. The composition of the syllables, the form these took, the balance and flow of the font set in text were all obstacles for me in designing this font. Now, I am adjusting the balance and proportions of Ggotgil for optimal size uses. When Ggotgil was first completed in 2006, there were so many obstacles for this vertical font to be properly used, now it seems to be finding it's hold in the digital environment.