Example of
Example of Mongolian Script.

Typography is now facing the whole world: in-between lies perhaps a promising hinterland, we could call the Word Wide Web.

Typography is Latin-centric, just as Mercator maps are Europe-centric. But, we live in a time of globalization, and the new Gutenberg galaxy fosters this “global village” effect. Far is near, there is no such things anymore as “remote borders” we could afford to ignore.

Mongols and Mandchou alphabets
Guillaume Pauthier, De l’origine et de la formation des différents systèmes d’écritures orientales et occidentales, 1858.

Jo De Baerdemaeker’s work aims at making advent the living memory of Tibetan and Mongolian scripts in our digital world. That is why he talk (8 May 2012) at the Semaine de la Mongolie to present the state of his research on Mongolian typography. Jo already explored metal, wood, printed Mongolian typography. He is now revisiting the digital frontier of Mongolian typography.

After 60 years of sovietico-cyrillic domination, a typographic recovery is at sight for today’s Mongolia. Mongolia represents nowadays what India stood for in 1970s: a remote, unrecognized land meaning exoticism and freedom. Mongolian typography is challenging in a way that Latin typographers and type designers ignore because of inner functioning of Latin writing system and also because we stand “on the shoulders of giants”, as Newton once said.

All the more reason to seizing this historic opportunity of rising up and going see the world. Then we will achieve greatness, if not gigantism.

By Frank Adebiaye.

Twentieth anniversary Khumuun Bichig newspaper.
Twentieth anniversary Khumuun Bichig newspaper.


Jo De Baerdemaeker website
Mongolian Type project website