Legal Visualisation

Colorize Chinese Characters

By Prof. Dr. Friedrich Lachmayer (Universität Innsbruck) and Dr. Yueh-Hsuan Weng (Peking University).

The syntactical structure of Chinese letters is very complex and one of the great challenges of our time.

The problem results from the system of uniform black strokes which is used due to existing writing techniques.

However, in today's computer era the medium of expression has changed and it is effortlessly possible to colour the single strokes of Chinese letters. The aim of colouring is to dismantle the complex overall structure into substructures and thus to make the individual characters accessible more easily.

There are different methodological approaches, e.g. historical or linguistic perspectives or those of visual design. It remains uncertain which path will lead to a relevant result.

The visualisation proposed here has been developed from the concept of legal visualisation:

Friedrich Lachmayer's and Yueh-Hsuan Weng's project of colorizing Chinese characters is referring to «Illustrated Account of Chinese Characters» by Guanghui Xie in which the author analyses the importance as well as the stress of characters through phonetics, illustrations and history.

Individually illustrated characters are displayed specifically for the Chinese audience on the following website: