Tục ngữ

While reading Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s The Mountain Sings, I highlighted all the tục ngữ (Vietnamese proverbs) she had incorporated throughout the novel. I loved her straightforward translations of these proverbs. For example, she translated “Có công mài sắt có ngày nên kim” as “Perseverance grinds iron into needles.” These are simple proverbs, but a translator has to know both languages well to make the translation accurate and relatable.

I have wanted to put together a project for these Vietnamese proverbs with English translations for while, but couldn’t find the time or the right typeface. Last week when Anita Jürgeleit released Every, I found a perfect match. For this project, I wanted to connect a talented Vietnamese author who had written a beautiful, poignant novel with a skillful German type designer who had created an elegant typeface.

Every typeface feels just right for typesetting everyday’s Vietnamese proverbs. I wanted to show the contrast between macro and micro sizes of Every. I also pulled the colors from the book cover for the background. Take a look. I hope you’ll find something inspirational.

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