Type designers naturally specialize in the characters of their native language. However, this inclination places British and American designers at disadvantage, since English lacks the diacriticals that are common in other languages.
My goal for the first edition of this book was to expand and enrich the quality of Vietnamese typography. Published in late 2015 as my final thesis for an MA in Graphic Design from the George Mason University School of Art, Vietnamese Typography had quickly become an essential guide for designing Vietnamese diacritics.
Many designers have used this book to help them understand unique typographic features in Vietnamese. They have learned subtle details and nuances of the Vietnamese writing system even if they do not speak or write the language. As a result, they have gained more confidence in designing diacritics, which play a crucial role in the legibility and readability of the Vietnamese language.
Diacritics are cues that guide readers to comprehend the meaning of certain words. Without clear, proper accents, the flow of text can be disjointed and disrupted. Without them, written communication is distorted and the original meaning of the text is obscured.
Since the release of this book, I have been fortunate to play a role in advising type designers to make their typefaces natural and comfortable for native readers. In interacting with them, I have gained more understanding of issues and confusions they faced. I have nothing but positive and supportive experiences working with them. I appreciate the caring and attention they devoted into crafting diacritical marks.
To show my appreciation to the type community, I have revised and expanded the second edition to provide more useful information, supply more illustrations, and feature new typefaces that support the Vietnamese language.