Analysis of Dongba Pictographs and Its Application to Pictogram Design



I present my research developing new pictogram design methods based on the formative methods of Dongba pictographs, for the purpose of developing understandable, systematic and interesting pictograms. I studied and analyzed the formative methods of Dongba pictographs and extracted a set of new pictogram design methods. To test the feasibility of the proposed pictogram design methods, I designed some pictograms for Traditional Chinese Medicine through each method and administered a questionnaire to test the readability of these pictograms.


Pictogram design; Design method; Dongba pictographs

Full Text:



Cook, R. S. Naxi Pictographic and Syllabographic Scripts—Research notes toward a Unicode encoding. Retrieved from

Ota, Y. (1993). ピクトグラム「絵文字」デザイン [Pictogram design]. Kashiwashobo.

Wang, C. Y. (1996). トンパ文字:生きているもう1つの象形文字 [Tompa characters Living Hieroglyphics]. マール社.

Zheng, F. Z. (2005). 纳西东巴文字字素研究 [Research on the morpheme of Naxi Dongba character]. Beijing: Nation Press.



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