something which probably nobody else thought about

I first saw this ad, featuring calligraphy by Tan Jwee Meng, in an MRT train eons ago.  (The ad is from the LTA’s Make it Right for a Better Ride campaign, and the other ads in the series can be found here.)

When I first saw the ad, I found the calligraphy it featured very curious for two reasons.

Firstly, each of the two lines ends with the character (people). However, the calligrapher added two tiny strokes to the 捺 (乀) of the in the right column.

Secondly, there are two (happiness) in the left column. However, the calligrapher used the traditional character   first followed by the simplified character .

I pondered these two aspects for my remaining journey, but was unable to come to a conclusion.

Recently, I saw this ad again, and suddenly wondered if the calligrapher had created the two curious aspects with aesthetics reasons in mind. I suppose it would be quite visually boring if the calligrapher had ended both lines with similar . And if you look closely, each line has a big head and slim body. So perhaps that was why the calligrapher decided to use the more complicated and then the sleeker .

Thousands of people must’ve seen this ad, but how many, I wonder, wondered these thoughts?


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