Ryan Xia

Princeton University Class of 2022
Computer Science
Visual Arts

UI/UX Designer
Graphic Designer
UX Engineer
Project Manager

Nanking Daily

Artist Book inspired by Rose B. Simpson
(Graphic Design, Type Design)

Graphic Designer
Winter 2020 | Princeton, NJ


Anyone seeking to learn about the Massacre
of Nanking during World War II from multiple

Primary Challenge:

Multiple viewpoints on the events leading up
to the Massacre and the actual invasion itself.


The newspaper is composed of articles and
excerpts from Chinese, Japanese, and
Western newspapers.


The first part of the book is now in the Princeton
University Visual Arts Program’s collection.

Project Summary

The Nanking Daily was an artist book project made as both a study of newspaper typography and an informational piece on the Nanking Massacre during the Second World War. The work is composed of articles and excerpts from several books, newspapers, and interviews from the Chinese, Japanese, and American perspectives in an effort to give sufficient context on the event.

Primary Design Challenge

1) Successfully mimicking the layout methods of archival newspapers from the Daily News in the 1930s while working with translated texts from different media. 2) Successfully treating images that were produced and printed using different methods.


Archival Research, Type Reconstruction, and Color Correction

Step 1: Understanding the Typography
Going through Daily News archives, I found that Cheltenham was used for the body type and Daily News Gothic was used for the headlines. However, as Daily News Gothic had not been digitized, I created a font for the typeface for use in the project.
Step 2: Researching the Event
I then scheduled meetings with professors in the Princeton History and International Relations departments to decide on sources from the Chinese, Japanese, and Western perspectives. After deciding on sources, I chose excerpts and articles to feature in the book.

Step 3: Image Correction
As the grayscale images had different color rangers, neutralizing the differences to make the book feel more polished by limiting the images to a mono color scale of Japanese Red added both visual meaning and homogeneity among the content.