Design: Originally, Chinese letters were pictographs, or 'pictures of things' (birds, rain, animals and so on), but over time have evolved into ideographs, or stylized symbols with extended meaning(s). Many letters consist of phonetic combinations, as a guide to the pronunciation of the sound. The system does not follow strict logic, but rather depends on an aesthetic interpretation. To read Chinese at an advanced level, it is estimated that one needs to be familiar with about 6,000 characters!
History: Thanks for info to Lum Kat (Justin) Theing, who notes: "Golden Star Records in Hong Kong came into being in the 1930s and featured mostly Cantonese and Chinese opera music. Mandopops were rare at that time under this label."