Asian web font equivalents of Helvetica Neue and Baskerville Italic?

winterveg's picture

I'm an Asian font newbie utterly flummoxed with trying to find appropriate web fonts for a website.

For western European languages the site will use Helvetica Neue Light, Helvetica Neue Bold and Baskerville Italic.

But the site will also appear in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Korean, and I'm trying to find web fonts for those languages that are appropriate equivalents of Helvetica Neue and Baskerville Italic.

Googling for recommendations has just confused me further. Some people even suggest there's no sense using web fonts for Asian character sets because the file sizes would be impractically large. Others suggest that italic fonts aren't appropriate.

Can anyone help suggest what approach I should take here?

Any advice very much appreciated.

hrant's picture

First, dump Helvetica.


daveinhk's picture

Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects and do not refer to the written language. For written Chinese there are two forms: traditional and simplified. Simplified Chinese is used only in the PRC.

Korean has fewer characters than there are letters in the English alphabet, so file size wouldn't be an issue there regarding web fonts.

This site may be useful (turn Google translator on):

winterveg's picture

Thanks Dave, that's really helpful. looks promising.

I also discovered that uses 'dynamic subsetting' to only download the characters you need for the current page, mitigating the problem of large file sizes.

billdavis's picture

Yes, please take a look at our Web font service. It has both the Neue Helvetica and Baskerville web fonts you are looking for. And has an extensive selection of Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese web fonts as well (along with many other languages too).

As you pointed out, the Web font service uses dynamic subsetting for all Chinese, Korean and Japanese fonts. Dynamic subsetting automatically detects and instantly delivers the Web fonts for only the characters that are used, thus dramatically reducing font file size and web font download times. I hope you find this to be a solution that will solve your problem.

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