Any Chinese typefaces collector or lover?

Astarz's picture

i am new. anyone who has interest in Chinese fonts and have collected any? Let's start the ball rolling n talk abt it.

marcia's picture

I'm curious about Chinese fonts, though I've not collected any. Actually, I'm very interested in Chinese design and traditional calligraphy. I'd be curious as to how type fonts are informed by the mechanics of calligraphy (stroke order and direction).

Do you know the language? I've seen design that makes use of the pictographs and ideographs and forms images from them. Do you know what I mean?

dan_reynolds's picture

I know a very little bit of chinese (one doesn't learn so much in three semesters), and I know even less about chinese fonts.

However, I do work with them occasionally. OpenType together with InDesign sets them very nicely. I've taken text out from Word of PDF files that were typed on chinese PCs without any problems.

Still, I'm limited to what ships standard with Adobe, Apple, or MS products. I wouldn't know how to tell a quality face. Most of the time, I pick whichever of the faces resembles the latin-based face that I'm using at the moment, since the documents that I make with chinese are always at least 50% english or german.

Astarz's picture

Chinese fonts r divided into 2 sets: traditional chinese (for TW, HK markets), and Simplified chinese (for PRC, S'pore). Esssentially, the origin is the same, the former having more complicated strokes.

Each version then breeds 2 very diff sets of font characteristics. I pefer the TC, they look more modern, cleaner and take away the offending serifs from the sans serif group.

to look at it another way, each chinese character not only has a meaning but itself is an unique graphical icon. There r 26 roman alphabets, but more than 20,000 chinese words. it's madness though the use of it in design is almost unlimited.

Monotype has nice Chinese fonts (both TC and SC), diversifying into Chinese serifs and sans serifs, plus decor, round-edge fonts.

variety is limited, due to the ardous task involving the design of the typeface which has just too many characters to consider.

dan_reynolds's picture

Traditional and simplified characters do not have the same "origins" at all! Traditional characters have been in use for thousands of years, while simplified characters were a product of Mao's reforms during the 1950s. I heard a great lecture once by Chris Vermaas, in which he talked about the birth of simplified characters.

Imagine, he said, if Bill Clinton* were to announce that, as of tomorrow, the US would no longer permit the use of the horizontal strokes within the Roman Alphabet. He said that Mao attacked the ancient chinese writing system, "like a madman with scissors."

Unfortunately, almost the entire PRC (and Singapore!) use SC, while only Taiwan and HK use the traditional characters. So, the days of traditional characters are probably over.

I was surprise to hear you say that the TCs appear more modern to you, since they are older, but hey. They look good.


*Bill Clinton was still US president at the time of the lecture.

Astarz's picture

They are of the same origin cos essentially they belong to the same language, with one being morphed or modified to give it the simplified look, and simpler to write. thatz what i mean.

TC looks modern if u look at Dynafont's example.
The strokes are of uniform thickness, and less angular.

i can give examples if u guys r keen.

dan_reynolds's picture

The above is just a comparison of two different typefaces. A designer could easily design an SC face with flared terminals. A more intersting comparison to see would be SC interpretations of TC characters with, say, 20+ strokes. But even there, every designer will make his own slight take on the characters. Thanks for the post, though! It would be neat to discuss more east asian type design.

Astarz's picture

question: any chinese fontographer here?

1. why would one design a SC with serif patterns (as with the above example) while there's an absence of serif in TC words (whose design i prefer)? Both are the english equivalent of a bold sans serif type (we called it "Da Hei" , bold black). i suspect it's for ease of reading.

wanna see how a 20+ stroke word simplify itself in SC form? here is it. The word means "feel".

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