I’ve thought about this, and I’ve decided to give a 3-part series based on my knowledge and experience with Chinese design publications. I’m not an expert, definitely, but it’s my hope that you, the designer or the audience, will gain some insight and form some of your own as well. Chinese is a beautiful language, and it deserves to be standing proud on its own. 🙂
Most of you are familiar with these 2 fonts. They come standard in every computer, and hence, quite unfortunately, in almost every design as well.
P.S. The following fonts are shown in Traditional Chinese, but all have Simplified Versions. No worries!
There’s nothing wrong with these fonts; it’s just that they’ve been over used to the point that it looks very boring and repetitive. Unless you want your design to be one of the “rest”, try staying away from these fonts. But of course, it depends also on the PURPOSE of the font. If it’s for a body of text, it MAY (read: MAY) be okay to use them. Depending, but I still don’t recommend it. Because they’re much nicer alternatives out there.
This is a very commonly used font in popular entertainment magazines and shows, as the title might have already hinted to you. Zongyi font is perfect for taglines, titles, headers and quotes. It’s good for promotional purposes. But precisely so, you may wanna refrain from making your school report or assignment look too gimmicky.
Think of Dahei as Helvetica Bold. It’s when you wanna emphasize stuff. Dahei is awesome for subheaders, bulleted points, bylines, short introductory text. But because this font has a thicker width, a body of Dahei text may prove too overbearing on the eye, so its not for large pages of text.
Zhunyuan is a less formal font due to its roundness and amicability. It’s really versatile; you can use it as a header, subheader, body text font — just about anything. I’d say Zhunyuan is the most useful font to have in your font library.
Youxian, as its name suggests, is a very thin, light font. Like English light fonts, Youxian shines as a header (which has to be extra big to compensate for its thinness). When used correctly, Youxian exudes an air of exclusivity and class to your design. Good for fashion spreads and new-age designs. Do note that its legibility is not very high since the strokes are thin and are disconnected. So avoid using as body text.
Okay, that’s all for tonight. In the next part I will explain how to classify Chinese fonts and the design rules that usually work for Chinese fonts.