Good Asian font companion to Futura Bold?

dmolanphy's picture

Hi all:

I'm working on a project for a large corporation whose primary font is Futura Bold and have several international locations. Among them, they have have several locations in China. As I have no clue on how Asian fonts work, would anyone here have any suggestions on a good companion to Futura Bold that supports unicode characters? (The closest I've been able to get is Arial Unicode, but would like something better).

Thanks!

dm

cuttlefish's picture

A lot of Korean fonts have a geometric style similar to Furtura, but I can't say for other languages.

Jongseong's picture

Korean fonts in general won't have Simplified Chinese characters, so they will be useless for Mainland Chinese. What you are looking for is a clean hei (sans-serif) Simplified Chinese font. Take a look at Wikipedia's article on East Asian gothic typefaces and take a look at the options available. In addition to the typefaces listed there, Monotype and Linotype offer hei Simplified Chinese fonts with a large range of weights.

I don't know enough about Chinese typefaces to judge the choices; hopefully we'll have some better input from a native Chinese designer. And please don't use Arial Unicode, whose non-Latin components are poorly designed.

dmolanphy's picture

@jongseong Thanks for the info! This is very helpful. As far as Arial is concerned, I'm unfortunately stuck with it for now - as this is a web project and Arial Unicode is widely available on most platforms. If I can find something better that supports hei, I can embed those characters and not have to look upon Arial again :)

In this day and age, it really is unfortunate that we're still limited to the same 6 fonts on the web. HTML 5 promises to help somewhat on that front, but I still think there are better solutions that need to happen...like a mandate stating that all ugly fonts need to be destroyed. Everywhere.

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D Molanphy

Jongseong's picture

Cheer up. You're not stuck with Arial Unicode. The vast majority of your users will have professional Simplified Chinese fonts on their system. Windows users will have SimHei or MSHei for example.

So you just need to specify a number of these widely available fonts in your stylesheet, and the vast majority of your users will be able to find a font in their system that matches at least one of the choices. I highly doubt you'll be able to find native Chinese-language content on the web that specifies Arial Unicode as the first-choice font family.

Arial Unicode is a fallback font. It allows Simplified Chinese to be displayed on systems that cannot find dedicated fonts. Otherwise they'd appear as boxes. That's a powerful raison d'être in itself, but it's also pretty much the extent of Arial Unicode's usefulness.

dmolanphy's picture

@jongseong You rock! Very useful info once again. Thank you. Let the tinkerin' begin...

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D Molanphy

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