Chinese serif and sans-selif Font Names

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here's explanation of Chinese font styles.

Chinese typefaces Kai  Ming  sans-serif jpvrh
Chinese typefaces, from top to bottom: Kai, Ming, Hei (sans-serif). 你的黃花滿地傷 SVG version

There are 3 major Chinese typefaces:

  1. Brush stroke → font name usually contains the word 楷 (Kai). Each stroke's thickness varies, known as Regular Script.
  2. Print style, or serif → font name is one of {宋體 (Song), 仿宋體 (Imitation Song), 明體 (Ming)}. Simple line stroke with serif. This is very popular. Usage similar to English's serif style. (In China, it's called Song 宋體; in Taiwan, it's called Ming 明體.)
  3. sans-serif → font name usually contains word 黑 (Hei). Sans-serif. uniform line thickness, no serif.

电脑上的中文字体基本分3种。① 楷体。Kei* 分粗细。② 宋,仿宋,明。楷体简化,直横直竖不分粗细,但有鳞角(serif)。③ 黑体。不分粗细,无鳞角。sans-serif.

In general, if you want a font with variable strokes as if written by a brush, look for a font name that contains “Kai” (楷軆). Otherwise, for normal readable text, use Song or Ming (宋體, 仿宋體, 明體). These are like regular script but more simple straight lines so it's more clear on computer screen. Font names with “Hei” is usually a heavier variant of Song.

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