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If careful, reading, understanding, and form can be improved when mixing fonts carefully. For example, using carefully matched sans-serif fonts for titles with serif-fonts for text can achieve a unique and engaging design.

I was wondering if this same effect can be achieved by mixing Kaku/Maru fonts with Mincho fonts. I often find most people do not mix fonts for fear of causing bad clashes, but can a successful blend of mixed fonts be achieved in Japanese?

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migrated from Mar 18 '13 at 21:25

This question came from our site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language.

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I think the "Gothic" and "Mincho" styles are mixed quite often, even in magazines/newspaper-like publications, like sans-serif and serif fonts are mixed in Western publications. Ads have all sorts of different typography, and Mincho is always the type for all situations, like Times. So of course there are Kaku/Maru fonts mixed with Mincho. How fortunate such a union is, really depends on taste, and I think typographical sense is really quite different in Japan.

Hermann Zapf was once working together with a Japanese typographer on a Japanese font for some time. Eventually they had to abandon the project, however, because they were unable to unite the Western and Japanese ideals. In particular, Zapf was hoping to create a font with even distribution of darkness, which contrasts the need for Japanese characters being light or dark, as kanji are partly recognized by their tone.

To come back to the question, I think successful blends can be achieved, but they may be successful only for one particular taste of typography.

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Thanks a lot for the very thoughtful answer. I guess I should be careful with my mixing and ask for multiple opinions just to be safe, but at least I don't have to abandon the idea right out. – scicalculator Nov 19 '12 at 21:47

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