We are about to make the Chinese version of our charity website live but I'm not certain about the font we are using. Our Chinese office say they are happy with the system default but they don't have any design expertise. Could anyone help advise?

We use Frutiger for all of our Latin alphabet sites.

UK home page

The Chinese site can currently be found here: http://live.ciwf.cn/

China home page

The font that I am considering is HeiS ASC Simplified Chinese (http://www.fonts.com/font/ascender/heis-asc-simplified-chinese?QueryFontType=Web#product_878738). I'd like to know whether this is a truer sans-serif style when viewed by a Chinese user, or whether this is in fact a consideration in the Chinese alphabet.

This is a mockup of the proposed font.

enter image description here

Happy to consider any other alternatives if they are closer to our existing brand.

  • 2
    Hi KeirRoyale, thanks for your question. Critique questions are a bit of a weird fit here, because they don't always match with our intended Q&A format. Please have a peek at our guidelines for critique questions and see whether you can make yours fit those. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Feb 19, 2015 at 13:07
  • 3
    Can you include a screenshot of the design as-is? Otherwise the question won't make sense if/when your design changes. Feb 19, 2015 at 13:10
  • Thanks for the guidance, I've edited the question to hopefully make it a bit more subjective. Please let me know if I should edit further.
    – KeirRoyale
    Feb 19, 2015 at 15:28
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    As an American who doesn't read Chinese, it's nearly impossible to say if the font works since it can't be read.
    – Scott
    Feb 20, 2015 at 17:44
  • Why not look around on some of the most popular Chinese sites and see what sans-serif fonts they are using. I would try translating the tag line into Chinese, you could easily fit 6-7 characters under 'COMPASSION', simply translate "Compassion in world farming" as a whole phrase. And don't forget to make sure you are using Simplified Chinese for Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysian Chinese communities, while Hong Kong, Taiwan and most of the North American communities use Traditional Chinese. Using Traditional Chinese characters for Mainland China would be a huge fail.
    – imrek
    Feb 28, 2015 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


I'm a native Chinese speaker, so to answer your question simply, yes, the HeiS is much more "comfortable" for a Chinese reader compared with the default one. The reason is you can see default font often makes the width of the stroke of Chinese characters rather inconsistent in a random way. The fonts that paying special attention to Chinese often pays great efforts to avoid both this issue and the spacing issue that often occurred when default font is employed.

But the HeiS has its own deficiency: the font looks very modern and slim. In other words, it's like the - Sangam in Latin words. If you want to convey more authentic feeling, you may want to try things similar to Baskerville, not similar to Futura. Makes sense? Good luck!

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