Is it a crime… that I still want to mix font weights?

And I want you to mix font weights too (it’s a SADE song, go look it up.).

I came across this on Reddit the other day on this comprehensive overview of how to use typefaces and the common mishaps we run into. Even though I consider myself knowledgeable in terms of typography, I still learned a lot of new things from scrolling down the newsletter.

Mixing fonts of different weights should not be scary. It may look chaotic at first, but I really think it’s a neat way to emphasize within a word or a small statement. However, the cardinal rule is to skip one tier of weight between fonts in the same family or use two compatible but different fonts of not the same family.

Fan of Hangul, the Korean characters? Check this out!

Hangul is a writing system that is one of the most phonologically faithful in the world. You almost always see what you pronounce. Each glyph in Hangul is a syllabic block. Google created this site showcase the Korean typefaces that they have and how they can be flexibly applied to web design. A lens guide you through each glyph revealing Adobe Illustrator-like anchor-points-and-stroke structure. All the fonts there are open sourced and available through Github.

I learned about this from the Weekly Typographic podcast made by The League of Movable Type. Unfortunately, they have discontinued making these podcasts, but the past episodes and newsletters still worth to be checked out.

Adobe’s New Font Sets Unify Chinese Characters

Historically, modern typeface design for East Asian glyphs has been reactive to that of Latin letters in the West. The gravity center, kerning, and tracking of these glyphs are fundamentally different than those of Western letters. Moreover, there are a set number of letters with variations while the number of glyphs exist in East Asian languages is enormous. Among these glyphs, Chinese (Han) characters are the ones that Adobe’s new font sets target to standardize. Over the course of centuries, the same Han characters used in Greater China, Japan, and Korea have developed their own idiosyncrasies. See below for an example how the same character has different features in glyphs specific to certain regions of East Asia:

Notice how the six strokes (two vertical, four horizontal ones) in the top right quadrum are different in each iteration of the character.

Type designer at Adobe went through a painstaking process to hand draw all the glyphs, both with and sans serifs.

An overview video of the serif type set of Source Han, a Pan-CJK typeface (note: CJK stands for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).

Unlike many exclusive typefaces only available through a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, Source Han Serif and its sans counterpart are made open sourced and users can download and deploy them from GitHub, democratizing good type design in East Asia and in the world. More importantly, this project brought together experts from different East Asian countries and gave them agency and the power of creative decision-making in type design.