Song Type Styles

Song is very much like a Serif font, most Songs are similar to Times or Garamond in weight and feel.

Major Type Categories

Song (serif)

Hei (sans serif)


Song (and Ming) typefaces are the most popular for printing books, magazines, and other texts. Song fonts are very popular for body text on the web as well. Song fonts are also used in both Japanese and Korean texts. Song fonts originate from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279 AD). People of the Song Dynasty developed a distinctive style of a printed script. Song is an early period semi-cursive script. Song typefaces feature triangular serifs that mimic brushstrokes, referred to as "fishscales" in Japanese.

Tang Dynasty = 618 – 690, 705 – 907 AD
Song Dynasty = 960 – 1279 AD
Ming Dynasty = 1368 – 1644 AD

Adobe Song is popular for newspapers. FZ Bao is used for newspapers exclusively. Shu Song (Song Book) is also popular in newspapers, a bit more dense than Bao. These typefaces have a lot in common with Times, Garamond, and Caslon, you will see thin strokes that change to thick strokes, with a serif to terminate most strokes.

Song Ti and Song Ti Heavy are popular for all forms of advertising and marketing, package design, and POP advertising. This font, while much heavier than it's text weight counterpart, has the distinctive triangle serifs and generally similar brush strokes throughout.

Kai is a form Song, suitable for text about tradition or that is written about a traditional subject. Kai is commonly used in Chinese textbooks — for all levels of education. Kai fonts are similar to the Song (serif) fonts, but Kai fonts relate visually more directly to the tradition of brush writing, it is thought of as a calligraphy font. Kai fonts remain generally within the category of Song and Ming fonts.

Among the Hei fonts, Lanting is very popular among designers, as it comes in very coordinated thin, regular, and bold weights. Windows computers come with MS Ya Hei, which is very similar to the Lanting face, but it does not come in weights. MS Ya Hei is also spaced too tightly for commercial use. Lanting fonts have a subtle weight change, similar to Helvetica.

Dong Qing is considered a Hei font, but has a slight flare or suggestion of a serif, similar to Optima. Dong Qing comes in two weights, Dong Qing medium is similar to Lanting Hei light. Lanting is generally spaced more tightly than Dong Qing, Dong Qing may be a better choice for titles and other larger text.