2018 Typeface Design Competition Judge’s Choice: An Open-Source CJK Typeface

During the competition judging last January, we ask each of our eleven TDC competition judges to choose their favorite from all the entries. YuJune Park chose Source Han Serif typeface design – a collaborative effort by teams at Adobe and Google to create an open-source Pan-Asian typeface.

About Source Han Serif

Source Han Serif.

Source Han Serif is the second Pan-CJK typeface family from Adobe Type, and the serif counterpart to Source Han Sans. Both were developed and released in response to the need for a unified typeface design to serve 1.5 billion people in East Asia.

Source Han Serif supports four different East Asian languages — Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean — and the 65,535 glyphs in each of its seven weights are designed to work together with a consistent design that emphasizes shared elements between the languages while honoring the diversity of each.

  • Principal Typeface Design: Ryoko Nishizuka (Kana and ideographs)
  • Typeface Design: Frank Grießhammer (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic)
  • Typeface Design: Wenlong Zhang (bopomofo)
  • Typeface Design: Soohyun Park, Yejin We & Donghoon Han (Hangul elements, letters, syllables)
  • URL:
  • Clients: Adobe and Google
  • Members of the Type Family: Seven weights — ExtraLight, Light, Regular, Medium, SemiBold, Bold & Heavy

Source Han Serif.

Source Han Serif was released by Google under the name Noto Serif CJK in the same seven weights.

Designers statement: “Source Han Serif is the companion serif-style Pan-CJK typeface family to Source Han Sans, and is offered in seven slightly different weights, and in several OpenType/CFF-based deployment configurations to accommodate various system requirements or, in some cases, limitations. Pan-CJK fonts, such as those provided in the Source Han typeface families, are intended to support and render the most important characters for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.”

Partner foundries include Sandoll Communications in Korea, Iwata Corporation in Japan, and Changzhou SinoType in China.

Watch the video about the collaborative, international design effort on this Pan-Asian font here.

Still from YouTube video on the design collaboration, here featuring principal typeface designer Ryoko Nishizuka of Tokyo.

Comments by Typeface Design Judge YuJune Park

“In keeping with its name, Source Han exhibits the prototypical traits of a CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) typeface. Ambitious, direct, and drawn with no-nonsense, the typeface impressively maintains its legibility across its weights and sizes.

The Japanese, in particular, is elegantly drawn and works well with the Korean, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese. Source Han is a sophisticated CKJ typeface and can accommodate a broad range of applications, on screen and off. It is notable for the sheer scope of its character set—thousands of characters optically balanced within each individual language and together as a whole.”

Source Han Serif.

About YuJune Park

YuJune is the Associate Director and an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. She co-founded Synoptic Office, where she served as the program director from 2014 to 2017. Her work has been recognized by the AIGA, the I.D. Annual Design Review, the Art Director’s Club Awards, iDN, It’s Nice That, Etapes, the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, and the Ningbo Museum of Art.

She holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and a BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. YuJune has worked for and collaborated with several studios including Base Design, Graphic Thought Facility, and Pentagram for a variety of clients including the Museum of Modern Art, Milk Studios, the Davis Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to teaching, YuJune speaks on design education and typography at conferences that recently include Typographics, the Northside Festival, and AIGA/NY.

Follow YuJune online: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Portrait: YuJune Park.