I admit to being a bit of a font and typography geek, so I was very excited to hear that eight new fonts were being introduced to OS X for the Mac with 10.8. Only one of these, Yuppy (SC & TC), is installed by default. To get the others, just launch the Font Book app (a standard part of the system which can be found in the Applications folder). In the list of “All Fonts” look for
- Baoli SC
- Langtinghei SC & TC
- Libian SC
- Wawati SC & TC
- Weibi SC & TC
- Xingkai SC
- Yuanti SC
Each will be labeled “Off.” With a font selected, simply go to the menubar under “Edit” and choose “Enable …” The font will be downloaded and installed. For those that have separate traditional and simplified families, you can choose which to install.
I was glad to see that a few of the fonts have various weights, which are handy for distinguishing headings or emphasis. In addition to the ones shown in the image below, Baoli and Libian may be similar enough to be used as heavy and light variants. In the samplers above and below, all the font samples are at the same point size so that you can see the relative size differences between them.
A couple of the new fonts are casual, even comic, in style, which brings some much needed variety to the offerings and will probably be used extensively in student projects. Wawati reminded me a bit of a font used in a children’s book series about a boy named 马鸣加, which is why I used the title of the first book in the samplers.
Yuanti reminded me a lot of the font used in the edition of 西游记 Journey to the West that I used as part of the iOS Chinese OCR showdown. So I tried to recreate the first page of the text as closely as possible. Below are the photo of the original used for the OCR tests and a screenshot of a Pages document that I created using Yuanti light (and Songti for the chapter title). I include this comparison for Stuart, who commented on the OCR post that he was looking for a font like this.
These comparisons with books published in China show that you can do some pretty nice work in Chinese with just the Mac system fonts. I very much hope that Apple brings at least one of these to iOS.
These fonts have roman alphabet counterparts; in the images, each font name is in the font itself so you can see that the styles are a good match. We’ll take a closer look at the roman alphabet counterparts in a separate post.
OS X (Mountain Lion) is available from the Mac App Store.