Chinese vs Western Typography Battle: Round I

WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1

We are going to take a little break and have some fun in the office this month! It’s been a crazy year so far and we smell a battle coming. With our team in a combative mood, we’ve decided to put into fight one of our very best weapons and that is typography! To be exact, we pit Chinese typography against the Western! We’ve asked our two graphic designers – Jennifer and Candy – to create their finest version of a one word… Today, we present the first round of the battle and two version of serif fonts – Song/Ming style typography style and modern style typography.


Chinese versus Western fonts

So the hero of our first battle is the word COFFEE! Our morning fuel for most here at the office. We love everything about coffee; the smell, the taste, the energy. And even in 42 degree weather, we can’t help but to have a fresh cup of Joe.


Judges this week are: This round it will be Manu and Maya who will decide the best by tallying points for the following categories: readability, aesthetics, structure and clarity of idea. And you, of course. Leave your feedback in the comments!


Now take a look at our candidates!


English Typography version:

WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1



Chinese Typography version:

WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1

咖啡 (read kā fēi)


Let’s see what that judges say…


WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1 Manuel Arias

Manu, Graphic Designer

Manu says…

English version:

Readability – 5/5

Easily read. It took just seconds to read it. The graphic elements add meaning to the image, do not compromise it.

Aesthetics – 4/5

Each letter has been placed nicely. Shapes and colours add additional emotions to it related to its meaning.  help reinforce its meaning. Think the background could have been left out to reinforce the focus only on the font.

Structure – 5/5

Really like the font used, especially the half circles on the “C”, “O”, “E” and ornaments themselves, which remind me of coffee beans.

Clarity of Idea – 4/5

As an English speaker, I found it very clear. Hard not to recognize such word, but if this was something completely new to someone it might not be decodable, maybe by reinforcing the lines that simulate the coffee smoke this might improve it.


Chinese version:

Readability – 5/5

From a visual perspective and as a non-Chinese speaker, characters look clear.

Aesthetics – 2/5

Elements used such as the texture, character style and character decoration (blurs and shades) makes it look old, but not vintage or coffee-like related. Other colours could have been used to reinforce the coffee idea.

Structure – 3/5

It’s simple and functional, but does not give me a coffee feeling.

Clarity of Idea – 2/5

As a non-Chinese speaker, by looking at it my first thought was martial arts, samurai, classical china, etc. It looks classic, but not vintage or coffee-like related.


WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1


WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1 Ma Yan

Maya, Product Designer

According to Maya…


English Version:

Readability – 3/5

The corner deco has the same graphic language and to be honest it confuses me a little!

Aesthetics – 4/5 

Like the steam part, like the detail that the color fill comes out of stroke.

Structure – 3/5

Have difficulty to focus only on the typo “coffee”.

Clarity of Idea – 4/5

Can almost feel the hot and delicious coffee from this typography…


Chinese Version:

Readability – 5/5

Clear like a text book typo!

Aesthetics – 2/5

The lines are too hard for me, no relax, a little boring.

Structure – 4/5

Tight and compact, details work well together.

Clarity of Idea – 2/5

Hardly feel “coffee” idea.

 WILDDESIGN Typography Battle: Chinese vs Western | Round 1 Manuel Arias

And the winner is……

Seems that this round it’s the Western font who WINS!


And you? Which typography style do you like better today? 

Let us know in the comments!


Stay tuned for the 2nd round of the battle soon!

The next round is already here! Click here to find out the new typography! >>>>

Don’t forget to visit our Chinese Typography 中文字 Pinterest board! >>>>


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An ambitious designer with invaluable thoughts and creativities.

Originally written by Miriam Dabrowa, 14. August 2015. Last updated 15. May 2023


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