Crazy Beijing Subway Fonts

Posted by on Jun 1, 2008 in Beijing, Typography | No Comments

21:32 (UTC+08:00), 01 JUN 2008 | CHN BEIJING

It’s a good thing that Beijing’s Subway Line 4 is coming all that bit closer to reality — the new line’s ready for a late September 2009 opening. Hopefully by then, they’ll also have fixed this insane font mix…

Xizhimen Bad Fonts 800

OK — here’s what I think is wrong with the signpost, font-wise:

1. It uses Arial. This is a no-no for a pro service — or, at that, a pro-level mass transit service. The newest Beijing Subway lines are world-class. They shouldn’t have to settle for a less-than-world-class font.

2. It uses nonstandard fonts. There’s nothing wrong with Chinese fonts, but those A-Z letters in those Chinese fonts (especially Windows fonts) look out of whack.

3. It uses a mix of serif and sans-serif fonts. This is probably the biggest sin: mixing serif and sans-serif on public signs, a definite no-no.

4. The capitalization and spacing could see improvs. There’s little to no need to write “XIZHIMEN” in all caps, and finally, there could be an extra space between “Line” and the number (as in “Line2″ looks better as “Line 2″, and so on).

This is content posted by David Feng on a separate site. All spelling, grammar, and punctuation remain the exact same way they were when the post was first published. The original post itself does not contain this text in italics.