Fonts for Chinese Tattoos

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The Chinese Writing Systems and what it means for Your Tattoo...

The Chinese language has two systems of writing – Traditional and Simplified. Simplified characters are primarily used in China, where they were introduced during the 1950's Cultural Revolution. Traditional characters, on the other hand, have a history of thousands of years, and are still used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and by most Chinese people living overseas (outside of China). However, about 60%-70% of the characters we cover here are exactly the same in both styles -- and many others are quite similar. Therefore, one style is often recognized by a Chinese person who knows the other style. Furthermore, conversion is a simple matter. With those factors in mind, choice of simplified or traditional is entirely up to you. Most people I work with opt for traditional, as it tends to look nicer and is more recogized globally.

Aside from traditional and simplified, each writing system has dozens of popular font styles (and hundreds of more specialized ones). This is the similar to English, where there are hundreds of fonts available for the one alphabet (e.g. arial, verdana, and all the others).

I currently maintain a collection of 20+ fonts that I find well suited for clear/crisp tattooing. The three shown below are my favorites, but font preference is really a personal matter as well.


Font Style #1


Font Style #16


Font Style #23


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