Tìngäzìk: a Retrospective – ep. 28 “Hēitǐ”

Hēitǐ #chinese

Expected solvable difficulty

  • 1sample+: experienced solvers
  • keywords+: most solvers

Level design

This level was designed straightforward yet having its difficulty to solve. The question consist of an SVG image of a single line in Chinese, and the task is to find the name of the typeface. However, unlike Western scripts (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic), Hànzì, while being more complicated, tend to have less variant when comes to UI typefaces, which added more difficulty to this question. The title, “Hēitǐ”, is a common name for linear typefaces in Chinese, usually referred to as “Gothic” or simply “sans-serif”.

The typefaces chosen are mostly UI typefaces used in various operating systems.

  • PingFang SC: macOS, iOS
  • Microsoft Yahei: Windows
  • Source Han Sans SC/Noto Sans CJK SC: Android, some Linux distros

SimHei, while not being a common UI typeface, is still included for its distinct shape of strokes, and widely recognized as a typeface included in Microsoft Office suite since decades ago.

Quotes used in the questions are sample sentences (previously) used in Google Fonts to showcase typefaces.

  • 「天空万里无云,呈现出深邃的暗蓝色。」
    “The sky was cloudless and of a deep dark blue.”
    A Trip to Venus, by John Munro
  • 「几乎在我们意识到之前,我们已经离开了地面。」
    “Almost before we knew it, we had left the ground.”
    A Trip to Venus, by John Munro
  • 「那段刺耳的声音从扬声器里发出。」
    “The recorded voice scratched in the speaker.”
    Deathworld, by Harry Harrison
  • 「银色的薄雾弥漫在飞船的甲板上。」
    “Silver mist suffused the deck of the ship.”
    The Jewels of Aptor, by Samuel R. Delany

(Referenced from di on Hacker News)

Expected thought process

Find out the sample answers are names of typefaces, and look for the name of the typeface in the question.


As a demo of how Chinese UI typefaces are similar to each other, I made a random mix of 7 of them in a paragraph. Can you tell which one is from which typeface?

The first article of UDHR, typeset in Source Han Sans SC Medium, PingFang SC Medium, Microsoft YaHei Noble Scarlet Semibold, FZ LanTingHei Pro Demibold, OPPOSans Medium, Alibaba PuHuiTi Medium, and HarmonyOS Sans SC. First appeared here.
See answer


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