Việt Type 2nd ed. Trương Support
Vietnamese Typography Second Edition Donny Trương Support This Book

Type Recommendations

If you have typefaces that support Vietnamese and would like to feature on this site, please get in touch.

The purpose for this guide is to collect and showcase typefaces with full support for Vietnamese. Although display typefaces contribute an important role in Vietnamese typography, the design of their diacritics can be playful and experimental. The focus, therefore, is on text setting. Each typeface has been chosen based on flexibility, legibility, readability, and versatility of both the letters and their diacritical marks.

For close analysis, I have created a standard specimen that highlights all the Vietnamese typographic features. For the second edition, I introduced a five-star rating system to evaluate the design of the diacritics. The rating is based on how well the accents are related to their base letters. Are they part of the typographic system? Are they strong, clear, and discernible? Do they improve or hinder readability?

My recommendations are limited to my access to fonts, but I will continue to add more as I acquire them. My thanks to the following type foundries for provided me their typefaces to be used on this site: Darden Studio, DJR, Huerta Tipográfica, Kilotype, Juanjo López, and Rosetta.

Adapter

★★★★

Designed by William Montrose and Sláva Jevčinová for Rosetta, Adapter is a modernist sans serif with a variable font system, which combines text and display into one file. Adapter has solid support for Vietnamese diacritics. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Alegreya

★★★★★

Designed by Juan Pablo del Peral for Huerta Tipográfica, Alegreya is a dynamic, harmonious, rhythmic text serif intended for literary typesetting. It has well-built diacritics. The slightly tilted hook above is unique yet legible. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex. Its sans-serif sibling is part of the Alegreya super family.

Cabin

★★★★

Designed by Pablo Impallari, Cabin is inspired by Edward Johnston’s and Eric Gill’s humanist sans but has its own geometric personality and prominent diacritics. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Exchange

★★★★

Designed by Tobias Frere-Jones, Exchange is a text face inspired by the British “Ionic” style of slab serif, L. B. and M. F. Benton’s Century Expanded, and C.H. Griffith’s Bell Gothic. Exchange is designed for limited space in newspaper as well as on mobile devices. It has clear, well-balanced diacritics. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex. Its tilde is also positioned slightly toward the right of its circumflex. I offered some advice on Exchange’s Vietnamese diacritics.

Fern

★★★★★

Designed by David Jonathan Ross, Fern is an elegant Venetian text face intend for typesetting on screens. Fern strikes the balance between humanist qualities and chunkiness features. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex. Its tilde is also positioned slightly toward the right of its circumflex. Full disclosure: I was consulted on Fern’s Vietnamese diacritics.

Frequenz

★★★★

Designed by Sebastian Losch for Kilotype, Frequenz is an unorthodox yet uncompromising sans serif text face. Its quirky rhythm surprisingly does not get in the way with the flow of reading. Its diacritics, however, are conventional and solid. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Halyard

★★★★

Designed by Joshua Darden, Halyard is a grotesque sans with historical forms drawn from Schelter+Giesecke, Miller and Richard, and Morris Fuller Benton. Its diacritics are proportional and clear. Its acute and hook above are stacked to the right of its circumflex, but its grave is stacked to the left.

IBM Plex

★★★★

Designed by Mike Abbink and in collaboration with Bold Monday, IBM Plex is an extensive family consists of serif, sans serif, sans condensed, and mono. It has well-balanced diacritics. Its tilde is slightly tilted. Its acute and hook above are stacked to the right of its circumflex, but its grave is stacked to the left.

Pliego

★★★★★

Designed by Juanjo López, Pliego (named after Pliegos de Cordel) is a serif text face with humanist forms and even textures. Its calligraphic details ebb at small sizes for comfortable reading, but flow at large sizes to give a contemporary vibe. Its diacritics are carefully crafted to retain the humanist and calligraphic qualities throughout. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Roslindale

★★★

Designed by David Jonathan Ross, Roslindale is inspired by De Vinne, a forgotten oldstyle in the nineteenth century. In its reinterpretation, Roslindale is ironed out the clunkiness and increased in contrast. Its diacritics are rounded and legible. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Schotis

★★★

Designed by Juanjo López, Schotis is a text serif inspired by Scotch Romans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its diacritics are rounded and well balanced. Its tilde is strangely reversed on the italic style. It may be playful for display text, but disruptive for reading text. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.

Skolar

★★★★★

Designed by David Březina for Rosetta, Skolar is a robust serif family intended to solve complex text settings. It has solid, sturdy diacritical marks. While its acute and grave on lowercase letters stacked to the right of its circumflex, they stacked above on capital letters. Its sans-serif counterpart is designed for responsive web typography.

Source Sans

★★★

Designed by Paul D. Hunt for Adobe Fonts, Source Sans is inspired by the simple forms of News Gothic and Franklin Gothic. Source Sans is intended for UI labels as well as long paragraphs. Its diacritics are proportional and clear. Its acute and hook above are stacked to the right of its circumflex, but its grave is stacked to the left.

Spectral

★★★

Designed by Production Type for Google Fonts, Spectral is a versatile serif family created specifically for immersive reading on screens. While its sharp, pointed diacritical marks, particularly acute and grave, created clear contrast, they are a bit too short at small sizes. In combined accents, its acute is positioned to the right, its grave is positioned to the left, and its hook above and tilde are positioned on top.

Vollkorn

★★★★

Designed by Friedrich Althausen, Vollkorn (“wholemeal” in German) is a serif text face for everday purpose. Its diacritics are sturdy, legible, and positioned close to the base letters. Its acute, grave, and hook above are consistently stacked to the right of its circumflex.