The following typefaces are recommeded for setting text in Vietnamese; therefore, they were chosen for flexibility, versatility, legibility, and readability. Although display types play a vital in typography, I focus only on text faces. Furthermore, my recommendations are limited to my access to fonts. If you have typefaces that support Vietnamese and would like to showcase, get in touch.
Robert Slimbach’s Acumin is a neo-grotesque type with a large family of 90 fonts. Its broad range of weights and widths combined with its strong diacritics provide limitless Vietnamese typographic opportunities. Subheadings and the table of contents in this book are set in Acumin.
Robert Slimbach’s Adobe Text is flexible and economical. Its calligraphic features (teardrop horns) combined with utilitarian diacritical marks (short accents and close-to-the-base letters) make Adobe Text legible for setting long passages in Vietnamese.
Berton Hasebe’s Alda is a robust, elegant text serif. Each weight is designed to be recognizable at large sizes and cohesive at small sizes. Alda also has legible Vietnamese diacritics.
Juan Pablo del Peral’s Alegreya is a dynamic, harmonious text serif. With its unique characteristics and well-built support for diacritics, Alegreya is an ideal choice for setting literary works in Vietnamese. Alegreya Sans is a perfect companion.
Robert Slimbach’s Arno has humanist features from the past as well as functional qualities of the present. Its elegant typographic details and refined diacritics are indispensable for setting formal documents and poems in Vietnamese.
Andrij Shevchenko’s Arsenal, winner of the 2011 Ukrainian Type Design Competition, is a semi-grotesque sans serif with subtle contrast, clarity, and lyrical nature. Its narrow proportions combined with its short and swift diacritics make Arsenal economical for Vietnamese typesetting.
Impallari Type’s Cabin, inspired by Edward Johnston’s and Eric Gill’s humanist sans, has modern proportions, optical adjustments, and elements of the geometric sans. While remains faithful to its roots, Cabin has its own personality and a set of prominent diacritics for the Vietnamese language.
Alfonso García’s Faustina is a robust serif family designed for print and online editorial typography. Its clear, sturdy diacritic marks are essential for reading text in Vietnamese.
Łukasz Dziedzic’s FF More has an extensive family of 48 fonts. Its solid serifs, considerate contrast, and distinguishable diacritics are essential for setting text in Vietnamese.
Robert Slimbach’s Garamond Premier is a stunning reinterpretation of Claude Garamond’s romans and Robert Granjon’s italics. With the marriage of these two distinctive styles, Slimbach has crafted a harmonious yet unique typeface for continuous paragraphs as well as large headlines. With clear teardrop horns and elongated diacritical marks, Garamond Premier is an elegant choice for typesetting Vietnamese literary projects. The main text in this book is set in Garamond Premier.
James Todd’s Garvis was designed for sturdiness, legibility, and linguistic support. Its subtle but strong diacritics work well for print and online Vietnamese publications.
Jonathan Hill’s Halcom, inspired by Futura, aims to strike the balance between geometric precision and optical accuracy. With simple diacritical features, Halcom is an excellent choice for setting clean and modern Vietnamese typography.
Joshua Darden’s Halyard is a grotesque sans with historical forms drawn from Schelter+Giesecke, Miller and Richard, and Morris Fuller Benton. Its superfamily—including micro subfamilies designed by Darden, Eben Sorkin, and Lucas Sharp—and robust diacrictics provide flexible Vietnamese typography system that works at any size.
Mike Abbink’s IBM Plex, designed in collaboration with Bold Monday, is an extensive font family consists of Serif, Sans Serif, Sans Condensed, and Mono. Plex has well-designed diacritics to support Vietnamese language.
Tobias Frere-Jones’s Mallory has British and American traditions, but expands into many languages including Vietnamese. With the mixture of British’s geometric shapes, American’s organic forms, and Vietnamese’s legible accents, Mallory is truly a multicultural sans. Its MicroPlus features—large x-heights, loose spacing, low contrast, and simplified details—offer multilingual solutions that are consistent across print and web environments.
Robert Slimbach’s Minion Pro is a classic serif workhorse. Its versatility, functionality, and readability make Minion unnoticeable, which is ideal for focusing on the content. Because of its distinguishable horns and ample diacritical marks, Minion is an excellent choice for setting serious Vietnamese typography.
Myriad, designed by Robert Slimbach, Carol Twombly, Fred Brady, and Christopher Slye, is a sans-serif workhorse. Its extensive weights and straightforward diacritical marks make Myriad an ideal choice for setting crisp, no-nonsense Vietnamese text.
Jacques Le Bailly’s Nunito Sans is an extension of Vernon Adams’s Nunito, which is a beautiful, well-balanced, and rounded sans serif. With legible dicritics, Nunito Sans is a welcoming expansion for Vietnamese typography.
Robert Slimbach’s Pelago is a naturalistic sans-serif family that offers a wide range of possibilities ranging from text on the web to print publication. Pelago’s expressive features (generous counters and prominence stroke endings) reveal at large sizes, but recede for readability at text sizes. Its clear and sturdy diacritical marks are superb for Vietnamese typography.
Tobias Frere-Jones’s Retina is recognized as a milestone in type design for its idiosyncrasy yet practicality. By using MicroPlus—applying hinting and experimenting with proportions—Frere-Jones and his team designed Retina to be read on various screen devices as well as paper at the tinest sizes. Its modest support for diacritics makes Retina an economical yet flexible choice for Vietnamese fine print and digital typesetting.
David Březina’s Skolar is a robust serif family designed to solve complex text settings. Its generous x-height, low-contrast modulation, and sturdy diacritics are ideal for typesetting works of scholar in Vietnamese.
Paul D. Hunt’s Source Sans is Adobe’s first open source type family. Drawing from the simple forms of News Gothic and Frankly Gothic, Source Sans is designed for short UI labels as well as long paragraphs. With legible diacritical marks, Source Sans is suited for setting Vietnamese text on the web.
Production Type’s Spectral is a versatile serif family designed specifically for immersive reading on screen. Incorporating Prototypo’s parametric font technology, Spectral is developed with responsive characters to work seamlessly across multiple devices. Spectral’s subtle yet distinguishable diacritics make it a great choice for Vietnamese online publications.
Robert Slimbach’s Ten Oldstyle designed as the Latin companion to the Japanese-script Ten Mincho. Ten Oldstyle’s calligraphic features and humanist qualities create a delightful harmony to its character-based counterpart. Its low contrast and proportional diacritics make Ten Oldstyle an excellent text face for both print book and ebook.
Friedrich Althausen’s Vollkorn is a bread-and-butter serif text face. Its sturdy serifs and legible diacritics are suitable for Vietnamese long-form reading including books and online essays.