Monotype developed a global typeface family for Tencent, a leading provider of Internet-based services in China. Monotype Type Designer Julius Hui led the creation of the slanting, futuristic typeface which focused on creating a perfect harmony between Chinese, Japanese and Latin characters— allowing Tencent to deliver a consistent, recognizable brand voice, worldwide.
Julius Hui worked closely with Tencent on an updated logotype, giving the letters a more contemporary feel that would convey the brand’s dedication to technology and innovation. A “cutting edge” is represented literally on the entry and exit strokes throughout the typeface. The design also slants forward at an 8-10° angle, leaning into the future.
The type’s slanting style posed a particular challenge for Chinese characters – whose structure can become loose and easy-to-collapse when not drawn upright. Hui and his design team experimented with several solutions, trying different slopes, different degrees, and even creating a slanted box in which they could draw slanted Chinese characters.
With Tencent’s global mission in mind, the company also needed a Latin counterpart that would complement and work alongside the Chinese. Monotype designer Juan Villanueva oversaw the development. Villanueva started with a broad-edge pen, rewriting Chinese characters to get a better understanding of their structure. Latin and Chinese had to work together in a “true partnership”, despite operating as two very different writing systems – Chinese ideographs fit into a box, while Latin has very different constraints.
Japanese Kana were also created by abstracting strokes and shapes from the Chinese design. Monotype designer, Ryota Doi led the development of Japanese. Creating harmony between Chinese and Japanese characters is no easy task. Chinese characters are very structured and designed to fit into a box, whereas Japanese (Hiragana) ideographs have a more organic rounded shape.
“A typeface is an important part of conveying a brand’s voice and promise to its customers,” Monotype says. “We wanted to ensure that our voice demonstrates how technology is incubating new possibilities for social development and quality of life. This typeface echos our values.”