Aktiv Grotesk for the People

On 1 October 1949 Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after the War of Liberation that had lasted three years. Following the war many reforms were introduced by the Communist Party in the PRC, not least a simplification of the Chinese writing system to help fight the levels of illiteracy in China. In contrast to this, the Republic of China (modern-day Taiwan) maintained Traditional Chinese as its official writing system, alongside Hong Kong, and some other regions.

Today both Mandarin and Cantonese are written using the Traditional Chinese writing system in Taiwan and Hong Kong, while Simplified Chinese is used to write Mandarin in the PRC. Traditional Chinese has around 13,500 characters, while Simplified Chinese has a minimum of around 8,500 characters but may include as many as 27,500, depending on the chosen standard. Aktiv Grotesk is available with support for all relevant Chinese glyph sets. For Traditional Chinese, we include the glyph set covered by Big5 (Taiwan) and HKSCS (Hong Kong), and for Simplified Chinese the coverage of GB 2312 and GB 18030, both used in Mainland China and Singapore.


The China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI) oversees the continuous updating of the two standards GB 2312 and GB 18030, adding new characters as new words are introduced. Fonts which are to be distributed within Mainland China as part of apps, embedded into mobile devices, or installed in operating systems, must comply with GB 18030 and be certified by CESI before they can be commercially distributed. Aktiv Grotesk GB 18030 Certified is approved by CESI and complies with all rules required by the Chinese government, making it ready to be licensed and distributed.

Aktiv Grotesk offers a comprehensive font solution for customers who wish to take their branding across many languages and a broad range of media. As well as Chinese for Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the family also supports Japanese, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew.


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