Thai is known for being a complex and socially sensitive language, with its tones and layers of honorifications. When it comes to written language, many Thai-learners find it quite challenging due to the number of consonants, combined with all those gliding vowels (or so-called diphthongs). To be a master of localizing Thai, you need to not only understand the culture and the language, but it’s also important to understand how to choose the right Thai font for your business. Different font types would impose different characteristics on the message you want to convey.
Know your brand
Before going further into tips on how to choose Thai font for your business, you should already have a clear understanding of your brand, target audience and the best means to communicate with them.
For example, is your brand more conservative, targeting older people who love to read? If so, then your font should facilitate that by being clear, easy to read and suitable for printing materials. On the other hand, if you are a start-up tech company, trying to offer online products to the new generation, you might want to look at a more modern font, displayable on multiple platforms such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. Interestingly, many environmentally-friendly companies are switching towards a more sustainable solution by using a thinner font, which take less physical space. This allows them to use less ink and less paper when it comes to printing out materials.
We will now introduce you to some fonts (naturally, there are both paid and free ones) that might be practical for you to use in your business, in some capacity or another.
The official font
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Thailand has organized a font design competition, and finally announced the thirteen official Thai fonts that all government organizations should use, and any public sectors are also encouraged to use them as well. This is to avoid copyright issues and also to align things across different government offices as much as possible. We recommend using these fonts for legal documents like contracts, permits, request for product/brand registration, etc. At the very least, it would show that you respect the country’s norms and that you’ve done your research.
Serif or Sans Serif font?
Similar to English, Thai also has its own version of Serif and Sans Serif fonts. The Thai Serif fonts are those that have the font head. It’s more common in official documents, as the font is easier to read and it’s impossible to mistake one alphabet with another. In contrast, the Thai Sans Serif fonts are those without the font head. This font is more modern and sleek and is thus more popular in modern brands and the private sector. You can see Angsana New and PSL Krittitada Pro as shown below.
The Thai Serif fonts are also a popular choice in printed materials. Although we’re living in an increasingly digital world, printing is still relevant and essential for many companies that utilize business cards, leaflets, magazines, books, billboards, etc. There are many Thai fonts that are suitable for printing because they’re easy to read even if there’s a lot of dense text on display. Some of the print-friendly fonts we recommend are CS Prakas and
When it comes to online communication, the Thai Sans Serif fonts tend to be the prevalent choice due to their modern and sleek qualities, which are easy to adapt to multiple platforms. Some popular fonts Thai Sans Serif fonts are DB Fongnam X, Cloud and SuperMarket.
The artistic font
Besides those fonts, there are also a handwritten style font such as PSL Teenage Pro. This kind of font is more lively and informal. It’s commonly used as a header or cover of a leaflet or magazine because the font is dynamic enough to the point where it may be difficult to read. Furthermore, you can opt for a flat style font like DB helvethaica, if you like to convey minimalism or want your piece of communication to be simple but appear strong and modern. This kind of font is commonly found in advertisements.
All in all, these are some of our recommendations from our experts’ point of view. It’s important that you check the copy-rights of each font prior to using it. There are hundreds of Thai fonts (both free and paid) available online for you to choose from. Just keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers, and you or your graphic designers should ultimately decide which font would be the best Thai font for your business.