The difficulty with Chinese characters

Mizen_Chinese Text Quality_20150928_Page_02_crop

I am glad I live in the U.S. and do not have to worry about writing Chinese characters. My handwriting is bad enough, and I can’t imagine what it would look like if I had to reproduce the complexities of Chinese characters on a regular basis. Chinese characters have up to 29 or more strokes compared to a maximum of four with the Latin characters used for English. Small font sizes make the difficulty of reproducing these characters even greater.

I presented a technical paper on  the “Mizen_Relationship Between Chinese Text Quality and Card Printing_20150928” at Imaging Science and Technology’s NIP31 International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies in Portland, OR on September 28, 2015.

Representative Chinese character with 19 strokes

Representative Chinese character with 19 strokes

  • We cannot predict whether a given printing system will satisfactorily reproduce Chinese text. The best approach is to print and then evaluate sample text.
  • High-contrast printing systems give the highest image quality.
  • Resolution is important, with 600-1200 dpi required for small font sizes.
  • White text on a black background is more difficult to reproduce that black text on white due to expansion of the printed area.
  • Single color printing gives better quality than composite color.

About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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