The default set for English-language fonts contains about 230 glyphs. A font that covers all of the Latin scripts—that’s over 100 languages plus extra symbols—contains 840 glyphs, according to Březina. The simplified version of Chinese, used primarily in mainland China, requires nearly 7,000 glyphs. For traditional Chinese, used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the number of glyphs is 13,053.
An experienced designer, working alone, can in under six months create a new font that covers dozens of Western languages. For a single Chinese font it takes a team of several designers at least two years.
The difference is that, because of the vast amount of work involved, a Chinese typeface cannot be created by a single designer with a singular vision, as is often the case for Latin scripts. Instead a collaborative team has to start with this fuzzy notion and then settle on a uniform design.