There is however no mandated connection between the encoding system
and the font used to display the characters
considering the situation: an utf-8 encoded plain text file (*.txt), how do it display on the computer, is depend on the user, not the author.
in hanzipen tc:
in songti tc:
the same content can be displayed by different fonts, to give different impression.
font and encoding are usually tied together for practical reasons
in pre-unicode era, as i remember, on mac os, all big-5 encoded text is defaulted to display initially by the system font "taibei"; while shift jis encoded text would use the font "osaka". in modern days (utf-8), mac / windows are smart enough to choose the font automatically, to display each code point.
for chinese character, the concepts "serif", "sans serif", "script" are, inapplicable.
for this question, i would suggest you read the book "CJKV Information Processing", published by o'really; which is informative & authoritative:
they provided the 1st chapter in pdf: