Adobe, in collaboration with Google has released a new font called Source Han Sans – a font that covers full support for East Asian characters. Source Han Sans – a seven weight font, is a type family that supports: Japanese, Koren, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese – will make support for non-roman characters so much easier as it streamlines about half a million glyphs into one Open Source font. In addition to East Asian character support, the font will also feature traditional Latin, Greek and Cyrillic letters from the Source Sans family.
China-Japan-Korean readers represent about 1/4th of the whole world’s population. Chinese alone carries very important distinctions depending on which area and which dialects are spoken. Each words has its own character or combinations of characters, that are often extremely distinct. Given that Asian fonts are usually very large and expensive, Adobe and Google have worked together to give us an all around solution that’s sure to make text more convenient for those that write in East Asian languages.
But what are the challenges one faces when designing a font that tailors to so many people?
The backbone of the design is that it covers a wide range of characters, supports regional glyphs and that it reads well for Print and Screen devices. It also had to seamless fit into The Noto Sans, Roboto and Source Sans families.
Here are some screen shots of the process:
Ryoko Nishizuka, a Japanese designer on Adobe’s Tokyo based type team – did the original sketches for the font.
Where do I get the font?
The font is available in Adobe’s Typekit under a free licence. It’s also available via Github and via Source Forge. The font is under an Open Source licence, which means you can use it for your commercial work!
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