Google’s new font pays homage to outdated typographic traditions
Google Fonts, the The free and open supply font firm archive lists over 800 typographic designs. However Noto Serif CJK, which the corporate unveiled at this time, is exclusive in its usefulness. It seems constant throughout Chinese language, Japanese, and Korean languages, in addition to English, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts. It was no small feat: Google partnered with Adobe and labored with 5 worldwide sort foundries to design 1000’s of genuine letter shapes for every tradition, all whereas managing to seem unmistakably linked.
Noto Serif CJK is a freebie for anybody who designs merchandise in a number of languages. “If you take two fonts and blend them collectively, you may discover that the characters do not come collectively properly,” says Bob Jung, director of Google’s internationalization efforts. He calls it the ransom observe impact. It is a main hurdle for designers who work with Chinese language, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) scripts. These languages comprise tens of 1000’s of characters in comparison with the mere tens that you simply discover in Latin and Cyrillic scripts. It is extremely troublesome to develop a common CJK font that evokes the identical feel and appear as, for instance, Instances New Roman.
However that is precisely what Jung’s workforce did with Noto Serif CJK. It is a easy serif font with the literary vibe and straightforward readability of a font like Baskerville or Sentinel. Google and Adobe launched it as a companion to Supply Han Sans, a sans-serif font that additionally retains its fashion in CJK scripts. (Serif fonts, which have small strokes which are at all times barely decorative on their characters, are usually extra complicated than sans-serif fonts and are due to this fact tougher to design.) Final fall, Google additionally rolled out Noto, a font that works. . in 800 languages, excluding CJK languages.
To grasp why Noto Serif CJK is so spectacular, it helps to know the complexity of CJK scripts. Contemplate, for instance, that even symbols frequent to languages can differ in refined however important methods. In a Chinese language character, two ligaments will meet in a single, tidy level; in Japanese or Korean, a contiguous line in a single character could exceed the opposite. These nuances come from pre-digital lettering strategies. Chinese language letters have been painted with steady brush strokes, whereas Japanese and Korean letters have been from block printing.