Categories: News

Google and Monotype Unveil Open Source Font Supporting 800+Languages

Google has entered into a partnership with Monotype to create a new open-source font called Noto which supports more than 800 languages and 100 writing scripts. This is a fantastic move to help improve web communication and eliminate blank boxes commonly referred to as “tofu”. These boxes appear when a system or website cannot display a certain text and makes the browsing experience less enjoyable. In a blog post, Google discussed the difficulties trying to create a universal, open-source font:

“The Noto project started as a necessity for Google’s Android and ChromeOS operating systems. When we began, we did not realize the enormity of the challenge. It required design and technical testing in hundreds of languages, and expertise from specialists in specific scripts,”

“In Arabic, for example, each character has four glyphs (i.e., shapes a character can take) that change depending on the text that comes after it. In Indic languages, glyphs may be reordered or even split into two depending on the surrounding text.”

Scott Landers, president and CEO of Monotype weighed in on the relationship with Google and core idea behind the project:

“We are passionately dedicated to type and helping to advance the use and adoption of type across many cultures, languages and geographies. We are thrilled to have played such an important role in what has become one of the most significant type projects of all time,”

“The combination of Monotype’s type expertise and Google’s innovation has proven to be a productive relationship and we look forward to continued collaboration that helps advance the use of type to new places.”

This is an absolutely wonderful development and I’m pleased to see Google cooperated with Monotype, Adobe and other experts to work on such an ambitious project.

Noto fonts download here.
Design source files download here.
Font building pipeline download here.

Image courtesy of CreativeReview.

John Williamson

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