Adobe & Google’s Latest: Source Han Serif
Adobe is always trying to create the unbelievable. Their more recent project is the largest open source typeface on the market. Source Han Serif was designed in collaboration with Google and might be the duo’s most ambitious project yet. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know:
- This is Source Han Serif, the largest open source typeface on the market.
- Source Han Serif is a pan CJK typeface, meaning it spans across Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Around 1.5 billion people use one or more of these languages.
- That’s about a quarter of the planet’s population.
- Characters for these languages number in the tens of thousands. Source Han Serif include 65,535 glyphs (the maximum number for .otf files) and comes in 7 weights.Source Han Serif is a free, open source project and comes in one small file size.
- East Asian fonts are generally expensive to make and take up tons of space on computers. Source Han Serif‘s full file size is <25MB (compare that to the usual 40MB for similar fonts)
- In Chinese Japanese Korean (CJK) languages, the same ideograph character may have subtle, but different writing conventions in different regions. Source Han Serif (or Noto CJK Serif for Google) supports writing conventions in four regions, including 18 region-specific fonts.
- This Korean manuscript can be displayed with Source Han Serif (or Noto CJK Serif for Google) because the typeface supports Hangul syllables and offers support for vertical layout.
- The designers of Source Han Serif are Ryoko Nishizuka & Frank Greißhammer
- Type designer Ryoko Nishizuka’s sketches of some of the characters for Source Han SerifIn Japan, the acceptable name for Source Han Serif is “Gen-no-mincho.”
- Dan Rhatigan and Dr. Ken Lunde also helped with the creation of Source Han Serif.
- The Adobe Type Team, Google & foundries like Sandoll, SinoType and Iwata have been working on Source Han Serif for a year and a half. It was released at the beginning of April, 2017
- You can download the full font on GitHub or use it via Adobe Typekit & Google Fonts.