Adobe and Google Announce a Digital Type Breakthrough

Companies Release First Open Source Font Family That Supports Chinese, Japanese and Korean Languages

SAN JOSE, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — July 15, 2014 — Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) today announced the release of Source Han Sans, an open source typeface supporting Japanese, Chinese and Korean, as well as Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. It was developed in collaboration with Adobe’s key partner Google and contracted foundry partners across East Asia (Changzhou SinoType, Iwata Corporation, and Sandoll Communication). Source Han Sans marks a record-breaking typeface in terms of size, scale, complexity and support for Japanese, Chinese and Korean all within the same font family. It provides designers and developers creating content for international audiences one uniform font to use in print and Web files no matter the language - eliminating the need to license multiple fonts.

First Open Source Typeface to Support Chinese, Japanese and Korean in One

While the Japanese kanji, Chinese hanzi and Korean hanja characters share historical derivation, the typefaces have typically been individually created to support each language, with separate sets for Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Source Han Sans marks the first open source font family to support each of the languages, as well as regional variants, within the same font family, supporting languages spoken by 1.5 billion people.

  • Source Han Sans supports Japanese, Traditional Chinese (including Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR), Simplified Chinese, and Korean (with hangul syllables), as well as Greek, Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.
  • Source Han Sans is available in seven weights in full fonts, as well as region-specific subsets, equaling a total of 42 typefaces, designed for screen devices and print.

Web Leaders Collaborate on Largest-Ever Open Source Font

In order to account for all regional variations, Adobe, in collaboration with Google and foundry partners Changzhou SinoType, Iwata Corporation, and Sandoll Communication, designed 65,535 glyphs for each font, the maximum number for the OpenType format. The development and design took more than three years, with a team of more than 100 people, motivated by a common goal to help unify the international design and development communities.

Adobe Quote:

Dr. Ken Lunde, senior computer scientist, CJKV Type Development, Adobe

"Before today, designers and developers building websites or applications intended to support or display content in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean would need to license multiple fonts of different designs in order to convey correct content to their target audiences - this is both a time-intensive and cost-ineffective process. The development of Source Han Sans was the most extensive and complex in our 30 years of font development at Adobe, and would not have been feasible without the collaboration of Google and our foundry partners. We are incredibly pleased to introduce a typeface that streamlines the workflow for content creators as well as enriches the experience of users, particularly those in East Asia."

Google Quote

Linus Upson, VP, engineering at Google

"We're excited to release Noto Sans CJK* — a new open source font for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This new addition to the Noto family is a major step towards complete coverage of all languages. Noto Sans CJK is the result of a joint development by Adobe, Google, and our in-country foundry partners, and provides harmonious text for Chrome OS and many other Google products."

* Google is releasing this font under the name Noto Sans CJK as part of their Noto pan-Unicode font family.

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