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Google’s new free font is truly global

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25

Oct

Google has just launched a beautiful new open source (free) font family, called Noto. It’s the culmination of over five years work, and has caused a big stir in the technology world.

Here are some key facts about Noto:

Noto covers more than 800 languages

That’s right, 800 languages! There are an incredible 110,000 characters available. That’s every single symbol in the Unicode standard, and Google are committed to keeping it up to date.

This project is so difficult that it took Google five years to complete, having worked with typographical and design experts worldwide. With Noto, designers and content creators worldwide can consistently create and share content. Languages such as Arabic, Traditional or Simplified Chinese, and Korean are included. Noto is also available in eight different weights, multiple styles, and has an incredible amount of special characters.

Noto aims to make the web more beautiful

One of Google’s key aims when creating Noto was to eliminate this character: This appears whenever something is translated into another language, and has no usable symbol within the font family. The official name for this symbol is ‘notdef’ or ‘not defined’, but it’s generally known as ‘tofu’.With Noto, that blank character should be eliminated, cleaning up the Web and making content more accessible to all.Indeed, the name Noto represents ‘no more tofu’.

Just as important as eliminating ‘tofu’ is the look of the font itself. It’s clean, clear and elegant. It’s also harmonious across all languages. So, if text in several different languages is on one page, it works beautifully together. This may sound easy butis, in fact, almost impossible to achieve, as this article on Wired explains in detail.

How to get the Noto font

Noto is very easy to access at Google’s Web Fonts site. Be warned that the full file is a massive 470.5 MB. You can however choose only the styles you wish; there is a full list on the above link. As the font is open source, designers can access the full source files and font building pipeline on GitHub.

We are so impressed with Noto and can’t wait to work with it. If you’d like to find out more and have any questions for us, just get in touch.

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