Adobe has just released Source Han Sans, an open source typeface that supports Japanese, Chinese and Korean, as well as Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets.
Source Han Sans 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.
"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," commented Dr. Ken Lunde, senior computer scientist, CJKV Type Development, Adobe.
"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."
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 was developed in collaboration with Adobe's key partner Google and contracted foundry partners across East Asia (Changzhou SinoType, Iwata Corporation, and Sandoll Communication).
In order to account for all regional variations, Adobe and its partners 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.
Source Han Sans is available for immediate desktop use via Adobe Typekit and also via the Typekit service included with Adobe Creative Cloud. Users can also download Source Han Sans for free through SourceForge or GitHub. The font is available via Google under the name Noto San CJK.