Adobe partners with Google to launch new open-source pan-CJK font

A few years back, Adobe and Google teamed up to launch a new open-source font for Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) languages. Today, the two companies are expanding on this project with the launch of a serif CJK font. Adobe calls this new font Source Han Serif, while Google calls it Noto Serif CJK.

Just like with the first project, Adobe font designer Ryoko Nishizuka worked on the overall design of the font and the company then worked with a number of local foundries in China, Japan and Korea to finish all of the 65,535 glyphs that make up the full font (which also includes Latin, Cyrillic and Greek glyphs based on Source Serif). All of those glyphs are available in seven weights, so we’re talking about more than 450,000 glyphs here — a huge number compared to your average Latin font.

“For a region like Asia, where the typefaces are so complex, having something that can be used freely is a really big deal,” says Adobe senior manager Dan Rhatigan. “Source Han Sans was the first major collaboration between Adobe and Google to make a pan-Asian font available to the world. Source Han Serif brings the other note to the palate for designers.”

Like the previous project, Source Han Serif is optimized for the screen — and Google’s motivation for supporting this project was surely at least partly driven by the need for better CJK fonts on Android.

From Adobe, the new font is now available through Typekit in North America and Japan (under its free tier) and the font files are available under an open-source license on GitHub.