Google's Noto Fonts Are Really Beautiful


#1

So I was looking through fonts online, and some people online really love the look and feel of Google’s Noto series of fonts. Noto comes in a couple flavours, but I came across “Noto.” This is what Google says about it.

“When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as ‘tofu’. They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.”

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see ‘no more tofu’. Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all."

“Noto Sans CJK and Noto Serif CJK comprehensively cover Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in a unified font family. This includes the full coverage of CJK Ideographs with variation support for 4 regions, Kangxi radicals, Japanese Kana, Korean Hangul, and other CJK symbols and letters in the Basic Multilingual Plane of Unicode. It also provides limited coverage of CJK Ideographs in Plane 2 of Unicode as necessary to support standards from China and Japan.”

These fonts, in regards to Japanese: “Supports all of the kanji in JIS X 0208, JIS X 0213, and JIS X 0212 to include all kanji in Adobe-Japan1-6.”

My questions are basically answered now, so I no longer have a problem. I’ve left this part in for posterity. This thread is now about this awesome family of fonts!


So my problem is this:
I use a WaniKani wallpaper generator so I can get an overview of my progress on my desktop (and honestly, it’s just very pretty). It automatically is incompatible with any font that doesn’t include all the kanji that WK covers. But is it possible, given how “comprehensive” Noto claims to be, that it doesn’t include all the necessary kanji?


Here’s a gorgeous sample of these fonts in a few different Asian languages:

For those that are interested, here are links to the main Noto page, and for the CJK files specifically:

https://www.google.com/get/noto/

https://www.google.com/get/noto/help/cjk/

Here’s an article on the font by Wired, for those who want to learn more about this font from another perspective:


#2

I would say it is virtually impossible for Noto to not cover WK Kanji. Naturally the only way to know is to test, but no would be floored if the test failed.


#3

I mean that’s kind of my point. The generator I use supposedly excludes fonts that fail that test. So… ??? I don’t get it. What would be an easy way to test it for myself?


#4

Oh sorry, I had not understood that you had already tested it. I thought you were just explaining what would be rejected by the generator.
If you know how to use the API, do the following:

  1. Pull kanji from WK into text file.
  2. Install font on computer.
  3. Paste kanji from text file into Word.
  4. Select all the kanji.
  5. Change font.
  6. See if any show up as empty squares or anything that is not obviously a kanji. If yes, then the font does not support all WK Kanji. If not, we need to explore further.

Alternatively, there might be online font tester websites you can paste the kanji you pulled from step 1 into.

If you don’t know how to use the API, let me know.


#5

As the author of the generator you refer to I felt obliged to investigate.

I have 51 japanese fonts on my computer and 8 of them don’t support some kanji from WK list. Usually it looks similar to this (you can see that some kanji are lacking):

I installed the font you are talking about and the result is a completely black screen, which means that the problem is not with lacking characters but there is something wrong with the font itself - out of all I have it’s the only one that behaves this way. Or maybe there is something wrong with Java since it can’t render it properly? I don’t know and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about this. I’m afraid you’ll have to just give up on that font if you are going to use my generator.


#6

I’m afraid I don’t. But more importantly, my understanding of the API is that I can’t pull all of the kanji until I subscribe (which I plan on doing, but has not happened just yet). Until then, I can only access data about the levels I have unlocked.


#7

Thanks very much for the reply, and I appreciate the investigation. For my wallpaper I’ve more or less settled on Meiryo for now. Though I do confess myself curious about what font you used for the demonstration in your generator thread because it’s absolutely gorgeous.


#8

It’s called chifont and it’s one of the fonts recommended for Jitai: The font randomizer that fits.


#9

I’m not a font expert, but I was looking for a good Japanese font a little while ago. In addition to NotoSans, I also came across SourceHanSans. Maybe try that one as well?

I’m a bit surprised to hear that any of the “Japanese” fonts wouldn’t show a Kanji that is on WaniKani. I know there are issues displaying some radicals though. Can you give a specific example? If you can’t show it, maybe you can put the unicode number for it? Just curious…


#10

lol I didn’t mean that comic-looking one. I meant the one you used on your thread’s demonstration. It looks very brushy and traditional. Um… this one:


#11

Hmm, that’s interesting.
It seems unlikely to me that the font has a problem, because this is Google :thinking:. I guess it could be a problem with Java since the Java you use may not be the same one adapted by Google for Android…
I do recognize however that without any solutions or suggestions, this comment is essentially a waste of everyone’s time…


#12

I don’t particularly find speculations or ruminations to be a waste of time, per se.

What is your opinion of the fonts in general? Do you like them? I think they’re gorgeous.


#13

im not developer or such but i was use Google NOto CJK for mr personal website use and it was beautiful on screen~ those font have nice anti aliases~

i think no glyph are missing~ it covers broad of many characters including rare jinmeiyou and kokugo kanji~

im carefully selected Japanese font since the complete one usually huge、and it’s meet my criteria~ i was working this font since 2014~ just try to throw obscure jinmeiyou like 「雛」 「黛」 「黎」 「鵬」 which is usually fail to load on free fonts~

if you interest you can see →

Summary

Noto Sans CJK in action~♪


#14

I think they’re beautiful. As was mentioned, the anti-aliasing looks great, and I love the fluidity. I would like some awesome calligraphy fonts though, if anyone knows a few.


#15

Oh, I didn’t read carefully. That one is Nagayama Kai.


#16

the most complete calligraphy style land have proper JIS 、Arphic Family is nice、but it paid font〜↓

there’s also nice non Arpic one〜