Adobe joins forces with Asian type giant

Typekit teams up with Morisawa to give designers access to some beautiful Asian fonts.

Asian font giant Morisawa is bringing beautiful fonts like this to Typekit users

Earlier this year, Adobe's Creative Cloud font service Typekit extended its service to support Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts, and created a new UI for search and discovery of Japanese typefaces making it easier to download fonts.

During the first day of Adobe's annual conference Adobe Max, Typekit has announced that it's taking its Asian type offering a step further.

The headline news is that they're partnering with Japanese font giant Morisawa to release 20 Morisawa and TypeBank fonts on Typekit.

Westerners in mind

Matthew Rechs

This move has not just been made for Japanese designers in mind, stresses Matthew Rechs, general manager of Adobe Type & Typekit. "Asian type really captivates Western designers," he emphasises.

"It's incredibly beautiful and mysterious in its complexity, and it captures their excitement like nothing else.

"For instance, our previous announcement about supporting Asian fonts has the highest traffic we'd ever had from an Adobe blog post."

Some of the new fonts now available to Typekit users

The announcement is timely, as Typekit recently introduced a capability that makes it easy for web publishers to use CJK fonts in their HTML designs.

Previously, this was problematic because the huge size of each Asian fontset would slow down web page speed too much. As a result, Japanese designers still largely restrict themselves to browser fonts, or embedding type as images via Flash, says Rechs.

"Asia's still where the West was in 2007-8," he says. "But dynamic subsetting fixes that problem. Basically it allows us to detect, in real time, which characters are needed on a web page and deliver them right when they are needed – rather than loading the whole thing."

Dynamic subsetting makes Asian fonts easier to use than ever

In technical terms, when your dynamic kit JavaScript loads in the browser, it will detect your page's character usage and request a dynamic subset for the glyphs needed for each member of the family. This makes for very small fonts, with very fast load times.

You can see Dynamic subsetting in action in this brief, silent video:

The full list of new fonts available to Typekit users as a result of the deal are listed below:

  • Ryumin-Light
  • FutoMinA101-Bold
  • MidashiMin-MA31
  • GothicBBB-Medium
  • FutoGoB101-Bold
  • MidashiGo-MB31
  • Jun101-Light
  • TB Cinema Round Gothic
  • Chibi Maru Gothic
  • Shino M
  • Nikkatsu Seikaisho-tai
  • Brush
  • Sun M
  • TB Caligra Gothic E
  • Kanji Typos
  • UD ShinGo L
  • UD Reimin L
  • UD Shin Maru Go L
  • TB NP Mincho L
  • TB NP Gothic M

You can learn more about Adobe's support for Asian fonts here.

We're here at Adobe Max all this week, so keep an eye on Creative Bloq for all the latest news and announcements from Adobe.

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Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.