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The 10 best multilingual fonts in 2020

Best multilingual fonts
(Image credit: Eugene Tantsurin/Groteskly Yours)

Using the best multilingual fonts will empower you to communicate with your readers more easily. These fonts, as their name suggests, are designed to handle the special characters of multiple languages so an international audience will be able to read your content.

Reading a translation online may have already shown you the limitations of single language fonts (even those on our list of the best free fonts). If the site's font doesn't totally cater for your language, it might display a little box instead of the required character. The box, known as 'tofu', can detract from the legibility and design of your site. Multilingual fonts keeps your text in line with the rest of your design without having to spend your time designing character alternatives.

Multilingual fonts come in many different styles and prices, so we've found a range of options to help you find the right one. Alternatively, you might find what you’re looking for in our other font roundups, including our favourite script fonts, brush fonts, italic fonts or the best font pairings.

01. Okta Neue Font

Best multilingual fonts

Versatile and geometric (Image credit: Eugene Tantsurin/Groteskly Yours)

The font's creator says Okta Neue Font "inherits the best traits of Okta—great legibility, simple geometric letters shapes, low contrast across all styles" but, crucially, includes extensive language support, plus enhanced OpenType features.

It has an extended Latin set, and extended Cyrillic, Greek (Basic and Polytonic) and Hebrew. Cyrillic also includes localised support for languages like Serbian, Bulagrian and others. It has 22 font styles.

02. Suisse

Best multilingual fonts: Suisse

Will Suisse suit you? (Image credit: Swiss Type Faces)

Suisse is the centrepiece of the Swiss Typefaces library. It’s made up of six collections that include a total of 55 styles. Thanks to its clear-cut design, Suisse is perfect for contemporary projects and lends itself easily to variation. These alternate styles include Suisse Int’l, which supports Latin, Cyrilic and Arabic alphabets.

If you like the clean, crisp look of Suisse Int’l but need some variation, Suisse Int’l Mono and Suisse Int’l Condensed are on hand to give different options. You can download them individually, or all in one go. The whole collection of six fonts will set you back nearly £400, but you can trial the whole lot for free to get an idea of whether it’s right for you.

03. Dominicale

Best multilingual fonts: Dominicale

Get an old-fashioned look with Dominicale (Image credit: Altiplano)

With its blunt serifs and jagged, diagonal stems, there’s something of a medieval air to Dominicale. It’s no surprise then to learn that Dominicale's makers were interested in interpreting the rough and ready setting of early printed books.

The angular structure of this font would be a perfect fit for projects that pastiche the past, such as the best posters or packaging designs. And with support for English, French and German characters, this trilingual edition can be enjoyed by a huge European audience.

04. Grotte

Best multilingual fonts: Grotte

Grotte is an affordable but classy option (Image credit: vladderkach)

Multilingual fonts don’t have to be expensive affairs. Just take Grotte, a simple sans-serif font with geometric outlines and elegant curves. Available in three weights, this handy little font can be yours for just $8. And with support for Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish and French languages, plus Cyrillic, you’re really getting value for money.

Thanks to its clear yet easy-on-the-eye design, Grotte would lend itself easily to posters, packaging, commercials, signs and websites. Just what you need for an international campaign on a tight budget.

05. Mirage

Best multilingual fonts: Mirage

Mirage comes in five weights (Image credit: Made on Creative Market)

Mirage is an elegant font, which has multilingual support. Perfect for projects that require a touch of class, it comes in five weights and includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation.

It's easy to read in a wide range of contexts so would work for packaging, magazines, fashion, invitations or in situ on a website. It currently has 50 per cent off, so it's a great time to invest.

06. Omnes

Best multilingual fonts: Omnes

Omnes is a refreshing font that packs a punch (Image credit: Fanta)

Got a sweet tooth? If so, you might recognise Omnes. This playful, rounded font has appeared on condiment sachets and even an advertising campaign for Fanta. It’s bold shapes make it the perfect fit for products that need to appeal to your eyes as well as your taste buds, so you’ll want to bookmark this one if you design for food.

As if it wasn’t already appealing enough, Omnes can support dozens of languages, including Afrikaans, Polish, Latin, Sorbian, and many more. The complete set can be yours to enjoy for $253, or you can order à la carte and choose any combination of up to six styles from $45.

07. Helvetica World

Best multilingual fonts: Helvetica World

What's better than Helvetica? Helvetica World (Image credit: Linotype)

Chance are you might have heard of Helvetica. Thanks to its clear design it’s one of the most popular professional fonts, however it’s so ubiquitous that you might be tempted to pick one of the many inspired alternatives to Helvetica.

Hold on though, because Helvetica World could be the solution you’re looking for. Designed by Linotype, this font is an updated version of Helvetica that supports a whopping 102 languages and writing systems from all over the globe. And just like the original Helvetica, this font has almost limitless potential in terms of use.

08. Gill Sans Nova

Best multilingual fonts: Gill Sans Nova

A British font now with international reach (Image credit: Monotype)

Ever since Monotype’s humanist sans-serif typeface Gill Sans first hit the scene in 1928, it’s been a favourite with designers. Over the years it’s been adapted for every publishing technology while retaining its uniquely British character, but with Gill Sans Nova it now boasts a larger character set.

Launched by Monotype in 2015, Gill Sans Nova features 43 fonts that support Latin, Greek and Cryillic characters. The display weight only supports Latin, so keep this in mind as you buy each individual style, especially as prices start from £49.

09. Greta Sans

Best multilingual fonts: Greta Sans

The Greta Sans library is a whopper, but worth it (Image credit: Typotheque)

We’re into the big leagues now. Greta Sans, designed by Peter Bilak and published by Typotheque, is a powerful type family made up of ten weights available in three widths. Capable of dealing with the most complex typographical situations, Greta Sans supports a whopping 217 international languages, meaning that it can cover even Hebrew, Thai and Korean scripts among many others.

As you’d expect for such a powerful type tool, Greta Sans comes at a price. A single font in a selected language will set you back at least €72, while the full suite will cost you €1,400. To help spread the cost you only need to pay for whichever language you need, and considering the full suite includes 80 fonts, you’re getting a lot for your money.

10. Google Noto

Best multilingual fonts: Google Noto

Bye-bye tofu (Image credit: Google)

Remember how we mentioned at the top of this article that not having multilingual support leads to websites displaying little empty boxes, or tofu? Well, Google Noto is here to remedy that. Taking its name from its goal to see ‘no more tofu’, Google Noto is a font which aims to ‘support all languages with a harmonious look and feel’.

The core Noto Sans font supports up to 582 languages across 237 regions, and even comes in 72 styles. What’s more you can download it for free with the click of a button. Not only that but you’ll also get the dozens and dozens of variations to support different scripts and symbols.

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