Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts by Bill Davis


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Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts
Monotype’s Bill Davis was honored to give a presentation at the ATypI Hong Kong 2012 Conference titled “Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts.” When he looked at the top 1000 websites, he found that 10 to 15 percent are already using Web fonts. But for East Asian languages and scripts, only a handful has started to deploy Web fonts. His AtypI presentation, provided here as a slideshare, examines the two primary challenges for developers of Asian websites: 1) Website design issues and 2) Asian Web font file sizes.
His experience with the broad range of language and script support available in Web Fonts service has allowed him to gain insights into early adoption of non-Latin and Asian Web fonts by Web designers and developers.
This slideshare reviews some of the main benefits of Web fonts, no matter the language or geographic market for your audience, are:
• Establish typographic consistency
• Improve user experience
• Eliminate the use of text as graphics, improve workflow
• Enhance SEO, accessibility
To learn more about Web fonts, check out Bill Davis’ blog at
For more information on Web Font Services, check out

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Solving the Challenges of Asian Web Fonts by Bill Davis

  1. 1. Solving the Challenges ofAsian Web Fonts Bill Davis ATypI Hong Kong
  2. 2. Why use Web fonts?Establish typographic consistencyImprove user experienceEliminate graphics, improve workflowEnhance SEO, accessibility
  3. 3. Technology Adoption CurveWeb fonts in 10-15% of top 1000 websites Latin fonts
  4. 4. Alternative to Web fonts Use“System Fonts”
  5. 5. Global Typographic Consistency? Site using branding fonts and system fonts
  6. 6. Global Typographic Consistency?Sans serif fonts replaced with mincho and gothic styles
  7. 7. Web fonts are easy!You simply use CSS to define your fonts: {font-family: “MyCustom Font", "Hiragino Kaku Gothic", Osaka, "MS PGothic", Arial, sans-serif;}The fonts can be located:  Local  Downloaded  Linked to a Web font service
  8. 8. Leading Web font services 554 font families 776 font families 2000 + font families 993 + font families 992 font families 70 + font families 55 font families
  9. 9. Primarily Latin-based fonts Cyrillic, Khmer, Vietnamese “earlyaccess” Arabic, Indic, Korean + Cyrillic + Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cyrillic, Indic, Vietnamese, + Cyrillic, Vietnamese + Arabic, Cyrillic + Greek, Cyrillic + Arabic, Indic, Cyrillic +
  10. 10. Web fonts adoptionAsian fonts
  11. 11. Asian Web font servicesJapan: Korea: (Morisawa) China: 
  12. 12. So what’s the challenge?Site Design  Text-heavy websites  System fonts are tuned for small sizes  Web fonts benefit headlines  HTML5 – Flash replacement
  13. 13. Text size matters!Test your Web fonts!
  14. 14. So what’s the challenge?Asian font file sizes  Download times  File Compression/Subsetting techniques  Mobile users
  15. 15. More Smartphones than PCs
  16. 16. File download speeds2mb file 256kb DSL 1 minute 1 second 3Mbs (4G) 5 seconds5mb file 256kb DSL 2 minutes 33 seconds 3Mbs (4G) 12 seconds
  17. 17. File size matters!Test your Web fonts!
  18. 18. Asian font subsettingPre-subsetting or Dynamic subsetting  Build custom fonts for each web page  Smaller font files  Offered by Web font services
  19. 19. Multi-national companies are starting todeploy Web fonts
  20. 20. This is the year non-Latin andAsian Web fonts takes off!
  21. 21. Thank You! 謝謝 Bill Davis bill@fonts.comTypefaces used: Akko™ designed by Akira Kobayashi, 2011