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This question might sound like very simple but trust me I am really frustrated with the situation and not getting any positive direction towards solution. Someone who has worked for multilingual challenges would probably understand the pain.

Why I want to use Noto family (basically 3-4 fonts from this family): My customer website is in different languages (Japanese, Chinese, Korian, English + few more). Currently those are in any random (and ugly) fonts. Only Noto (I could find) which will enable consistency and better typography across websites. Now, we strictly don't want to use any random font for localization. Best part is Google allows usage of this font being in Apache licence.

Whats the problem

  • We are not sure whether the font will have any browser dependency (want it to be running in IE 7 also)
  • Each language font is approx. 15 mb, so there is no online tool which can convert this font for web usage :(
  • Will this font be used even through firewall an other restrictions at customer system
  • I have not seen any major brands/websites using this font. Just wondering why! Is there any concern regarding its web usage.

If any one has actually experienced this type of situation, any pointers for the font usage will be great.

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  • have you looked here: google.com/fonts/earlyaccess ?
    – Liviu A
    Jan 20, 2015 at 16:51
  • I'm not sure what the question is. Are you asking what are the concerns with using webfonts in general? Also...15mb? Are you sure? That seems excessive.
    – DA01
    Jan 20, 2015 at 19:01
  • Did you solve this issue
    – William
    Aug 9, 2018 at 23:53
  • @William We couldn't use it as some countries are not Google friendly. [I know how quick I am replying to your comment :| ]
    – Spicerjet
    Nov 4, 2019 at 7:54

1 Answer 1

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I can't speak to all of your concerns, but here's some thoughts:

  • Don't include all the weights. When I download Noto Japanese, the files are 30 MB uncompressed, but it includes 7 different weights. Choose the weights you want to use (e.g. maybe you only need Regular and Bold, 4.4 MB each)
  • Use the Google early release API. If any other sites decide to use the same fonts from the same source, there's a better chance that users will have the fonts already in their cache.
  • Think long and hard about your audience. Are you targeting mobile users? People with lower bandwidth speeds? These are important factors.
  • Consider a solution like fonts.com's Dynamic Subsetting, which returns font files with only the characters on the page. (fonts.com does not seem to offer Noto though... :( )
  • Don't get too hung up about consistency of style between localized sites. If your sites' content is well developped in all the different localizations, there should not be as much need for users to toggle between sites. That means the people most likely to notice the inconsistency is you and the client. What's most important is that you are consistent within your localized site.
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    I could see Regular and Bold with 16037 and 16596 KB respectively. This is the hard part. Can you please let me know from where did you get the font files with so much lesser size.
    – Spicerjet
    Jan 21, 2015 at 11:45
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    I totally agree that consistency within site is important than across site. But we face issues in the site itself hence the decision to change the font to Noto. And we implement it across market, from development and efforts perspective it will benefit us.
    – Spicerjet
    Jan 21, 2015 at 11:48
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    I downloaded the Japanese files from the Google early realease API site (link above), and looked at the font sizes in there. Admittedly those are just the OpenType font faces, other files may be larger or smaller. Jan 23, 2015 at 20:56

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