Noto – Google’s Universal Font Project – Ruling them All and Eliminating the Problem of Tofu

Noto Google Universal Font

Google recently announced the Note, which is a typography project, covering more than hundred scripts and 800 languages.

When users visit a particular website, it may not display a specific character and they only see the symbol of a white box that seems like a tofu cube. Google offers a solution for this problem.

Noto Google Universal Font Project

What is Noto

When the computer is not able to recognize the language, it displays this through a blank box called tofu. Users find it frustrating, as they are not able to share a text in the original script. For instance, Nastaliq is an Urdu script and the people of India and Pakistan. However, it does not have support in digital devices, so the speakers of the language have to past the word images when they want to share a text, use another script or use the Western alphabets.

Google’s Solution

Google has announced a solution for this problem, with the Noto, which means no more tofu. The new font family covers more than 100 scripts and 800 languages. The project has been under creation for about five years and is termed as one of the very big typography project. Noto will be offered as an open source one and users can download it for free.

Noto’s Goal

Noto is a collaboration of Google and Monotype, which is a font company. It aims at enabling a better global communication crossing borders and languages as well as cultures and different time periods, according to the company press release. It helps the company to expand globally and encourages accessibility to the Internet.

Google Noto Fonts

Public Service

According to Finn Bunton, who is a professor at the New York University, the project is a huge one and offers a great public service. It is amazing that Google is doing it, though the company does have an incentive for it, according to Finn Bunton. Till now all text was transmitted and then displayed on the screen using limited codes, which means that there are fonts that cannot offer accent characters. Noto has made it possible to translate a language into something that is readable and also looks good. It offers a library that is consistent, with the different pieces blending together harmoniously and making it easy for reading.

It is tough to figure out the specific codes for the various languages, as it usually resulted in font mishmash. Fonts don’t appear good when languages are mixed.

The Challenge

Google worked with Monotype and consulted reviewers and experts of the native language, who were also experts in typography. This resulted in a refined product that had all the necessary adjustments made. In case of some of the languages, this could be the first digital presence of the script or the first dedicated font, as it is not something that all language communities will be able to accomplish on their own.

Noto Google Universal Font

Google has created the first fonts ever for some language communities, so it can serve the human community, which would otherwise be lacking in such digital heritage.

A Necessity

Google says that the project began as something of a necessity for Android and for the Chrome operating systems. The challenge was enormous to begin with, as it needed design and the testing of several languages and specialization in various scripts.

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