Monthly Archives: March 2009

Korean Websites Showcase Fonts For Embedded OpenType

Naver.com: Showcasing Embedded OpenType in Korea

I’ve always said the greatest beneficiaries of Font Embedding on the Web were likely to be East Asian websites – especially if they used Embedded Opentype font objects with subsets of the full character sets, since the complete character sets of Korean, Chinese and Japanese fonts are so huge.

A good Japanese font, like Meiryo, will contain some 24,000 characters. There are two font files which make up the Meiryo family, and they total 14Mb, which means that downloading the fonts would mean a long wait, even on many broadband connections.

Yet more than 99% of everything written in Japanese websites, newspapers and magazines can be covered using a subset of about 2000 characters. Identical character set and font size issues apply to Korean, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

The Windows Embedding Font Tool (WEFT ) allows you to create subsets based on selectable criteria, including per-page, per-site, and language. So I created subsets of all the fonts I use on my own website based on the Latin 1 language coverage, which cuts the fonts to about half their full size.

If you do language-based subsetting like this, it means you need only create your font objects once. Unless you start writing in a language not covered by them, they need never be changed. And you can copy and paste the same CSS font declarations if you create different style sheets. For instance, on my website I’ve created a stylesheet for books, another for a multicolumn blog, etc.

Provided your pages are all on the same site as the one to which the original EOT objects were tied (e.g. http://www.billhillsite.com/) then everything just works. I’ll never have to think about font embedding again, unless I decide to redesign.

Today I received mail from Reagan Hwang, who works for Microsoft in Korea, pointing me to some interesting showcases for EOT in Korea. For instance, both Naver.com – the worldwide #5 search engine and Cyworld.com – the #1 Korean SNS website – offer EOT-embeddable fonts in their font marketplaces.

Cyworld.com’s font marketplace

According to Reagan: “Using EOT is very common in Korea, especially on social networking sites”.

Microsoft Korea has just translated my original blog post about EOT, WEFT etc, into Korean. I’ll put a link to the Korean version in this post as soon as I get one.

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