Missing characters in translations eliminated with this new typeface

A font is just a font, right? Well, when fonts are translated into different languages, missing characters are often turned into empty boxes, with the result being text that is not exactly lost in translation, but lost within the limitations of the typeface. Massachusetts-based font company Monotype launched SST typeface earlier this week, a font that can be translated into 93 different languages without the hieroglyphic boxes.

Monotype says the clean, highly-legible font is one of the most widely accessible typefaces available because of that multi-language compatibility. The sans serif font is designed to be easy to read both on small mediums like smartphone screens and larger publications, like billboards, the company says.

“Global brands have long struggled to find a brand identity that can help them carry a harmonious and appropriate tone of voice across multiple languages and geographies,” Akira Kobayashi, Type Director, APAC, at Monotype, said in a press release. “The SST typeface is consistently rich and legible and was designed with the purpose of making a brand experience memorable and uniform, without being too flashy. As a part of our design remit at Monotype, we are focused on creating global designs that have both staying power and the ability to tell a consistent story, no matter what language is being used to tell it.”

The font family was designed by Monotype’s Akira Kobayashi, in partnership with Sony Corporation. The result, Monotype says, is a font that offers a uniform look and feel for worldwide brands in both online and print publications.

As the internet continues to allow publications to reach across borders, more companies are developing fonts that can do the same kind of stretching. Adobe and Google recently partnered to develop the Source Hans Serif or Noto Sans font, an open-source typeface encompassing the Latin characters of English as well as simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Monotype is launching the 93-language font in packs ranging from $79 per style to larger family packs, with a 50-percent discount until July 27.