Tips for Choosing Multilingual Fonts
by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool
So your audience is growing and it’s multilingual now! The task is to communicate with the increased and multifarious number of readers. Multilingual fonts are what can help you with this task. These fonts are specially designed to handle the diverse characters found in multiple languages so your content will be accessible to an international audience.
Be careful with choosing a font, the right one can say a lot about your project and create a good impression in the viewer’s mind. Of course, fonts for your multilingual publication limit your options, and the choice should be well-thought-out.
To maintain brand consistency, you’d want every target language to have the same feel as the original layout. So here are some quick tips for choosing the right font:
- Choosing the audience. Before starting working with any font you should know which areas you are targeting. This helps you understand which fonts you require and which fonts can suit your task the best. And this knowledge can help you win half the war when you know which fonts to use and what to target.
- Simplicity. Standard Unicode fonts are great for most languages in your global communication. Such fonts are correctly displayed in most browsers, on most operating systems, and in most word processors. However, if you want to serve your Asian audience with a better user experience, you might still consider using specific Asian fonts that will look much better for local users. One of the options is to use Google’s Noto font family, which aims to support all languages.
- Dimensions. Your target language publication should have the same layout and readability, so you may have to adapt the font size and spacing. Start with a font size that is readable on any medium, and then make sure that you can reduce and increase the font size while maintaining readability.
- Effects. Such effects as bolding, underlining, or italics can make these pieces of text distorted for Asian and Middle Eastern languages, while Western European languages usually have no problem with this, so try to avoid any fonts effects.
Multilingual fonts are a must when the world is a local community. They are helpful when you have to target general masses of audiences. Maybe you can consider a multilingual audience as a limit to your creativity. But remember that according to the concept of creative limitation, the most amazing work can come from creative constraints.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors