Tuesday, March 18 2008

Free Kanji fonts!

Safari 3.1 has added CSS downloadable font support, so I went looking for some decent fonts with less ambiguous availability than the often-linked hgrskp.ttf. To my surprise and delight, I found that Epson hosts a free download of a nice collection of fonts, including a Kaisho, a Kyoukasho, a Gyosho, a Mincho, and a Maru.

The only thing wrong with them is that the embedded font names are not encoded in Unicode (probably Shift-JIS), so the names show up as garbage in font menus. Easy fix with a font editor.

[Note: kanji fonts are in the neighborhood of 50 times larger than a standard font, and you really, really don’t want to embed them into a web page except as a test. There’s a reason Adobe PDF uses font subsetting, and I suspect people will insist on similar tools for web fonts, even the standard ones. Also, Safari 3.1 doesn’t cache downloaded fonts at all…]