Why Dynamic Subsetting

Dynamic subsetting is a patent-pending technology from Monotype Imaging that enables brands to improve the performance and user experience when using Web fonts. Developed initially to reduce the larger font file sizes of East Asian writing systems such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, dynamic subsetting automatically detects and instantly delivers the Web fonts for only the characters that are used, thus dramatically reducing font file size.
Chinese, Japanese and Korean fonts can each contain thousands of characters, from 10,000 to 30,000 or more. The average Chinese Big5 font includes 13,000 characters with a font file size of about 8MB. A Unicode 6 font has 109,449 characters and can require more than 50 MB. Dynamic subsetting reduces the font to just the characters that are needed to render on the page and typically reduces the file sizes from tens of MBs to less than 200KBs.
Dynamic subsetting is ideal for the following use cases:
  1. Dynamically branded content – Dynamically branded content refers to rich, branded content that is interactive and dynamically adapts to user preferences, settings and/or feedback. Use cases of dynamic branded content can include Web apps, rich media content and ads, mobile ads, mobile apps, real-time content (news, blogs, feeds, etc.) that is served to the user based on social network integration, geo-location, user preferences or user interaction with the content. For example, a rich media ad may have the same creative assets, but the messaging and fonts in the ad can be dynamic and responsive based on the user’s language preference, purchase history, product interests, etc.
  2. Multi-language content – This applies to branded content that needs to be consistent and localized to support multiple languages. Web fonts deliver higher brand quality, smaller file sizes and enables more efficient and flexible development and production workflows than using static text images.
  3. Mobile & tablet content – Bandwidth and file sizes are critical in delivering great experiences of rich and branded content to mobile and tablet devices, especially over mobile networks to less capable hardware. Dynamic subsetting helps ensure brand consistency while minimizing your mobile content file sizes. To see this process in action, you can test the demos here on your smartphone or tablet over a mobile network or wi-fi.
  4. Rich media – Rich media content is one of the fastest growing areas of mobile. According to InMobi, over 50% of all mobile brand campaign buys includes rich media (Source: InMobi Network Data – Aggregated Brand Campaigns, July 2011). Web fonts help improve the quality and experience of rich media content by delivering fonts vs. text files. For multi lingual and dynamically branded rich media content, dynamically subsetted fonts can offer smaller file sizes and faster load times resulting in improved performance of the rich media content.