Here’s Where to Find Hangul Fonts and a Look at Why There Aren’t More of Them

For a long time as a graphic designer, I’ve asked myself:

Why aren’t there more cool Hangul fonts?
Where can I FIND Hangul fonts?

You know, when you start a new design project, one of the most interesting things to do is go “font shopping.” I could spend 30 minutes to an hour simply browsing through the fonts I have, or looking online, and trying to find a font based on some adjective descriptors (serif, strong, bold, thick, black, ancient, modern, Roman, etc).

Finding fonts in English is a piece of cake thanks to sites like:

But finding Hangul Fonts seemed nearly impossible until only recently. Here are a couple of methods I’ve previously used to try to find decent Hangul Fonts:

  1. Copying the Hangul font files from a Korean Windows computer onto a USB and then taking it home
  2. I learned that “글꼴” means “font” in Korean – so I searched the Internet for “글꼴 다운로드” and “글꼴 토렌트” but that often turned up little
  3. Finally I found Naver’s Hangul site that includes a download of its Nanum Pro series of fonts:nanum-logo

    1. Nanum Gothic
    2. Nanum Myeongjo
    3. Nanum Son GeulSsi (Handwriting) – 2 varieties

You can download all of Naver’s Nanum fonts individually, or download a self-installing pack specifically for Windows (.exe) or for Mac (.dmg):

nanum-download


The Motherload of Hangul Fonts!

I had all but given up on finding Hangul fonts other than the Nanum series (though I knew it must be possible because of the huge variety of fonts present on advertisements and shop signs throughout Korea), when I stumbled upon another Naver site that contains a HUGE collection of fonts.

Naver Software Hangul Font Collections

hangul-fonts

And they are all FREE! (무료 = FREE)

Hangul Font Design Companies

Just judging from the top sorting bar on this site, it looks like the following companies are some of the top Hangul designers in Korea:

hangul-font-designers

  1. Naver (네이버)
  2. DX Korea (DX코리아)
  3. AsiaSoft (아시아소프트)
  4. Haeoom (헤움)
  5. Hoon Design (훈디자인)

So, in the future it will probably prove to be worthwhile to try to investigate each of these company’s websites individually for more cool fonts. But for now, I know that DX Korea has some of the best ones that I’ve downloaded and used.


Why aren’t there more cool Hangul Fonts?

Let me conclude this post with my own personal analysis of the differences between an English “Pro” font and a Hangul “Pro” font. This is what I’d previously concluded as the main reason behind a stunning lack of variety and availability I observed in Hangul fonts.

Minion Pro character set = 1675 characters

Minion PRO font

The above image shows the entire character set for Minion Pro – one of the most extensively designed English fonts available.

English fonts are actually relatively easy to design for because the minimum required character set (and the number of letters found in a good deal of FREE fonts) is simply: 26 letters (only uppercase) or 52 letters (upper and lowercase).

Not so with Hangul fonts. The minimum required character set for a Hangul font is around 11,000!! This is because:

The number of the theoretically possible Modern Hangul syllables in Unicode is: 11,172. Among these, the top 2350 syllables occupy 99.9% of all that is used.

Initial consonant 19 * Middle vowel 21 * (Final consonant 27 + No final 1) = 11,172.

Now check out the full character set for a “Pro” Hangul font:

HYGothic-Medium = 20,287 characters

HYGothic-Medium font

Pretty amazing right? The ㄱ set alone contains 1176 characters. And the ㄴ set contains 588 characters (half that of ㄱ because ㄱ can be doubled: ㄲ, but ㄴ cannot).

“Pro” Hangul fonts (like the one above) also include:

  1. English
  2. Chinese (Hanja)
  3. Japanese (Hirigana and Katakana)
  4. Numbers
  5. Math (and other) symbols and wingdings

I’ve even seen some pastors effortlessly switch between Korean and Greek in the same font as they are preparing their sermons.

Do you know of any other wonderful Hangul font downloading sites? Comment with the link below and let’s see if we can’t build a comprehensive list of the best places to find Hangul fonts.

18 comments

  1. Hi ^_^ Thank you soo much for this post. it is really helpful but could you say I should download the fonts? I saw some download buttons but I just can’t get them? It only was the the .exe file.
    I’d really appreciate it if you helped.

    1. I’m currently writing a Post about downloading the fonts and installing them. I’ll keep you updated when it’s complete.

    1. I’m not sure if they are free for commercial use. I tried to briefly browse the LARGE font collection site here in their FAQs and Notices section to see if there was any notification about that, but I don’t yet read Korean well enough to understand (or find) the finer details of the licensing terms.

      Do you know anyone who speaks Korean? It would probably be best for you to get a native to browse for the licensing terms as they would know more of the keywords to search for and notify you of any restrictions.

      Might I inquire as to what you’re intending to use them for? As a graphic designer (and Hangul lover) myself, I’m always interested in knowing how the fonts might be used in designs. Do you have a company/website I might browse?

  2. hello i downloaded a font downloader called ifont. and when i tried to download a font from naver it directed me to ifont and it said to donate. is there another way to download it free? tutorial please? c:

    1. Can you give me a link to that page that it sent you to? USUALLY there’s a way around that kind of stuff. If it just wants a “donation” then it’s not usually something you have to BUY. There’s probably a button hidden around there somewhere that says “No thanks” in Korean. If you send me the link I can help you figure it out.

  3. thank you so much Aaron. This is of amazing help. Thanks for compiling such list for everyone. People like me who require to work in Korean fonts but know nothing about Hangul… this is simple awesome!

  4. It helps to correctly translate the word “font” into Korean: 폰트. There are dozens of good Korean fonts available with public license (that is, free). There are thousands of good and interesting Korean fonts, and many companies not identified here. The character set is both bigger and smaller than suggested here. PS: Never download anything that uses an executable installer.

    1. Definitely agreed:

      Never download anything that uses an executable installer.

      Do you have any good links for the other “폰트” sites? Help to search for good fonts? Or any good ideas on how best to ORGANIZE an ever expanding library of fonts on my computer?

  5. Hi, Aaron. I don’t know if all of this text will fit into your comment box.

    Both Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac OS X come with several Korean fonts with large character sets (much more than required by Korean national standards). Windows should have Batang, Dotum, Gulim, Gungsuh, Malgun Gothic (regular and bold), and the all-in-one Arial Unicode MS. For OS X, see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_typefaces_included_with_OS_X

    The Windows fonts differ from OS X fonts, except for Arial Unicode MS. In addition to your list, here are more commercial producers of fonts in Korea (in alphabetical order):

    Fontrix (Rixco)
    http://www.fontrix.co.kr/

    Goodfont Inc. (GF)
    http://www.goodfont.co.kr/

    HanYang I&C Co. Ltd. (HY)
    http://www.hanyang.co.kr/

    Sandoll Type Bank (SD)
    http://www.sandoll.co.kr/

    Yoon Design (YD)
    http://www.yoonfont.co.kr/

    Web sites are in Korean with English tags. There are more than a dozen Korean font companies active at any given time. Following is a partial list of free downloads; the exact license terms are in Korean.

    “HCR” Korean fonts (by Yoon Design for Haansoft)
    http://www.hancom.com/downLoad.downView.do?seqno=3136&mcd_save=005

    Naver “Nanum” Korean fonts (by Fontrix and Sandoll)
    http://hangeul.naver.com/download.nhn
    You want the “NanumFont_OTF_ALL.zip” and “NanumFont_TTF_ALL.zip” downloads; none others. See also:
    http://dev.naver.com/projects/nanumfont/download

    “Naver Dictionary” Korean font (by HanYang)
    http://cdn.naver.com/naver/dic/naverdic.tgz
    The Windows download is an executable installer; this link is for a Linux/UNIX-style ZIP file. See http://www.7-zip.org/ for a general-purpose ZIP utility for Windows.

    “Seoul Hangang” and “Namsan” Korean fonts (by Yoon and TypoDesign)
    http://www.seoul.go.kr/v2012/seoul/symbol/font.html
    Takes a few tries to get the right download, and only one download allowed at a time.
    OpenType (first set): http://www.seoul.go.kr/v2012/seoul/symbol/download.php?div=Zm9udDA0
    OpenType (second set): http://www.seoul.go.kr/v2012/seoul/symbol/download.php?div=Zm9udDEw (missing .ZIP extension on download file name)
    TrueType: http://www.seoul.go.kr/v2012/seoul/symbol/download.php?div=Zm9udDAy
    TrueType: http://www.seoul.go.kr/v2012/seoul/symbol/download.php?div=Zm9udDA4 (missing .ZIP extension on download file name)

    I wouldn’t advise searching random Korean web sites for font downloads, because there is a lot of malware (spyware and viruses) packed into executables and drive-by attacks.

    Organizing fonts is a challenge when the number of fonts increases. There are thousands of Korean fonts. The best is to have a separate folder of all fonts, with subfolders for each font company, and to install only those fonts you are using. There are utilities for renaming font files so that file names are consistent and in plain text (US-ASCII character set), or you can rename them manually.

    1. EXCELLENT! Wow~ Have you posted this on your own blog? I’d be happy to link people over there if so. And are you OK with me putting up a “Korean Font Resources” page over here including these links?

      1. Oh, my Korean blog was a long time ago. I now have one of those “all work and no fun” web sites on a subject that wouldn’t interest your readers.

        You are welcome to use the material posted above to make your own reference page. You don’t need to credit me. Keeping links up-to-date will be a challenge. If you combine this with your own notes and findings, it should be quite useful.

        There are or were Korean web sites safe for downloading font files. This one hasn’t been updated in two years but still works:

        http://www.cutefont.co.kr/bbs/board.php?board=korean

        Click on the link that has a Korean font name followed by ZIP and a size in megabytes. For example, entry #799 is: 헤움슈크림122.zip (0.3M)

        Most “free” downloads don’t include a public license.

  6. Thank you for this comprehensive post. I’m looking for a Korean calligraphy font. I would be thankful if introduce me some.

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