There are glyphs in fonts, and that can vary from zero to onwards. The glyph is a single slot in a font. It usually depicts a letter or a symbol. Normally, a glyph is signifying a particular character. There are around 200 to 1000 glyphs in a single font in the western languages. However, the limit may exceed, and it could be around 3500 to 5000.

Additionally, the Chinese and Japanese have around 10,000 to 20,000 glyphs in a single font, but that’s too rare. You also need to bear in mind that all the fonts do not contain the character set of Unicode. There are around 100,000 characters in Unicode, and that is expanding at a rapid pace. A limit has been set of 64,000 on the encoded glyphs that a font contains. Nevertheless, the Unicode character set is free from particular fonts. However, some fonts could be elaborative in covering some segments of the Unicode character set. 

What is Fallback Font? 

The fallback font is known to be the reserve typeface for Unicode characters. There are scenarios where a font is not part of the repertoire; the fallback font is used to cover up those particular segments. The fallback fonts contain symbols that represent numerous types of Unicode characters. If a fallback font is placed at the end of the Unicode characters, it will ensure that no other characters will go missing. 

The Relationship of Unicode Characters and Fonts 

In version 5.0 of Unicode, it can be seen that there is a font in the consortium for the representation of different types of Unicode characters. Mac OS last resort system font is also modified to configure on platforms that Apple doesn’t support. It is available for general usage through the Unicode Consortium by Apple. 

Glyphs are placed into different categories by the Unicode last resort font, and symbols are deployed as per the location, which relates to the Unicode system. It helps in cueing the user about the script needed to view characters that seem unavailable. In the Unicode last resort font, the symbols aren’t straight but are available in the form of a square, and edge corners are round. There are hexadecimal digits in the outline of the Unicode characters. The centre of the square is used to represent symbols. The same glyphs are displayed in the Unicode last resort font. However, it is not applicable to the Unicode BMP fallback font or the GNU Unicode font. If on the development side, one glyph per block is generalized, it will help the Unicode last resort font to carry a glyph for every character of Unicode. It will still work, even if the Unicode characters exceed TrueType and OpenType font structure. It will also have a 16-bit glyph index structure, which is allowed to store 65,536 glyphs. More than 100,000 defined characters in Unicode possess the potential to address space for more than one million characters. The Unicode is growing with the help of the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP). 

The Basics of GNU Unifont 

There is a glyph for each character in the GNU Unifont. There are low-resolution bitmap approximations in the glyph. It results in low character rendering, but it is enough for distinctive character depiction or representation for the specified code point. 

The ultimate objective of GNU Unifont is to maintain low rendering with high-end character recognition. It is due to the fact that there’s a need for coverage for all the Unicode characters. Therefore, the glyphs are maintained in 16 pixels’ height or 8 to 16 pixels in width. The GNU Unifont TrueType is open source and available for free.


There’s a strong relationship between Unicode and characters and fonts. They are inseparable, and the baseline of Unicode character formation varies with regard to the representation of symbols and the fonts that are in relation to it. In this blog post, we have explained the relationship of fonts with Unicode characters. We’ll keep posting interesting readouts for users.

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