Powering automotive interfaces for Denso

As a leading global components supplier, Denso provides the parts that support car brands from Korea to the United States. In order to build sharp, legible screens in car dashboards, Denso leverages a combination of Monotype’s embedded technologies and custom typefaces to display text in screens.

Challenge: build car displays that keep up with modern demands

In a smartphone-driven age, consumers have developed an expectation for seamless, vivid experiences across every screen, whether it’s the latest tablet or a dashboard in a car. Car displays have evolved from simply providing information cues to serving as entertainment centers and communications hubs, making it increasingly critical that they are legible at a quick-glance. The limited memory available in car displays means that building aesthetic, high-quality interfaces comes with a unique set of challenges. On top of already constrained resources, car manufacturers are often tasked with supporting 20+ languages per vehicle to serve a global market.

Solution: a blended approach

Not one to fall behind, Denso realized the need for an increasingly personalized, high-tech experience and enlisted Monotype’s help. A combination of custom fonts and Monotype’s embedded technologies allow Denso to build parts that deliver pristine, on-brand driving experiences.

Scalable technology

Denso uses Monotype’s Spark solution, a lightweight font engine that allows their OEM partners to use scalable type and preserve memory, moving away from using bitmap fonts. Denso Korea also uses iType for their digital instrument clusters. iType is a fully-featured font engine that allows Denso to build beautiful interfaces.

iType and Spark function well without burden in display environments and Spark’s value is significant for use in vehicle displays because of its efficient memory use. - Hyeong Wook Cho, a Research Engineer, R&D Center

Global support

Denso also uses Monotype’s WorldType Layout Engine (WTLE) to provide support for over 20 languages. In particular, Denso needed a proven font engine to render and shape Arabic because of the complexities inherent to displaying the language. Arabic text reads right to left, but numbers read left to right, and there are other contextual complexities around displaying characters resulting in huge font files which can slow down a device. WTLE handles the shaping of non-Latin fonts such as Arabic while Montoype’s font linking technology allows multiple language scripts to be linked into a single font, improving runtime performance, providing flexibility and reducing footprint and costs.

A custom touch

Monotype developed New HD 2.0, a custom typeface based on DIN Next for one of Denso’s key auto manufacturers to be used in select premium cars. Creating a custom typeface was a way for Denso to provide a sense of individuality and identity for luxury models.

Leader in legibility

Monotype has years of experience researching text legibility, usability and design in automotive environments and its researchers have co-published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Monotype also works as a partner in innovation alongside its clients, with a team of experts and engineers working closely alongside clients to ensure smooth implementation of technology.

Monotype’s fonts and technology allow us to build legible, beautiful interfaces that serve a global market. Having a custom typeface provided a way for us to differentiate select luxury vehicles. Monotype’s technology has been integral in building displays that keep up with consumer demands. - Hyeong Wook Cho, Research Engineer, R&D Center