In the early days of website globalization, there was no such thing as a “global font.”
That’s because there was no such thing as a font that supported the world’s major languages. At the time, you needed to specify individual fonts for each script, such as Cyrillic and Arabic.
Adobe also offers a host of fonts that cover (for a fee) approximately 50 languages:
But most exciting to see are the boutique type studies expanding their linguistic reach. I’m also seeing multilingual fonts supporting variable fonts, which allows for much more flexible implementations.
Here is the beautiful November font from Typotheque:
About the font family:
The November type system comprises 54 different styles, which are now available in two variable fonts (upright and Italic), giving access to even more typographic fine-tuning possibilities. The November type system already supports Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagari and Tamil.
As an aside, here is a very interesting post on the redesign of the Tamil font by Aadarsh Rajan.
There are still many languages in need of much better font support, but we’ve come a very long way from the days of Latin 1 (8859-1).