The Ubuntu Font Family are a set of matching new libre/open fonts. The development is being funded by Canonical on behalf the wider Free Software community and the Ubuntu project. The technical font design work and implementation is being undertaken by Dalton Maag.

Both the final font Truetype/OpenType files and the design files used to produce the font family are distributed under an open licence and you are expressly encouraged to experiment, modify, share and improve. The typeface is sans-serif, uses OpenType features and is manually hinted for clarity on desktop and mobile computing screens.

The scope of the Ubuntu Font Family includes all the languages used by the various Ubuntu users around the world in tune with Ubuntu's philosophy which states that every user should be able to use their software in the language of their choice. So the Ubuntu Font Family project will be extended to cover many more written languages.

Facts and figures

The Ubuntu Font Family is a sans-serif typeface family with an intended coverage of thirteen fonts.

Coverage

1,200 glyphs, 200-250 languages (native languages of 3 billion people!).

Technology

  • OpenType-based TTF (TrueType)
  • Alternative glyphs (e.g. proportional/non-proportional/superscript/subscript numerals)
  • Debugging glyphs (U+EFFD, U+EFFE, U+EFFF, U+F000) giving face, version, grayscale level and pixels-per-em digit display)

The pixels-per-em 7-segment digits are driven by the hint engine (substituted from the Deja fonts), so if hinting is by default off (e.g. Firefox) then the output will show as a pair of '88' numerals.

Design

The four Latin characters, 'n o H O' helped to define a guide for around 80-percent of the remaining characters. Extensive manual hinting has been performed for rendered sizes below 60 pixels-per-em.

Software used:

  • Fontlab Studio
  • Microsoft Visual Truetype (VTT)
  • In-house Python-based accent placement scripts