Adobe’s First Open Source Font: Kenten Generic

Hoping not to detract from the attention that Paul Hunt‘s Source Sans Pro, Adobe’s first open source typeface family, deserves, I’d like to use this opportunity to point out that another font, a single typeface design with a very small number of glyphs, was Adobe’s first entry in the open source world, in terms of font offerings. Kenten Generic was released on November 4th, 2010 at the Open @ Adobe portal. It includes only thirteen glyphs—ten of which are functional—that are intended for use in typesetting emphasis marks, which are referred to as kenten (圏点) in Japanese, hence the font’s name. The easiest way to view its glyphs is to download its Unicode-based glyph synopsis.

Kenten Generic was specifically implemented for Adobe InDesign Version 1.0J, which dates back to early 2000, and has been used internally for handling these emphasis marks ever since. One major difference between the version of this font that has been bundled with InDesign and the open source version is that the glyphs are correctly mapped from the appropriate Unicode code points in the latter. One of the motivations for releasing Kenten Generic as an open source OpenType font was so that it could be used by CSS3′s ‘text-emphasis‘ property, and this font is actually recommended in the text of that standard.

Unlike Source Sans Pro, Kenten Generic’s glyph set and linguistic coverage are not expected to grow. However, like Kazuraki SP2N L (かづらき SP2N L), Kenten Generic is CID-keyed and leverages the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS.

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