May 1, 2013
Today we are pleased to announce that Adobe has contributed its CFF rasterizer to FreeType. The code is now available for testing in the latest beta version of FreeType. This open source project, aimed at improving CFF rasterization in devices and environments that use FreeType, is a collaboration between Adobe, Google and FreeType.
Modern fonts use one of two outline formats – TrueType or CFF. TrueType was developed by Apple in 1990, while CFF (the Compact Font Format) was developed by Adobe as a second-generation form of the Type 1 format (often called PostScript fonts) that Adobe first released in 1984. Either TrueType or CFF can be used in OpenType fonts. The two share many qualities, but differ in two primary ways: they use different math to describe the curves in letterforms, and they have different styles of “hinting.” (Hinting = providing guidance to the rasterizer to ensure each letterform is represented as faithful as possible in a limited set of pixels.) TrueType puts most of the emphasis on instructions built into the font, while Type 1 and CFF rely more on intelligence in the rasterizer. This makes the quality of the rasterizer particularly important, and Adobe expects its contribution to FreeType will produce a noticeable improvement for CFF fonts in environments that use FreeType. Continue reading…
April 3, 2013
As discussed in our March 28, 2013 article, Adobe Blank was recently released as a open source special-purpose OpenType font that helps to solve the FOUT (Flash Of Unstyled Text) problem.
The version that was initially released was approximately 80K in size, and included 257 glyphs, 256 of which were functional in the sense that they are mapped from 1,111,998 Unicode code points, though they are intentionally non-spacing and non-marking. I further analyzed the tables, and found a way to trim the size further by increasing the number of glyphs to 2,049, 2,048 of which are functional. The size is now a more modest 32K.
March 28, 2013
Earlier this year, the Adobe Type Team was approached by one of our other development teams to produce a special-purpose font with two fascinating—at least to me—characteristics:
- All Unicode code points are covered.
- All code points are rendered using a non-spacing and non-marking glyph.
I decided to take on this task, because I immediately recognized that the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS was the appropriate vehicle for developing such a font.
The font itself was developed early this year, and I finally got around to releasing it on Open@Adobe as a new open-source project named Adobe Blank OpenType Font. I will soon mirror it on GitHub for those who prefer to get their open-source material from there.
November 2, 2012
Since the launch of Source Sans Pro just over two months ago, it has been encouraging to us to see its adoption in places such as the text font on the popular social news site, Digg, and incorporated as part of Stanford University’s identity guidelines for digital media. Part of the reason that we care about adoption is that we hope that as others want to use these fonts, they will also help to develop this type family to cover an expanding range of use cases.
Logos Bible Software 5 interface featuring Source Sans Pro
In fact, we recently had our first collaborative experience to extend the functionality of Source Sans. Not long after the fonts’ release, Logos Bible Software contacted us with a list of features which they indicated interest in helping to develop. Today Logos is launching the latest version of their bible study application and they have switched to using Source Sans as the main type for the user interface. In speaking about why Logos decided to make this change to their UI design, Bob Pritchet, CEO of Logos Bible Software, remarks, “Source Sans is a beautiful and uniquely useful type family with multiple weights, a rich set of glyphs, strong OpenType feature support, and most importantly, an open source license that allows us to extend it for specific needs, like scholarly text-critical apparatuses and ancient scripts.”
September 24, 2012
Following up on Source Sans
The public reception of the release of Source Sans Pro last month was very encouraging. My colleague, Ken Lunde, pointed out that this was not Adobe’s first open source font as Kenten Generic has been available for some time now. But I stand by my claim that it is Adobe’s first open source type family. Sorry, Ken. The blog post announcing the family’s release has been our most popular in the history of Typblography and the news was picked up by major tech media outlets such as Wired, Ars Technica, The Verge, &c. As of today, the fonts have been downloaded over 68,250 times from SourceForge.
One particularly surprising aspect of Source Sans’s release was the amount of interest generated by the teaser graphic of the monospaced version. It seemed that this generated about as much buzz as the fonts that we released. Brackets, the open source code editor created by Adobe, has just recently implemented the regular weight of Source Code into their project. Likewise, the font will be integrated into Adobe Edge Code, which was announced this morning at our Create the Web event in San Francisco. The complete family of six weights will also be available as part of our new Adobe Edge Web Fonts service, which was just announced this morning.
August 20, 2012
Since the release of Source Sans Pro we have received an enormous amount of feedback which, in addition to congratulating us on the project, has made us aware of a number of issues that affected this font family. I’m pleased to say that we have revised the fonts and that the updated files have been posted on Open@Adobe at SourceForge. Here’s the list of changes:
- Improved sidebearings of some glyphs, improved kerning classes, improved some kern pairs.
- Fixed metrics issues with upright letter D and composites.
- Added glyphs and OpenType feature support for Jarai language.
- Added ‘ordfeminine’ glyph to ‘ss02′ feature.
- Changed glyph name ‘schwa.supss’ to ‘uni0259.sups’.
- Changed weightClass value of the ExtraLight fonts from 250 to 200.
- Changed OS/2.usWinAscent and OS/2.usWinDescent values to be the same across all fonts.
- Changed hhea.Ascender and hhea.Descender values as a result of the OS/2usWin changes.
- Changed OS/2 table version number from 4 to 3.
- Harmonized the copyright strings.
Also today, in response to the many requests we got, I’m happy to announce that Source Sans Pro is now hosted on GitHub as well. We expect this repository to become the place where we engage with the community and do the continuous development, whereas SourceForge will remain the location where we post each stable revision of the family.
We had heard about GitHub before, but we weren’t aware how popular it was. The team had little experience using it or working with the tools available for interacting with the repositories. Fortunately, we were able to enlist the help of Paul Picazo, a colleague from the EchoSign team, who gave us a two-hour crash course which got us most of the way up-to-speed with the tools and processes. Thanks a lot Paul!
Finally, for the many of you who expressed interest in the monowidth version of the Source Sans design, all I can say for now is that its development is moving along quite well and that we’ll have more news in the near future.
August 2, 2012
Adobe’s legacy in type technology
Adobe has come a long way since its early days in which the specification for the PostScript Type 1 font format was a closely-guarded trade secret leading up to the “font wars.” Since this specification was begrudgingly published in 1990, Adobe has been more proactive in publicly releasing tools for developing and producing high-quality type. Subsequently, Adobe collaborated with Microsoft on the OpenType standard, which was later made an open standard for type technology as the Open Font Format: a free, publicly available standard (ISO/IEC 14496-22:2009). In connection with this, Adobe has shared its tool set for building OpenType fonts as the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO). Although these tools are not open source, they can be used freely and have been downloaded by thousands of users. Additionally, tools such as FontLab Studio and FontMaster make use of AFDKO code for building fonts. I believe that the world of type design and typography has benefited greatly from Adobe’s contributions in the arena of type technology. In adding to this legacy, I am proud to announce that today marks another milestone as Adobe makes yet another type resource freely available by releasing the Source Sans Pro family as our first-ever open source type family.