Leander Script & Source Sans, new Adobe web fonts on WebINK

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Today we’re especially excited to welcome a raft of new web font releases from Adobe, including some classic wood type fonts, and two brand new families: Leander Script and Source Sans.

Adobe Leander Script font specimen

Adobe Leander Script font specimen

Leander Script Pro is a dynamic script face from Viktor Solt-Bittner, who also designed the lovely but little-known Voluta Script. This release is special because it’s Adobe’s first outside typeface design in over a decade! For the past ten years, all the other typefaces Adobe has commissioned have been to add new language support. Adobe has, in general, stopped accepting outside design submissions. But when Viktor approached the type team in 2008 with the prototype of one weight of Leander Script, everyone liked the design a lot, and they knew they could work with him from their positive experience with Voluta Script.

On a personal note, I thought Leander was the kind of script face that could be very successful, so I took on getting funding internally and handling the contract negotiations as one of my last projects at Adobe. This was in the fall of 2008, which just shows (again) how large, high-quality fonts can spend a long time in development!

Leander has extensive ligatures, alternates, swashes, and language support for most Central and Eastern European languages (excepting Greek and Cyrillic).

Adobe Source Sans font specimen

Adobe Source Sans font specimen

Source Sans Pro by Paul D. Hunt is Adobe’s first open source typeface, available under the Open Font License. It was designed primarily for user interface needs, although its six weights it can address a broader range of needs. Paul was inspired in large part by the clarity and legibility of early 20th-century American gothic typefaces, but adds details aimed at improving legibility and making characters more distinctive (such as the bar serifs on the capital “I” and the tail on the lowercase “l”). Other differences between Source Sans and its inspiration stem from the need to have something that works well in extended text. This was accomplished with less condensed letter shapes, smaller capitals and longer ascenders/descenders on the lower case.

Source Sans starts with extensive coverage for virtually all Latin-based languages (Adobe Latin 4, to be precise). Adobe envisions adding Greek and Cyrillic in the foreseeable future, as well as a monospaced (typewriter style) variant typeface. There’s a project page for Source Sans at Open@Adobe on SourceForge with more details on these and other plans. If you are interested in helping out with these or other extensions to the family, you can contribute!

Bottom line on Source Sans: versatile for anything from UI elements to body text to headlines.

Adobe Wood Type specimen

Adobe Wood Type specimen

More Adobe wood type! In related news, Adobe has completed the process of making web font versions of their Adobe Wood Type collection. Today we also release five fonts based on classic wood type fonts of the late 19th century, first seen in digital form in 1990–91. All can be used for a Wild West look, and each brings other associations to the table as well.

Ponderosa was created by Kim Buker Chansler, Carl Crossgrove and Carol Twombly, who also designed Rosewood, Zebrawood and Pepperwood together. It’s based on “Italian” or “Italienne” types, which date back to the early 1800s, and quickly became very popular. The heavy top and bottom elements create a virtual block at the top and bottom of words, while the super-thin vertical elements create maximum design contrast. Ponderosa can evoke the American frontier, the circus, or 1970s bell bottom pants. Use it sparingly at large sizes for major impact!

Ironwood is a spiky condensed typeface created by Joy Redick, that has become synonymous with heavy metal music, bikers, and tattoos. Somehow I just expect to see it on some bearded biker’s knuckles!

The final three: Cottonwood, Juniper and Ironwood. Cottonwood is a quirky “Tuscan” style typeface by Kim Buker Chansler, Barbara Lind, and Joy Redick. Juniper is a high-contrast flared design by Joy Redick. Mesquite is a condensed typeface with odd ornamentation on the edges, created by Joy Redick. Be careful, those details only work at the largest sizes!

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