Montag, 11. Oktober 2010

Fontastic! How LibreOffice got its font ...

Two days ago, I talked about the LibreOffice colors and the reasons of the intermediate branding. Today, I picked a small but very important topic ... the font for the LibreOffice writing.

The Font

The two main requirements: look serious but modern, being available for all the contributors to create additional artwork. Simple, isn't it?

Within the branding initiative, a small team of well known contributors started a discussion concerning fonts. Thus, there is a very helpful compilation of different fonts and their use. After trying some of them, I decided to go for "Vegur". It just fits, I think.

Libre vs. Office

Focusing on the typographical emphasis, I had to make some decision whether we want to put emphasis on Libre, or Office, or both. Of course, we wanted to highlight the "Libre" part, so we used bold characters for that (next to the LibreGreen color). The default "Office" remains unchanged and therefore - hopefully - keeps a minimum of elegance and non-obtrusiveness.

Typographic Tweaks

A logo is a bit different from body text, therefore there was a need to tweak the font a bit. When using Vegur out of the box, then each of the characters sticks out at the intended size. To make it more compact, to let it appear as a whole, the letter-spacing had to be changed (distance between the letters). The good thing is, that decreasing the letter-spacing does also lead to fake ligatures (the straight connection between the two 'f').

Well, that's the story covering the font ... what will be the next? Don't know yet, but stay tuned! Or just tell me :-)


8 Kommentare:

Vlad Lungeanu hat gesagt…

Thank you for the interesting insight.

I must make a comment though: while the effort to manually create the "ff" ligature is commendable, the result is not quite correct. The proper ligature in this case is not "ff", but "ffi".

You could easily get the proper rendering with a good OpenType font (I recommend Myriad Pro since it is - for all practical purposes - indistinguishable from Vegur) and an OpenType-aware application.

I took the liberty to make some tests and upload the PDF here.

I hope this helps.

RGB-es hat gesagt…

To Apolodor comments, I want to add that there is no need to use an external app: LibreOffice have nice support for graphite fonts which gives automatic ligatures.
See this quick example:

RGB-es hat gesagt…

Sorry, it did not work... here it is the sample:

Vlad Lungeanu hat gesagt…

I assume you used the "Magyar Linux Libertine G" Graphite font, since the Graphite engine is the only way I know to automatically use ligatures in LibreOffice / Alas, the support for OpenType ligatures is still very much lacking.

Of course, for the purpose of creating a logo, one could manually insert the ligature character (U+FB03 in this case).

Who knows, maybe an official logo sporting a ligature would spur a pledge for supporting the OpenType features in LibreOffice ;)

Vlad Lungeanu hat gesagt…

Sorry, I looked at your sample again with my eyes open and I saw that you indeed used the Graphite versions of the fonts.

Personally, I think the two-font combination (last line) looks great!

RGB-es hat gesagt…

> Personally, I think the two-font combination (last line) looks great!
Me too :)
For the records: Magyar Linux Libertine evolved into Linux Libertine G. You can find it here:

Christoph Noack hat gesagt…

Hi all,

I'm so sorry ... I recently discovered your comments by accident :-\ On the other hand, what a nice surprise :-)

@Apolodor: I used not-that-correct ligature, because it makes the text look less "noisy". But I kept the dot on the 'i', because I assumed that people will expect it. Ligatures are great for body text (usually small size), because people usually memorize the shape of words instead of interpreting single characters. But the logo is usually used in a very large size, so that the ligatures (omitting the point) might look strange. Maybe I'm wrong :-)

@RGB: Great! Bernhard did some research some time ago with regard to open fonts (FLOSS). Is there any sans serif font available that can be used?

To you both - thanks for the great discussion. Next time, I hope I'll notice your comments earlier ...


Aaron hat gesagt…

The great irony of this logo is the terrible support for opentype ligatures in LibreOffice... Is anyone ever going to fix that nonsense?