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First look: new Ubuntu font boosts Linux typography

Jul 08, 2010, 14:37 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Paul)

"When Canonical unveiled Ubuntu's branding overhaul and new desktop theme earlier this year, the company also revealed that it had commissioned well-known type foundry Dalton Maag to design a new font specifically for Ubuntu. The font will likely be used by default in Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled for release in October.

"Today Canonical launched a closed beta for the new font, making it available to testers and Ubuntu contributors. I tested it on my desktop computer, running Ubuntu 10.04. After installing the package, I enabled it in the GNOME appearance preference dialog. It matches the new Ubuntu logo font, but it's designed for optimal screen readability. It looks very smooth on my LCD monitors and is very easy on the eyes. I think it's a big improvement over Bitstream Vera Sans, the font that currently ships by default in Ubuntu.

"The quality of user interface typography on Linux is often criticized as one of the platform's weak areas. Some key software methods that are needed to achieve high-quality TrueType font rendering are encumbered by patents, which means that open source implementations such as FreeType have to rely on technical workarounds that aren't quite as effective."

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