06 July 2008

Top 5 Free Serif Fonts in the Repos

I was reading Troy S.'s font rant, and it made me go open up Gnome Specimen and have a look at the serif fonts I have installed. I started going through them all, and these are the 5 best-looking serif fonts, in my opinion.

screenshot of 5 best serif fonts in gnome specimen

Yes, I know Liberation Serif has the "clunk" he's talking about, but I think for printed posters, the squared serifs look very nice. As I said in a comment on his post, Gentium is really my favourite. Its weight, the shape of the o's, the angle of the curves…they're just right. The only thing that can really give it a run for its money is Georgia, of which I have yet to find a GPL or CC version.


ben::zen said...

I agree about Gentium. I've found it to be quite readable in long documents, and it's quite elegant. The one thing I don't like about SIL fonts is the ligature design, which is never very complete, and they never alter the actual letterforms. I'm used to ligatures, so seeing a separate "fi" or "ff" simply... bugs me.

che said...

I liked Gentium.

Troy James Sobotka said...

Wow... I am gobsmacked that somehow your investigation of typefaces was a result of my dribbling.

Gentium is a beautiful typeface. It has a few problems four our use in Ubuntu. (1) No family. If it had more it would be a more likely fit. (2) License. We know the drill. (3) Colour. Gentium tends to break down in typographic colour at the lower point sizes. If you flip your browser over to Gentium, you will see that the legibility suffers from the hairline secondary strokes.

I'd probably guess to say that our choices at this time might be:
* Droid*
* Free*
* DejaVu*
* Liberation*

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work. We need more women to stick around these parts and offset the cultural leanings.


Mackenzie said...

You know, I'd never thought about ligatures in fonts before, probably because I don't speak German, so they're not so common. It does strike me, now that you mention it, that my handwriting usually includes ligatures.

1) Yes, I said in the comment on your blog that I wish it *did* have a family, because it does have such a very nice style
2) It's considered FOSS, isn't it? Or does the DFSG not recognize it?
3) I'll have to try that out

mrgnash said...

I quite like the liberation fonts, but I still think that the Latin Modern fonts (both serif and sans serif) rule supreme.

raw said...

The arguments against Gentium pretty much melt when you see a page of text using Gentium printed on paper. It is so beautiful that it hurts your eyes.

hellp said...

What about the Linux Libertine family? The serif is (due to sub-optimal antialiasing) not the best on screen but looks great printed. Has very nice numbers. I'm using it for my business correspondence.