A new family of font labeled Source Sans Pro has been released by Adobe. Available in both TTF and OTF formats, the new font family can easily be modified by third party developers as Adobe is also releasing the underlying source material. Adobe is releasing the font under the terms of the SIL Open Font License so that developers can further improve the font without any violations against the company.
Adobe says that the new font will be used for its upcoming open source applications. Created by Paul Hunt, the Adobe typeface designer, Source Sans Pro preliminary version will be included first as a user interface font in an open source code editing tool called Brackets. This tool is a currently being developed by Adobe to work with HTML5 on top of Webkit. Early users of Source Sans Pro mentioned to Adobe that it was hard to know the difference between the lowercase “I” and the uppercase “l” character, and that a little refinement by adding a little tail to letter “I” would help.
Paul Hunt said in his blog entry in the official Adobe website that the inspiration of the design partly came from the visual simplicity of the Gothic fonts created by Morris Fuller Benton, an influential designer in the early 20th century.
Source Sans Pro will be made available for download and through font hosting services like Google Web Fonts, and Typekit (which Adobe acquired last year). According to the blog, more refinements are on the way, with upcoming support for Greek and Cyrillic versions being planned. A fixed-width version used for a code editor or terminal environment is also on the horizon.
Developers and open source software community welcome any professional-quality fonts distributed under open terms. Fonts like Source Sans Pro are widely accepted for use in many projects. Among the prominent works are undertaken by professional typeface specialists including Canonical Ubuntu font and Google’s Roboto font.