Google and the Ubuntu project have today released the Ubuntu Font Family to the world through the Google Font Directory. The new Ubuntu Font Family debuted in the current Ubuntu 10.10 release of the Ubuntu operating system and is also available for download from font.ubuntu.com.
The main www.ubuntu.com site features the Ubuntu Font Family in-use from today (screenshot below). Through the magic of the Google Font API any web designer can now pick Ubuntu from the Google Font Directory and bring the beauty and legibility of the Ubuntu fonts to their websites too.
The Ubuntu typeface family is a set of new fonts in development throughout 2010–2011. The development is being funded by Canonical Ltd on behalf the wider Free Software community and the Ubuntu project, with the skilled font work being undertaken by Dalton Maag. Like everything else in Ubuntu, the fonts are free to use and legal to share, sell, bundle and build upon. The included “source code” allows remixing, improvement and expansion by anyone with the skills or an interest. This release includes Latin, Cyrillic and Greek support, and future versions will be automatically rolled out to everyone using the Google Font API.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, commented: "Our focus on design and usability in Ubuntu led us to create a font which is at once beautiful and readable. We're delighted to share the Ubuntu Font Family with web designers around the world who want their websites to be stylish and readable in as many languages and browsers as possible. The publication of the Ubuntu font on the global Google Font Directory is an appropriate treat for the festive season, and we wish all those who contribute to, and enjoy the benefits of, free software and open content a very happy and healthy solstice and New Year."
Bruno Maag of the Dalton Maag type foundry, who have been working with Canonical on the design and technical implementation of the typeface commented, “It is unique in our company’s history to work on such a comprehensive high-quality font and to have it given to the World to use for free. The creativity and expertise that is available in the open source world, in particular the insight into language and script requirements, ensures that the fonts are a useful tool for everyone. The right font used correctly can increase accessibility to information and increase productivity. With today’s gift, we expect to see widespread adoption of the Ubuntu fonts from today, as it combines design at its best with simple distribution through the Google Font API.”
Google is excited to be providing such a high quality font to the world, with all of the benefits of web fonts including amazing searchability and accessibility. Web fonts demonstrate the true power of the web, as web pages can be translated and still preserve a rich visual presentation - something not possible with any other technology, especially baking text into images. The Canonical Design blog has a history of the fonts’ development and as the language coverage increases throughout 2011, users will automatically get those improvements along with the performance and reliability they can expect from Google. I hope that people have fun over the holidays adding the Ubuntu web fonts to their sites!
Posted by Raph Levien, Google Fonts