Ubuntu

ubuntu

View the web font spec­i­men sheet.

A sans serif open license font fam­ily, funded by Canon­i­cal and imple­mented by Dal­ton Maag.

Ubuntu has some quirky ele­ments, such as the cor­ners cre­ated where shoul­ders meet stems on the let­ters a, r, n, m, h, p, q, and u. The quirks don’t under­mine the over­all tex­ture, rhythm, or read­abil­ity of the font, but it does give text a slightly “futur­is­tic” feel which may or may not be appro­pri­ate for a project.

Even with the “futur­is­tic” feel­ing, I cat­e­go­rize Ubuntu as a human­ist sans because it has gen­er­ous aper­tures, bowls with implied stress (on the b, d, q, p), a curved foot on the low­er­case l, and a rel­a­tively human­ist italic.

Ubuntu’s x-height is slightly smaller than Ver­dana, yet holds up very nicely at smaller sizes due to gen­er­ous aper­tures and bowls. The bold weight is a bit heavy for my taste, though it is still leg­i­ble on screen. While a semi-bold is avail­able, it is not heavy enough to cre­ate a good con­trast to the reg­u­lar weight.

Ubuntu comes in 8 styles. I’ve tested the usual 4 plus the semi-bold, and they hold up beau­ti­fully cross browser. The whole fam­ily is avail­able on both Google Web Fonts and Type­kit.

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