Fresh free cyrillic fonts: PT Mono, ROSA Arion, ROSA Verde, Oxygen

    The ninth of January 2012 is the last day of the January holidays in Russia. Behind not only the western, but also the Russian Orthodox date of the Nativity of Christ, as well as the New Year between them. (Ahead remains only the opportunity to celebrate the New Year according to the old style - a relic of the fallen Empire, carefully preserved by the Orthodox Church and the folk tradition from the date of its abolition in 1918.) The decade of holidays is rapidly giving way to harsh weekdays, and already today many of us will go to sleep taking into account tomorrow's need for early wakefulness. And with what joyful, weighty load of free gifts do we enter the beginning of mid-January? As for the fonts, with their answers to this question, all three literary works tried to please us all at once .

    PT Mono

    The manufacturer ParaType on December 30, 2011 announced in LiveJournal the release of PT Mono , a monospaced font that naturally complements the PT project font system consisting of the PT Sans and PT Serif families, which appeared in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The new font, which is not without interest, was developed with the financial participation of Google and, probably,will soon take its place in its collection of Google Web Fonts. Like previous works of PT Project, the new font includes letters not only of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, but also of the Cyrillic writing systems of dozens of other peoples of modern Russia and a number of neighboring peoples and countries. It can also be considered free because one of its versions is licensed under OFL (SIL Open Font License). And here is a picture of the font’s appearance published on ParaType’s website:

    [PT Mono]
    It’s easy to see that the novelty has almost no flaws, except perhaps the lowercase letter “g”, whose lower notch is incredibly long, and the upper one is also so weighty that the difference from “t” becomes, it seems to me, less significant than it could be.

    This font is available in a single (straight, non-greasy) style.

    ROSA Arion and ROSA Verde

    Again at the end of December, on, I read that the interconnected companies PingWin Software and ROSA announced that ROSA Arion and ROSA Verde fonts are available for free download on the ROSA Type website , according to their metric ( that is, by all characteristic sizes) coinciding with Arial and Verdana - which means they can replace them non-selectively without measuring the size of the lines they typed, and paragraphs, and entire pages of text. The ROSA Arion family consists of four styles (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic), and ROSA Verde - of three styles (Regular, Italic, Bold). The appearance of all seven is given on a separate page of their site

    . For the sake of immediate illustrativeness, I will give here pictures of a direct outline. This is ROSA Arion:

    [ROSA Arion]

    And here is ROSA Verde:

    [ROSA Verde]

    None of these free fonts can be considered completely free.

    Currently, the download page says that it is allowed to “share” (“copy, distribute and transfer fonts to other persons”), as well as “use fonts” (“to create texts, blogs, sites, etc.”), but not allowed “Include the font in any software”, as well as “process and modify the fonts” without the consent of the copyright holder. The “final version of the full legal license”, as it says, will be posted on the site later.

    Discussion on, however, to judge that some version of the “legal license” has already been posted on the ROSA Type website and has caused significant (even violent) discontent among the user community with its extremely prohibitive nature. (Potential users mentioned, in particular, those license terms that make it impossible to use these new fonts for free in politics, in the media, in the blogosphere, in advertising, in commerce, as part of distributions, and so on.) I cynically assume that it is in due to this displeasure, the license was removed for processing.

    A comparison of this with the September 2009 promises of PingWin Software ("a set of fonts will be distributed under a free license") is discouraging.


    The KDE projects development team announced on January 5 that it began alpha testing of the Oxygen font family with three styles - normal, bold, and (suddenly!) Monospaced. They look like this: The

    [Oxygen Regular]

    [Oxygen Bold]

    [Oxygen Mono]

    laid out examples of the Cyrillic alphabet show, however, that alpha is alpha. In the letters “d” and “e”, flaws that have not yet been resolved are noticeable:
    [Another example]
    In the discussion on, it also became clear that the alpha version fonts lacked hinting, and this is too evident in Windows.

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