[nc] Prototype: Ubuntu Font Hebrew Subset

Bug #626015 reported by Tombigel on 2010-08-28
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family

Bug Description

I'm working (Independently, with support from the guys from Ubuntu Israel) on an Hebrew subset for the Ubuntu Font.

Who and how do I contact to submit my work?

Tom B.
<email address hidden>

Tombigel (tombigel) on 2010-08-28
description: updated

 Hi Tom

Thanks for getting in touch! I'll ask Malcolm from Dalton Maag to
comment on the roadmap for Hebrew in the Ubuntu font. As you say in your
blog, that's due for Natty not Maverick, and while I don't want to
discourage you, it may be better to plan to collaborate with DM on that
schedule than preempt it now.

It *would* be useful if you could start building up a Hebrew community
that can provide early and accurate feedback to DM when they start the
Hebrew design process. And if you already have a glyph set together,
feel free to publish it and attach it to the bug as a catalysts for
discussion. ANd you might want to start building up some experience with
the needed font design tools, I think some unfortunately require Wine to
run, but run pretty well with Wine nevertheless.


Thanks for your response, the fact that I got a personal response from you will make it much easier to gather people behind this project.

I only now realized that Dalton Maag is not a person but a professional font company...
I just hope they haven't started on their own version already :)

Attached is the latest PDF of the design as published on my blog, there is still at least a day's worth of work before I can start converting these into a real font.

Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2010-08-29
affects: lp-bug-form → ubuntu-font-family
tags: added: uff-hebrew uff-prototype
summary: - Ubuntu Font Hebrew Subset
+ Prototype: Ubuntu Font Hebrew Subset
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: New → In Progress
importance: Undecided → Wishlist

Hello Tom, that sampler sheet is really impressive and generally in-keeping with the typeface.

I know that you've based these on the Latin forms (shown above in the PDF). Have you also tried taking inspiration from the Cyrillic and Greek characters available. I'm not a Hebrew expert, so some of the designs for eg, the forms for:


although there is another bug open (bug #613277) to round the Cyrillic forms a little and make them slightly less angular.

If it's useful feedback, the main Ubuntu Font Family intends to have slightly thinner tails than stems (see the glyphs above, along with Latin 'y', 'e', 't'). It may be with seeing if this looks better when incorporated into some of the Hebrew alphabet (eg. 'גטנףת'?).

I am very impressed with the one in which you've approached, particularly understanding that nothing is final, and that if the solution is not obvious, it is better to present several alternatives to allow better refinement.

Once again, thank you for working on this... developing a typeface takes a very long-time (months and months), and although work on Hebrew won't be incorporated until the Ubuntu 11.04 development cycle, it is very useful to start working on it now!

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Just to keep everyone in the loop, there's some work being done at the moment on some /ideas/ about how to handle the future post-release expansion of the typeface.

Hebrew is going to be /even/ more interesting to work out, since it has turned up before the expansion process has been worked out and with the added complication that coverage was already included in the original specification for the Font Family.

In the mean-time, thank you for being patient! Please keep trying as many designs and variations as you can. It would also be useful if you could start investigating what special OpenType features may be needed for Hebrew (I'll leave it as a little research project with you to help familiarisation!).

Paul Sladen (sladen) on 2010-09-07
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
milestone: none → herbrew-beta-available
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

For everyone keeping track:

  Intial Hebrew trials - Bruno Maag

And included in that blog post is a preview (search for "This PDF" if the link it not immediately obvious), so you can see how Dalton Maag have been experimenting with the general size (height) of the characters, particularly in proportion to Latin.

Please take a look and give feedback if you're interesting, especially if there any obvious points that need fixing (please say why, or make suggestions, rather than just saying something doesn't look right). Please don't pre-judge the draft outlines as being anywhere near final: Bruno notes this in his post: ...that the focus here is on gauging proportions and ideas at the moment. There has already been a good exchange between Tom (who filed this bug originally) and Bruno, which is worth reading.

Designing the font is a journey, and I've found seeing this "working drawings" very intriguing.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Update for people following: Hebrew is taking a long time and proving very hard to get right. Largest issue is spacing/kerning and rhythm which negatively affects it's reception and general background testing. If the spacing can't be solved sufficiently then we'll have to have another look at the other all style.

tags: added: uff-style
Amir E. Aharoni (amir-aharoni) wrote :


My understanding of fonts is partial. I know what spacing and kerning are, but what exactly do you mean by "rhythm"?

Can i see a draft of your work as an actual TTF file somewhere? If there's a link on this page, i am probably not experienced enough with Rosetta to find it.

Amir E. Aharoni (amir-aharoni) wrote :

(I meant - "not experienced enough with Launchpad".)

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Hello Amir, the girls and guys at Dalton Maag should be able to give a more authoritative answer but to sum it up, the rhythm is the "quick-quick-slow", or evenness of the type when read.

Speech has a rhythm, sometimes it is very measured and even: always. on. a. beat.; …and-at-other-times, it-can-fall-and-rise, as-poetry-forming-on-the-page, disjoint-with-surprise!

With a general-use typeface, the aim is normally for a even cadence/rhythm, each letter and each word appearing where expected and sliding past the eyes without causing a jump in concentration. Various special-use typefaces may try and do the opposite.

If you're after a more academic overview, a Google turned up an essay on the following page:

  http://www.typeculture.com/academic_resource/articles_essays/ ("Rhythm in Type Design")

To your question about the .ttfs and about Launchpad. Rosetta is the translation part of Launchpad (as is "Rosetta Stone") and is separate form the bug tracker.

If you are able and would like to alpha-test either the Arabic or Hebrew then there are separate half-finished .tffs that I can send you. I'd certainly be very interested in feedback (although note that they are half-finished and lack diacriticals/vowels).

summary: - Prototype: Ubuntu Font Hebrew Subset
+ [nc] Prototype: Ubuntu Font Hebrew Subset
Yaron (sh-yaron) wrote :

Hi mpt,
What's the change?
What does nc stand for?

Can someone send me the byproducts so far for Hebrew and Arabic?
Was this project dismissed?

Kind regards
Yaron Shahrabani,

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