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You are here: Type Design > Resources > Gentium
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/Gentium_status

Gentium — Project Status

Victor Gaultney, 2010-11-01


The Gentium Plus, Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic fonts have been moved to a new web site. Please  click here for the new site.


The content below is old. Please  click here for latest fonts and FAQs on the new site.

‘Thank you very much for this excellent font. It is the most readable I have ever seen.’

‘Officina Gentium: The workshop of the world.’

The Gentium project is not complete, but does provide a lot of functionality even in its current form.

First of all, the current versions of Gentium and Gentium Plus only include a single weight in regular and italic styles. There are, however, two font families - Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic - that provide a full set of four weights (regular, bold, italic, bold italic). These new families are available here. Eventually the main Gentium Plus fonts will have the new weights (including the complete Book family).

There have also been requests for a complementary sans-serif face. We have a new sans-serif typeface in development - Andika. It is not particularly designed to match Gentium, but may work. In the mean time, Lucida Sans, tracked a little tighter, works well. Priorities for any future development will be strongly influenced by the feedback given by users. If you would like to add your priorities to those of others please fill contact us.

As far as the Gentium family is concerned, Gentium Plus is our long-term focus. Once we complete the various weights and styles to match what is in Gentium Basic, the Plus fonts will replace the Basic ones. The original Gentium will continue to be available, but only for compatibility purposes, and to support a couple of features (such as the porsonic circumflex) that are not yet integrated into Gentium Plus.

Our priorities for Gentium Plus after the current release, then, are:

  • additional weights (as seen in Gentium Basic)
  • support for many new Unicode 6 characters
  • continued parity with our Charis SIL and Doulos SIL font families
  • improvements to OpenType and Graphite code, esp. for Greek
  • more extensive kerning, both for OpenType and Graphite

Some less important features naturally need to fall behind these priorities. These include some typographic niceties such as old style and proportional figures, comprehensive mathematical symbol support, and historic Cyrillic glyphs. We also have no intention to add additional scripts to Gentium such as Hebrew and Arabic.

In the past, some of our Roman fonts have supported Apple Advanced Typography (AAT), but we currently have no plans to support it in Gentium Plus. The future of that technology is unclear, and most applications are moving toward richer OpenType and Graphite support. Because the investment of effort to fully support AAT is high, we have chosen to focus our resources on the priorities listed above.

Notes for contributors (from the Gentium Plus FONTLOG)

The release of Gentium Plus version 1.502 (and any subsequent versions) under the OFL license provides a means for people to modify the fonts to meet their needs and contribute to the project. For information on what you're allowed to change or modify, consult the OFL and OFL-FAQ.

Anyone can make their own modified version of Gentium Plus (using a different name), but SIL International will continue to maintain and develop the canonical version of the Gentium Plus fonts. As the package maintainer, we welcome contributions. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Format: We are open to contributions in various formats, but if you want to maximise the chances of us including your work, please make it available to us (via email or a URL) as either a FontLab database (preferred) or a PostScript Type 1 (or OT-CFF) font.

Source files: The primary source files for the fonts are the fonts themselves. They contain all the important data in the fonts and can be studied and modified using open font tools such as FontForge and TTX. The devceloper release contains additional source files that might be useful. See the file source/SOURCES.txt in that release archive for further information.

Copyright attribution: If you submit something for inclusion in the main Gentium Plus fonts, we will ask you to affirm that it is your original work, and ask you to assign the copyright of your work to SIL International. This is to ensure that future releases can be made under improved versions of the OFL without needing to track you down for further permission. This follows the same principle used by the FSF. Keep in mind that we are a not-for-profit organization committed to free/libre and open source software, and that any contributions incorporated in the fonts will always be available under the OFL or a similar license.

Quality: Because we want to be able to guarantee a high level of quality for the primary Gentium Plus fonts, we will review submissions carefully. Please don't be discouraged if we do not include a submission for this reason, or ask you to make specific revisions.

Types of contributions: If you wish to make a contribution - a set of additional glyphs, scripts, code, etc. - please contact us before you do any work to see if it is a contribution we currently need. Every addition adds to the complexity of the project and needs to be carefully planned. This also avoids two people working on the same type of addition at the same time.

Linux packages: Please contact the upstream maintainer of the various packages - - if you want to help package or maintain a package.

When submissions will be included: We plan to revise the fonts when major updates are needed (eg new versions of Unicode). If you wish to make submissions, contact us on the timing.

Version History

Current versions

Gentium Plus Release 1.502 — 1 November 2010

Major update of regular and italic fonts, including:

  • Character set and OpenType and Graphite features to match Charis SIL 4.106
  • Extended Cyrillic script support, inc. Serbian alternates
  • Support for more historic Greek characters and alternate seriffed beta
  • New webfonts using the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) wrapper
Gentium Basic Release 1.1 — 4 April 2008

New release. See information on the Gentium Basic page.

Gentium Release 1.02 — 28 November 2005

New release to change licensing to use the SIL Open Font License. Other changes:

  • Included FontLab source files
  • Fixed some duplicate PostScript glyph names
  • Fixed italic angle

Older versions

Gentium Release 1.01 — 19 September 2003

First release as a project of SIL International. Changes from 1.00:

  • Internal font information (copyright, license, etc.) changed to reflect transition to SIL
  • PS name of Greek lowercase mu changed from 'mu' to 'uni03BC' to try and work around rare display problem
Gentium Release 1.00 — 16 September 2002

First public release.

Gentium Release 0.54 — 8 August 2002

Version completed for University requirements. Fonts carry the 'RU' suffix.

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