A new open font: Adobe Source Sans Pro

Using TeX is about more than just the TeX document itself: fonts are a big part of producing high quality documents. One of the issues facing all fans of typography is the availability of fonts. Many professionally-produced offerings are expensive, and have licenses which are restrictive. Of course, there are some notable exceptions, with a number of excellent ‘free’ (as in speech) fonts available. Probably most notable to TeX users in the latter category are those from the Latin Modern/TeX Gyre Project.

Probably the biggest single player in pushing free font development is Google, but their focus is of course more on web technologies than typesetting. There’s now another notable entry in the open source font arena: Adobe. They have just released Source Sans Pro, which as you’ll guess from the name is a sanserif font. Currently, there are no small caps and no Greek or Cyrillic, but it does have old-style and table numerals, and superscript letters: check out the full coverage. (There’s no math support either, but we’ll let them off as that is seriously hard work.) The blog entry announcing the font suggests that there will be a matching monospaced variant in time.

As a demo of the new font, and to show off some TeX, Brent Longborough has put together a reproduction of the front page of Tschichold‘s Elementare Typographie using Source Sans Pro for XeLaTeX. This exploits the LaTeX3 coffins concept, and even takes accounts of side bearings using some code from TeX-sx. As the aim here is to show off the font, first we’ll see the result

then the code

% !TEX TS-program = XeLaTeX
\setsansfont{Source Sans Pro}
\kern-\XeTeXglyphbounds3 %
\the\XeTeXcharglyph`#1 %
\kern-\XeTeXglyphbounds1 %
\the\XeTeXcharglyph`#1 %
\NewCoffin \result
\NewCoffin \aaa
\NewCoffin \bbb
\NewCoffin \ccc
\NewCoffin \ddd
\NewCoffin \eee
\NewCoffin \fff
\NewCoffin \rulei
\NewCoffin \ruleii
\NewCoffin \ruleiii
\SetHorizontalCoffin \result {}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \aaa
{\fontsize{52}{50}\sffamily\bfseries \kleft{m}itteilunge\kright{n}}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \bbb
{\fontsize{52}{50}\sffamily\bfseries \kleft{t}ypographisch\kright{e}}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \ccc
\quad zeitschrift des bildungsverbandes der
deutschen buchdrucker leipzig
\textbullet{} oktoberheft 1925}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \ddd {\fontsize{28}{20}\sffamily sonderheft}
\SetVerticalCoffin \eee {180pt}
\SetVerticalCoffin \fff {140pt}
{\raggedright \fontsize{13}{14}\sffamily\bfseries
natan altman \\
otto baumberger \\
herbert mayer \\
max burchartz \\
el lissitzky \\
ladislaus moholy-nagy \\
moln\’ar f.~farkas \\
johannes molzahn \\
kurt schwitters \\
mart stam \\
ivan tschichold}
% ——————————————
\RotateCoffin \bbb {90}
\RotateCoffin \ccc {270}
% ——————————————
\SetHorizontalCoffin \rulei {\color{red}\rule{6.5in}{1pc}}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \ruleii {\color{red}\rule{1pc}{23.5cm}}
\SetHorizontalCoffin \ruleiii{\color{black}\rule{10pt}{152pt}}
% ——————————————
\JoinCoffins \result \aaa
\JoinCoffins \result[\aaa-t,\aaa-r] \rulei [b,r](0pt,2mm)
\JoinCoffins \result[\aaa-b,\aaa-l] \bbb [B,r](0pt,0pt)
\JoinCoffins \result[\bbb-t,\bbb-r] \ruleii [t,r](-2mm,0pt)
\JoinCoffins \result[\aaa-B,\aaa-r] \ccc [B,l](66pt,14pc)
\JoinCoffins \result[\bbb-l,\ccc-B] \fff [t,r](-2mm,0pt)
\JoinCoffins \result[\fff-b,\fff-r] \ruleiii [b,l](2mm,0pt)
\JoinCoffins \result[\ccc-r,\fff-l] \eee [B,r]
\JoinCoffins \result[\eee-T,\eee-r] \ddd [B,r](0pt,4pc)
% ——————————————
\noindent\TypesetCoffin \result
% ——————————————

I think you’ll agree it’s a useful addition to the open source font library.

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