Font of the day: Source Serif from Adobe

Source serif

The 100th Adobe Originals typeface is free and open source

You probably didn't notice that Adobe is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Adobe Originals typefaces (opens in new tab) and its 100th typeface to boot. So to draw your attention to the fact, Adobe has released a free font, Source Serif (opens in new tab), via Typekit. And the big news is, it's fully open source and customisable.

Designed by Frank Grießhammer (opens in new tab), in consultation with Adobe’s principal type designer, Robert Slimbach (opens in new tab), Source Serif is the serif counterpart to Typekit's Source Sans (opens in new tab) family.

Source serif

Adobe is releasing the font to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Adobe Originals typefaces

Inspired by the work of 18th century French type creator Pierre Simon Fournier (opens in new tab), Source Serif's simplified, easily readable letter shapes are designed for extended text setting on both paper and screen.

It can be used on the web or synced for use in any desktop application. You need to sign up to Typekit to download it, but it's available as part of the free plan. It will also be added to Google Fonts soon.

Source serif

The font is available as part of Typekit's free plan

Grießhammer is working on additional weights and italics, and plans to add Cyrillic and Greek language support. And Adobe hopes the open source nature of the font means others will help make the typeface even more versatile.

Open source

"There's really two ways of going about this," explains Caleb Belohlavek, a principal product manager at Adobe Typekit. "One is that we've make the font available on GitHub (opens in new tab) and SourceForge (opens in new tab). So if people want to jump in provide extensions, say Arabic, or even additional glyphs, they can submit it and we can provide additional releases in the future that support that.

Source serif

Its open source nature makes it infinitely customisable

"We're taking the unofficial role of managing the original source font," he clarifies. "So if we get submissions we'll review them for quality, sometimes we'll even help and modify, and then we can re-release and provide extensions, instead of characters. But also, under the open source licence anyone can choose to take that font and modify it as they choose. They can also release it under a new name."

"So in other words, we'll protect the original one, and then if someone wants to come out with their own version or do some form of subsetting, or manipulation of the particular glyph design for their own reasons, they can do that as well."

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.