Aller Sans: High quality fonts for free download

Henrik Birkvig's picture

Sponsored by Danish publishing company Aller (hence the name) and designed as part of the Danish School of Media and Journalisms new CI.
I art directed and the good people of Dalton Maag, London (Bruno Maag, Marc Weyman and Ron Carpenter) designed and produced. Apart from being the corporate font for our new CI, the fonts are for free download at http://www.dmjx.dk/presserum/skrift.html.
Henrik Birkvig

piccic's picture

If English is not your mother tongue you may be able to handle a general dialogue, with common words.
Whenever I use English I still feel handicapped, I can't express properly.
Should I express my thought with decent precision I'd have to formulate it in my language first, although the thought structure of any language is different.

@Bruno: what you say about production matters and hinting is very interesting.
How much time do you think it would take to develop a systematic production method (excluding hinting), and how much did you learn in time from the work of colleagues / other foundries?
Is that so different for a small foundry and a bigger one? I guess it all depends on how much you relate to "standards" or stray from them, anyway.
That's probably why I find so difficult to build one for myself… :=(

ralf h.'s picture

Oh I see, they are open type. When I saw the suffix .ttf I assumed TrueType.

The suffix is the same, because it really doesn't matter. TrueType and OpenType (with TT outlines) is basically is the same thing. The myth that TrueTypes are bad needs to be buried.
In fact, as far as I understand many of Bruno’s postings, they even prefer TrueType/OT TT over CFF-flavoured OpenType because they considered it even a little bit more stable and compatible.

piccic's picture

Ralf, I just prefer OT-flavored since when I have to edit or modify outlines to create logos or to add weight, I have fewer control points, and it's a lot better for editing.

In general I follow the criteria to buy licenses for TTF if I have to use faces also for screen work, otherwise I buy OTF.

Nick Shinn's picture

The myth that TrueTypes are bad needs to be buried.

It's not a myth. In many cases TrueType fonts are not as good as Type1 for display work.

When a font is created with PostScript curves, some distortion occurs when it's converted to TrueType curves, which happens automatically during the font generation process. If my practice is typical, type designers will generally draw their glyphs in PostScript mode, and not redraw glyphs to correct the distortions for TrueType generation. So there will be slight artifacts in the TrueType versions, that may occasionally mar the appearance of type at large display size.

Miguel Sousa's picture

> It’s not a myth. In many cases TrueType fonts are not as good as Type1 for display work.

If they aren't as good it's the designer's fault, not a font format problem or limitation.

Vivio Russ's picture

8 days without any answer...
I must have to consider this silence as an authorization...
So I'll use this font in my future logo creations...
Thanks anyway.
Regards.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

YES!!!!!! Sorry about that Vivio :-)

Nick Shinn's picture

If they aren’t as good it’s the designer’s fault, not a font format problem or limitation.

One could also blame history (the circumstance that saw the design industry using Type1 fonts and everyone else TrueType), or software such as FontLab, which creates the artefacts during conversion from PostScript curves to TrueType.

But I'm not trying to place blame, only trying to tell it like it is.

And it's not really a fault to publish a font that's almost perfect -- after all, as Bruno notes, very few fonts have full, character-by-character hinting.

piccic's picture

It probably depends on how delicate the curves (or thin the stems) are…
Although the automatic addition of points does not seem to bring so much distortion in the majority of curves. It would probably be crucial when you have short segments inclined, where the addition of a TT control point would move or alter the curve…

jabez's picture

I just joined the ranks of appreciative typophiles with Aller Sans. Thanks.

"If you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that you play that makes it good or bad" - Miles Davis

dinazina's picture

I used Aller Light & Regular with my new business header, see below. Thanks!

I wanted a text font very clean and smooth, but also with a slight warmth to it. Museo was close, but too rounded compared to the logo. Aller looks just right, I think.

karo LINE's picture

thanks a lot.

hrant's picture

> So there will be slight artifacts in the TrueType versions

Not if you know to avoid certain structures in the original cubics.
One such trick is mentioned in the Curves section here:
http://themicrofoundry.com/s_quality.html

hhp

FrankSmith's picture

Just wanted to say Thank You for a very very good font. As a signmaker, I'm usually excited by more gimicky fonts, but am actually excited by Aller. Esthetically, I find it very easy to use attractively. I don't know to what extent signage and long-distance legibility was considered or needed by the DSMJ, but I'm finding Aller very effective in that regard.

What happens in 2 years? I want to use the font legitimately.

csr's picture

Thanks so much!

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Aller Sans in use again:
http://www.unieq.nl/

davidmarshall's picture

> What happens in 2 years? I want to use the font legitimately.

Licences awarded now are perpetual. The only limit is that the number of users is never above 25 in those organizations which have acquired free licences.

When distribution rights revert to us it will become a member of our retail library, but the free licences will still stand. Those organizations needing more than 25 users will at that point be able to buy more.

Dave

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Aller Sans looks amazing here:
http://www.formspring.com/

Very web 2.0

Kerri's picture

Hi there. I have more confusion regarding the license for this free font. I'm working on a web project, and I was under the impression, based on the attached license, that embedding it in a website (via @font-face) was allowable. Though it isn't exclusively mentioned, it does say this:
Font Software may be used to create or distribute any electronic document in which the Font Software, or any part thereof, is embedded in a format that permits editing, alterations, enhancements, or modifications by the recipient of such document.

However, I was having second thoughts and did a google seach for "embed "aller font"" and got this hit:
Web Embedding Aller FAQ - Dalton Maag (http://www.daltonmaag.com/about/aller_faq.html)
which explicitly disallows this use. However, it seems to be in the context of a paid font, and nowhere else on the site can I even *find* Aller, so I don't know if it applies to the free version of the font or not.

Can you let me know where embedding via @font-face is allowed for this free version? Thanks!

aric's picture

Kerri, it seems pretty clear to me that the page you cite does apply to the free version. If so, embedding of Aller Sans is only allowed in EOT format (so, you can use it with @font-face with Internet Explorer only). However, Dalton Maag permits you to use a solution such as FLIR as long as you aren't concurrently serving up more than 25 pages that use the font. As they point out in the general FAQ, web pages get served up pretty darn fast, so that limit is probably not a big deal for most websites, assuming you're only using it for headings and not as a text face.

ironxcross's picture

I'm still a little confused with this EULA, so I thought it best to just ask here.. I am developing an iPhone game that I'm going to sell through the iTunes store. I would like to use this font in parts of the interface.. I'm obviously not selling the font, but the font has to be included in the binary.. is that possible through this EULA? Thanks.

aric's picture

I'm no lawyer and I'm not affiliated with Dalton Maag, but the way I read the EULA that wouldn't be allowed. The first sentence of paragraph 14 states pretty clearly:

14 You may not rent, lease, sublicense, give, lend, or further distribute the Font Software, or any copy thereof, except as expressly provided herein.

There are plenty of fonts out there with licenses that would work for you. You might consider the Bitstream Vera fonts.

filip blazek's picture

Thanks for Aller, it is a nice typeface. Unfortunately, there is a bug which makes this font almost unusable for setting Czech or Slovak languages: non breaking space glyph "uni00A0" has zero width. Unfortunately InDesign CS4 (unlike the older versions) uses this glyph as a "proportional non breaking space". This space is used in Czech, Slovak and probably other languages as well to keep single-letter words together with the next word. Slavic languages do use many single-letter words, in Czech we have a, i, o, u, v, s, z, k. It is considered a mistake to keep single-letter word at the end of a line, so there is a plugin (distributed to all InDesign owners for free by the official distributor) which automatically replaces spaces by non breaking spaces after those single-letter words. When using Aller, the result is pretty bad: the space is replaced by a zero width characters so in fact the text is no more readable... Please consider copying the space width to uni00A0. Thanks!

Igor Freiberger's picture

Filip,
while this bug is not corrected, you can do a workaround. Create a GREP style changing this glyph to the same from another font. Although not ideal, it will let you use Aller Sans.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I would contact Dalton Maag and let them know about the bug. Maag and company are perfectionist so I’m sure they would be interested in developing a fix for you (and the typographic community at-large):

http://www.daltonmaag.com/contact.html

Mike Diaz :-)

Aniossar's picture

Hello,
Can I use Aller Sans in making a logotype of a company?

Cilyan's picture

Hello,
That's a very nice work, but according to the EULA, "You are not permitted to produce a Derivative Work of this Font Software". Moreover, a font description can harldy be considered as Font Software and it is hard "to give commands (whether by keyboard or otherwise) that are followed by the Font Software" considering that the "Font Software" are inerte files. So there are two possibilities,
- either the license is invalid a one can potentially do whatever one wants with your font,
- or the license is valid and then it simply prohibits to use it.

Maybe you should have a look at http://creativecommons.org/choose/ if you want to distribute freely your work but keep your rights safe.
So nice work, but I won't use it as I am not sure that I have the right to :(

ralf h.'s picture

The term "Derivative Work" is even explained in the EULA. So no doubt about that.

I am pretty sure, Dalton Maag is familiar with CC licenses, but this was a design for a client and they are free to set up their license accordingly.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

Were you guys speaking of Aniossar’s post regarding logotypes?

"Derivative Work" does not apply to logotypes.

"Derivative Work" applies to altered, edited, appended, or otherwise customized works based on the original font files.

Mike Diaz :-)

PS... not that I have ever read EULA agreement in my entire life. :-)

nomnex's picture

Can somebody help me with the Aller font usage (I have little experience with font styles usage).

My understanding of the font styles is as follow (when creating styles in a word processor or presentation software - not a designer here)

Regular -> usage paragraph styles
Light -> usage (that's a good question - maybe short paragraph, e.g. intro)?

the Aller regular is very thick (bold) on screen and on print. I am wondering if regular is suitable to be used as paragraph style, or if I had to use the Light version instead?

It is about reports, A4 paper, font size text 12 pt, leading 0.08 mm (software: OOo Writer).

Thanks

yoodle's picture

> problemas en el link de la descarga
> problems with the download link

Porfavor avisenme en la solución del problema
Please let me know in the solution of the problem

Thanks
Gracias

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