Small Caps and Oldstyle numerals for Gentium?

_Palatine_'s picture

I know Victor is probably sick of hearing this, but if any one type family could really use some extras, it's Gentium.

First, Gentium is one of the few (precious few) free typefaces that really stands up well against large commercial type families. It was built for scholars, it seems, with extensive language support. There are others, such as Cardo, for example. But none seem to approximate Gentium's special quality. Not only that, but Gentium is a study in readability and solid design. The sample pdf gives the distinct impression that Gentium was no small undertaking. Imagine how well small caps and old style numerals would complement the roman and italic.

We have a new Gentium book weight as well, which of course might presage all of the above.

So, my thanks to Victor Gaultney. And here's hoping there's a lot more in store for Gentium and what appears to be its sans companion, Andika.

Christopher Adams's picture

Don't neglect this thread: Gentium versions: Smallcaps and Sans serif

The Gentium status page mentions that they are themselves working on Small Caps, and welcome contributors to assist on Old Style Figures.

_Palatine_'s picture

Man thanks for the heads-up, Christopher!

gaultney's picture

Believe me, I agree that Gentium could use some enhanced typographic features. :-) We're working on it, but balancing it with other projects has been difficult. I can tell you, however, that the small caps are done for the regular and italic - not a small undertaking when you have literally hundreds of capitals to turn into small caps. There are a lot of other new things, but no old style figures. We hope to have a final release out mid-year, with betas before then. We're getting close!

(BTW - this is only for Gentium Regular and Gentium Italic, not the additional book and bold weights.)

_Palatine_'s picture

That's good news, Victor!

Thank you again for all the hard work. As for old-style figures, they aren't always a necessity - I agree, but small caps would really enhance the family. Nice to hear that progress is being made.

charles ellertson's picture

As someone who only sets books, printed offset at 2400+ dpi using direct-to-plate workflow, I really lament the lack of work on Gentium Book. Gentium Regular is fine for laser printers, but a bit too light for bookwork.

In contrast, I did cut oldstyle figures for Charis, and am using it for some projects. For those who need a neutral font with a tremendous number of special characters (but not Greek), Charis is a very useful font.

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