Workplace Sans 0.6 and Workplace Sans Bold 0.2 released
November 13, 2009 by firstname.lastname@example.org
My TrueType fonts "Workplace Sans" version 0.6 and "Workplace Sans Bold"
version 0.2 have been released (2009-11-12).
(Please note that the URL has changed slightly as I have reorganized the
Fonts section of my website. The old URL is still valid, but now points
to my top-level font page.)
Workplace Sans is a light semi-condensed sans-serif font, inspired by
the OS/2 bitmap font "WarpSans". Intended primarily for use as a user
interface font, it has been designed to resemble WarpSans as much as
possible when displayed on-screen at 9pt/120dpi or 11pt/96dpi.
Because Workplace Sans is hinted only very crudely, it looks best when
anti-aliased under programs which are capable of doing so (such as
OpenOffice, the Mozilla family, or applications which use the Innotek
Early versions of Workplace Sans put a great deal of effort into trying
to force the glyphs to rasterize (in monochrome) as identically as
possible to 9-point WarpSans. Since I have no way of hinting the font
manually, I resorted to manipulating the glyph outlines themselves in
order to achieve the effect I wanted. This resulted in some unorthodox
letter shapes (mostly visible at larger sizes). At the time, very
little consideration went into making the actual letters attractive on
their own merit.
Since Workplace Sans has now found itself adopted for use by various
applications which use FreeType library for rendering text (such as
Mozilla), it means that Workplace Sans is now much more likely than I
originally envisioned to be used in an environment where it is
antialiased by default.
Therefore, I have recently engaged in a rethink of Workplace Sans's
design principles. Specifically, I have decided to move away from my
original obsession with exactly duplicating the appearance of WarpSans
under binary rasterization, and am now concentrating instead on making
the font more attractive when antialiased.
Version 0.6 of Workplace Sans, and version 0.2 of Workplace Sans Bold,
represent the first major implementation of this new design philosophy.
The major changes are much more regular glyph shapes, and slightly
tightened text spacing (mostly evident on larger point sizes).
Version 0.6 supports a great many more characters than version 0.5
(although still not quite as many as version 0.4). (The Bold version,
however, still supports only Latin-1 and a few other characters.) A
complete list of supported characters is available on the website above.
The font weight classification of the "normal" version is now defined
in the font header as "Book" (400), rather than "Light" (200) as
previously. This change was made by request.
Both the normal and bold versions have been built using TypeTool 2
instead of TypeTool 3 (which is where I do the actual development work).
This was done to avoid problems with scaling and hinting which affect
some environments when TT3 is used to build the font.
Workplace Sans is now licensed under the SIL Open Font License.