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August 18th, 2006

URW++ fonts for $0.00

URW++ is a professional type foundry (a maker of fonts) and you can get some of their fonts for no money, and in fact you can modify and redistribute these fonts if you like.

For the most part, these collections include regular, italic, bold, and bold italic of some important font families and some of their important variants (such as condensed).

What most people will want is the TrueType version of the GhostPCL font collection, which you can use for nothing under the Aladdin Free Public License. Here’s what you get (in no particular order):

  • Nimbus Sans L. Helvetica by another name.

  • Nimbus Roman. Times Roman. There’s a bunch of stuff here and I don’t know exactly what corresponds to what, or whether any of it is based on Times Roman’s predecessor, Times New Roman. :)

  • Nimbus Mono. Courier.

  • Standard Symbols. Times Roman mathematical symbols.

  • Chancery L. Zapf Chancery.

  • U001. Looks like Univers to me.

  • A028. Looks to me like Albertus.

  • A030. Hmm. This one looks like another Helvetica. (Do HP printers come with two versions of Helvetica? Update: Maybe GhostPCL is simply using a renamed Nimbus Sans as a replacement for Arial. There is little incentive to develop clones of Arial, due to its complete lack of Helvetica’s coolness factor.)

  • Classico. Optima.

  • Gothic L Avant Garde Gothic.

  • Palladio. Palatino. (Many netizens use the name of an earlier Palatino clone, ‘Book Antiqua’.)

  • Bookman, Letter Gothic, Antique Olive, Clarendon, Coronet. What the names say. :)

  • Dingbats. Zapf Dingbats.

  • Century Schoolbook. New Century Schoolbook.

  • Mauritius. If someone knows of anything that this is supposed to copy closely, please let me know.

  • Garamond No. 8. Looks to me like Stempel Garamond, in which the roman and italic both are actually based on Claude Garamond’s types. ‘Garamond’ is a confusing term in type. Usually the italic is based on someone else’s work, and, even worse, many so-called ‘Garamonds’ are actually ‘Jannon’, but misnamed for reasons history buffs would find interesting.

The Ghostscript font collection is an older collection based on a subset of the typefaces for GhostPCL. The Ghostscript fonts are in Type 1 format, and correspond to the fonts that came with PostScript printers once upon a time. There is also a version to which cyrillic and other characters (including those for Esperanto) have been added, but I don’t know where they currently are housed, plus the quality of the additions may not be the best. The Ghostscript fonts are licensed under a modified GNU General Public License.

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