Ubuntu font update available for testing

Our design team has been working on an updated version of the Ubuntu Font. It has been pushed to the Lunar archive before UIF but blocked in the proposed pocket because we feel like we need more testing and feedback before we decide to include it for this release.

We would welcome help testing the new version, especially from non-latin alphabet users. You can find the update there https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-ubuntu/0.862-0ubuntu2

To install the update

wget https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-ubuntu/0.862-0ubuntu2/+build/25677616/+files/fonts-ubuntu_0.862-0ubuntu2_all.deb https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fonts-ubuntu/0.862-0ubuntu2/+build/25677616/+files/fonts-ubuntu-console_0.862-0ubuntu2_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i fonts-ubuntu-console_0.862-0ubuntu2_all.deb fonts-ubuntu_0.862-0ubuntu2_all.deb
  1. restart your session

If you find any issue or have any feedback feel free to reply on this post or comment on the launchpad bug, don’t hesitate to include screenshots since those often help to understand visual problems better.

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Please consider making the English “r” and the Russian “г” more visibly different

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Is that a regression from the new font or an existing issue? Could you perhaps include a screenshot showing those chars with the old version of the font and the new version?

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Wow that’s far better now, imo.
I can install this update through Synaptic (force version) with proposed repo activated.

Fonts are thinner, before that I felt Ubuntu fonts too thick, not sharp.
They fit the thin design of Yaru symbolic icons (very noticeable eg. in Places extension popup menu).
I was using Noto Display fonts but I’m back now to Ubuntu’s.

Congrats for the team that did this (awaited) update.

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It’s an existing issue. You can see it even on Discourse.

r
г

The first is the Latin R, the second is the Cyrillic Г. It’s quite hard to differentiate one from another (even more so on low DPI screens)

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This is a non-issue.

These characters are never found together in real life, for the simple reason that they belong to different alphabets, so there is no risk of mistaking one for the other, and even then, in linguistics, context always disambiguates. And Unicode has so many other homoglyphs that you can look at.

Also, for a spurless sans-serif design, letters are meant to be this simple, by design.

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This is a non-issue.

These characters are never found together in real life

It is an issue for Ubuntu Mono. When programming, it is important that each character is easily distinguishable from all others. This is literally what designers of all programming fonts are concerned about. If you disagree, then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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use another mono font? like fonts-agave ? :wink:

There is a serious issue, i am on lubuntu 22.04.2, after installing the new fonts deb from launchapad under the lunar tab, whenever i type (For e.g Kvantum Flatpak github), the font breaks or misbehaves ??

EDIT : Fixed after few restarts !!
Anyway the new versions make the display look dull, the fonts are not sharp ??

sc

For Ubuntu Budgie we have always used Ubuntu Mono Regular 13 for our Tilix based terminal

So on the left is how this font on Jammy - on the right is the same font in lunar. It looks stretched vertically. Was this change intentional? To me its not as clear as the original jammy font.

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I thought that the original thicker font was easier to read than the thinner Windows 10 – like font – which was something I prefered over Windows.

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Exactly i reverted to the old one, i felt the new one less sharper and less attractive…

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My main concern is terminal fonts as shown above. The font size has changed on screen without the numerical font size changing. So we might need to adjust the Ubuntu default monospace font size.

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I also agree thicker fonts are easier to read, but that’s a losing argument against change… The new font looks more modern and you can always change your own fonts in the Tweaks app.

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Well, change is usually brought about to improve something – and if it doesn’t improve it, then it is best to leave well enough alone lol. I have always thought the original Ubuntu font was/is very modern. Of course, fonts are one of these very subjective issues that should require considerable testing and feedback – which is what we are doing here :smile:

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Ok, that’s what I get on my 1440p monitor:

Noto Display

New Ubuntu

IBM Plex

Cantarell :wink:

I also agree thicker fonts are easier to read, but that’s a losing argument against change… The new font looks more modern and you can always change your own fonts in the Tweaks app.

Legibility and readability should NOT depend on fads.

I feel like Canonical wanted a display font (hence the reduction in default weight), but this doesn’t work for small copy and UI. This is why Segoe UI Variable has both Text and Display cuts.

I came here to find out what happened to the font. Personally, I much prefer the thicker font over this newer, thinner version. It’s not that the newer font looks bad or anything, it’s simply not as legible as the thicker, bolder edition we have received in past releases. On the plus side, I like the larger size of the terminal font. That was a good change.

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I really like zero config, defaults and all, but I don’t like the Ubuntu mono font, and I’m surprised so many people use it, instead of their own favourite mono font for terminals… /me is using fonts-agave btw. And if you look for some more, there’s some great mono fonts! And for terminals, did you try cool-retro-term yet (also comes with some fonts)?

Unfortunately, someone who drank the same Kool-Aid than Dave Crossland did when commissioning this atrocious default weight distribution on the very popular Montserrat font is risking making the same mistake with the Ubuntu fonts. I mean, they look absolutely stunning when used in the web, with the big font sizes provided by the Vanilla Framework. But slimmer regular fonts don’t cut it the same way when you use it in user interfaces, where sizes are smaller. Just compare Launchpad.net, before and after:
Captura desde 2023-03-28 00-48-35
Captura desde 2023-03-28 00-48-55
Both screenshots are from the same webpage, 100%, no zooming or trickery. I think you will appreciate that the second one is objectively harder to read and could cause you to squint. (And it is only the Regular weight that is now too thin; the new Bold renders excellently and it does look more refined than before. The new proportions of the Monospaced family are a life-changing improvement too!)

Yes, one can make the new Regular similar to the old static font’s by finessing the weight to, say, 450; it’s one of the benefits of the variable-font format, right? But it does require fiddling on the users’ part, just because somebody imposed a bad default on them. Besides, UI frameworks like GTK are. just. not. that. flexible, and the Tweaks app just won’t respect my choice of weight 500 and will still render the font in the now-thinner 400 across all GNOME applications.

So, my suggestion to the Canonical stakeholders who I trust will listen to this community member is: provide a “Display” family optimized for websites, logos, brochures, printed material and all those other touchpoints requiring big font sizes, and a “Text” family optimized for on-screen UI, similar to the one we’ve had since 2010 (this is what both Apple and Microsoft do with Segoe and SF, respectively). Back then you innovated typography for on-screen reading, at a time where other Linux vendors scoffed at design, seeing it as a waste of money; don’t forget the lessons you’ve learned about font rendering, hinting, gridfitting! (And before someone suggests to me: “Hey Adolfo, don’t whine, font hinting is dead; just get a HiDPI screen!”: No, my old laptop still works and they’re too expensive in the Global South and I’d rather repair it than contribute to a wasteful, polluting industry due to simplistic consumeristic arguments.)

Of course, by pointing this issue out I don’t mean to invalidate the ginormous work that Type Network did in modernizing the source code of this font family, and the bug fixes they have provided (such as adding anchors for diacritics, something so basic and yet Dalton Maag refused to provide — I can finally type a Guarani “G̃” in Ubuntu!!) and I know they had to do a bit of archaeology, looking for old bug reports and recovering fixes that never got released. Do know that I appreciate that! But I still strongly feel that this newly emaciated font won’t perform as good unless a slight weight adjustment is done, towards the thicker side (hinting can only do as much — unfortunately, an adjustment in the outlines is needed here).

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