One thing I’ll never under­stand is why Ubuntu ships with such hideous default sys­tem fonts, when there are some per­fectly great open source fonts built right into it. For instance, UnDo­tum is a near-exact clone of Franklin Gothic, although strangely a Google search for undotum "franklin gothic" only turns up one page that men­tions the two together. It seems to be an arbi­trary sim­i­lar­ity, as the pur­pose of UnDo­tum and other UnFonts is to pro­vide Korean char­ac­ters. Any­way, it makes a good win­dow title font.

Then there’s Nim­bus Sans, which is indis­tin­guish­able from Hel­vetica; DejaVu Sans, which as far as I can tell is a descen­dant of Frutiger (and, hence, a cousin of [Apple’s] Myr­iad and [Microsoft’s] Segoe UI), and makes a nice all-around sys­tem font; and Lib­er­tine, which makes for a great general-purpose body serif. Once you set these as the fonts in GNOME and in Fire­fox, every­thing looks scores bet­ter — bet­ter than Ubuntu’s default look, cer­tainly, and arguably bet­ter than Windows.

i like the typog­ra­phy on your website

james · 7 Dec 2008

Thanks, I put a lot of work into it but it’s not nearly per­fect. Hop­ing to fix that.

Are you known as james­downer elsewhere?

Jay · 7 Dec 2008

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