Hebrew for the Ubuntu Font (UPDATED)

On October 10th Ubuntu will launch it’s new version “Maverick Meerkat” and with it a new free and open source beautiful font simply called the Ubuntu Font.

Many foreign glyphs, and specifically Hebrew glyphs for this font are scheduled only for the next Ubuntu release (Natty Narwhal) on April 2011.

Update 2: Getting there! A cleaned up version (0.7) http://tombigel.com/2010/08/28/ubuntu-font-last-update-for-the-weekend/

Update 1: A new version of the work file (0.6) http://tombigel.com/2010/08/27/ubuntu-font-update/

An unusual muse found me today and I decided to try and design Hebrew glyphs for this font, and just maybe finish it fast enough so it will get into the October release.
Update: Too late for new additions to Maverick, say the good people of Ubuntu. bummer.

So , the 2 links below are a PDF and an Adobe Illustrator CS4 work file (Yeah.. bad me, using propriety software…) of today’s work, I’ll add more versions as I go along.

Lior Kaplan of Hamakor, Dor (Ddorda) and Yaron of Ubuntu Israel are also in the loop, and together we will try to get this font into the Ubuntu Font mix asap.


If you are a Hebrew font designer and wish to help, please contact me, I don’t know too much about the technicalities of TrueType font creation – Ligatures, Kerning, etc.
Any help will be appreciated.

And if you are working for Ubuntu – What do you say? If we work fast enough, can we add this to Maverick? Please?

Ubuntu Hebrew Font 0.5 – PDF Preview
Ubuntu Hebrew Font 0.5 – Adobe Illustrator .ai file

6 thoughts on “Hebrew for the Ubuntu Font (UPDATED)

  1. Mark Veltzer

    Hi Tom!

    Good job! I like the fonts.

    How about a good post about how to design fonts ? I want to design a good Jazz font for lilypond (a music rendering software) and I don’t know how to do it…

    Keep up the good work!


  2. Bruno Maag

    Hi Tom,

    don’t despair, the Hebrew is coming. There is so much to do in this font project that we had to prioritise and do what was achievable for the 10.10 release. We’re starting the Hebrew design this autumn.

    I haven’t had a chance to study your initial designs in detail but one thing we have to make sure is that we can’t compare it with Arial. In Arial many of the complex non-latins are just thrown in from other designs, with very little correlation to the Latin. It is important that we study the Hebrew, it’s history and tradition, and then find a design that harmonises with the Latin without becoming Latinized.

    Arabic and Hebrew will be part of the core set of fonts (Reg, Bold plus Italics) and form a pattern to be extended into the other font styles if someone wants to pick up the baton. We are also likely to be involved int the development of other scripts, already sketching some initial Devanagari work.

    I hope we can keep you patient.

    1. Tom Bigelajzen

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      I had no idea before I started the work on my design that there is a well established design company behind the font, and yet, since there are not so many open and free Hebrew fonts out there I believe it is important for the local community to be involved with such a project.

      That said, I hope you will find my designs quality high enough to incorporate it into your work.
      And even if not, this is the beauty of the open world – It is already out of our hands. If the community wants their font now, they will help to develop and promote it, if it is not important enough for them, they will wait.

      I hope they want it 🙂

      A note about “Arial” – I used it just a visual baseline since it is the most common, and almost the only free readable (As far as I know) screen and print sans-serif font around. As I went along with my design, I stopped using it as a comparison and I believe I managed to further my work from it all together.

      BTW – When you examine my work, make sure you look at the most updated version (I will publish 0.8 this weekend).

      Tom B.

  3. AmosJerbi

    Hi Tom,

    Two weeks ago I released an open source font (that is based upon another font that Nir Yenni designed: carmelaforever.com) under the OFL license.

    You can download it from here:


    I also shared my knowledge on how to make an actual font set in Fontographer (spoken in Hebrew):


    I hope this information will assist you or anyone else in realizing the Ubuntu hebrew font set.

    Best regards,

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