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Adobe has released Source Sans Pro, its first open source font family. The font is also being added to Typekit and Google Web Fonts to be freely available for use by web developers. Paul D. Hunt, the font’s designer, announced the arrival of Source Sans Pro on Adobe Typblography and attributes his inspiration partly to the Gothic fonts of Morris Fueller Benton, a prolific American type designer responsible for typefaces such as Goudy Old Style, Franklin Gothic and Bodoni. He says, “While keeping these models in mind, I never sought to copy specific features from these types. Instead, I sought to achieve a similar visual simplicity by paring each glyph to its most essential form.”

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Adobe is releasing the font along with the source materials to allow for modification. Hunt says, “In making these fonts open source, it is important to us to make all the source files we used in their production available, so that they can be referenced by others as a resource on how to build OpenType fonts with an AFDKO workflow. The full package of source files can be obtained from the Source Sans download page on SourceForge.”

Hunt hopes that users will submit their improvements and changes to help add features to the font. “In addition to making these files available as a learning resource, we are eager that this project will become an undertaking in which we can collaborate with others in the design community. We hope that if any of you want to build upon these assets that you will consider coordinating with us to help add features and increase language support for this family.”

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Adobe initially created the font for use in its open source software applications, and an early version is already being used in WebKit-based coding software, Brackets. The font is intended for user interfaces but can also be applied to news-based print work.

Source Sans Pro can be downloaded from here and more information about the font can be found here.