Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 863817
Liberation Sans Hebrew needs Redesign (Willing to contribute)
Last modified: 2015-02-17 09:29:28 EST
Created attachment 623019 [details]
New Hebrew glyphs I designed
The Hebrew version of Liberation Sans currently uses glyphs from Droid Sans Hebrew. These glyphs have incorrect proportions, weird letter forms and it's generally unreadable. In addition, it go along with the Latin glyphs nicely.
I've previously solved the same problem with DejaVu Sans Hebrew by redesigning it and I'd be more than happy to contribute an entirely new Hebrew glyphset for Liberation Sans.
I included a Work-in-Progess of new Hebrew glyphs designed to match the design of the Latin Liberation Sans in style, weight and proportions.
Created attachment 623020 [details]
Current Droid glyphs in Liberation Sans
How many glyphs need this improvement in font?
1. Metric compatibility is major concern for Liberation font family, so have to be in existing bounds
2. Once we modify shapes existing hinting instructions will get lost. So we might be autohint modified glyphs with fontforge autohinting.
The entire Hebrew was redone. The previous glyphs were taken directly from Droid Sans which do not match the weight and style of the Latin Liberation Sans, and were generally badly made.
1. Metric compatibility with which fonts? The newly designed Hebrew glyphs are more or less (Could be further adjusted) with Narkis Tam, the Hebrew equivalent for Helvetica. Regarding previous version of Liberation Sans, as far as I know the Hebrew glyphs for it were only recently added, and were hardly used because of Droid Sans which had the same glyphs, Dejavu Sans which had better Hebrew Glyphs and CoreFonts' popular Arial.
2. When I designed Dejavu Sans Hebrew I manually hinted all glyphs for extra clarity. I wouldn't mind manually hinting the new Hebrew glyphset.
1. The Liberation(tm) Fonts is a font family which aims at metric compatibility with Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New.
So we should be in this bound.
2. That's great to know that you will do manual hinting as well.
Matching metrics with Arial Hebrew might not be entirely a good idea – while Latin Arial has good proportions due to it being metric compatible with Helvetica, Arial Hebrew suffers from weird proportions that hurt its readability. For example, in Arial, the letter Bet (05D1) is much wider the letter Tet (05D8), while the opposite should be true. In analog to Latin, it would be a font where lowercase T is wider than lowercase N. Additionally, it seems that the current Hebrew glyphset in Liberation Sans isn't metric compatible with Arial in the first place. Metric compatibility with Narkis Tam (One of the fonts Arial Hebrew is based on, but with better proportions, and is equivalent to Helvetica) will result in better readability.
Despite this, I'm able to modify the letters to match Arial's metrics, but it will significantly damage the readability. (Either way – the result will still be better than the current glyphs)
Yeah, "Arial Hebrew" has different Metrics than Liberation Sans.
So what you suggest separating Hebrew from Liberation Sans and developing "Liberation Hebrew" as a New font? In that case i think we will have more control.
That could work, but I thought of simply replacing the old glyphs in Liberation Sans with new ones (The same thing was done with Dejavu Sans; http://dejavu-fonts.org/wiki/Changelog#Changes_from_2.32_to_2.33 ). Currently the Hebrew glyphs in Liberation Sans are the same as Droid Sans, and it'd be pretty redundant having 2 identical fonts with different names.
Ideally it will be good if users get Hebrew from existing Liberation Sans itself.
But if its Liberation Sans, then we have to manage it in existing metrics.
As you said earlier, even redesigning with managing it in metrics will be better than existing glyph set. I think may be we can move with this then?
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