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Droid font family courtesy of Google & Ascender  

Google’s Android project, an open platform for mobile devices, has been hitting the news a lot in the last couple of days with it’s open APIs, Java-based development platform and optimized virtual machine.

One thing not too many people have yet been raving over is the lovely set of typefaces from Ascender Fonts known as the Droid family.

Hidden away into the downloadable SDK’s emulator is system.img which contains various binary files including these new fonts. Being that the image is almost certainly in Linux ext format and I found no easy way of mounting it in Mac OS X or Windows I was rather pleased when I stumbled upon Beeno’s page of the extracted files.

I have already covered Droid Sans Mono with an eye for using it for programming but thought it would be worth showing the other members of the family although I haven’t drawn direct comparisons with the Mac and Windows supplied fonts as I did with Red Hat’s Liberation fonts.

Updated October 2011 from Ice Cream Sandwich SDK!

Download Droid Font Family (ZIP of TTF) (1.9 MB)

Droid fonts in Windows XP via WordPad

Screen shot of the Droid fonts in Windows XP via WordPad.

Droid fonts in Mac OS X 10.5 via TextEdit

Screen shot of the Droid fonts in Mac OS X 10.5 via TextEdit.


22 responses  

  1. They sure look like nice fonts! Droid Sans looks good, though it also appear they still need a bit more work (some rough edges).

    Tomas RestrepoNovember 14th, 2007
  2. pingback

    […] An interesting aspect of Android is that it comes with a set of fonts that have been specially designed for mobile devices, the Droid fonts. The fonts are embedded in the Android image, in android_sdk_linux_m3-rc20a/tools/lib/images/system.img and a clever guy managed to extract them. […]

    Mi blog lah! » Droid fonts from Google (Android SDK)November 16th, 2007
  3. Buhuu…I want to download it :-(

    Stef – November 16th, 2007
  4. it’s distributed under which licence?

    Archx – November 17th, 2007
  5. The font is nice, but that’s just it : another font.
    I’m amazed though, by the difference n the rendering between Mac and Win…
    If you wonder why you feel netter on a mac, start here…

    raphael campardouNovember 19th, 2007
  6. If you want to extract the fonts yourself on a Mac, it’s pretty simple; no need for mounting the filesystem. Run the emulator, then ddms from the SDK (in the tools directory). In ddms, choose File Explorer from the Device menu, then you’ll find the fonts in /system/fonts. Select one or more fonts and hit the left toolbar button (looks like a floppy disk with a left-pointing arrow on it) and you can save them wherever.

    Nicholas RileyNovember 19th, 2007
  7. Why did you have to use different font sizes on Mac and XP?

    ccaajjNovember 19th, 2007
  8. I <3 Mac font smooothing.

    BryceNovember 19th, 2007
  9. There is no point showing the XP rendering, it is well known that Windows does not render type to professional standards. There is mp information to be had there except yep, Windows still can’t render type. Better to show Illustrator or Photoshop rendering next to Mac.

    Hamranhansenhansen – November 19th, 2007
  10. Those are some nice fonts, but how *anyone* can look at both the XP and the OSX renderings and prefer
    the XP version is just beyond me. The pixel boundaries are so sharp and ugly that the imperfections in
    the ‘D’ in the first “Droid Serif” just grab the eye and won’t let go!

    Compare the OSX renderings. It’s the difference between CGA graphics on an ancient PC, compared
    with hard-copy printed text. And this is progress ? Colour me luddite and spare my eyes…

    Simon – November 19th, 2007
  11. To my eye, these look like attempts to be visually compatible with Georgia and Verdana, and are not particularly amazing designs in their own right. This is good for web sites that target the standard MS fonts for their designs, though.

    Josh Santangelo – November 19th, 2007
  12. The headlines on the Mac are the same ‘point size’ however the different DPI’s mean that you have to bump fonts up 10% to get similar sizes so it’s not that easy to compare directly.

    Damien GuardNovember 19th, 2007
  13. The sans-serif face really reminds me of Myriad Pro (Apple’s corporate typeface).
    The serif face looks similar to Cambria, one of the new Vista/Office 2007 fonts.

    Amar SagooNovember 20th, 2007
  14. The font looks great, even a bit better than BitStream Vera/DeJaVu but has far less characters (560 total) than DeJaVu… There is no italic/slanted version of Droid Sans Mono :(

    Ollivier Robert – November 22nd, 2007
  15. Lets not exaggerate, Windows sucks but not that much, if you look closely you’ll see that the Windows rendering has simply disabled smoothing. Some people disable it, I have no idea why. (but Note that both screenshots have subpixel hinting enabled, which can give pretty bad effects for people not using LCD screen or using one with different subpixel layout.

    The fonts are very nice, I especially like the monospace font, I’m glad that designers finally start to gravitate towards the original VGA fonts. Still, Terminus seems to me to be much better for programming and terminal, shame it’s not a real truetype font.

    Radomir DopieralskiDecember 2nd, 2007
  16. @Radomir: The Windows screenshot does not having smoothing disabled – it is using ClearType smoothing hence the sub-pixel precision you observe.

    Damien GuardDecember 2nd, 2007
  17. The real difference is that on Mac Apple has given you a Text editor that has a few nicities and a decent level of flexibility with file formats and encodings. With Wordpad on Windows you have a perfectly acceptable font engine that isn’t being used in Wordpad because MS only tosses that in as a cut-down version of an ancient version of its cash cow MS Word (now only bundled in MS Office). The fully expect you to upgrade to Office (which would replace Wordpad’s file associations anyway) since everyone uses Office anyway, right??

    ValisDecember 12th, 2007
  18. Awful fonts. Why aren’t they hinted for non-anti-aliased viewing?
    I expect more.

    KristonJanuary 25th, 2008
  19. @Kriston Because they are designed to be used on Google’s Android Platform for mobile phones that will always be anti-aliased.

    Damien GuardJanuary 25th, 2008
  20. >way better on Mac OS X, regretfully

    freetype under linux can produce the same output with hinting turned off and Cleartype-like subpixel filtering (this feature exists in freetype since 2.3.0, but needed patched Cairo and libXft to utilize it). Droid Sans in UI:

    Eugene Zagidullin – February 2nd, 2008
  21. pingback

    […] Droid fonts from the Open Handset Alliance’s Android platform Droid is a font family specifically designed for the Android platform. The family consists for the usual serif, sans serif and monospace typefaces. I downloaded the font bundle from here. […]

    Droid fonts from the Open Handset Alliance’s Android platform « My WeblogAugust 5th, 2008
  22. pingback

    […] This has come a long way in the last 8 months; get them here: […]

    Fonts in Ubuntu « My Thoughts and other Meaningless Nonsense.September 27th, 2008