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.


19 responses

  1. Avatar for Tomas Restrepo

    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 Restrepo November 14, 2007
  2. Avatar for Stef

    Buhuu...I want to download it :-(

    Stef November 16, 2007
  3. Avatar for Archx

    it's distributed under which licence?

    Archx November 17, 2007
  4. Avatar for raphael campardou

    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 campardou November 19, 2007
  5. Avatar for Nicholas Riley

    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 Riley November 19, 2007
  6. Avatar for ccaajj

    Why did you have to use different font sizes on Mac and XP?

    ccaajj November 19, 2007
  7. Avatar for Simon

    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 19, 2007
  8. Avatar for Bryce

    I <3 Mac font smooothing.

    Bryce November 19, 2007
  9. Avatar for Josh Santangelo

    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 19, 2007
  10. Avatar for Damien Guard

    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 Guard November 19, 2007
  11. Avatar for Hamranhansenhansen

    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 19, 2007
  12. Avatar for Amar Sagoo

    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 Sagoo November 20, 2007
  13. Avatar for Ollivier Robert

    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 22, 2007
  14. Avatar for Radomir Dopieralski

    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 Dopieralski December 2, 2007
  15. Avatar for Damien Guard

    @Radomir: The Windows screenshot does not having smoothing disabled - it is using ClearType smoothing hence the sub-pixel precision you observe.

    Damien Guard December 2, 2007
  16. Avatar for Valis

    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??

    Valis December 12, 2007
  17. Avatar for Kriston

    Awful fonts. Why aren't they hinted for non-anti-aliased viewing? I expect more.

    Kriston January 25, 2008
  18. Avatar for Damien Guard

    @Kriston Because they are designed to be used on Google's Android Platform for mobile phones that will always be anti-aliased.

    Damien Guard January 25, 2008
  19. Avatar for Eugene Zagidullin

    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: http://www.ljplus.ru/img4/a/s/asphyx_lj/xfce_droid.png

    Eugene Zagidullin February 2, 2008