Unpackaged Font of the Week: Gillius ADF

Gillius ADF is a sans-serif typeface, heavily inspired by the famous Gill Sans MT typeface by Eric Gill – who designed Gill Sans inspired by the Johnston typeface designed for the London Underground which Gill had worked on as an apprentice.
The Arkandis Digital Foundry created the Gillius ADF font under the GPL with font exception. There is an alternative version available too (that also needs packaging 🙂 ) called Gillus ADF No. 2. Each font has regular and condensed variants, each with bold, italic, and bold italic versions. The coverage is not bad for extended Latin characters:

Gillius ADF is a nice, clean font that should serve you well both in regular body text in documents as well as for headings and logo treatments. It’s a versatile and very readable font, just like the Gill Sans typeface that inspired it. One thing you might want to be aware of when working with Gillius ADF – just as cultural context anyway – in the same way that Helvetica is used heavily in the United States, especially on municipal and transit system signage, Gill Sans is used heavily in the UK and recalls ‘mid-century’ type usage in the UK. Gillius ADF, since it refers so closely to Gill Sans, might carry a bit of a UK connotation to it.
(Btw, I purposely picked a word with a lowercase ‘g’ in it for my little type sample because I really like the ‘g’ in Gillius Sans. 🙂 )
Gillus ADF is licensed under the GPL with Font Exception.

So, you want to package Gillius ADF?

Zomg! You’re sweet! You’ll want to follow the first steps here next to the ‘if you intend to do some packaging’ header:

Our fonts packaging policy, which the above refers to, is documented here:

And if you have any questions throughout the process, don’t hesitate to ask on the Fedora Fonts SIG mailing list:

Last Week’s Font

Last week’s font was League Gothic by The League of Moveable Type. Nobody has picked up the font package request yet! Would you like to?


  1. Everything about this font is nice, good find.

  2. gurblouň says:

    I must admit, that the font doesn't look bad and I already have created some RPM's of fonts… BUT the font doesn't have enough characters neither for czech (which is my mother-tongue) nor for the transcription of semitic languages (which I need for my studies), so SORRY, It's not worth my time…

    1. Sorry to her that. 🙁 Well, I'll keep going through the fonts I find; hopefully in the future some of them will support Czech. Do you know of a good way I can check for Czech support?

      1. FC_DEBUG=256 fc-scan will give you the language coverage of a font according to fontconfig, in the form of a languagecode(number) list.
        number is how many glyphs are missing for the language to be supported, so if it is zero the language is supported, if it is a huge number it is hopeless, and if it is a small number it is worth asking upstream to make a little effort.

        1. FC_DEBUG=256 fc-scan font-filename

  3. It is surprising those fonts (typeface like my typographic teacher told me) are not picked up. I will take time read about packaging. I know I am getting busy with Design like Fedora 13 Goddard, Echo icons, and more, but that will be a plus for.
    Stay tuned soon.

  4. If that's the whole coverage of the font, it's not THAT impressive. That table is just CP 1252, which also covers Latin1 (ISO-8859-1), of which CP 1252 is a superset (if you consider only printable characters), and Latin9 (ISO-8859-15), from which the extra characters are taken (but instead of replacing less used characters as Latin9 did, they threw them into an area which the ISO-8859 standard reserves for control characters). It doesn't even cover all the ISO-8859 Latin charsets. (That said, of course it's better than those ASCII-only fonts which don't contain any accented characters at all.)

  5. Indeed, the 'g' is good looking.
    As for coverage, my own test is with "ș" and "ț" (comma below, not cedilla), have not tested Gillius ADF for it, but very few fonts support those, not even Liberation, so I find myself in a very restricted position.

  6. Denis Jacquerye says:

    I hate to be the party pooper but it looks like some glyphs ('a', 'e', etc.) were taken from Bitstream Vera or one of its derivatives. The license should be Vera License and not GPL with exception.

    1. Hi Denis,
      While the letterforms are very similar (the a is very similar, the e does not quite line up), I do not think the license need not be Vera license on the basis of the usage of some glyphs. The license applies to the font as a computer program, NOT to the typeface / letterforms. Typeface is NOT subject to copyright – you cannot copyright the alphabet, for example. See here for more information:

      1. Denis Jacquerye says:

        Fair enough, the design of some glyphs is extremely similar but it's not a point to point copy.

    2. http://arkandis.tuxfamily.org/openfonts.html is a set of fonts modified by Hirwen Harendal. So they are not original creations, just tweaks on existing fonts (and one needs to check the licensing is compatible with the derived font license). I don't think this particular font was derived from Vera (IIRC it used gs/tex ps fonts at sources) but I may be wrong
      http://arkandis.tuxfamily.org/adffonts.html is the set fonts Hirwen created from scratch. Checking their licensing is much easier as a result, they don't use any external material.

      1. Uh-oh. Does that mean his license is not appropriate? 🙁 Was it a bad font to post?

        1. The license if fine for a new creation. For something which is derived from other fonts, you need to choose a license compatible with those fonts. Unfortunately Gillius ADF is placed on the "derived from other fonts", but those fonts are not listed so it is not possible to check without asking upstream what other fonts it used, and what was their licensing (and them making spot check if it's different licenses)
          Upstream is nice, if overworked. Since I'm overworked too I have a month-old message from him on another font I still need to process 🙁

  7. […] a fairly wide selection of free quality geometric/humanist fonts. After much deliberation, I chose Gillius ADF, based on the famous Gill Sans (which, whilst not dissimilar to the original font used in the old […]

  8. […] last font this blog series covered was Gillus ADF. Nobody has picked up the font package request yet! Would you like […]

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