SIL International Media Release

Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic fonts released

(April 2008) SIL International announces the official release of two new fonts, Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic. Both are developed from the original Gentium design, but limited to basic Latin characters plus a variety of the most common extended Latin letters and diacritics. Gentium Book Basic has a generally heavier line weight than the original Gentium typeface and is better suited for some publishing uses. Both new typefaces come with a complete set of regular, bold, italic and bold italic fonts.


Gentium is a typeface family designed for diverse ethnolinguistic communities worldwide who use a wide range of Latin-based alphabets. It is intended to be highly readable, reasonably compact, visually attractive and well-suited to the publishing industry. The letters added from the extended Latin character set are designed to naturally harmonize with the 26 traditional letters. Diacritics are treated with careful thought and attention to their use.

New features

The Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic typefaces contain features that were not previously available in the Gentium family:

The Gentium font family is freely available under the SIL Open Font License (OFL), which gives users a broad range of privileges, including allowing the licensed fonts to be used, studied, modified and redistributed freely as long as they are not sold by themselves. SIL intends to release all future fonts under the OFL and to issue OFL versions of existing and older font packages as time permits. To date SIL has released 15 font families under the OFL.

Quotes from users

"Thank you for this fantastic font set—fantastic both in its purpose and in its appearance and usability!"

"...an interesting blend of economical use of space, a serious tone of voice and a modern informal dress code."

"With Gentium, every now and then I just stop and look at a word and think, lovely!"

"I have an aesthetic dislike of Times fonts, and a scholar’s budget. Now I have Gentium and I'm pleased as punch."

"Beautiful—a wonderful way to make knowledge look great! Open-source fonts are a gift to humanity."

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