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Fonts: New versions of Charis, Doulos and TypeTuner

(April 2009) SIL announces new versions of two of its Roman-based fonts that make use of state-of-the-art technologies to support complex typographic issues such as the need to optimally position arbitrary combinations of diacritics and base glyphs (letters, symbols, punctuation, etc.).

Version 4.106 of Charis SIL and Doulos SIL add small capital functionality in all styles. Each family now contains additional fonts with tighter, more compact vertical line spacing.

The goal for each of these font families is to provide, in a single Unicode font, a comprehensive inventory of glyphs needed for almost any Roman- or Cyrillic-based writing system. Charis and Doulos currently have more than 4,500 glyphs each—the most extensive inventory of SIL’s Roman-based fonts. In addition, there is provision for other characters and symbols used for phonetic, orthographic or linguistic purposes.

Concurrently, version 1.2 of SIL TypeTuner is being released, and is required to modify the version 4.106 fonts. TypeTuner can change the default glyphs and behaviors in SIL Roman-based fonts if the standard defaults do not fit the need.

Charis SIL is for optimum legibility

Charis—similar to Bitstream Charter—is optimized for high legibility, even in long printed documents such as books. It prints well in a variety of settings, from silkscreen to high-speed presses, and has four styles—regular, italic, bold, and bold italic—so is more useful in general publishing than Doulos.

Doulos SIL adds complex characters to Times-like fonts

Doulos—similar to Times New Roman—is intended for use alongside other Times-like fonts where a range of styles (italic, bold, etc.) is not needed. Unlike Times New Roman, it has a comprehensive inventory of glyphs needed for almost any Roman- or Cyrillic-based writing system, whether used for phonetic or orthographic needs.

New features


The Charis SIL and Doulos SIL fonts are freely available under the SIL Open Font License (OFL). 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 17 fonts or font families under the OFL.

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