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End User License Agreement


This End User License Agreement (the “Agreement” “EULA,” “License,” “Agreement” or “License Agreement”) is a legal agreement between the Licensee (you) and Schwartzco, Inc., d/b/a Commercial Type (collectively, “Commercial Type”) and becomes a binding contract between you and Commercial Type when you access, install and/or use the Commercial Type Font Software (“Font Software” or “Fonts”). This Agreement governs the terms of use the Font Software and the design of the Fonts embodied therein (collectively, “Font Software”), for, among other uses, use in multi-use methods, large scale multi-user commercial uses, as well as simple uses such as individual desktop only uses. This License also controls the use and distribution of any media, electronic documentation, updates, add-ons, artwork, web services and/or the form of proprietary technology used to implement use of the Fonts as exists now or in the future. This Agreement becomes effective (a) when you “accept license agreement,” or when you open the electronic file in which the Font Software is contained. If you do not wish to enter into this Agreement, do not purchase, access, download and/or install or otherwise use the Font Software.

What this section means

Please read this document carefully, because you agree to its terms by installing the font software.


(a) Upon payment in full, Commercial Type will grant you a non-exclusive, terminable License to the Font Software that accompanies this EULA. Use of the Font Software is limited to the specific uses permitted in your purchase receipt. All Commercial Type licenses are for use by the identified Licensee (You) only. Transfer or export or use of the Font Software by third parties is not permitted. For the purposes of this Agreement, “Font Software” shall be defined as the design of the Fonts together with the Font Software which, when used generates the typeface, typographic designs and, if included in the Font Software, ornaments or other designs. 

(b) The types of licenses offered by Commercial Type include, but are not limited to:

i. Use for Creation – Desktop. Under this license you are permitted to (1) Use fonts installed to a desktop computer for creating printed material or images; (2) embed the Fonts in non-editable documents. 
Such uses include internal documents, company letterhead, production of a newspaper, magazine, book or other paper publication, print advertising, broadcast advertising, film titles, social media posts, signage, packaging, and point of sale displays.

ii. Uses for Creation with Distribution Rights. Under this license, the Font Software is bundled with and distributed as part of the licensed uses and includes: (1) App License; (2) Web License; (3) ePub License; (4) Software Embedding License; (5) Device Embedding License; (6) Automated Document Production Server License; (7) Embedded Content License.

iii. Add-on or License Extensions. If the proper license extension is purchased, you are permitted to: (1) use the Font Software to produce merchandise for sale, including alphabet-themed products; (2) embed the Fonts in editable documents; (3) use the fonts in external third party platforms; (4) share the fonts with third parties doing work on behalf of Licensee.

iv. Use of the Font Software with Generative or other Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) services or in other AI programming is expressly prohibited.

PLEASE READ: To understand the terms and conditions associated with a particular type of license, review the Attachment to this agreement. The relevant terms and conditions in the attachment form a part of this agreement.

What this section means

This paragraph outlines what kind of usage is permitted with each kind of licensing that may be purchased. The receipt and license document delivered with the fonts will list what usage you are licensed for, and at what license levels (i.e. the number of users permitted by a desktop license, the number of domains and unique visitors per month permitted by a web license, etc.). Your user account on this website will also give a record of the licenses you have purchased and the usage permitted under each of them.

If you are uncertain whether a particular use is permitted under the license you have purchased, please contact us at info[at] for assistance.


FONT SOFTWARE DELIVERY. The Font Software will be transmitted, as necessary, to Licensee via Internet download for use on the computers and, if applicable, on the websites of Licensee in the (i) WOFF and WOFF2 Web Font formats; (ii) in the Open Type Format for Desktop use and; (iii) in TrueType Format for Application (“App”) uses as specified by the license purchased. Commercial hereby agrees to provide amended or updated Webfonts and/or Font Software, upon the request of Licensee, in the event generally accepted and commercially used software and/or Internet browser formats change in response to technology innovation.

What this section means

The fonts will be delivered in different formats depending on the license you have purchased.


If you are a design consultancy, advertising agency or purchasing this license for use by or on behalf of such an entity, the ultimate end user should also purchase a license appropriate for their intended use of the Font Software. The license granted herein for personal use extends to temporary employees or independent contractors using the Font Software only so long as they are providing professional services expressly for the benefit of Licensee. 

What this section means

A license may not be shared by multiple companies (i.e. both a designer and his or her client). We make an exception for a freelancer working on behalf of a licensed client as an individual may use the fonts during the course of a project must purchase a separate license if they wish to use the fonts for other projects after the completion of the gig.


Commercial Type, its successors, and assigns expressly retain all right and title in and to the Font Software together with the design of the Font embodied therein, together with any trademarks used in connection therewith. Except as may be otherwise expressly permitted herein, you agree not to copy the Font Software or create derivative works based upon the design of the Font or the Font Software. You hereby agree that the design of the Font and the Font Software are the exclusive property of Commercial Type and that the unauthorized use of the design of the Font or the Font Software is an infringement of Commercial Type’s exclusive rights and causing significant monetary harm. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved to Commercial Type. Commercial Type’s rights and remedies in the event of an infringement shall be cumulative in nature.

What this section means

This license grants you the right to use our fonts and to make a copy of the files for backup purposes, but the fonts (both the software describing the design and the design itself) belong to us. You are not allowed to give copies to your friends, family or clients, and you may not modify the fonts without written permission from us.


Except as may be otherwise expressly permitted herein, you may not alter or copy the Font Software, or the designs embodied therein in any manner whatsoever. Reformatting the Font Software into other formats for use in other operating systems is expressly prohibited. Upon payment of an additional fee and a separate written agreement Commercial Type may provide the Font Software in alternate and/or additional font formats, contact Commercial Type for a quotation. Altering or amending the embedding bits characteristics of the Font Software is expressly prohibited. The Font Software may not be used to create or distribute any electronic document in which the Font Software or any part thereof, is embedded in a manner or format that permits editing, alterations, enhancements, or modifications by the recipient of such document, unless a license that permits such use has been purchased. You may not knowingly transmit any electronic document or the Font Software to any party that intends or is likely to “hack,” edit, alter, enhance, or otherwise modify the Font Software or remove the Font Software from any document.

What this section means

You will need written permission from us before making any kind of modifications to a font which you have licensed from us, including renaming the font or converting it into a different format, in part because we aren’t able to support fonts we haven’t built and tested ourselves. Please contact us at info[at] for more information.


You may make one (1) back-up copy of Font Software for archival purposes only, and you agree to retain exclusive custody and control over any such copy. Upon termination of the Agreement, you must destroy the original and all copies of the Font Software. The unauthorized sharing, lending, renting, sale, or other unauthorized use or misuse of the back-up copy is a material breach of this Agreement and will result in the immediate termination of this License.

What this section means

You may make a copy of the font files for backup purposes, but you may not give, lend, or sell copies to your friends, family, clients or especially to strangers.


If no other option exists, you may take a digitized copy of the Font Software used for a particular document, or Font Software embedded in an electronic document that is sent to a commercial printer or service bureau for use by the printer or service bureau for preparing the document, provided that the printer or service bureau represents that it shall destroy any and all copies of the Font Software upon completion of its work. Notwithstanding, you agree that the transmission of a “print/preview” pdf document is the first and preferred method of transmitting such documents to a service bureau or printer.

What this section means

If making a PDF is not an option, you may deliver a copy of the fonts to a service bureau or printer for final output. The service bureau must destroy the fonts when they are finished with the job.


The designs embodied into the Font Software, the Font Software itself, and any trademarks associated therewith are the exclusive property of Commercial Type and their designers, where applicable, and are protected by the copyright and other intellectual property laws of the United States, by the copyright and design laws of other nations, and by other international treaties. Any copies that you are expressly permitted to make, pursuant to the Agreement, must contain the same copyright, trademark, and other proprietary notices that appear on or in the Font Software.

What this section means

This license grands you the right to use our fonts, but we retain ownership of both the font design and the font software.


With the exception of subsetting webfonts, you agree not to create, assist in and/or cause the creation of modifications or additions to the Fonts or Font Software, including but not limited to: creating additional weights; creating additional or deleting existing characters; modifying existing characters; modifying font spacing and kerning; converting fonts to an alternate digital format, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, alter, or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the Font Software without first obtaining written permission from Commercial Type. In the event that permission is given to you, the modifications must be used according to the terms and conditions of the License you purchased and all modifications and additions shall become and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of Commercial Type. You may not sell, lend, or otherwise transmit any modifications or additions to the Font Software to any third party. You agree that any webfonts not directly provided by Commercial Type, such as webfonts that have been subset by Licensee will be supported at Commercial Type’s sole discretion.

Other jurisdictions may provide for additional rights, and if applicable, you may reverse engineer or decompile the Font Software only to the extent that sufficient information is not available for the purpose of creating an interoperable software program (but only for such purpose and only to the extent that sufficient information is not provided by Commercial Type upon written request). All trademarks shall be used in accordance with accepted trademark practice, including identification of the trademark owner’s name. Use of the trademarks associated with the Font Software inures solely to the benefit of Commercial Type.

If you are unsure whether your use of the Font Software is specifically permitted under this Agreement, contact Commercial Type. All uses of Commercial Type Fonts require a license.

What this section means

You can subset webfonts licensed from us, but you will need written permission from us before making any other kind of modifications or additions to a font which you have licensed from us, or hiring anyone else to do so. We can only support the font files we provided, meaning that if you subset your own webfonts, we can’t support them. If you require modifications to a font, we can do the work for you quickly and at a reasonable cost. Please contact us at info[at] for more information.


Commercial Type Font Software is licensed for use by a specified number of users and for specified uses.

What this section means

This license is not limited to one geographical location; a company with multiple locations may share one font license for all employees so long as they are within the number of licensed users.


Except as may be otherwise expressly provided for herein, you expressly agree not to rent, lease, sublicense, give, lend, or further distribute the Font Software. 

What this section means

You may not give or lend copies of the font files to anyone else, unless you transfer the license to the third party (along with a copy of this EULA and all other documentation that may have been included with the fonts) and destroy all copies of the font files in your possession, including backups.


Commercial Type warrants that the Font Software will perform substantially in accordance with its documentation for ninety (90) days following delivery of the Font Software. To make a warranty claim, you must either return the Font Software to the location from which you obtained it together with a copy of your sales receipt or, if acquired on-line, contact the on-line provider with sufficient information regarding your acquisition of the Font Software to permit the confirmation of the effective date of this License. Schwartzco, Inc. and Commercial Type hereby EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS AND IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. COMMERCIAL TYPE DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE OPERATION OF THE FONT SOFTWARE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, OR THAT THE FONT SOFTWARE IS WITHOUT DEFECTS. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL COMMERCIAL TYPE BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY OTHER PARTY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, FOR ANY SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, SAVINGS OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE FONT SOFTWARE EVEN IF NOTIFIED IN ADVANCE OF SUCH POSSIBILITY. You hereby agree that your entire, exclusive, and cumulative liability and remedy shall be limited to the purchase price of this Font Software License. Under no circumstances shall Schwartzco, Inc.’s or Commercial Type’s liability to you exceed either the refunding of the cost of the Font Software License or replacement of the Font Software either of which shall be at Commercial Type’s sole discretion.

What this section means

The fonts will perform as promised in the documentation, and we will provide technical support within a reasonable timeframe, to the best of our ability. In the event of a refund, we cannot refund more than the purchase price for the license, and all copies of the fonts in your possession must be destroyed.


OTHER LAW – CONSUMERS ONLY. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or special damages, implied warranties, or implied warranties as they relate to sales to consumers. ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OR OTHER RIGHT CREATED BY LAW IS ONLY EFFECTIVE FOR THE NINETY (90) DAY WARRANTY PERIOD. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND AFTER THE NINETY (90) DAY WARRANTY PERIOD. To the extent permissible by law, you agree that all implied warranties are not to be effective for more than thirty (30) days.

What this section means

This paragraph is required by law and simply means that any warranty (explicit or implied) is limited.


You expressly agree that this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York, USA, as they apply to contracts entered into and wholly performed therein and without respect to its conflict of laws provisions or the conflict of laws provisions of any other jurisdiction. You expressly submit to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the State of New York, USA, agree to waive any defenses arising out of the selection of jurisdiction or venue and further agree to service of process by mail. You hereby expressly agree that the application of the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded.

What this section means

Our main office is in New York City, so this agreement is governed by the laws of New York State.


You acknowledge that you have read and understand this Agreement and that by using the software you agree to be bound by its terms and conditions. You further agree that it is the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between Commercial Type and Licensee which supersedes any proposal or prior agreement, oral or written, and any other communications relating to the subject matter of this Agreement. No variation of the terms of this Agreement or any different terms will be enforceable in the absence of an express written amendment, or consent, including a written express waiver of the affected terms of this Agreement. If any provision of this Agreement is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, void, or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect, and the invalid provision shall be replaced by Commercial Type with a provision that effects the intent of the invalid provision. Commercial Type expressly reserves the right to amend or modify its License Agreements at any time and without prior notification.

What this section means

Again, please read this document carefully, because you agree to its terms by installing the font software.


The Agreement shall automatically terminate in the event You or any authorized user breaches any term or condition set forth herein. Notwithstanding any termination of this License, Commercial Type expressly reserves all other rights and remedies under equity or law. The Agreement may only be modified in a writing signed by an authorized officer of Commercial Type.

What this section means

If any of the terms in this agreement are broken, the license is no longer valid. We will notify you in writing if the EULA changes.


You agree to be responsible for compliance with all laws, foreign and domestic relating to the control of exports or the transfer of technology. If you are purchasing this License for government use, or under a government contract, you agree to familiarize yourself with and follow any applicable rules and regulations relating to the purchase of a license to use software and the actual use thereof.

All inquiries and arrangements for returns, if any, may be sent via e-mail to info[at] The Commercial Type website is located at

©2023 Schwartzco, Inc. d/b/a Commercial Type. All Rights Reserved.

What this section means

You agree to follow the law and other applicable rules in your use of this font license.



Your license may include these Types of Uses, if purchased. See the receipt and license document delivered with the font files for details. Some of these license types may not be purchased via this website.

Please contact info[at] for details and pricing.

Creation with Distribution Licenses

  1. App License

    1. Allows for embedding in Applications or Apps using the iOS, Windows Mobile, and Android mobile operating system formats.

    2. License is per individual title, without restriction as to the type of OS.

  2. Web License

    1. Use the Font Software to style HTML and SVG documents using the CSS @font-face mechanism.

    2. Use in email permitted, with fonts served from licensee’s server.

    3. License covers a discrete number of domains, with unlimited subdomains permitted for each.

    4. License covers an aggregated total number of unique monthly visitors across all licensed domains.

    5. If the maximum number of allowed unique visitors is exceeded for three (3) consecutive months, the purchase of an additional license is required. Commercial reserves the right to inspect or monitor your usage.

    6. You shall make a reasonable attempt to prevent the use of any process that allows hot-linking, re-serving or re-directing access to and/or use of the Font Software by unlicensed parties. You agree to exercise commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that the Font Software is retained with the other assets associated with the licensed domains.

    7. For the purposes of clarity, the use of third party font hosting services is strictly prohibited and the Font Software should be stored and served from the same devices and location as the other software and assets associated with the licensed domains.

  3. ePub License

    1. For use of the font software to style text in ePubs, for use in any operating system or device in which embedded fonts are supported.

  4. Software/Video Game Embedding License

    1. For embedding the fonts in non-mobile desktop software for use in MacOS, Windows, Linux, etc.

    2. License is per individual title, without restriction as to the type of OS or Platform.

  5. Device Embedding License

    1. For embedding fonts in any type of electronic device.

    2. This License is granted only on a per device basis.

  6. Automated Document Production Server License

    1. This License permits installing the Fonts Software on a server that generates documents automatically, such as bank statements, credit card bills, investment fund prospectuses, among others. 

    2. For creating user-generated content using the fonts, such as logos or templated documents.

  7. Embedded Content License

    1. For content using the font, distributed through content aggregators or ad networks:

      1. HTML5-based advertising.

      2. Embedded content in services such as Facebook Instant, Google AMP, Apple News, etc.

    2. License is for a discrete number of impressions.

    3. For use where the Fonts are hosted on the creator’s server, or CDN.

  8.  Merchandise License

    1. For use in creating merchandise for sale, among others, on goods such as apparel, mugs, housewares in which a logotype or other text set in the typeface is the primary design element;

    2. Promotional items given away for free are covered by the standard desktop license and do not require a merchandise license;

    3. Packaging and point of purchase promotion is covered by desktop license;

    4. Electronic devices, third party software, etc. would require an Embedding license, not a merchandise license

  9. Document-Based Editable Embedding License

    1. PDF embedding is permitted in the standard Desktop License.

    2. This License permits changing the embedding setting from Print & Preview (default) to Editable Embedding, which allows a Font to be embedded in a document which can then be viewed, printed, and edited.

  10. External Platform License (for platform user)

    1. For use of the font on third party platforms and services.

    2. Examples:

      1. Font is loaded onto for licensee to make templated presentations.

      2. Font is used on website that automates production of business cards for licensee.

    3. Fonts are hosted on the third party server, or shared CDN. No further distribution is allowed.

    4. Content may only be produced/edited by the license holder (fonts cannot be used by the third-party platform or other users of the third-party-platform not authorized by licensee).

    5. Font must be removed from third-party platform upon discontinuation of the third-party services.

  11. Distribution License

    1. Allows for distribution of desktop fonts to a third party who needs to work with the fonts on licensee’s behalf. Subcontractor will receive a desktop license that limits usage to working with the licensing client, along with the standard EULA.

    2. License covers a discrete number of third parties doing work on behalf of licensee simultaneously.

What this section means

This attachment to the EULA details the usage permitted under each license type, some of which can be purchased on this website, and some of which can only be obtained by contacting us and working with our licensing department. Please contact info[at] for assistance.




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Ahistoric reading: Designing Roboto Serif for Google Fonts

Most of the typefaces that come out of Commercial Type engage with history in one way or another. We like to use history as a starting point, but, Commercial Classics aside, the outcome is rarely a reproduction of the past. We hope what we design builds upon it and brings some of the old shapes and historical ideas somewhere new.

Roboto Serif was an unusual project for us because it isn’t really based on history at all. It was originally commissioned by Rob Giampetro for Google’s Material Design team. The main goal for Google was a new reading typeface that was native to the screen. It needed first and foremost to provide a comfortable reading experience. We thought that since this typeface would be screen-first, it would be interesting to approach the design of the typeface by working purely with what shows up as pixels on screen, sidestepping history for a more experimental, step-by-step approach to the design decisions.

First, some history

Georgia was designed by Matthew Carter for Microsoft in 1993 and introduced in 1996 as one of a new set of “Core fonts for the Web.” Georgia comes preinstalled on most computers, and anyone reading this essay has definitely seen it before. Its ubiquity has rendered it almost invisible, a true testament to its utility. What makes Georgia so interesting to me is that it was designed to bridge the gap between reading on paper to reading on screen, back when many people were resistant to the idea of reading anything but short bursts of text on screen, and long before everyone spent all day staring at their smartphones. You can still see this family in use today as the main text face for a number of popular websites. Up until around 2016, the New York Times website used Georgia for body copy, until they switched over to their custom cut of Imperial (designed by none other than Matthew Carter).

Georgia succeeded in bridging the gap between reading on paper to reading on screen by utilizing the hallmarks of newspaper typefaces both for legibility and for familiarity—its forms fit comfortably within the world of newspaper typefaces, so it has an air of believability. Georgia references hallmarks of a long lineage of newspaper typefaces, from Ionic No. 5 (adapted for Linotype machine setting in the early twentieth century, after many British foundries); Corona (part of Linotype’s “Legibility Group,” 1940); Egyptienne F (Adrian Frutiger for Linotype, 1956); Nimrod (Robin Nicholas for Monotype, 1979); to News Miller (Matthew Carter for Carter & Cone, 1999).

Three main characteristics provide the thread that runs through these typefaces to Georgia: a large x-height, low stroke contrast, and simplified and exaggerated details. These traits combine to subconciously communicate to a reader that they’re reading news, adding up to a particular tone and rhythm. Things like the more robust x-height, open apertures, and smaller ascenders and descenders make a typeface more readable at small sizes, on cheap paper—and also help make type more readable on screen. Carter leveraged these readily recognizable customs in newspaper and type history to help make the connection from print to the screen. Using the aesthetic of a newspaper text face would create the comfortable environment that people were already used to and make reading on screen feel more familiar. Creating new conventions would have risked alienating readers.

But after twenty-five years of people reading on screens, we can shed historical notions. What makes for a frictionless reading experience on screen now?

Terminal, contrast, proportions, and overall width are being explored here.

I decided to take a scientific approach: by separating out all of the different characteristics of what makes a serif typeface a serif typeface, I could isolate each element and explore different possibilities for it, and then test combinations of solutions to see what felt right and most comfortable on screen. People often think of experimental typefaces as being weird for weirdness’ sake, but I truly wanted to take an experimental approach, coming up with various theses and testing them.

I experimented with proportions on the macro level, with how more or less variation in the widths of individual letterforms altered the texture of text, with the vertical proportions, and with overall stroke contrast. On the micro level, I experimented with how the terminal shapes and the forms of the serifs altered the overall appearance and tone. By designing the process to break down a serif typeface to its elemental parts, I aimed to strip out unnecessary subtleties and distill the typeface down to deliberate shapes, asking at each stage: “Which of these versions works best on screen? What makes for a better reading experience for me?”


Rhythm is structurally important to how a typeface looks and feels. Early on I was testing a rhythm that was closer to newspaper typefaces, which are very regular. Variations in width were subtle, with rounds like e o c a bit more compact, so they don’t differ too much from flats like h n u; and narrow letters like a and s take up additional space for the sake of consistency. This was tested against a much more varied set of proportions, more similar to a typical book typeface: a f r s t are much narrower than flat-sided letters, which are narrower than the rounds; and m and w really stretch out to fill their space. I found the more regular proportions too monotonous for reading on screen—too cold and not conducive to reading—but the most varied proportions were a little too energetic. I ended up somewhere between the two but closer to the more varied rhythm, where it felt easier to read long blocks of text and not overly monotonous and fatiguing to the eye.

Vertical proportions

Vertical proportions were important in the process because the typeface needed to work seamlessly alongside Roboto Sans, Google’s default sans for interfaces, designed in 2011 and updated in 2014. From the beginning I made sure that the cap heights and x-heights matched visually, so that neither family jumps out when the two are mixed together in text. This ended up being the only shared trait between the two typefaces, aside from the name. Our clients at Google made clear at the outset that they did not expect or want Roboto Serif to be Roboto Sans with serifs tacked on. Instead, it needed to be a very considered companion to work well alongside the Sans, Mono, and Slab to add flexibility, depth, and sophistication to the family as a whole.


The serifs were another example of being surprised by the result of the process. At first I was trying to reduce and simplify the serifs as much as possible: in many of the sketches they were just simple slabs. In the end, letting them have a little bit of bracketing made the typeface feel somehow more comfortable when reading long texts. The form was more traditional than I expected, but felt appropriately warm on screen while not being overly nostalgic about old books. To me it still looked contemporary.

The sharper interior serifs helped optimize the amount of white inside the letterforms, making the typeface feel crisper than it did with pure symmetrical bracketing. Having the outside bracketing be more pronounced and curved kept it from being overly digital and cold, seemingly because the gray pixels soften the overall tone.


This was an early exploration into terminal shapes, and how they interacted with different rhythms of characters and different contrasts. Different options seemed to work best with different contrasts and character widths, but knowing how much territory the final family was going to cover, I understood that the terminal shape needed to work with different contrasts and weights and widths. The typeface needed something flexible but not noticeable. After a while I started to get into some existential thinking: “Do ball terminals really need to be balls?”

This goes back to stripping out any nuance that wasn’t necessary, and tempering the personality of the typeface. Something simple like having balls gave the typeface a more specific character, whereas this typeface needed to be atmosphere-agnostic. It should be comfortable when used for long-form journalism or a novel, or when reading an email, or even for interface elements, so it couldn’t carry a tone that felt too attached to any specific end use.

The square is native to the screen and is a simple shape to render, whereas curves are harder to render at smaller sizes. These terminals serve their purpose of making the texture of a block of text more even without doing any more than they need to do. Each letter simply exists. None of them grab the reader’s attention though their own quirkiness. It can work in all weights, widths and optical sizes, and grades, in a fluid way that is native to the screen.


I proofed Roboto Serif using a web-proofing script that spit out a page that looked like this.

To help find those things that popped out, I proofed the typeface using a web-proofing script that would spit out a web page. So much of my day was spent looking at stuff like this for hours, trying to figure out what was working or not working. What was I noticing and what was I not noticing? One thing that helped me immensely was setting the typeface as the default serif in my browser. I caught more distractions and learned more about the typeface by doing this than I had on any previous project. I could see it in words that I probably wouldn’t come up with, in sentences that I would never think to write. I could see where its limits where and where it shone. Most of the time I forgot about it, and that was how I realized that it was accomplishing its job. It felt comfortable to read and I didn’t notice it. It felt at home in any kind of text I was reading it in.

Weights, widths, optical sizes, and grades

When we started the process of designing Roboto Serif, most of the existing variable fonts up to that point showcased the exuberant possibilities the technology offered for display type. Far fewer families demonstrated how variable fonts can assist with the minutiae of micro and macro typography. This family was designed to bring the fine-tuned nuance from print to the web, where the various options for weights and widths—and more importantly optical sizes and grades—are seldom available but can be very helpful. For example, when working with type on a colored background, instead of adding a stroke with CSS, you can adjust the grade so the typeface is more robust and easier to read. Optical scaling helps to make sure the typeface looks its best when set in a range of sizes, say for a web article or a news site. Headlines can be elegant without compromising the readability of smaller text, or vice versa. A micro size has been developed for captions and footnotes, though it also makes an appealing display face with a clunky, functional aesthetic.

The width axis allows for both stylistic and functional adjustments—a long headline can be narrowed to keep it from breaking onto additional lines. The display size has the largest range from wide to narrow, both to accommodate the expressive needs of display typography and because the higher contrast allows for more variation without counterforms closing up, while the text and micro sizes are limited to what is most legible at their intended sizes.


With weight, width, optical size, and grade axes, Roboto Serif supports a total of 485 languages, by Google’s count. After first appearing on Google Fonts in February 2022, the family was updated in 2023 to add support for languages that use the Cyrillic script and several languages in Africa. A project this large could not have been accomplished alone, and I am so thankful for the contributions of Hrvoje Živčić, Kara Gordon, Miguel Reyes, Christian Schwartz, Mark Record, Inga Plönnigs, Flavia Zimbardi, Rafał Buchner, Maria Doreuli, and Thomas Bouillet to the Latin; and Ilya Ruderman, Yury Ostromentsky, and Micha Strukov for drawing the Cyrillic.

Roboto Serif can be accessed on Google Fonts and is free for all. You can also play around with the minisite. We can’t wait to see what you make with it. We’ll conclude here with the Afterword from the printed specimen Google Fonts produced to introduce the family.

Google Fonts’ mission is to make web typography better for everyone. One of the ways we invest in this (and the typography community at large) is by commissioning outside typographers and studios to create new fonts.

For Roboto Serif, we were thrilled to collaborate with Commercial Type for the first time. This latest addition to the Roboto superfamily fills a need we saw in our existing library for a highly readable serif that pairs well with Roboto Sans. In order to create a true serif for Roboto, (not just a ‘serif-ized’ version of Roboto Sans), Commercial used the vertical proportions of Roboto Sans as a starting point—to make sure the two families could be mixed harmoniously in running text. The result is an elegant, functional typeface that complements Roboto Sans, but can stand on its own as a beautiful, modern face. Expanding Roboto with a serif allows for greater flexibility and variety… which means better functionality and tonality across many, vastly different products and brands.

Roboto Serif is offered as an open-source, variable font (the static files are available, too). Variable fonts are well known for saving font download bandwidth online, but that’s just one of their benefits. For example, designers can set Roboto Serif to automatically adjust optical sizingon browsers and other products like Sketch. We’ve invested heavily in variable font typefaces, as well as in tools for their production, testing, and use, and we’re excited to see what creative designers and developers do with this technology. What would you want on an axis?

We hope you enjoy getting comfortable with Roboto Serif! Let us know.

—The Google Fonts Team

Written by Greg Gazdowicz