RE: fonts for U7.0 scripts

From: Deborah W. Anderson <>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:13:58 -0700

Dear Andrew,
It is true that proposals require a font to create the code charts, but I was careful in my comments to say SEI doesn't currently fund creation of "distributable" fonts.

Fonts for proposals are usually very basic, and often partly auto-generated by font editing software, usually with an ASCII cmap. They appear marginally OK in the code chart, and while they are acceptable for talking about charts or to use as examples in papers about the script, they are typically not acceptable for most purposes that contain running text, including publication in printed form, e.g., in books.

Just because someone develops a basic set of outlines for a script proposal doesn't necessarily mean (a) that they have done any work to make their font "useful" for anything else and (b) that they have, or will license their font for public use. (They don't sign up for that automatically when doing a proposal, and it has not really budgeted into any proposals, so far.)

At the moment, SEI is severely budget-constrained, and proposal authors are not earning much doing proposal work. The more work put in for purposes beyond the proposal itself, the lower their hourly income. And as John Hudson or Ken Lunde can probably attest, good font development is labor intensive.

In sum, it would take additional resources for a developer to do work on a font to make it acceptable for distribution.

However, like Andrew Glass, I commend the work on Noto fonts, which is a way to help make free working fonts available.

With best wishes,


-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode [] On Behalf Of Andrew West
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:29 PM
To: Deborah W. Anderson
Cc: Mark Davis ☕️; Unicode Public
Subject: Re: fonts for U7.0 scripts


Thanks for the explanation. I just wonder, in order to get a script accepted for encoding the proposer has to provide a font for the
Unicode/10646 code charts, so creating a font (that is at least good enough for the code charts even if it does not have full shaping
behaviour) is an essential part of the proposal process, so if the SEI is funding someone to research/write a proposal is not the funding provided by SEI at least indirectly funding the creation of a font, and if so should not the font be made freely available at the end of the project?


On 22 October 2014 14:48, Deborah W. Anderson <> wrote:
> Dear Andrew,
> Most of the scripts listed below did come via Script Encoding Initiative (SEI), you are correct.
> The intent of SEI was to work on proposals and provide fonts but, to date, the focus of the work has been almost exclusively on getting scripts into Unicode and not on the creation of distributable fonts. I will modify the wording on the webpage accordingly.
> Ideally, I would like to have free fonts made available via SEI, but it hasn't been possible due to funding constraints. In the future, I plan to work closely with ScriptSource (and other projects that make free fonts available), and will encourage the creation and submission of free fonts to such projects, though at this point SEI doesn't have the funding itself to pay for such work, unfortunately.
> Debbie Anderson
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Unicode [] On Behalf Of Andrew
> West
> Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 2:51 AM
> To: Mark Davis ☕️
> Cc: Unicode Public
> Subject: Re: fonts for U7.0 scripts
> On 22 October 2014 08:27, Mark Davis ☕️ <> wrote:
>> I'm looking for freely downloadable TTF fonts for any of the
>> following. I'd appreciate links to sites for any of these:
>> Bassa_Vah
>> Duployan
>> Grantha
>> Khojki
>> Khudawadi
>> Mahajani
>> Mende_Kikakui
>> Modi
>> Mro
>> Nabataean
>> Old_Permic
>> Palmyrene
>> Pau_Cin_Hau
>> Tirhuta
>> Warang_Citi
> Was the encoding of any of these scripts funded by the Script Encoding
> Initiative? According to the SEI
> ( "Funding is used primarily for the creation of proposals on a per-project basis and for fonts. Fonts will be made available over the Unicode website and will be available for free distribution but cannot be bundled with commercial products."
> Although I have to say that I cannot see anywhere on the Unicode website that provides fonts for SEI-funded scripts.
> Andrew
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Received on Wed Oct 22 2014 - 16:15:17 CDT

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