Lato: The Making Of

Four years of type design and two days of “dig­i­tal film­mak­ing” with Font­Lab Stu­dio, Python, Robo­Fab, librsvg, Adobe After­Ef­fects and Dig­i­tal Per­fomer. This film illus­trates the evo­lu­tion of Lato:


Video: Łukasz Dziedzic & Adam Twar­doch
Sound: Łukasz Dziedzic
(CC) BY 2014 Lato​Fonts​.com

Design: Łukasz Dziedzic
With: Adam Twar­doch & Botio Nikoltchev
Released under the SIL Open Font License
© 2014 typoland

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Get the free Lato Saves Billions font and save billions of dollars!!!


Berlin, War­saw — April 1st, 2014

The team behind the Lato font fam­ily (Łukasz Dziedzic and Adam Twar­doch) have just released a spe­cial ver­sion of the Lato font called Lato Saves Bil­lions. “While Gara­mond can save the U.S. gov­ern­ment mere 400 mil­lion dol­lars, the Lato Saves Bil­lions font can save at least 5 bil­lion dol­lars,” said Adam Twar­doch. “The image above com­pares the Times New Roman, Gara­mond and Lato Saves Bil­lions fonts, all set at 14 pt. You can down­load the free Lato Saves Bil­lions font and try it out on your own com­puter. You will see how much more space-​​efficient Lato Saves Bil­lions is com­pared to other fonts!” Twar­doch con­tin­ued:

Down­load ver­sion April 1st, 2014

Or you can down­load the entire Lato font fam­ily — nine weights with ital­ics, all free!” he con­cluded:

Down­load ver­sion 2.007

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Lato 2.0 released!

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 11.42.52

We’re proud to announce the release of the 2.007 ver­sion of the Lato fam­ily. We’ve worked on it for almost a year. It’s the first release of the com­plete rework­ing of Lato. It’s already very good, but there may be some issues here and there. If you find some prob­lems, let us know!

The fam­ily now con­sists of nine weights with ital­ics, and each font includes 2300+ glyphs, so the fam­ily now sup­ports 100+ Latin-​​based lan­guages, 50+ Cyrillic-​​based lan­guages as well as Greek and IPA pho­net­ics. We also revised the met­rics and kern­ing of the fam­ily. Note: the Reg­u­lar and Medium weights have very lit­tle dif­fer­ence, so you can pick either for text pur­poses. You can also pick the Reg­u­lar weight for dark-​​on-​​light text, and the Medium for light-​​on-​​dark.

Down­load Lato 2.007 TTFs

The Lato font fam­ily is avail­able as a free down­load under the SIL Open Font License 1.1. The fonts can be used with­out any lim­i­ta­tions for com­mer­cial and non-​​commercial pur­poses. They can be also freely mod­i­fied if the terms of the license are observed.

Click on Down­load TTF to down­load a ZIP archive con­tain­ing ver­sion ver­sion 2.007 of the Lato fonts in TrueType-​​flavored Open­Type for­mat (.ttf), which you can install on your com­puter.

Down­load TTF

Use Lato 2.007 fonts on the web

Cur­rently, the Lato fonts on Google Fonts are still the older 1.0 ver­sion. If you’d like to use the new 2.007 ver­sion on your web­site, you need to install a “self-​​hosted web­font kit” on your server. We do not pro­vide sup­port or instruc­tions how to install these fonts on your web­site! You need to fig­ure it out on your own! :)

Click on Down­load Web­fonts to down­load a ZIP archive con­tain­ing ver­sion 2.007 of the Lato fonts as a web­font kit for self-​​hosting.

Down­load Webfonts

The ZIP con­tains two sub­fold­ers: Lato and Lato­Latin. The Lato sub­folder con­tains web­fonts with the com­plete char­ac­ter set (250−700 KB per font) while the Lato­Latin sub­folder con­tains smaller ver­sions that only include the most impor­tant glyphs for Euro­pean Latin-​​based lan­guages (75−200 KB per font).

Sup­port Lato development!

If you’d like to sup­port the devel­op­ment of the Lato fam­ily, please con­sider a donation:

Best regards, and have fun with this release!
Łukasz Dziedzic & Adam Twardoch

Discussion 4 Comments Category Uncategorized


Soon, really soon…
Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 20.52.48

Discussion 14 Comments Category Uncategorized

Lato 1.105 released!

We have just released Lato 1.105:

  • The down­load archive now con­tains an “OTF” sub­folder with the Lato fonts in Open­Type PS for­mat, and a “TTF” sub­folder with the fonts in Open­Type TT format.
  • The OTF fonts have been auto­hinted using the Adobe autohinter
  • The TTF fonts have been auto­hinted using ttfau­to­hint 0.95
  • Most desk­top users will prob­a­bly pre­fer to use the OTF version
  • The fam­ily nam­ing has been adjusted for bet­ter com­pat­i­bil­ity with Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac
  • Please do not install both the OTF and the TTF vari­ants on your computer!

To down­load Lato 1.105, please click on the “DOWNLOAD ZIP” link in the right column.


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1/​2 billion

OK. After one year and few days Lato passed half a billion.

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Lato version 1.104 released!

We have just released Lato ver­sion 1.104.

With the release of ver­sion 1.103 over a week ago, I wrote:

We decided to “split” the release. The fonts intended for peo­ple to down­load and use in desk­top appli­ca­tions were to be FontLab-​​​​autohinted while the fonts that should be deployed at Google Web Fonts should use ttfautohint.

Ver­sion 1.104 makes the split­ting unnec­es­sary. Now we just have one com­mon ver­sion which works well every­where: it ren­ders nicely in Win­dows grayscale, Win­dows ClearType, Mac OS X, iOS and in Adobe appli­ca­tions. We’ve helped Werner Lem­berg to fix the bugs in ttfau­to­hint, so it is no longer “ttfau­toshred”, and we could use it to pro­duce ver­sion 1.104.

You can down­load ver­sion 1.104 by click­ing on the down­load link on the right of this page. Enjoy!

Discussion 14 Comments Category Release

Thorough quality assurance

Lato in Microsoft Word 6.0c on Win­dows 3.11

When devel­op­ing Lato, we employ very thor­ough qual­ity assur­ance meth­ods, and want to make sure that the fonts really work every­where. How­ever, due to the cur­rent qual­ity of hint­ing, we do not rec­om­mend using Lato in small sizes on Win­dows 3.11.

Discussion 3 Comments Category Development

Lato version 1.103 released!

Has it ever hap­pened to you that you thought you knew how to fix a prob­lem, done every­thing right on the way, and ended up with a result that is wrong?

Here’s the thing: when we first pre­pared the Lato fonts for the release on Google Web Fonts in Decem­ber 2010, we used the hint­ing tools avail­able in Font­Lab Stu­dio to fine-​​tune the family’s screen appear­ance. With the mas­sive num­ber of styles avail­able in Lato, and the tight dead­line, we couldn’t do man­ual hint­ing for every glyph, so we ended up doing so-​​called “con­trolled auto­hint­ing”. The results were quite OK, but not amazing.

In Sep­tem­ber 2011, we revis­ited the Lato fam­ily: we added the dia­crit­i­cal char­ac­ters for the Pol­ish lan­guage (since both Łukasz and myself are Pol­ish, it seemed odd to release an open­source fam­ily that included char­ac­ters for French or Ger­man but not for our native tongue.) We also wanted to make use of the new ttfau­to­hint library by Werner Lem­berg, which promised very good appear­ance on Win­dows grayscale and ClearType dis­play set­tings. It turned out that indeed — apart from the Hair­line and Light weights — fonts processed with ttfau­to­hint looked bet­ter. So far so good. Ver­sion 1.100 was released.

In the last month, how­ever, we dis­cov­ered that while ttfau­to­hint pro­duces good results in Win­dows web browsers, the hint­ing code embed­ded into the fonts causes seri­ous ren­der­ing prob­lems when the font is used in desk­top appli­ca­tions, specif­i­cally in Adobe Cre­ative Suite appli­ca­tions: Illus­tra­tor and InDe­sign. The prob­lems were espe­cially vis­i­ble when the text set in Lato was con­verted to out­lines. I even coined the term “ttfau­toshred” for the funky results:

Lato in Adobe Illus­tra­tor CS5

Now — we had a dilemma: fonts made with Font­Lab Stu­dio auto­hint­ing did not look as good on screen, but were very reli­able in desk­top appli­ca­tions, while fonts processed with ttfau­to­hint per­formed poorly in desk­top appli­ca­tions but looked well in web browsers. Of course ttfau­to­hint is a library that’s being actively devel­oped by Werner, and at some point I’m sure the bugs will be ironed out and these prob­lems will no longer occur. But what should we do now?

We decided to “split” the release. The fonts intended for peo­ple to down­load and use in desk­top appli­ca­tions were to be FontLab-​​autohinted while the fonts that should be deployed at Google Web Fonts should use ttfau­to­hint.

So yes­ter­day, I’ve done all the steps of split­ting the fam­ily and mak­ing two sep­a­rate ver­sions, and released ver­sion 1.102. Great — but there was one thing. What I thought were the FontLab-​​autohinted fonts turned out to be… the ttfautohint-​​processed fonts. Which I then processed again with ttfau­to­hint to make the “real” web ver­sion. So yes: I had two ver­sions, one for “desk­top down­loads” and one for Google Web Fonts, and the process to turn one into another was clean and nice, but in the end, I started off with the wrong data so both ver­sions ended up being the “shreddy” ones.

Well — today I real­ized this, so I made sure that what I think I was look­ing at really was what I was look­ing at, and re-​​released the fam­ily as ver­sion 1.103. Which works.

So if you’d like to use Lato in desk­top appli­ca­tions, you should go to the Down­load sec­tion and grab the lat­est release.


Update: ver­sion 1.104 no longer makes the split nec­es­sary. One and the same font works well on the web and in all desk­top applications!

Discussion 5 Comments Category Release

Lato version 1.102 released!

We just released ver­sion 1.102 of the Lato fam­ily. You can down­load the fonts now.

This ver­sion is a tech­ni­cal fix: it no longer causes prob­lems with Adobe CS apps, and includes some basic Open­Type Lay­out fea­tures (liga, case and sups). This release is tar­geted espe­cially for users who want to use Lato in desk­top applications.

UPDATE: Ver­sion 1.102 still does cause the same prob­lems. It has since been resolved, so get the newest version!

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