IBM Plex Sans
IBM Plex Sans sample.svg
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationGrotesque
Designer(s)Mike Abbink with Paul van der Laan and Pieter van Rosmalen
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version3.4
Latest release date28 July 2022; 3 months ago (2022-07-28)
IBM Plex Sans Condensed
IBM Plex Sans Condensed sample.svg
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationGrotesque
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version1.4
Latest release date28 July 2022; 3 months ago (2022-07-28)
IBM Plex Mono
IBM Plex Mono sample.svg
CategoryMonospaced
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version2.3
Latest release date10 May 2022; 6 months ago (2022-05-10)
IBM Plex Serif
IBM Plex Serif sample.svg
CategorySerif
ClassificationTransitional
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version2.8
Latest release date5 August 2022; 3 months ago (2022-08-05)

IBM Plex is an open source typeface superfamily conceptually designed and developed by Mike Abbink at IBM in collaboration with Bold Monday to reflect the design principles of IBM and to be used for all brand material across the company internationally. Plex replaces Helvetica as the IBM corporate typeface after more than fifty years, freeing the company from extensive license payments in the process.[1]

Version 1.0 of the font family had four typefaces, each with 8 weights (Thin, Extra Light, Light, Regular, Text, Medium, Semi-bold, Bold) and true italics to complement them.[2]

Unicode coverage

As of version 1.0 the IBM Plex typefaces support over 100 languages with most that use the Latin alphabet (including Vietnamese), as well as Cyrillic (except in IBM Plex Sans Condensed). In version 3.0 of IBM Plex Sans, support for monotonic Greek was added.[3] For other writing systems separate fonts were made without italics:

In addition, both Mike Abbink and Bold Monday have confirmed to be working on support for CJK, Bengali, Tamil and Kannada.[10][11][12]

There is also support for common mathematical and currency symbols (including Bitcoin (₿) #U+20BF which was ratified into Unicode in 2017) as well as ligatures such as fi and fl, along with stylistic alternates for a, g and 0.

There are a few unreleased symbols for IBM Plex Sans Condensed, IBM Plex Mono and IBM Plex Serif such as the generic currency sign (¤), prime symbol (′) and double prime symbol (″). In addition Mike Abbink has confirmed support for the Mathematical Operators block and support for the symbols used in the APL programming language in 2019.[13][14]

The FCC #EFCC and CE marking #ECE0 logos are encoded as glyphs within the Private Use Area.[15] Prior to version 1.0, five IBM logos (solid and 8-bar logos, and the I-Bee-M logo) #EBE1 to #EBE7 were also encoded as glyphs.

Licensing

IBM has licensed the font files only under the SIL Open Font License (SIL OFL).[16] Between 9 August 2018 and 21 August 2018, the fonts were also dual-licensed under the Apache License. This dual-licensing arrangement was rescinded due to concerns that the Apache License is unsuitable for fonts.[17] The SIL OFL license is free and open-source, but building the fonts from source requires FontLab Studio, which is proprietary software.[18]

Bold Monday also provide web development code in CSS, SCSS and JavaScript that is related to the fonts under the Apache License.[19]

IBM Plex's name is reserved, as allowed by the SIL OFL, and trademarked as of December 2017.[20][21]

See also

References

  1. ^ Quito, Anne (10 November 2017). "IBM has freed itself from the tyranny of Helvetica". Quartz. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. ^ "IBM Plex - 03 Plexness". IBM. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Add support for (modern) Greek. #179". GitHub. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  4. ^ "CHANGELOG.md". GitHub. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ "v1.4.1 – Add IBM Plex Thai Looped support". GitHub. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ "v1.2.3 - Davanagari support". GitHub. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Arabic support". GitHub. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "5.0.0". GitHub. 8 June 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Release v5.2.1 · IBM/plex". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  10. ^ "IBM Plex editable sources? #68". GitHub. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  11. ^ "IBM Plex – 05 Specs". IBM. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Kannada typeface #257". GitHub. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Suggestion: ≔ and ≝ #122". GitHub. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  14. ^ "APL Glyphs Absent #176". GitHub. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  15. ^ "IBM Plex". Font Squirrel. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. ^ "LICENSE.txt". GitHub. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Add Apache license into all font folders (This will live as a dual license with the OFL) #190". GitHub. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Please allow building from source with a free toolchain #98". GitHub. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  19. ^ "README - Building the fonts from source". GitHub. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Trade mark number UK00003255123". Intellectual Property Office (United Kingdom). Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  21. ^ "IBM Plex – Trademark Electronic Search System". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 21 August 2018.