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The status of Utopia

Type · May 20th, 2008 ·

On October 11, 2006 Adobe granted members of the Tex User Group the right to use, modify and distribute the Utopia typeface:

Adobe Systems Incorporated ("Adobe") hereby grants to the TeX Users Group and its members a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual license to the typeface software for the Utopia Regular, Utopia Italic, Utopia Bold and Utopia bold Italic typefaces, including Adobe Type 1 font programs for each style (collectively, the "Software") as set forth below.

Curiously enough, Adobe also granted TUG members the right to sublicense the font so a few months later, Karl Berry (director of TUG) offered to ‘any and all interested parties’ the right to use Utopia:

The agreement below gives the TeX Users Group (TUG) the right to sublicense, and grant such sublicensees the right to further sublicense, any or all of the rights enumerated below. TUG hereby does so sublicense all such rights, irrevocably and in perpetuity, to any and all interested parties.

Open Font Library listmembers are currently looking into how to clarify the status of Utopia and possibly re-publish it under an Open Font License. In the mean time you can already enjoy the font, which can be downloaded in .pfb format from the TUG website:

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  • 1. Thomas Phinney

    May 20, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Well, gosh, just drop me an email and we can talk. 🙂

    I’m open to the possibility of using OFL on the four basic faces of Utopia, as long as The Lawyers are okay with it.



    Thomas Phinney
    Product Manager
    Fonts & Global Typography
    Adobe Systems

  • 2. Links do dia « Designlab

    May 21, 2008 at 10:30 am

    […] Utopia cedida para desenvolvimento em Open Source ao grupo TeX – via Open Source Publishing. Esta na realidade merece um pouco mais de estudo e publicarei um post em breve sobre este assunot. […]

  • 3. Fil

    Jun 18, 2008 at 7:55 am


    it seems that Utopia doesn’t handle accentuated characters like Ĺ“, so it’s a kind of dead-end, again. What would ou say are the “best” open-source fonts with a large utf-8 span?

  • 4. Thomas Phinney

    Jul 7, 2008 at 1:41 am

    Further to this, I did talk it over and discuss it with the relevant lawyer and my boss. Although we could switch those four Utopia Type 1 fonts over to OFL, it would be a big bureaucratic hassle, much like the previous licensing switch.

    Given how open the current licensing is, we just don’t see enough to be gained from this to make it worth the above-mentioned hassle, and are inclined to leave it alone for now.

    @Fil: Of course, as a typeface designed and released around 1989, the Type 1 version of Utopia does not have extensive language support compared to our newer (e.g. Arno, Garamond Premier, Hypatia Sans) or core (e.g. Minion Pro, Myriad Pro) typefaces.



  • 5. Adobe opposĂ© Ă  l’OFL pour Utopia : Calcyum

    Sep 5, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    […] sans surprise mais avec une vive dĂ©ception que Thomas Phinney prĂ©cise, en commentaire sur Open Source Publishing, que la fonte Utopia ne sera pas distribuĂ©e sous OFL. Les raisons? Une surcharge administrative et […]

  • 6. Utopia: une fonte Adobe en OFL? : Calcyum

    Sep 6, 2008 at 10:31 am

    […] blog Open Source Publishing nous propose une histoire croustillante: celle d’une fonte, Utopia, offerte par Adobe au Tex […]