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(May 2008) The second-phase release of SIL's sans serif font for literacy use, Andika, is now available. The new release, Andika Basic, is the result of refinements made to the character shapes during the design review phase following a feedback period. Many excellent suggestions have improved the original letter shapes.
A sans serif font is preferred by some literacy personnel for teaching people to read and write. Its forms are simpler and less cluttered than serif fonts. For years, literacy workers have had to use fonts that were not completely suitable for beginning readers and writers. For some languages, they have had the tedious job of assembling letters from a variety of fonts in order to get all of the characters needed, resulting in confusing and unattractive publications.
Andika addresses these issues with a single Unicode-compliant font. Literacy specialists will especially appreciate the availability of alternate glyphs (shapes) for several letters and numbers. These will allow the flexibility to use the character shapes preferred in each language area.
As one of SIL's "Basic" Latin fonts, the Andika Basic character inventory consists of characters in the Unicode ranges known as Basic Latin and Latin-1 Supplement. Also included are a selection of the more commonly used extended Latin characters, with miscellaneous diacritic marks, symbols and punctuation. A comprehensive character inventory, comparable to that of Doulos SIL and Charis SIL, will be included in the next release of Andika. The only typeface currently available is regular. Bold, italic, and bold italic are still under development.
The Andika Basic font is freely available under SIL's Open Font License (OFL). SIL intends to release all future fonts under the OFL and to issue OFL versions of existing and older font packages as time permits. To date, SIL has released sixteen fonts or font families under the OFL.