Ambrose Li

New fonts for the new blog for the new year

(updated )

I have spent the past two days trying to integrate a blog into my portfolio, and I have to admit it might be time to switch typefaces.

The problem is I need the letters ɐ and ɔ because Cantonese uses them (when I use IPA instead of Jyutping and I do prefer IPA over Jyutping‍[Note 1]) but these letters are missing in Alegreya. In fact they seem to be missing in many open-licensed typefaces. IPA seems to be a very niche need.

Assuming that I’m going to keep using Brick for webfonts, I looked through what I have on my Mac‍[Note 2] and came up with a short list:

CandidateDesigned for Latin? ItalicsWeights (4=regular, 7=bold) Corporate affiliationDesigner
Andika SIL ?
Charis SIL SIL ?
Doulos SIL SIL ?
FreeSerif ?
Gentium Plus‍[Note 3] SIL ?
Junicode Peter S. Baker
Lato Łukasz Dziedzic
Noto Sans Google ?
Source Code Pro Adobe Paul D. Hunt
Source Sans Pro Adobe Paul D. Hunt
Y.Oz‍[Note 4] n/a ? Y.Oz

Well... what a depressingly short list? It has almost none of the faces I now routinely use. There’s also no gender balance.

In any case, considering only my Latin font needs, rationally speaking, Adobe’s Source super­family is great it not only has almost every weight, it also has a monospace, a sans-serif, and a serif. What I don’t like is it’s from Adobe.

Now, rationally speaking, my next best choice should be Noto, since my CJK sans-serif fonts are going to come from Noto. Again, the problem is it’s from Google.

So here we are: For 2021, this site is going to be set in Lato; there will be no contrasting serif face.


  1. Specifically, I prefer the transcription system in ˍjyt ˈjɐm ˉdziŋ ˍduk ˍdzi ˍwɐi (粵音正讀字彙 ‘A glossary for correct Cantonese pronunciation’, ISBN 962-948-509-5); in other words I like prefixed spacing diacritics more than suffixed superscript numbers
  2. Using Apple’s Character Viewer to check which fonts have the two letters
  3. Brick only supports Gentium Basic, but that doesn’t work because it doesn’t have the letter ɐ
  4. Except Y.OzFontKG


  • #internationalization
  • #romanization
  • #typefaces