Gelasio samples

Here are some mac rendering samples of Gelasio.

When the letterforms are large it is fairly easy to tell the two apart. When they are small it may be more difficult but there is still a clear difference in personality. In print this difference is quite obvious even at small text sizes.

Gelasio large

Georgia large

When the letterforms are large it is fairly easy to tell the two apart.




About Merriweather

Merriweather: a type family being developed by Eben Sorkin.
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13 Responses to Gelasio samples

  1. I’ve seen this font mentioned in a metric alias for Georgia in Fontconfig, I think it has been introduced by this patch:

    But where can I get the Gelasio font? And what is its licence? Thanks!

    • Merriweather says:

      Gelasio was made for Google but I am not sure if they are releasing it or the reasons they would or world not. I am happy to begin sharing it but I need to check to see if they don’t mind. They may want to use it first or something. Perhaps this is evidence it has been!

      If I can release it I’ll tweet about it when I do and make a post here as well. Unless something changes, and assuming it is released, it would come out under the SIL license. You can see that license here:

  2. Thank you for the quick response, it helped a lot.

    I was expecting to find Gelasio at but it’s not (yet?) available there. However, it was actually once a part of the public «googlefontdirectory» repository. It’s still available under the SIL license in the repo’s history, eg. at

    It was removed from the repository together with other fonts that were paid for by Google such as Caladea (metrically compatible replacement for Cambria), Inconsensi (a replacement for Consolas?), Monacal (a replacement for Monotype Corsiva?) and Tagoni (a legible sans-serif font with grid-fitting shapes).

    Interestingly, as far as I can see, all of the above seem to be reworks ordered by Google: Caladea is based on Cambo¹, Inconsesi is based on Inconsolata², Monacal is based on Felipa³ and Tagoni is based on Telex⁴.

    So, I’m curious, is Gelasio is based on some other work? Thanks!





    • Merriweather says:

      I can’t comment on the others you mention because i don’t really know anything. Here is what I say about Gelasio on my web site: “Gelasio is designed to be metrics compatible with Georgia. Gelasio is a “Reale” or Transitional design with many style cues coming from the period immediately after the Romain du Roi type was introduced. Despite sharing common letter widths the texture and feeling of the two typefaces are different. Georgia is warmer and friendlier while Gelasio is cooler and more formal.” I can explain a bit more if you like. Being metrically compatible means that glyphs in the two fonts share a width. This means that you can exchange one type with the other and not re-flow the text. I think the difference in feeling is noticeable at all sizes but it becomes especially noticeable above 14px. In print the difference is quite obvious. Gelasio has been reworked once since being made. The orginal 4 styles were made in only 2 weeks! The reworking took another week. I suspect that I may want to refine it even further if it is ever released. I could probably be more helpful if I knew more about the context in which you are asking. As it is I am just guessing.

    • Small addition: Tagoni is metrically compatible to Microsofts Tahoma. And Monocal indeed is metrically compatible to Monotype Corsiva, which in turn is a replacement for Zapf Chancery.

      Unfortunately the fonts are no longer online since Google shut down google code, but I should have a backup of it somewhere. Do you all think it’s okay to republish them? Since they were already at some point published under the OFL by Google.

  3. I’m not a typeface specialist so thank you for the detailed explanations. I’ll try presenting my stance on this with as few as possible words and please forgive me when I repeat things you already know. On the side, perhaps others will find some of it useful…

    I’m interested in Gelasio because at some point I started looking for fonts to spice up web browsing on my Linux computers without relying any more on the infamous ‘Core fonts for the web’ package from Microsoft. Although not available anymore from, they are still legal to use and redistribute¹. Problem is it’s not possible to legally extend them and the versions from 2000 are lacking in glyph coverage, for example they are are missing ș and ț (s and t with a comma below accent) for Romanian, my language.

    There are some partial solutions to this problem in the free software world, such as the Liberation 1.0x family of fonts commissioned by Red Hat (with Liberation Sans/Mono/Serif as equivalents for Arial/Courier New/Times New Roman) or, more recently, the Crosscore fonts from Google (same author, different names: Arimo/Cousine/Tinos). Those are fine by themselves and have served free software operating systems well.

    However, some of the most widely used (and abused) fonts on the Internet have no free counterparts with a SIL/Apache/etc. license that would permit anyone to work on extending their glyph coverage. I think Georgia and Verdana are the most problematic from this point of view, because they are so legible at small sizes and web designers push them to their limits without realizing that a minority of web users will see their small texts with Liberation Serif or Tinos instead of Georgia and Liberations Sans or Arimo instead of Verdana. Which makes those texts less legible and pushes the user to increase the text size for that site, which in turn sometimes breaks page layout.

    As a personal solution, for some years I have used the legible fonts from the DejaVu family to overcome this problem, with DejaVu Serif as a replacement for Georgia and DejaVu Sans as a replacement for Verdana. (This is actually also the way things usually work in a typical free software operating system, where DejaVu Serif is an alias for ‘serif’ and ‘sans-serif’ is aliased to DejaVu Sans, IF the web designer used a sensible fallback mechanism.) Their license permitted me to extend the DejaVu fonts with the missing glyphs that were required for my native language and I did that about a decade ago. However, lately this solution has functioned less and less satisfactorily even for web pages, because of the proliferation of web apps that have more stringent layout requirements.

    This is even more of an issue when using these fonts in documents shared between Windows/OS X users and Linux/BSD/etc. users, which is probably why Google is pushing for free fonts that are metrically equivalent to those widely used in Windows/OS X as they encounter the same problems on their Google Chrome platform. For example, someone types a 100-pages thesis in Google Docs using Georgia and it looks as it only has 80 pages on a Linux workstation that renders the same text with Liberation Serif. And for me, using DejaVu Serif as a fallback, it has 120 pages…

    So, many thanks to you and Google for working on solving this issue. Gelasio looks mighty interesting and I’ll use it as an alias for Georgia from now on. I am also a fan of your Merriweather family of serif and sans-serif fonts, I have even shared them on my Google+ profile a few days ago² and experimented with using them exclusively on my desktop. I think its what I would use for serif and sans-serif fonts in a mobile free-software OS, in the same way Google used the Droid fonts for Android 2.x.

    In regards to refining the Gelasio fonts even further, are you referring to working on their hinting too? I suspect part of the problem when replacing Georgia would also be matching its legibility at small sizes on screens with a low DPI, such as most of today’s desktops and laptops. I have a DPI of ~86 on my desktop and one of ~132 on my netbook, and I see hinting makes a big difference in FreeType rendering when using full hinting for a well hinted font such as Georgia.

    By the way, what would be the most sensible way to provide you with feedback in regards to FreeType rendering issues for your fonts? FreeType being the free software font engine used by Linux and most mobile phones (Android and iOS devices included) to render fonts. For example, I see Merriweather Regular is problematic and for some reasons Merriweather Italic is picked up on my desktop. So even this very page is actually rendered in italics-only in my browser.



    • Merriweather says:

      Thanks very much for your very detailed explanation!

      I think Google’s motivation in this was probably in part to help minority language users and because of the license issues you bring up. I am fairly sure that Romanian is supported by Gelasio too. 🙂 I feel a lot of sympathy as well. I strongly suspect that things will keep getting better. While I think it is great that Google is doing something about this I suspect that a bigger tent would help make things go faster.

      About hinting: The new hinting method we have been using helps the new (still not updated) Merriweather render better. I can’t claim it is as good as Georgia but it is MUCH better than before and very nearly as good. I hope they will update it soon! In the meantime I could email you copies to install locally if you wish. If Gelasio is released it would have this hinting too. I find that you can read the hinted fonts down to a fairly absurdly small size. The hinting method is freetype based.

      I am very happy to receive feedback about these fonts! However it is very much worth noting what configuration you are using if you do. I say this because Freetype isn’t just a rendering system – it is effectively like 24 or something because of all the (potentially) user controlled variables.

      If you go here: you will see an email you can use.

  4. Yes, Gelasio has complete coverage for the Romanian language indeed. Thank you!

    I’m really glad you found a way to improve the hinting for your fonts. It was pretty good already, so I’m eager to see the ‘much better’ results. I hope you’ll document the new hinting method, some other freely licensed fonts could benefit from it. As Gelasio is licensed under SIL, I think it should too… 🙂

    I will contact you through email for debugging the problem with italics for Merriweather and possibly other issues. I have a hint on why Merriweather Regular is rendered as Merriweather Italic on my particular systems, although they differ in FreeType configuration.

    Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated!

  5. alexanderbrowne says:

    I found this page when browsing your site after using Merriweather in the Google Play Books Android app. Is Gelasio available to download anywhere?

    • Merriweather says:

      So far it isn’t available for download as far as I know. I am planning on making it available sometime in 2015 as both a libre font and a licensable design. Basically it is in OK shape now but Ok isn’t really what I want. I want more – an even more solid core. And I think it can be refined from what’s there now.

  6. Mitashki Jo says:

    Is Gelasio font cyrillic? Because I am Bulgarian an we use cyrillic

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