Open Sans

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Open Sans
Open Sans sample.svg
Category Sans-serif
Classification Humanist
Designer(s) Steve Matteson
Foundry Ascender Corporation
Date created 2010[1]
Date released 2011[2]
License Apache License 2.0

Open Sans is a sans-serif typeface designed by Steve Matteson and commissioned by Google. According to Google, it was developed with an "upright stress, open forms and a neutral, yet friendly appearance" and is "optimized for legibility across print, web, and mobile interfaces."[3] Featuring wide apertures on many letters and a large x-height (tall lower-case letters), the typeface is highly legible on screen and at small sizes. It belongs to the humanist genre of sans-serif typefaces, with a true italic.

Open Sans is used in some of Google's web pages as well as its print and web advertisements. Its design is similar to that of Matteson's Droid Sans, created as the first user interface font for Android phones, but with wider characters and the inclusion of italic variants.


Open Sans is available in a large number of variants. There are five weights (300 Light, 400 Normal, Semi-Bold 600, Bold 700 and Extra Bold 800), each of them with an italic version, totaling ten variants. There is also a separate font called Open Sans Condensed with 3 width variations.[4]

The family also features a number of stylistic alternates, such as a seriffed capital 'I' (for situations where this could be confused with a number '1' or lower-case 'l') and a selectable choice between a single and double-story 'g'. Numbers can be set as tabular, proportional or text figures.


Open Sans is popular in flat design-style web design.[5] In July 2018 it was the second most served font on Google Fonts with 28.2 billion times served on more than 20,000,000 websites.[3]

It is used as Mozilla's default typeface for websites and in Telegram Desktop app.

It is the official font of the UK's Labour, Co-operative, and Liberal Democrat parties.

Chase Bank uses Open Sans as its primary font for print, branches, TV, Web, and mobile apps.

Unicode coverage[edit]

The character repertoire contains 897 glyphs, covering the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets with a wide range of diacritics. In January 2014 Israeli type designer Yanek Iontef released an extension font covering the Hebrew alphabet with support for Niqqud (but not Cantillation marks) for early access.[6] The extension font went on to become popular and to be used by prominent institutions such as Tel Aviv University in its 2016 rebranding, and by the Haaretz website.[7]


  1. ^ fonts2u: Open Sans, "2010-12-20"
  2. ^ Typedia: Open Sans
  3. ^ a b "Open Sans". Google Fonts. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Open Sans Condensed". Google Fonts. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  5. ^ Reid, Geri (April 29, 2013). "The flat design trend - where to from here?". Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "אופן סאנס – גופן רשת חינמי בעיצובו של יאנק יונטף" [Open Sans - A Free Web-font designed by Yanek Iontef]. הלשכה לטיפוגרפיה עברית (in Hebrew). 2014-01-19. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  7. ^ Ben Yehuda, Oded. "״מגניב״ או מבולבל? המיתוג החדש של אוניברסיטת תל אביב" ["Cool" or Confused? The New Branding of Tel Aviv University]. xnet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2018-07-07. 

External links[edit]