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Charis SIL: Bitstream Charter for Windows

July 23, 2007

One of my, if not the only, favourite Linux built-in font is Bitstream Charter (pictured below). Charter is a classic professional serif typeface which is primarily designed printing. Despite that, It looks very beautiful on screen, especially on large size, as it is on print.

Bitstream Charter

Unfortunately, Bitstream Charter is not easily available for Windows. If you’re trapped on Windows and Georgia [1] (seriously, you’re not using Times New Roman are you?) does not satisfy your serif needs, there is still Charis SIL (download page). It looks very similar to Bitstream Charter, since Charis SIL is derived from it. From my slight observation, it looks a bit thicker than Charter, but still maintains the professional serif look. It also has a taller line-height giving it a ‘double space’ feel right away.

[1] Surprisingly both Charter and Georgia are designed by the same person, Matthew Carter, which is also the designer of the highly popular Tahoma and Verdana typefaces.

On a related note, I would like to share a link: The Secret Lives of Fonts. A recommended read, especially for those still studying in collage :)

  1. Nothing beats Dolly (from Underware) for Serif fonts. Beautiful on the screen and especially beautiful and easy on the eyes on paper. Very recommended for final project reports, academic papers, etc.

  2. @Ronny:
    Not a free? At 150 euro minimum it does need some investment. It looks beautiful indeed! Reminds me slightly of Gentium (which is free). But I think Dolly has a more professional look.

  3. Oli permalink

    Makes me cry – moved from Linux to Windows, and I can’t take my Bitstream Charter with me :(

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