View on GitHub
Download the fonts as a .zip file

DINish

a fresh take on a classic typeface

DINish

Introduction

DINish is one of many modern computer fonts that were inspired by the lettering of the German Autobahn road signs. It is professionally designed, and usable for body text and captions (and even spreadsheets!) Its unadorned style is easy to read, and although it's close to a century old maintains a fresh look.

This DIN font is free to use, for desktop use, e-books, as a web font, or just to tinker with.

About the name

The name DINish refers to the fact that the typeface looks like DIN 1451. Actually, a quick comparison with the standard as can be found in historic sources shows DINish to not be fully compatible with the standard, at least not as it was in 1931. That is probably a good thing.

Reading the DIN 1451 standard with modern eyes reveals that it is more like a lettering standard for technical drawings than a typeface specification. The standard has no concern for how the brain processes shapes and whitespace. DINish was drawn with the human reader in mind, with subtle but loving exceptions to the rigid grid-and-ruler specification from the Deutsche Norm. That said, it retains DIN's clarity and as such it is a typeface with a purpose, if not a mission.

DINish is available in three widths: standard, Condensed and Expanded. The standard width roughly matches DIN Mittelschrift, the Condensed width roughly matches the DIN Engschrift, and Expanded is like DIN Breitschrift (rarely used in Germany, actually). There are Regular, Bold and Italic variants.

Historic roots

DIN 1451 is a sans-serif typeface that is widely used for traffic, administrative and technical applications.

It was defined by the German standards body DIN - Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization) in the standard sheet DIN 1451-Schriften (typefaces) in 1931. Similar standards existed for stencilled letters.

Originally designed for industrial uses, the first DIN-type fonts were a simplified design that could be applied with limited technical difficulty. Due to the design's legibility and uncomplicated, unadorned design, it has become popular for general purpose use in signage and display adaptations. Many adaptations and expansions of the original design have been released digitally.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIN_1451 for more information.

Language support

DINish now fully supports almost all European Latin languages as per https://r12a.github.io/app-charuse/. In total, 243 Latin-based languages are supported. Please open an issue on Github if any European language based on Latin characters is not rendered with proper typographical conventions. There is special handling in OpenType for the Polish and Romanian languages.

OpenType Features

By default, numbers are proportionally spaced. For use in spreadsheets or other tabular document formats, tabular numbers are available that line up vertically. In libreOffice, use the Features button in the Font Style dialog, or type the font name as Dinish:tnum in the font selector. In CSS, use font-feature-settings: "tnum";.

DINish comes with a full set of old style numerals. These can be selected with the onum tag. They are even available in tabular form for use in spreadsheets: in libreOffice, use Dinish:onum&tnum. For CSS, try font-feature-settings: "onum", "tnum";.

The Polish language uses a different style of acute accent called kreska. In libreOffice set the document language to Polish. HTML/CSS picks up the kreska when you set the document language to Polish.

The Romanian language apparently received short shrift in the initial Unicode specification, which was later rectified by adding separate Unicode glyphs for letters with comma accents. DINish includes the OpenType magic to recognise the previous Unicode codes and do the right thing when the language is set to Romanian. And yes, feel free to use DINish for the design of the next Romanian bank notes.

See the features page for usage examples. For inspiration, look at the serving suggestions.

As a webfont

As DINish is not yet available on any of the major free font CDNs, you will have to host the font yourself. Fortunately, the font is light in weight: the DINish font homepage contains two styles of DINish in just 30k worth of CSS. Chances are that one JPEG image adds more weight to your page! On the Github page, you'll find a quick Python script to convert a woff2 file into embeddable CSS. Quick tip, not just for this font: use a tool like SASS to merge and compress your CSS; causing fewer hits on the webserver automatically translates into free performance for your site visitor! In Jekyll, that is a trivial change.

Information for Contributors

This Font Software is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1.

In the spirit of Open Source, we're taking patches. Please open an issue on Github.

Fontmake is used for generating fonts, as are SIL's pysilfont, Google's fontbakery and gf-tools. Both FontForge and TruFont have proven invaluable for editing.

Copyright © 2021 Bert Driehuis (https://github.com/playbeing/dinish)
Copyright © 2019 Altinn (https://github.com/Altinn/altinn-din)
Copyright © 2017 Datto Inc. (https://www.datto.com/fonts/d-din)

Also see FONTLOG.txt.

Acknowledgements

The DINish font is derived from Altinn-DIN, which in turn is based on Datto's D-DIN. Datto commissioned Monotype to create D-DIN and open source it. Monotype's Creative Type Director Charles Nix did the original design. Many glyphs have been touched since then, and any errors are the responsibility of the contributors who followed in his footsteps. The font is made available under the SIL Open Font License v1.1.

ChangeLog