What is Quivira?
Quivira is a free Unicode font in the TrueType-format which is supported by every usual office program or printer. Unicode font means, it contains more than the standard characters for some western European languages.
Seen from the typographic point of view, Quivira is a proportional serif font like e.g. the more well-known Times New Roman and Garamond. Thus it is suitable for writing well readable texts.
New characters are continously added to Quivira; so it makes sense to look for new versions from time to time.
The current version 3.8 contains 10,343 characters (343 of which are new since version 3.7).
With version 3.8, Quivira now complies with Unicode 6.1. In Unicode 6.1 new character definitions have been added to existing blocks. Thus in Quivira 3.8 these blocks were completed again, although they had already been marked as completed in previous versions.
Added or upgraded blocks
- Armenian (completed, 1 new character)
- Georgian (completed, 5 new characters)
- Miscellaneous Mathematical Symbols-A (completed, 2 new characters)
- Coptic (completed, 2 new characters)
- Georgian Supplement (completed, 2 new characters)
- Tifinagh (completed, 2 new characters)
- Vai (complete, 300 characters)
- Cyrillic Extended-B (completed, 9 new characters)
- Latin Extended-D (completed, 5 new characters)
- Enclosed Alphanumeric Supplement (completed, 2 new characters)
- Emoticons (completed, 13 new characters)
See the characters page for a full overview of supported ranges and characters.
Earlier versions are listed in the version history.
The aim of this project is a large Unicode font which still looks aesthetically pleasing. Supported scripts (like e.g. Latin, Greek and Cyrillic) shall be supported completely, so Quivira can be used for every language using these scripts.
Of course missing characters can be added from other fonts (this is what many rendering programs do automatically). This is clearly better than showing only a replacement character, but it never looks really good, because the other font certainly uses different character widths, stroke thicknesses and letter and line heights. This is where the large Unicode fonts step in: They help to avoid inappropriate glyphs in multilingual documents.
Anyhow, Quivira will never provide every character defined in the Unicode standard. This would be technically impossible, because a font is limited to 65,536 characters, while Unicode already defines more than 100,000.¹ But due to my restricted amount of free time I will probably never reach this limit anyway.
The main focus of Quivira lies on the most common alphabets (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and others), additional symbols that can be used in conjunction with them (especially mathematical symbols) and elder scripts still used by scholars (e.g. runes, Gothic, ancient Greek and others). Future additions may be other scripts like e.g. Gə‘əz or Canadian aboriginal syllabics. In contrast, Han ideographs are currently not scheduled for inclusion.² (Other East Asian scripts like Hiragana and Katakana are possible, but have low priority at the moment.)
¹ One possible solution for this problem is the way James Kass solves it: He provides three fonts (Code2000, Code2001 and Code2002) with a common design, each of which covers another part of the Unicode standard.
² These ideographs are used for Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Because of their huge number (more than 70,000) their inclusion would mean a much greater effort than all other characters together. Additionally, they can be replaced by other fonts quite well, because their design significantly differs from all other scripts anyway. However, in future versions Quivira may contain a subset of these, like e.g. the most important ones taught at schools in Asia.