Brill Typeface

Extensive version 4.0 Upgrade (2021)


Examples of Brill Typeface charactersBrill is proud to present the largest upgrade of the Brill fonts since their introduction in 2011: version 4.0 adds 381 characters to all fonts. General Latin as well as specialized linguistic and philosophical logic support has been strengthened (178 chars.), punctuation marks and various symbols have been added (93 chars.), the Greek character set has been brought up to date (3 chars.), and finally, Cyrillic support now extends to Old Russian, and all Cyrillic Turkic orthographies are covered as well (107 chars.). Many OpenType superscripts and subscripts were added, the OpenType code has been improved to work around some application bugs, and many refinements have been introduced.

Non-commercial use of the Brill typeface

The Brill typeface remains geared especially towards scholarship, although many others have found its design (by John Hudson of Tiro Typeworks) very appealing. Non-commercial use of the ‘Brill’ fonts remains free: see for the exact conditions the non-commercial EULA page, where you will also find a download options (scroll down for the ‘I Agree’ link which will reveal the download links). The fonts are supplied in .ttf format, and you are encouraged to download the Brill Typeface v. 4.0 Complete List of Characters for essential information.

Commercial use of the Brill typeface

Buying a commercial license to use of the Brill fonts is now easy: just go to

  • You can buy a license to the whole ‘superfamily’ with the full character set, or just to subsetted fonts: Brill Latin, Brill Greek, or Brill Cyrillic.
  • Buy a single license (valid for up to 5 users) or licenses for more users.
  • And there are Desktop, Web font, App, and eBook licenses.

‘A custom typeface enables a publisher to take control of typography in a way that isn't possible with off-the-shelf fonts. One of the principal benefits is the harmonisation of text across multiple languages, books and series, contributing to a recognisable ‘Brill’ look and feel. In a typeface for such a wide range of languages, not only modern but also historical, the basic characteristics of the design need to accommodate ‘worst case’ characters, even if these might be very rare in publications. Thus, the mostly vertical contrast axis and expansion stroke model of the Brill types were chosen because they favour the mirrored letters of the International Phonetic Association alphabet. There is an inherent stability in this style that makes it more easily adaptable to a wide variety of shapes than, for instance, a renaissance style type with an oblique axis and broad-nib modelling.

Technically, the Brill fonts have to be able to legibly display any combination of the supported characters that might be encountered in text, including sequences of combining diacritic marks above and below letters, and to be able to do so in typographically sophisticated ways involving smallcaps etc. The OpenType Layout programming in the fonts includes smart contextual rules affecting the shape, spacing and mark positioning of characters. The idea is that users will be able to throw pretty much any text at these fonts and get back a legible and aesthetically pleasing display.’
John Hudson, designer, Tiro Typeworks

Additional Downloads

The Brill Typeface v. 4.0 Complete List of Characters
The Brill Typeface Brochure - 2011

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