IBM Plex

IBM Plex is an open source typeface superfamily conceptually designed and developed by Mike Abbink at IBM in collaboration with Bold Monday to reflect the brand spirit, beliefs and design principles of IBM and to be used for all brand experiences across the company internationally. Plex will replace Helvetica as the corporate typeface after more than fifty years, freeing IBM from the extensive license payments that face required.[1]

As of version 1.0 the family has four typefaces, each typeface has 8 weights (Thin, Extra Light, Light, Regular, Text, Medium, Semi-bold, Bold) and true italics to complement them.[2]

  • IBM Plex Sans – A grotesque sans-serif typeface with a design that was inspired by Franklin Gothic. Other sans-serif classifications were rejected on the basis of being too soft (humanist), inefficient (geometric) and overly perfected (neo-grotesque). Some of Franklin Gothic's features such as the angled terminals, a double-storey g and a horizontal line at the baseline of the 1 are used in IBM Plex Sans.
  • IBM Plex Sans Condensed – A condensed variant of IBM Plex Sans.
  • IBM Plex Mono – A monospaced typeface based on IBM Plex Sans. The italic design was inspired by the Italic 12 typeface used on the IBM Selectric typewriter, this is particularly evident with the italicised i, j, t and x letters.
  • IBM Plex Serif – A serif typeface with a design that was inspired by Bodoni and Janson. Other serif classifications were rejected for being too humanist and outdated (old-style) and too clunky and unrefined for long text (slab-serif). Some of Bodoni's features such as ball terminals and rectangular serifs are used in IBM Plex Serif.

Additionally IBM Plex Sans Variable, a variable counterpart to IBM Plex Sans was released on 7 April 2019.

IBM Plex Sans
IBM Plex Sans sample
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version3.1
Latest release date14 December 2018
IBM Plex Sans Condensed
IBM Plex Sans Condensed sample
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version1.1
Latest release date18 February 2018
IBM Plex Mono
IBM Plex Mono sample
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version2.0
IBM Plex Serif
IBM Plex Serif sample
Designer(s)Mike Abbink, et al.
FoundryIBM, Bold Monday
LicenseSIL OFL
Latest release version2.5
Latest release date15 October 2018

Unicode coverage

As of version 1.0 the IBM Plex typefaces support over 100 languages with most that use the Latin alphabet (including Vietnamese), as well as Cyrillic (except in IBM Plex Sans Condensed). In version 3.0 of IBM Plex Sans, support for monotonic Greek was added.[3] For other writing systems separate fonts were made without italics:

  • IBM Plex Sans Hebrew – Adding support for the Hebrew writing system.
  • IBM Plex Thai – Adding support for the informal loopless Thai alphabet, released on 15 October 2018.[4]
  • IBM Plex Thai Looped – Adding support for the formal looped Thai alphabet, on 5 April 2019.[5]
  • IBM Plex Devanagari – Added support for the Devanagari writing system, released on 14 December 2018.[6]
  • IBM Plex Arabic – Added support for Arabic script, released on 13 March 2019.[7]

In addition, both Mike Abbink and Bold Monday have confirmed to be working on support for CJK, Bengali and Tamil.[8][9]

There is also support for common mathematical and currency symbols (including Bitcoin (₿) #U+20BF which was ratified into Unicode in 2017) as well as ligatures such as fi and fl, along with stylistic alternates for a, g and 0.

There are a few unreleased symbols for IBM Plex Sans Condensed, IBM Plex Mono and IBM Plex Serif such as the generic currency sign (¤), prime symbol (′) and double prime symbol (″). In addition Mike Abbink has confirmed support for the Mathematical Operators block and support for the symbols used in the APL programming language in 2019.[10][11]

The FCC #ECE0 and CE marking #EFCC logos are encoded as glyphs within the Private Use Area.[12] Prior to version 1.0, five IBM logos (solid and 8-bar logos, and the I-Bee-M logo) #EBE1 to #EBE7 were also encoded as glyphs.


IBM has licensed the font files for all four typefaces only under the SIL Open Font License (SIL OFL).[13] Although between 9 August 2018 and 21 August 2018, the fonts were additionally dual-licensed under the Apache License. This dual-licensing arrangement was rescinded due to concerns that the Apache License is unsuitable for fonts.[14] The SIL OFL license is free and open-source, however FontLab Studio which is proprietary software is required in order to build the fonts from source.[15]

Bold Monday also provide web development code in CSS, SCSS and JavaScript that is related to the fonts under the Apache License.[16]

IBM Plex's name is reserved, as allowed by the SIL OFL and trademarked as of December 2017.[17][18]

See also


  1. ^ Quito, Anne. "IBM has freed itself from the tyranny of Helvetica". Quartz. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. ^ "IBM Plex - 03 Plexness". IBM. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Add support for (modern) Greek. #179". GitHub. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  4. ^ "". GitHub. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ "v1.4.1 – Add IBM Plex Thai Looped support". GitHub. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  6. ^ "v1.2.3 - Davanagari support". GitHub. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Arabic support". GitHub. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ "IBM Plex editable sources? #68". GitHub. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  9. ^ "IBM Plex – 05 Specs". IBM. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Suggestion: ≔ and ≝ #122". GitHub. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  11. ^ "APL Glyphs Absent #176". GitHub. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  12. ^ "IBM Plex". Font Squirrel. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  13. ^ "LICENSE.txt". GitHub. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Add Apache license into all font folders (This will live as a dual license with the OFL) #190". GitHub. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Please allow building from source with a free toolchain #98". GitHub. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  16. ^ "README - Building the fonts from source". GitHub. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Trade mark number UK00003255123". Intellectual Property Office (United Kingdom). Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  18. ^ "IBM Plex – Trademark Electronic Search System". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 21 August 2018.

External links

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Cambridge Scientific Center

The IBM Cambridge Scientific Center was a company research laboratory established in February 1964 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Situated at 545 Technology Square (Tech Square), in the same building as MIT's Project MAC, it was later renamed the IBM Scientific Center. It is most notable for creating the CP-40 and the control program portions of CP/CMS, a virtual machine operating system developed for the IBM System/360-67.

Font superfamily

In typography, a font superfamily or typeface superfamily is a font family containing

fonts that fall into multiple classifications.

The norm in a superfamily is to start from an identical character shape, class-specific features such as serifs are added. The result is a set of fonts that, while belonging to different classes such as sans and serif, have a similar appearance. Generally the sans-serif member of a superfamily will be a humanist design to complement the serif.

Other superfamilies may include fonts grouped together for a common purpose that are not exactly complementary in letterform structure.

IBM Research

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IBM Research – Brazil

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The new lab, IBM's ninth at the time of opening and first in 12 years, underscores the growing importance of emerging markets and the globalization of innovation. In collaboration with Brazil's government, it will help IBM to develop technology systems around natural resource development and large-scale events such as the 2016 Summer Olympics.Engineer and associate lab director Ulisses Mello explains that IBM has four priority areas in Brazil: "The main area is related to natural resources management, involving oil and gas, mining and agricultural sectors. The second is the social data analytics segment that comprises the analysis of data generated from social networking sites [such as Twitter or Facebook], which can be applied, for example, to financial analysis. The third strategic area is nanotechnology applied to the development of the smarter devices for the intermittent production industry. This technology can be applied to, for example, blood testing or recovering oil from existing fields. And the last one is smarter cities."

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Opened in 2011 in Damastown Industrial Park, in the north-west of Dublin, Ireland, it conducts research on such critical resources as water, energy, and marine environments, as well transportation, city fabric, risk, and exascale computing.The Smarter Cities Technology Centre at IBM Research – Ireland represents an IDA Ireland - supported investment of up to EUR 66 million. As many as 200 new jobs are hoped to be created.

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List of monospaced typefaces

This list of monospaced typefaces details standard monospaced fonts used in classical typesetting and printing.

List of sans serif typefaces

This list of sans-serif typefaces details standard sans-serif fonts used in printing, classical typesetting and printing.

List of serif typefaces

This list of samples of serif typefaces details standard serif fonts used in printing, classical typesetting and printing.

List of typefaces

This is a list of typefaces, which are separated into groups by distinct artistic differences. The list includes typefaces that have articles or that are referenced. Superfamilies that fall under more than one category have an asterisk (*) after their name.

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Overpass (typeface)

Overpass is a digital typeface, based on the FHWA Series Highway Gothic signage alphabets drawn for the United States Federal Highway Administration. It was designed by Delve Withrington with Dave Bailey and Thomas Jockin.It was commissioned by the software company Red Hat as a freely usable replacement for Interstate, another Highway Gothic adaptation, which is used by Red Hat as its corporate typeface. Red Hat commissioned the family as a freely redistributable alternative since it does not own all rights to Interstate. It continues to use Interstate, a much larger font family, on printed material.Overpass currently is released with eight weights and obliques, as well as a monospaced font companion. Originally released in four weights, an expanded version was released in 2016.

Slashed zero

The slashed zero is a representation of the number '0' (zero), with a slash through it. The slashed zero glyph is often used to distinguish the digit "zero" ("0") from the Latin script letter "O" anywhere that the distinction needs emphasis, particularly in encoding systems, scientific and engineering applications, computer programming (such as software development), and telecommunications. It thus helps to differentiate characters that would otherwise be homoglyphs. It was commonly used during the punched card era, when programs were typically written out by hand, to avoid ambiguity when the character was later typed on a card punch.

Unlike in the Scandinavian vowel 'Ø' and the "empty set" symbol '∅', the slash of a slashed zero usually does not extend past the ellipse in most typographic designs. However, the slashed zero is sometimes approximated by overlaying zero and slash characters, producing the character "0̸". Some fonts make slashed zero look like "0/".

In character encoding terms, it has no explicit code point, but it is an alternate glyph (in addition to the open zero glyph) for the zero character.

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Sans serif

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