Jany Belluz

blog résumé projects

November 2013

Fantasque Sans Mono Cosmic Sans Neue Mono1

A programming font, designed with functionality in mind, and with some wibbly-wobbly handwriting-like fuzziness that makes it unassumingly cool.

I use it for monospaced text on this website (expect some blog posts about my dotfiles with many code samples to look at). Development takes place on GitHub, were you can also find some more screenshots.


The way I ended up with this font is a bit convoluted. I first drew a proportional font in Inkscape, which I then imported into FontForge. Since it looked too thin, I tried to “embolden” it automatically using FontForge’s tools. The results were not satisfying: some letters had strange darts pointing out and misplaced curves. I tried to improve that by modifying a bit every letter by hand, but it did not get me anywhere.

This is the proportional version (Fantasque Sans), which I designed in Inkscape.

Proportional font preview

At some point I thought it might make a good monospaced font. I started stretching the letters (and added that tail on the i that some people hate). I had the regular version, with Latin characters only.

Then I emboldened it using FontForge, but moving the path handles by hand. I published my font on GitHub, and asked for reviews on Reddit’s /r/typography. Finally, I followed the advice from redditors, and I also added Greek letters.

  1. Previously known as Cosmic Sans Neue Mono. It appeared that similar names were already in use for other fonts, and that people tended to extend their instinctive hatred of Comic Sans to this very font of mine (which of course can only be loved). Why the previous name? Here is my original explanation:

    The name comes from my realization that at some point it looked like the mutant child of Comic Sans and Helvetica Neue. Hopefully it is not the case any more.