Bitstream Charter

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Bitstream Charter
Bitstream Charter font.svg
Category Serif
Classification Incised
Designer(s) Matthew Carter
Foundry Bitstream Inc.
Date created 1987
License [1]
Bitstream Charter spec.svg

Bitstream Charter is a glyphic serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter in 1987 for Bitstream Inc. It was optimized for printing on the low-resolution 300 dpi laser printers of the 1980s, but is suitable for printing on both modern high-resolution laser printers and lower resolution inexpensive inkjet printers.

Charter was made after the basis of Pierre-Simon Fournier’s characters, originating from the 18th century.[1]

In 1992 Bitstream donated the Charter font, along with its version of Courier,[2] to the X Consortium under terms that allowed modified versions of the font to be redistributed. This has resulted in derivatives of Bitstream Charter becoming available, including Charis SIL.

A new version of the typeface with an expanded character set including additional symbols, ranging figures (old-style) and small capitals was released in 2004 and is licensed through Bitstream’s online interface MyFonts.

Some still consider Bitstream Charter to be one of the best free fonts avail­able.[3]


  1. ^ Miñoza, Nicole (20 May 2014). "Introducing Source Serif: A new open source typeface from Adobe". Adobe Typekit Blog. Adobe Systems Incorporated. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Stephen Gildea (March 29, 1992). "Bitstream contributes Type1 outlines for Charter and Courier fonts". comp.archives. Web link. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  3. ^ Butterick, Matthew (2013). "Charter". Butterick’s Practical Typography. Retrieved August 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Bitstream Charter at Wikimedia Commons