Tiresias (typeface)

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Tiresias Specimen.svg
Category Sans-serif
Designer(s) The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
License GNU General Public License

Tiresias is a family of TrueType realist sans-serif typefaces that were designed for best legibility by people with impaired vision at the Scientific Research Unit of Royal National Institute of Blind People in London. The research basis of Tiresias Screenfont’s legibility claims have been called into question.[1]

The font was originally designed for the RNIB by Chris Sharville of Laker Sharville Design Associates who was working with John Gill at the time.

Tiresias is the font used in subtitles for digital terrestrial television (DVB-T), and digital satellite (DVB-S) targeting the UK. It is also used in Ireland, Denmark and Finland's national public-broadcasting company'.[2] It was also purchased by the state owned TVNZ for use on their DVB terrestrial channels.

The family includes

  • Tiresias Infofont – for information labels, optimized for maximum legibility at a distance of 30–100 cm.
  • Tiresias Keyfont – for labeling the tops of keys of keyboards, PIN pads, appliances, remote controls (features exaggerated punctuation marks)
  • Tiresias LPfont – for large-print publications
  • Tiresias PCfont – for raster displays
  • Tiresias Screenfont – for television subtitling and on-screen user interfaces
  • Tiresias Signfont – a more open spacing for use on signs

In late 2007, all Tiresias fonts except Tiresias Screenfont were released under the GNU General Public License version 3 or any later version.[3]

The Tiresias Screenfont is expensive to license and was sold by Bitstream Inc., who in 2012 were acquired by Monotype Corporation. The acquiring company continues to market Tiresias on its font websites, and it also offers a similar font called Tioga.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's wrong with Tiresias?". 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Finland". 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Tiresias fonts free downloads". 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 

External links[edit]