linja pona

From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

linja pona
Supported characters ku suli, plus 3 ku lili
Style Uniform line weight
Writing system sitelen pona
Author jan Same, David A. Roberts
License OFL

linja pona (lit. 'good line') is a uniform line weight sitelen pona typeface created by jan Same and expanded on by David A. Roberts, with several major versions released from 2016 to 2021. It was the first font to include glyphs beyond the characters featured in lipu pu.

History[edit | edit source]

Under construction This section needs work:
  • Add more detail, other releases and their features
  • Citation formatting
If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

In December 2016, jan Same announced the release of linja pona, created with the help of the sitelen pona font by jan Wesi. To write compound glyphs, the space between the two words had to be omitted. To use cartouches, square brackets and underscores before each glyph had to be used.[1][2]

On 18 March 2017, jan Same released linja pona version 2. Several new compound glyphs were introduced as well as a new system of writing them—now to write a compound, a hyphen has to be put between the two words. The monsuta glyph was slightly modified and new ways of typing a, e, and o were introduced.[3][4]

On 11 April 2017, jan Same released linja pona version 3.[5]

On 12 January 2019, jan Tepu created linja pona version 4, wanting to merge his updates with jan Same's version 3. He "updated the font to use OpenType features to dynamically compose compound glyphs, rather than relying on including precomposed glyphs in the font. As a result, this version allows over 6,000 new compound glyphs".[6][7][8]

Design[edit | edit source]

linja pona's goal is to be "a standard font that was simple and that could be read easily at different sizes"[9]—"the Arial of sitelen pona"[10]. However, according to lipamanka in 2024, linja pona has come to be "considered a very stylized font".[11] It is visually similar to geometric sans-serif fonts, such as Century Gothic.

linja pona heavily diverges from the proportions in pu. It alters many glyphs to better fill the square bounding box and feature larger counters. For example, the loops in the pronoun and lape glyphs take up most of the space; the glyph for palisa is also quite wide. This may have been intended to ease legibility, to facilitate scaled glyphs, or to create a smoother type color. To some speakers,[who?] these changes actually make glyphs harder to recognize and distinguish.[citation needed]

Influence[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for kijetesantakalu was designed by linja pona contributor jan Same in the style of the font, which used it unmodified. It has become an icon of the community.

linja pona helped to create and popularize some or all of the non-pu glyphs included, such as that of kijetesantakalu. Other examples include kin, kipisi, leko, monsuta, namako, oko, and tonsi, as well as rarer words, such as apeja and pake.[12][13] For words whose main glyphs have changed since their addition to linja pona, such as epiku, kokosila, and lanpan (represented in linja pona as lanpan[a]), it has taken concerted effort to establish the competing design.

linja pona has influenced other sitelen pona fonts in glyph design and feature set. Most notably, linja sike used the linja pona glyphs as a base.

Individual designs for glyphs such as jaki, jo, and seme are recognizable and have been influential in font design. The glyph for jo is notably narrow in jan Sonja's handwriting in lipu pu, while in linja pona and many fonts thereafter, it has circular proportions or wider, and a long horizontal bar that extends beyond the center. The glyph for seme has a wide, exaggerated curve that many fonts have copied, despite it having a normal, narrow question mark shape in pu, which is more controversial as it has caused confusion around question marks in sitelen pona.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. This version of lanpan was created in the linja sike font as a mistake and msunderstanding of the intended design.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. James Flear. (3 December 2016). "toki!". Facebook. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  2. jan Same [janSame]. (3 December 2016). "LINJA PONA FONT". Imgur. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  9. "linja pona | musi lili" (in Toki Pona). musi lili. Retrieved 22 December 2023. "With linja pona, I wanted to create a standard font that was simple and that could be read easily at different sizes.".
  10. jan Same [u/jan-Same]. (20 May 2020). "linja pona font update". r/tokipona. Reddit. Retrieved 8 February 2024.

    Thank you! With linja pona, I tried to make the Arial of sitelen pona.
    An uniform simple design that could be easily read whatever the size.

  11. lipamanka. (6 March 2024). [Message posted in the #resource list thread in the #lipu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 1 May 2024.
  12. "linjapona3-5OTF.ttf". Google Drive. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  13. jan Same. (13 July 2021). "sitelen nimi ale pi linja-pona nanpa tu-wan.luka wan" [All linja pona 3.6 word glyphs] (in Toki Pona). Wayback Machine. Retrieved 22 December 2023.

External links[edit | edit source]