Sans-serif typeface

designed by Mariela Monsalve, Angelina Sanchez

Variable Font

1 axis: Weight

6 Styles

6 Weights: Regular to Black

Additional Scripts

Cyrillic

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

License

Free and Open Source

Specialty

A clean, free sans-serif typeface that rocks at tiny sizes, while also conveying a certain dynamic and liveliness.

My thoughts on Ruda

As a UI designer, I constantly look for a typeface that is compact, rocking at small size, and also comes with a certain energy. And Ruda is that free sans-serif typeface. It makes a clean first impression, but when looking closer, you see that it has a lot of energy in its details. Besides the snappy open loop of that cheeky g, I adore the subtle stroke contrast. Combined with its compact squarish design, it is creating Ruda’s certain dynamic.

The lower case e shows Subtle stroke contrast, the y has Slightly flared terminals, the lower case g a Snappy, open loop, and the lower case o shows the compact, squarish design.

Ruda was made for product labels, so it performs best at small sizes. Everything is tailored towards that, the spacing and also the x-height, which is the height of the lower case characters. When comparing it to Dosis – a quite inappropriate typeface for anything but headings – you see how well Ruda performs.

Both text are set at the same size, but the lower x-height makes Dosis seem smaller. Dosis has an x-height of
~63% of the cap height
Both text are set at the same size, but the higher x-height make Ruda seem larger.
Ruda has an x-height of ~83% of the cap height

But what also becomes obvious here is, that Ruda kinda falls apart when used for larger text due to its spacing. This is why I recommend decreasing the spacing. Start with −1% to −2% between 30 and 50 px, which translates to letter-spacing: -0.02em. Increase it up to −3% the larger it gets. This will make work for headings.

Ruda set at larger sizes
Letter spacing untreated - words tend to fall apart at larger sizes
Letter spacing -3% - this makes Ruda more compact at larger sizes
Think of adjusting the letter spacing at sizes above 30px

Also, there is another thing you should pay attention to when using Ruda, which I’ll explain exclusively on Patreon in the monthly Font Friday Video digest. Overall, Ruda is the typeface your captions, body text, and user interface designs have waited for to be rocked by!

What else should you be aware of when using Ruda? Find out in the Font Friday Video Digest for Summer 2023.

Recommended Font Pairing

Ruda is a dynamic, linear sans-serif typeface. But the narrow proportions and slight contrast almost reminds me of a simple blackletter typeface, which is why Grenze would be a wonderful companion for headings. Alternatively it would also pair well with something less themed and more classy like Larken.

Ruda (free)
Ruda (free)
  • Headings
  • Copy
  • UI Text

Learn more about pairing typefaces using the Font Matrix.


What do you think of Ruda, is it something for your next project? Tell me in the comments below!

Edition #126, published

2 Comments

  1. Finally a quirky, well-deserved name for the font, and one very special with all interesting characteristics in its letters. I’m not a fan of squarish and sturdy style but I love it in Ruda. Everything is compact.

    Thank you for reminding me of Dosis. I always loved that font but didn’t know what to do with it.

    Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VU9p1p9fXE Because we think of our users, always showing them love 😍

  2. Sure, Jana! You will see Dosis again in the upcoming webinar about Website Redesign 😉.

    Not a big fan of that song, because I heard it just too, too many times on the radio throughout the 90ies as a kid 😂 … but the live version is truly great! Thanks for sharing! I’m in a good mood now.

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