Font Friday

Plus Jakarta Sans (free font)

Clean Plus Jakarta Sans has cool angled alternates. The geometric sans-serif typeface Plus Jakarta Sans shown on a mobile phone in a headline, body text, a pull quote and the labels of a button and navigation. The quote says: “Words have meaning. Type has spirit. The combination is spectacular.” — Paula Scher

Sans-serif typeface

by Gumpita Rahayu from Tokotype

Variable Font

1 axis (weight)

14 styles (instances)

7 weights: ExtraLight to ExtraBold
with matching italics

License for web & app usage

Free

Best for

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

Specialty

A clean and calm geometric sans-serif with interesting stylistic alternates, that can shift its mood to sharp, straight or swirly.

My thoughts on Plus Jakarta Sans

Geometric sans-serifs are appreciated for their cleanness, calmness, and claimed neutrality. But they have been very popular in recent years, so you might say: “Come one, not another geometric sans!”. But Plus Jakarta Sans has something, that helps you break out of the uniformity, when you want to. It’s a free variable font, also available on Google Fonts, and was designed by Gumpita Rahayu from Tokotype. What makes it special are the various stylistic sets it comes with. Activate them via OpenType features, and see how they totally change the mood of the typeface.

A very sharp heading ExtraBold without and with Lancip Alternates (SS 01), Straight piece here, ExtraLight without and with Lurus Alternates (SS 02), Get open & a bit swirly, Regular without and with Lingkar Alternates (SS 03)
The three stylistic stets can change the vibe of Plus Jakarta Sans. From clam to sharp, straight, or swirly.

The Lancip alternates (which means sharp) turn rounded tails or descenders (y, g), and shoulders (n, h, r) into hard edges. Lurus alternates (straight) add little serifs to a few letters (p, r, a, j) and make it a bit more stable. This is the most subtle adaption. And the stylistic set 03, Lingkar (swirl) make everything more rounded (y, u, n), but also opens up the apertures of the a and e. This could be helpful and clearer in smaller sizes. So plenty of room for discovery, especially in display styles. For continuous reading, the alternates they might be too distracting or bulky.


What do you think? Is Plus Jakarta Sans something for an upcoming project? Tell me in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. I am a little confused on this one. It says above that it is free, but costs $64 (web & app), which I took to mean free for desktop only.

    When I visited the GitHub page and also on Google fonts I could find no reference to any licensing costs or limitations. In the licence section for the font at Google it says “You can use them freely in your products & projects – print or digital, commercial or otherwise.”

    Have I missed something?

    1. Sorry Ashley, I have missed something 😅. It’s free. I wrongfully did not update that section when I copied it from a previous post. You can use it anywhere for free.

  2. Its compact, rounded letters are so colleaguesque, working as a single force. A little from Roboto and a little from Karla, than Bariol serif in ‘r, f’, anyone?
    But there’s is something sophisticated in Jakarta, Oliver, isn’t it? Besides being a sans serif sterile species.😁 Something refined… On top of that, a surprising effect from the alternates is just🍒 Love it, take it! The interesting thing is, I read your Newsletter on mobile-first, then on the desk now. It looked much better on my phone. I think it’s a good solution for UIs.

    Plus Jakarta Sans mdxcbiodnxvkdiwpaeoa com’ oooon, what’s the name? Okay, it’s free anyway, it’s worth… so I’ll forgive them this bad naming.

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