variable fonts

From IndieWeb

A variable font is a font file that consolidates all styles available for a given font into a single font file, which usually decreases file size, sometimes used as a web font on personal sites.

This is in contrast to the usual practice of loading font files for each font style individually. With variable font files, additional styles are mathematically interpolated between glyphs, which is one of the reasons why variable font files can be smaller than their static counterparts.

There are five registered axes upon which variable fonts can vary:

  1. Weight
  2. Width
  3. Italics
  4. Slant
  5. Optical size

Aside from those five registered axes, variable fonts can also contain custom axes โ€” arbitrary stylistic spectrums along which the font can also transform. For example, a typographer using custom axes would be able to create a font variant that transforms and/or removes the serifs or the descenders in their font.

An intro to variable fonts

hibs presented An Intro to Variable Fonts at Category: IndieWebCamp East 2020. This intro contains:

Learn more about variable fonts

Where to find variable fonts

Additional resources

See Also