It’s not often that you hear of the world’s largest tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Adobe teaming up, but in order to finally end the ongoing hell that designers have been stuck in for far too long, it needed to be done. This nightmare we’re talking about deals with fonts. Depending on the type of computer you’re using, a font’s appearance can easily look distorted. Therefore, if you’re a designer working on a client project on a Mac and then transfer the work to a PC, there’s always a chance that the fonts used might appear altered on each computer, or even look like a totally different font. Can you see how this issue might drive a detailed-oriented designer to drink?
According to WIRED, through the collaboration of the aforementioned tech giants, the solution to this problem was unveiled last week— variable fonts. A variable font is “a font family packaged in a single file. It works by defining how the font style can vary using one or more axes in a so-called ‘design space.” To put it simply, it’s a type of font that is easily transferable and can adapt to its environment. Regardless of the technology you’re using the font will look just as it should with no distortions. There’s an entire science behind variable fonts, which you can read about here. The idea itself has actually been around for awhile, but only recently has Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Adobe collectively had the tools and capabilities to make the concept come to fruition
As you would expect, our designers we’re thrilled to read this news. Here’s what they have to say about it:
“It’s increasingly important that web typography is responsive, quick, and consistent. Recognizing fonts as flexible systems rather than static units is a great step forward!”- Katie Klasmeier, Graphic Designer
“This is amazing news! Variable fonts will help so much when it comes to preserving a brand’s integrity and ensuring that there is typographic consistency across all platforms.”- Emily McNally, Director of Marketing
“Variable fonts allow designers to optimally use webfonts responsively by adding ease, flexibility and consistency.”- Joe Kim, Developer