Discrete variable fonts

Hi everyone! Sorry for lame question, but I really can’t figure out — how to make variable fonts without interpolation. For example, the ital axis would have just 0 and 1 values where 0 would be upright and 1 — italic. I don’t want them to be compatible, just plain switching needed.

Then the easiest is to keep them in separate files and use regular style linking.
There might be a way to set up the axis and STAT table to make them work together with a slider.
If you like to keep it in one file, you need to duplicate all glyphs (or use bracket layers) so that you have “A” and “A.italic”. And then switch them with feature variations. But that seems to be a bit too complicated.

This sounds exciting, if I understand it correctly.

@GeorgSeifert are you guys working on anything like this for Glyphs? I would love to see the day when a font family (or even a super family) can be built all inside a single .glyphs file, with groups of intra-compatible but not inter-compatible masters.

For static font, it was always possible to have not compatible uprights and italics in one file. But in most cases, this was not useful. There are often slight variations in glyph set an opentype features.

I didn’t have a close look at the designs space solution but I suspect it to be a wrapper around two sets of.ufo files. Those files can vary in glyph sets and stuff. I’m not sure what info is actually sync between the master files and what is used from the individual files but there is probably quite a bit of manually syncing involved (specially that there is not proper multiple master support in the UFO editors (or is it there and I missed it?)

To support a functionality like this I would probably set it up to use two variable export settings that each filter out the masters that are not needed …