Opensource variable fonts in glyphs format

Does anyone per chance know of any free-to-use / sample variable fonts with 4 or more axes in glyphs format? My brain is melting trying to square the math of it all and seeing might help.

Did I shit the bed with this question?


I saw the question, but didn’t answer because I didn’t know of any fonts that fit your criteria of Glyphs file + four or more axes. You might be able to fiddle a font like AmstelVar (lots of axes!) into a Glyphs file to experiment with.

Thanks for the reply!

I was more than a bit unclear. I can reformat fonts like Amstelvar. I was thinking along the lines of fonts with a couple of standard axis like width and weight, but then additionals like slant and something unorthodox like ‘drip’. Trying to comprehend what that would look like in terms of number and mixture of masters. Once we break out of the cube I struggle to visualise.

In my head the masters needed for weight, width, slant, drip and ‘noise’ axis.


Light Wide
Black Wide

Light Slant
Black Slant
Light Wide Slant
Black Wide Slant

Light Drip
Black Drip
Light Wide Drip
Black Wide Drip
Light Slant Drip
Black Slant Drip
Light Wide Slant Drip
Black Wide Slant Drip

Light Noisy
Black Noisy
Light Wide Noisy
Black Wide Noisy
Light Slant Noisy
Black Slant Noisy
Light Wide Slant Noisy
Black Wide Slant Noisy
Light Drip Noisy
Black Drip Noisy
Light Wide Drip Noisy
Black Wide Drip Noisy
Light Slant Drip Noisy
Black Slant Drip Noisy
Light Wide Slant Drip Noisy
Black Wide Slant Drip Noisy

I doubt it. My current project has only three axes–weight, optical size, grade–but I’ve been deleting masters as the fonts have gotten bigger, so I have for roman:

Light FinePrint
Extrabold FinePrint
Light Grade

And for the italic face I omit Extrabold FinePrint. It works fine (and keeps the size of the generated font manageable), though I have had to use a virtual master for a couple dozen glyphs.

So it might be worth trying out having your four masters for weight and width, and then starting with one variant of Light for each of slant and the others, and add masters or virtual masters as needed.

Thanks. That make sense.

For me it’s more of a concept font/process really. The reason for trying to understand how master needs technically expand is that I want to add new masters programmatically. See prototype here: @GeorgSeifert

That is very cool. If labor isn’t a big consideration, your first scheme would give you great precision. But the size of the font file is also a consideration, as the number of deltas goes up considerably with every additional master.

Especially with those “Effect” masters, you might need only one or two per axis. So

  • Light
  • Bold
  • Light Slant
  • Bold Slant
  • Light Drip
  • Light Noise

Thanks - true that file size might become rrrrrather large!

I guess I could get away with less but there’d be a sacrifice in ‘purity’ - even if mixing some of these filters results in a jumble. Case in point the drip probably wouldn’t drip vertically if mixed with light slant - unless there was a Light Slant Drip.

Does my master schema make sense in terms of continuous expansion even if it is long?

I would try with as few as possible and fight hard to not add new ones :wink:

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Light Noise, i like it. The structure of your family however does not read like a variable design space, more like multiple master corners.

I suppose I need to stop thinking in this ‘box’ like mentality.
Added a new prototype if you’re interested:

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There’s this but the latest version is still kind of rough. Comes with a Glyphs source file that has 3 axes though :slight_smile:

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That’s 2 axes :slight_smile:

Ha, true enough. Friday brain :stuck_out_tongue:


Tell me about it!