Variable Font - Design Space Troubles


#1

I try to get a design space with 2 axes work. Before I added one more master I had quite some control over the outcome, but now I cannot manage to get the exported font to work. I tried to mess around with the Variable Font Origin, but no matter which master I set, It’s only getting worse.

The masters are like this:


Weight: 75
Width: 373


Weight: 75
Width: 500


Weight: 155
Width: 500


Weight: 203
Width: 500
This is the master, I added and since it’s there, everything is screwed


Weight: 233
Width: 748


In the Variable Font Preview it all looks as expected, I can get the medium weights and widths as well as bold wide and light wide and light narrow as well as a bold narrow (which at the extreme does look whacked, but that’s not the issue right now)

However, when i export the file as a variable font and test in sites like wakamaifondue, depending on the masters’ location values and Font Origin, either the axes don’t do anything, or they give really weird results. Sometimes one axis only works, when the other one is dialed in all the way to the max or min. It’s so random that I am totally lost.

I can send a test file if you want. The numbers above are currently representing the stem width and bounds with of the o.


#2

What is your default master? The second is a good candidate. But the last doesn’t fit. You need to have a master on the same axis as the default on each extreme. The last master doesn’t share a position with any other masters…


#3

Default was “bold”, so here the 3rd one.
I see. Partly. So now I changed the Weight value for the last master to 203, in order to share it with the 4th master, and it works better to a certain extend. However the axes still behave as if their ranges are moving depending on the other axis:

This was exported with the 3rd master as origin. If I use the second one, it looks the same. I can’t wrap my head around this : /


Is it better to set the masters up like this, then?

I was hoping I could get some locations “for free”, (like for example the light extended, which worked before I added the black master, which is number 4 in my initial post here)


#4

Also as a side question: Do you have a hint for the API where I can implement the possible exported behaviour in a better way into the Variable Font Preview Plugin? I think it would be best, if it would show the same “weird” behaviour as the exported file, when there’s something going on in the design space setup. Since I use the Glyphs API interpolation as you know, I wonder why it behaves different.


#5

The middle master should be possible but Glyphs doesn’t know how to compute the deltas for it. So you need to have a on axis master that shares a coordinate with the middle master. So you need masters at 0/100 and 100/200.


#6

But then — in case I add these two masters you mentioned, I could get rid of some of the other masters, like the 200/0 and/or the 0/200, or?


And, do you have a tip about this:


#7

No, you still need those.

You would need to actually make a variable font, or something that behaves like one. I’m working on something that you might be able to use, too.


#8

Thank you so much!


#9

Hey Georg. Looking at Mark’s chart and your response, would any combination of other masters work for that middle master to work too? Because 0/100 and 100/200 are not on the horizontal axis in the chart. Could someone use 0/100, 100/100, 200/100 and 0/100, 100/100, 100/200 interchangeably? Or even 0/100, 100/100, 100/0?