Variable font family naming

Hi guys, I’ve created a font family with 3 axes: italic, bold and bounce. Bounce is a master with the characters moved up and down. The goal is that you can dial in as much bounce as you want in CC2019, or if you’re using an earlier AI, have access to the four Bounce weights at their extreme.

I have six masters:

and eight instances:

plus I output a Variable GX font with Regular as the default.

Here’s a snapshot of the instance settings:

I custom-entered the familyname because otherwise they were showing up as Fontname-Bounce, Fontname-BounceItalic in AI CS5, which was confusing, and I know wouldn’t work in Windows.

With just the GX installed, this is the font menu in AICC2019
Choosing the second of each weight gives us the extreme bounce instance. But ideally I just want Regular/Italic/Bold/BoldItalic and then let the user add bounce from the control palette. Is that possible?



Deactivate the bounce instances befor you export the variable font if you don’t want them to show up.

Deactivate! Hadn’t even noticed that box. That was easy! Thanks.

Why do you need the extra family name? You could call the instances ‘Bounce’, ‘Bounce Italic’ …

I originally had it that way, but it made for a confusing drop-down menu – Regular was at the bottom, and Bold was mixed in with a bunch of Bounces. Plus those weight names won’t work in Windows, which makes files not work cross-platform. Is that not right?


The order of the styles is controlled by the weight and width classes. Give all the bounce instances a higher width class and set matching weight classes. That should fix the order in Adobe apps. Apples apps are a bit difficult, they have their own algorithms.

Hey guys,

I finally did get this font output and both the standard and variable versions are working properly in Adobe apps! Thanks for your help.

But the issue reared its ugly head again in submitting the family to Myfonts. Their system wouldn’t accept Bounce-Italic, Bounce-Bold and Bounce-BoldItalic because the names are longer than 31 characters. Strangely, it did accept Bounce-Regular which has more letters than Italic or Bold.

So that helped me locate the problem, but not out how to fix it…

MC opened the files in Transtype, which showed the following:

It appears the “Styling group” field on Italic/Bold/BoldItalic has the family name twice.

The instances of all four Bounce weights in Glyphs are set up as follows:

My guess is that because the offending three have the family name in “Style linking” in addition to the familyName custom parameter, it’s appearing in the Styling Group twice.

I experimented with removing the familyName Custom Parameter from those three, but when outputting Glyphs stops because two weights will have the same filename.

Could I create a custom Parameter for Styling Group? I looked through the list of available parameters but don’t see it.

Any other suggestions? I will PM the font file if that will help.