Variable font naming issues

Hello, I am running out of ideas. I admit I am somewhat confused when it comes to the latest best practise of how to set up the variable font settings in Glyphs, this seemed to change quite a bit and I have lost track of the current status.

Scenario: I have two project files, each with the same family name Myfont Variable. One glyphs file is the roman, the other the italic. From each file, I want to export a variable font, with the goal of having all styles listed together in layouting apps, but the files still being separated into italic and roman (essentially eliminating the italic axis).

Now, everything works fine in InDesign and Figma. But in Font Book, only 22 (of 24) styles are listed. The instances corresponding to the variable font origins are not shown. In Word, 26 styles are shown, the variable font origin instances are shown double.

Furthermore, Fontbakery complains that my instance “UltraCond Light” has the same coordinates as the default instance – which makes sense, because it is – and that it should be named Light accordingly (which doesn’t make sense).

The way I have currently set up my variable font setting is with a Localized Family Name parameter set to Myfont Variable, and the “instance” name set to UltraCnd Light, as this corresponds to the variable font origin. Is this not correct (anymore)?

Any help on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I just got confirmation from Microsoft. They reconstruct everything from the STAT table (Word ignores fvar, yes), so if a Regular appears twice it is because there are two Regular entries in the STAT table, which sometimes is necessary though, so I would consider it a bug, but I’ll discuss this with my favorite MS people.

Thanks a lot. Can you confirm, though, that the approach I take is correct?

  • instance name: same as instance at variable font origin
  • localised family name: Myfont Variable

I’d still be interested to know why fontbakery complains that the instance that has the same coordinates as my variable font origin should have the subfamily name “Light”, when the instance name is UltraCnd Light.

Also, why do the variable font origin styles get omitted from the styles recognised by Font Book?

The doubling can happen when the Origin master and the Regular instance are at different locations (or something like this).

Alright, thanks. Any idea about the fontbakery warn?

'UltraCnd Light' instance has the same coordinates as the default instance; its subfamily name should be 'Light' [code: invalid-default-instance-subfamily-name]

Adobe XD also doesn’t show the default instances in its style list… What a nightmare.

  • In the Variable Font Setting, just use “Regular” or “Italic” as name. This has influence on how the STAT table is going to be built.
  • For the rest, just make sure that an instance coincides with the origin master.
  • Consider a variationsPostScriptNamePrefix (name ID 25, must be unique per file, so upright and Italic should be different).
  • Consider a family name different from the static one (a user may install both the VF and the static files).
  • Look into mekkablue scripts > Post Production for slightly better italic PS names and/or conversion to STAT ranges.

Many thanks for this! Appreciate it.

I have a question about the custom parameter: Is it called Variations PostScript Name Prefix (as I found in one older file you worked on) or variationsPostScriptNamePrefix?

Edit: Never mind, found it, it’s the former. it doesn’t immediately show up when searching for it in the CP list.

Technically, the two namings are (or should be) equivalent. They are in the general section, above the custom parameters, with all the names.