Variation fonts

I’m testing variation fonts (added today in 922). Right now they appear broken. I’m exporting from a font with four masters and ten instances, all on one weight axis. The list of weights dropdown includes a list of font names, instance names, and copyright strings. Changing the selection does not alter the preview text. Using weight slider does not change the preview.

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Same here. Anyone knows if there is any ´demo´ file we can open to test with FontView app?

Please try with a two master setup for now. Didn’t test it with a for master per axis setup, yet.

That happens with a 2 master font as well.
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Two masters. http://recordit.co/1BldBeWh7m

Did you export it from Glyphs? Any special setup?

You need choice GX -Variation Fonts- as option at export window.

I’ve done that, but the result in fontview’s dropdown menu is not the instances I have for the font. Instead, I see copyrights and weird instance names with no visual result when fiddling with the weight axis.

I get the same thing. I’m sure Georg will take care of us after ATypI wraps up.

I fixed the name table stuff already. Found some more small thing that needs fixing…

Fontview has an update available as of late yesterday to version 0.1.5. TrueType variation fonts work again. Interpolation on TrueType had been broken in v0.1.4.

I know the very first implementation of VF in Glyphs is basically a demo so I have a couple of questions.

  1. Will it export as something besides .ttf eventually?
  2. Shouldn’t it be called VF rather than GX? VF with a hyphen prefix is the recommended file name in the new spec.
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Hi everyone, a quick question. Exceptions to the interpolation as the bracket trick are working right now exporting form Glyphs?

Regards.

Should. Please report if it doesn’t.
(Edit: Confused bracket and brace layers. See Georg’s post below.)

Bracket layers are not supported when exporting a Variation font, only brace layers.

That brings back my request for “bracket layers that behave like brace layers”, as I have explained to Georg before:

• Drawing a bracket layer is often more convenient than a brace layer since the differences/adjustments are more obvious.

• For the interpolation of the heavier instances, I want to blend, not switch (see my explanations in this pre-brace-layers discussion).

What I have done during the design of JAF Domus is to draw a bracket layer, then set up and re-interpolate the respective brace layer. While it works, I have to manually update the brace layer after each change, and there are rounding errors.

It would be cool to have “bracket layers that behave like brace layers”, i.e. that interpolate to the boldest master rather than being switched off.

This kind of layer could be supported by variable fonts.

If bracket layers doesn’t work how you can create, for instance, currency signs with interrupted bars using the brace layer?

Are there plans for a server-side tool that can dynamically generate variation fonts from .glyphs files? I think it’s likely that the big players in the UFO world will create software for dynamically generating variation fonts. But what about the Glyphs world? This will probably matter to Google since some of the fonts in the GWF library, especially non-Latin, rely on Glyphs features to generate fonts, so they cannot be simply converted to UFO.

@davelab6 should probably jump in here…

Are there plans for a server-side tool that can dynamically generate variation fonts from .glyphs files?

Making a web front end for https://github.com/googlei18n/fontmake is fairly straightforwards. I’d love to see such a thing!

I think it’s likely that the big players in the UFO world will create software for dynamically generating variation fonts. But what about the Glyphs world?

glyphsapp and fontmake are independent codebases for generating binaries from .glyphs files. I believe today fontmake is quite far from supporting the entire glyphs formar (such as the brace/bracket layers, smart/corner/cap components, etc)

afdko (which is the engine embedded inside glyphs, robofont and fontlab), fontmake and fontforge are independent codebases for building UFOs. I believe today that all 3 are fairly similar, in terms of UFO/FEA support.

What does “dynamically generating variation fonts” mean, exactly? :slight_smile:

This will probably matter to Google since some of the fonts in the GWF library, especially non-Latin, rely on Glyphs features to generate fonts, so they cannot be simply converted to UFO.

Almost all GF fonts are moving to Glyphs, because almost all the designers I hire are using Glyphs.

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For example, a user needs Encode Sans, Bold Weight, all widths, only supporting English and Spanish with numbers and limited punctuation. For some reason using Google as the host isn’t an option. How does the user generate the fonts via the web (as opposed to opening the files and doing it in font software).