[OTVar] Introducing Amstelvar

Google Fonts has commissioned a new variable font project, a serif dubbed "Amstelvar," from Font Bureau. 

Led by the experience and insight of the Font Bureau co-founder David Berlow, who worked extensively on the Variable Fonts format back when it was initially developed at Apple in the early 90s, the fb team are pushing the envelope of this cutting edge technology. They posted a blog post introducing the serif project - https://www.typenetwork.com/brochure/opentype-variable-fonts-moving-right-along - that includes an SVG animation of the novel variation axes involved. 

And as a libre font, its all on Github to take a full look inside: https://github.com/TypeNetwork/fb-Amstelvar

Also, I'm super happy to see Type Network folks are doing lots of other interesting Variable Fonts projects, such as https://djr.com/fit/variable.html - and, not sure if it was mentioned on TD yet, but there is a great twitter account by Nick Sherman where all VF news is posted, https://twitter.com/variablefonts :)

Comments

  • Interesting approach in Amstelvar. I don't quite understand what is meant by "without change... to the white space"; would be nice to get that clarified. Also, it would be really nice if the current version of Amstelvar on GitHub contained a STAT table -- a required table in OT 1.8 that's particularly essential in a font like Amstelvar that has non-standard axes. (Same with other variable font projects.)
  • D. Epar tedD. Epar ted Posts: 670
    edited January 17
    Thanks Dave. I also like to thank Google for supporting this project, we think demonstration fonts are needed and appreciate the support. One of the most curious aspects of OT1.8 to me, is that there are so few examples, fewer than any font technology release since Metafont, in the 70's, but that was just one guy, so we forgave him.

    The font we've published together is a project, not a product. Its family name is followed by "Alpha" and we do not reccomend people use it to compose documents, serve websites, begin to manipulate it, as its OpenSource, or follow its tables. We hope it prods along discussion of things like the STAT table, and plan to add one soon. 

    Peter's other question, about the parametric nature of the paraweight axis in Amstelvar; the image below is of the +1 side of that axis showing the horizontal weights of the uppercase O. You see on the left the Default, (outline) and Maximum, (shaded), right aligned. They have the same right side bearing. In the middle you see them centered and they have the same transparent space in the counter, and the right, is the opposite of the left. The width and opacity change, "the white stays the same." 


    Hope that helps, thanks. 






  • Also, I'm super happy to see Type Network folks are doing lots of other interesting Variable Fonts projects, such as https://djr.com/fit/variable.html



    - and, not sure if it was mentioned on TD yet, but there is a great twitter account by Nick Sherman where all VF news is posted, https://twitter.com/variablefonts :)

    Oops! In my mind as I was writing I thought of those being separate topics (as Ive spaced them out above) - I did not mean to imply Nick is one of the Type Network folks, although I completely see now that I did say that! So I want to fully retract that and clarify I am super happy to see Nick's Twitter account, and my apologies to Nick and TN for the confusion. 
  • - I did not mean to imply Nick is one of the Type Network folks, although I completely see now that I did say that! So I want to fully retract that and clarify I am super happy to see Nick's Twitter account, and my apologies to Nick and TN for the confusion. 
    This smells like a cover-up.
  • - I did not mean to imply Nick is one of the Type Network folks, although I completely see now that I did say that! So I want to fully retract that and clarify I am super happy to see Nick's Twitter account, and my apologies to Nick and TN for the confusion. 
    This smells like a cover-up.
    LOL. Ah, Richard. Always with the conspiracies.  :)
  • I see that Type Network and Google folk have got another variable font project on GitHub: Decovar. There's a write-up here.

    A bit of feedback on this font -- which also applies to Amstelvar: these are using custom axes, but are not following the spec requirements for custom axis tags:
    "Privately-defined axis tags must begin with an uppercase letter (0x41 to 0x5A), and must use only uppercase letters or digits."
    See the 'fvar' table spec for details on axis tag requirements.

  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 732
    edited February 9
    Thank you Peter! I started a new thread to announce that project, http://typedrawers.com/discussion/1980/otvar-introducing-decovar/ :)

    I see you also reported this in https://github.com/TypeNetwork/fb-Decovar/issues/2 and I've similarly filed https://github.com/TypeNetwork/fb-Amstelvar/issues/17 to track that the upcoming releases (eg, a download from https://github.com/TypeNetwork/fb-Amstelvar/releases) will comply with the specification. 

    The fonts in the repo are works in progress :) 
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