TYPO Labs 2017 teaser

Together with its longtime (since 1991!) German partner URW++, the Dutch Type Library has organized a special hands-on session focused on the production and modification of variable fonts at the TYPO Labs 2017 conference on the morning of Friday 7 April. Jürgen Willrodt will demonstrate how to prepare and modify already existing fonts for the production of OpenType Variation fonts , i.e., making all glyphs isomorphic and how to create variable fonts using FoundryMaster (the successor of FontMaster), and finally proofing and modifying OT Variation fonts with OTMaster.

Currently the version of OTMaster that is under development supports OT Variation fonts as follows:

– One can list and view the‘fvar’, ‘STAT’ and ‘gvar’ tables.
– One can add additional predefined instances in the ‘fvar’ table.
– There is a ‘variation viewer’, which has sliders for all available axes. Moving the sliders will immediately change the glyphs displayed in the ‘font viewer’ or in the editing window. The ‘variation viewer’ can be used to add, modify, or delete instances for the font.
– The ‘side-by-side’ viewer has an option to show all defined instances (of course, this only make sense for fonts with a relatively limited number of instances, such as Skia).

Later more! :)


  • These are great news!!
  • Right on time for the upcoming TYPO Labs 2017 conference the new version of FoundryMaster supports the OpenType Font Variation format. On the morning of Friday 7 April Jürgen Willrodt will demonstrate how one can use the tool for making glyphs isomorphic (i.e., the same number of points, the same sequence of control and anchor points, the same number of contours, the same ordering of the contours, the same sense of rotation of all contours, and the same location of the start points) and how to create variable fonts.

    Next I will focus on the support of the type-design part by FoundryMaster. I will tell a bit about the development of font tools in the past three decades, where in this context one can position FoundryMaster, and what our further plans are. After all, it was more than 30 years ago that I started to produce digital fonts, using –like a couple of my colleagues on this forum– first Ikarus M and not much later in addition Fontographer. Subsequently I also used an early version of FontLab before the first DTL/URW++ font tools were developed around the end of the 1990s. Together with Axel Stoltenberg, who is one of the programmers of FoundryMaster (and IKARUS programmer since the 1980s), I will demonstrate some of FoundryMaster’s unique functions.

    Also I very much would like to exchange thoughts on font tools and functionality with the attendees during the hands-on session. Demo versions of FoundryMaster will be available.

  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 60
    Will FoundryMaster be available on Windows, or just OSX? Any projected date when it will be available for purchase?
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 363
    Will FoundryMaster include GlyphMaster?
  • Actually FoundryMaster is (the updated) GlyphMaster. All these different masters must be a bit confusing, I reckon. The reason for this renaming is that Georg asked me to do that to avoid confusion. Anyway, the new master is as easy to master as the old master.  :)
  • Will FoundryMaster be available on Windows, or just OSX? Any projected date when it will be available for purchase?
    FM will become available for macOS, Windows, and Linux, like OTM. I expect that the tool itself will be ready to ship within roughly a month or so -the biggest problem will be to produce in time a decent manual that covers all functionality.
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