I recently discovered fontmake and .designspace files. I want to port Cantarell, a font family I maintain (really only a regular and a bold face), from FontForge sources to UFO plus .designspace, I'd also love to expand the weight axis from thin to black and maybe introduce more axes in the future, like width. I want to be able to generate a variable font as well as traditional instances.
My first impulse was to save effort by going for a thin and a black master and interpolating between them. That is what Source Sans Pro seems to do, a big influence on my work. However, http://designwithfontforge.com/en-US/Bold_and_Other_Weights.html
By this logic, it may seem like the best and most efficient way of
making a regular weight and all the other weights you may need, would be
to make a very thin and a hyper-bold font, then generate everything you
need from these. However, the result of that approach is likely to be
excessively bland. Instead, it is often the case that each significant
change in weight will require its own master design from which other
middle weights can be made.
Adobe's variable font prototype conspicuously uses a near-regular master near the regular instance for unexplained reasons: https://github.com/adobe-fonts/adobe-variable-font-prototype/tree/master/DesignSpaceNotes
So, I wonder:
- How do you approach designing a new family that spans one (weight) or possibly more axes? Especially if you also target variable fonts?
- Given that the regular face is going to be the most used one, does it makes sense to take that as the starting (intermediate) master and add the ends of the other axes on top?
- Is it feasible to add an axis like width later on?