Long font names

ValKalinicValKalinic Posts: 45
edited March 2020 in Font Technology
Hi all,
I'm thinking about naming a family I'm finishing up, and have some concerns over the name length. I've read once in an unrelated thread here that a name should "ideally" be shorter than 31 characters.
  • Why is that and what does "ideally" mean in this context? 
  • Does such a length include style names and spaces? If a style is named "Extra Light Oblique" for example, that part alone is 19 characters, leaving only 12 more. If we suppose a family name can begin with two letters of a foundry flag and a space, only 9 characters for a name are left. 
  • Another example, "XX_FONTNAME_Standard_Extra_Light_Oblique" can't work and exceeds that limit, even if the foundry flag is removed. Sure, it is an extreme example but it could happen you need all these descriptors of a style, if there are: name + stencil/standard + weights + normal/oblique.
Am I missing anything, are there other restrictions on a name? Thank you!


  • Very helpful @Thomas Phinney, thank you very much for your time and insight. I'll look into these more.
  • Last time I checked, on at least some still-common versions of MS Office apps, name ID 1 & 2 (family and subfamily/style) had a limit of 31 characters each. But this keeps the family and style names separate, so the descriptions in the question don’t apply.
    Actually any GDI-accessible names are limited to 31 characters, because of this:
    typedef struct {
      BYTE  lfItalic;
      BYTE  lfUnderline;
      BYTE  lfStrikeOut;
      BYTE  lfCharSet;
      BYTE  lfOutPrecision;
      BYTE  lfClipPrecision;
      BYTE  lfQuality;
      BYTE  lfPitchAndFamily;
      WCHAR lfFaceName[LF_FACESIZE];
    `LF_FACESIZE` is a macro and is defined as 32.
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