Variable font - one or two files


I wonder if I could get some insight from those with more experience in variable fonts.

I recently made my first variable font that contains two axes; weight and slant. I wonder if it is better to offer it as one file with both axes or as two files, one for weight and one for slant? The file is 140k as one variable font with both axes. I am mainly trying to understand the functionality benefits of two files instead of one.



  • It has to be one file, otherwise users would only be able to choose their preferred weight or slant, not both.

    I suspect your question stems from having seen variable font families that are distributed as a pair of roman+italic files, is that correct? This would be done when the roman and italic glyphs do not have compatible outlines, and there is no slant axis.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,389
    The STAT table allows the 2 separate roman and italic files to be presented in a UI as one family, possibly "as if" there's an "ital" axis with only 2 values, 0 and 1. 
  • Hi Justin,

    Yes, it was because I have seen them available as pairs. Thanks to you and Dave for the info.
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