Hi all, i’ve been continuing to work on Typeshift
, a design tool for quickly testing type (especially variable fonts) in the browser. (Wasn’t actually sure what board to put this under, hope this is okay!)
Was wondering if I could get some feedback, ideas, and concerns around licensing. Know there’s lots of really awesome thinking already going on
My hope is to make variable fonts more accessible / intuitive for other web designers so people can take advantage of what they offer and make sure that translates to their design and users (by this I mean aesthetically / stylistically, functionally and performance wise). Also know lot of great type comes from smaller foundries / independent type designers so want to give people more paths to that.
The current prototype in Typeshift uses a panel for when a font has more than one axis (right now it’s just switching between static fonts, but it’s enough to get the idea). It’s a designspace that works just like a color picker, and you can read my reasoning here
. This would need to expand to any number of arbitrary variations, but trying to tackle things in small chunks at a time.
Licensing wise, what sort of representation of variable fonts for web designers is the most advantageous to font designers? How does this interact with most EULAs?
How would type designers feel about letting web designers preview the entirety of a font’s design space while then allowing people to pick what areas of that design space are finally licensed and downloaded / hosted? What about locking / unlocking axes? Know John mentioned something along these lines, but would offering discrete instances in a design space be more helpful by allowing type designers to still charge for each discrete font along an axis?
As a web designer, I normally opt for trying and purchasing weights / styles / variations distant from each other within a designspace because i’m going for typographic contrast within a family. If there’s trial versions, I sometimes discover I could have picked a better font. From a designer’s standpoint variable fonts are even more tied to their layout so being able to try them in the context of a design is even more valuable. Honestly web designers spend a non negligible portion of their day doing this:
Any thoughts would be great!