In my talk at ATypI (video here
), I mentioned that I was working on creating an open process for people to propose design axes for registration, and for review and discussion of those proposals. That is done and ready for anyone to start participating.
For this process, I have created a project on GitHub: https://github.com/Microsoft/OpenTypeDesignVariationAxisTags
To participate, you'll need a GitHub account.
The intent of the process is to end up with a set of registered design axes that are useful
and that actually get used!
In general, I think a smaller set of registered axes that get used will be more helpful for the type industry and for users than to have a lot of registered axes with many that are used infrequently.
The process is set up in a way that, hopefully, will lead to that result: an axis can't get registered without it getting discussed and
unless there are commitments to use it.
Note that you'll always be able to use custom axes (per the OT spec, uppercase tags please!) in variable fonts. So, if you have something you want to use in your fonts but haven't found others that also want to use it, you won't be blocked.
Also note that registered axes don't necessarily have to be intended for use in variable fonts. Static, non-variable fonts can include a STAT table to describe relationships within a family, and design axis tags are used in that table.
For details on the process, follow the link above: it will take you to the README page for the project. And if you have questions, feel free to ask here or to privately contact me or my MS colleagues, Rob McKaughan or Si Daniels.