Is only one font can be called a family?

Hi everyone, I'm new here. I design and create fonts at my free time and I would like to know this; is only one font can be called a family?

Thanks a lot.


  • Normally, the term "family" is used to refer to a set of related fonts. So, probably not.
  • Alright, thanks a lot for your answer :)
  • When I have a library of fonts, I can count the number of fonts, or the number of families. In such a case, yes, I do refer to those lone styles as each being a family. So does just about every font vendor and font management app, I think.
  • At root, this is a set theory question. If there's only one thing in a set, is it still a set? Yes.
  • I believe Mark is correct. Each font file has an internal Family Name, but marketing a single font as a “family” is a bit odd.
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 532
    edited September 2018
    It's pretty simple. Like people, one doesn't refer to a single person as a family. And again like people, a type family begins life as a single font.
  • In the Glorious Variable Future, a family might reside in a single font file, though.
  • True!
  • family might reside in a single font file
    Like a family may reside in a single house.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,206
    edited September 2018
    More like a shape-shifter that can take on the appearance of any possible relative. A virtual family rather than an actual family.
  • I am now waiting for the new foundry, Lycanthrope Fonts, to make themselves known.
  • @Mark is on the right track, except it is a virtual family made up of at least two members of a real family. Sort of like imaginary friends they find comfort in talking too, perhaps?
  • Even apart from a variable font, a single font file can contain multiple fonts — when the file is a font collection file (.ttc, .otc).
  • Rémi G.Rémi G. Posts: 6
    edited September 2018
    Well, a family is a set, and a set is something containing two or more different things, right? So, only one font, even with its various formats, can not be a family, or am I wrong?

    Also, I think saying that one font is a family may confuse customers, they may think "If it's a family where are the other styles?", and then they go away...
  • What if an orphan were to walk in your house alone to introduce you to his family?
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,532
    A typeface can be represented by a single font, or a family of them.
    Also, talking about typefaces is a bit classier and more professional than saying “fonts”, because in lay talk, they say things like “The Helvetica font”.
  • Thanks for the tips.
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