Git for Collaboration

Is anyone here using a Git-based workflow for collaboration between different type designers?

I remember Peter Biľak telling me about Typotheque using such a workflow one or two years ago, but I was wondering if anybody could share their personal experiences with it.


  • The Glyphs people do. Mekkablue Rainer Erich Scheichlbaur uses it.
  • I use it for collaboration between the MB of today and the MB of the future, who are essentially different designers, because they know different things, have different opinions, don’t always keep track of each other’s work, and sometimes disagree. For this, it has become indispensable.
  • i vacillate between git and mercurial and mostly use it to waypoint my work. a nice side-effect of ufos over vfbs is that a `git status` or `hg st` reminds me which glyphs changed between commits.

    from my perspective, the key to using git or hg productively in a "design context" is generating (automatically if possible) a visual artifact which is updated from commit to commit since tools like p4diff can handily show you those deltas in a meaningful way. i do that with illustrator files, but it's much more tedious to do for fonts so i usually end up with tenuously descriptive logs like this.

    i'm not sure what your workflow is or how you collaborate. I've only needed to share these files with one or two other people and we rarely touch them at the same time, but when we have, it's been nice to have an annotated visual record of where the files have been.

    i was sort of hoping that ghostlines would be like a hosted version of phabricator that also rasterized the font's diffs and gave you handy access to an installable font or webfont for any given commit. if it is, i'm sold and it probably will be quite useful in class contexts.

    i'd certainly be curious to hear other folks experiences doing collaborative type design using git or hg. there are definitely some cool things you could do to make online font collab and review interesting. sorry if this is super verbose.
  • This came up as part of the adobe presentation on development of its open source faces and seemed to make good sense with regard to team development and 3rd party developers who want to fork a version to collaborate on.

    There was also a thought of it being used for font distribution to assure customers always receive the latest and greatest version of a font when small updates are performed to the typeface linking git and licensed user accounts.

    Hosted web fonts feel more sensible for a more dynamic development/deployment model in my mind.
  • I'm contributing to the development of which should help make it easier for teams of designers to work on a common set of UFOs
  • Dave, thanks for that! Looks like a really interesting development. Would you recommend this already for production environments?
  • BTW, you can use binary files, like VFBs, with Git. Obviously you can't track changes within the source file, as you can with UFO. But to the extent that most font families consist of a large set of discrete files, it's still useful for its snapshot and branching facilities.
  • No its not quite ready for production, and currently under heavy development.
  • Thanks, great to hear!
  • Are you familiar with Travis CI on github for code?
  • I know of CI, and I use Git, but I’ve never used Travis CI or any of them before. Why?
  • Font Bakery = Travis CI for Fonts, more or less :)
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