The world of web typography has changed forever since the invention of variable fonts. It has greatly improved the experience of reading for end users and the made the process of creating and editing fonts more flexible and efficient for designers. Now, designers have the power to control the weight, height, italics, slant angle, serif length, optical size and other characteristics without having to download and use multiple fonts of a font family. If you are new to variable fonts, we have put together some quick introduction to variable fonts. Learn what are variable fonts, what are the key features, key benefits, and download some free variable fonts to play with or apply to your web design project.
What Are Variable Fonts?
The variable font is a new OpenType web typography technology that allows one single font to act like multiple fonts at once. This means that all width, weight, slant, italics, etc. are contained in a compressed, highly efficient file. Here are 5 axes contained in each variable font file which allow changing the range of weight, height, etc.
- ital: the italic axis is applied for changing between italic and roman letterforms.
- opsz: optical size is used for the optimization of legibility at small sizes and personality at large sizes.
- slnt: slant axis is used for varying between slanted text and upright text.
- width: the width axis is used to vary between wider and narrower letterforms.
- wght: weight axis is used to change stroke thicknesses for making letterforms lighter or bolder.
Key Benefits of Using Variable Fonts
Variable fonts have a lot of benefits for readers and designers. Here are some of them.
Variable fonts are now supported by more than 60% of web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox), and can easily accommodate to different screen sizes, which means that text can be rendered well on different devices.
Positive User Experience
Thanks to the fact that the variable font is an all-in-one flexible font file that contains multiple font variations, it much reduces the page’s loading speed and weight. The faster the page is loaded the better user experience is.
Quick Access and Full Control
Variable fonts provide designers and developers a full control over readability and legibility of letters. Thanks to the quick font code accessibility, they can easily fine-tune such characteristics like weight, width, optical size in order to make them fully legible and readable.
Free Downloadable Variable Fonts
Below, you can find some free variable fonts available for download. Thanks to Axis-Praxis platform, you can easily play with some popular variable fonts, type text using one of them, changing width, weight and other characteristics.
Gingham Free Variable Font
Gingham is an experimental variable font created by Christoph Koeberlin that has a limited symbols and characters set.
Jabin Variable Font
Grafier: A modern brutalist variable font
Toon Cats Font
Im Spiegelland Font
Agrandir Typeface | Variable Font
Urban TOUR variable Font