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Drop #333 (2023-09-12): Typography Tuesday
The New Google Fonts; Wavefont; Variable Fonts Explorer
We're going to follow some breadcrumbs through each section, today; leading us from one site to another. It should be a fun and informative journey for all type nerds.
This is an AI-generated summary of today's Drop. (Perplexity messed up all the URLs, today.)
The New Google Fonts: Google Fonts has been redesigned, offering improved search functionality, Featured Collections, a "Knowledge" section, and a "Material Symbols" section. Check out the new Google Fonts here.
Variable Fonts Explorer: A resource to help designers and developers become familiar with OpenType variable fonts, offering straightforward information about font projects, creators, and more. Explore the Variable Fonts Explorer here.
The New Google Fonts
I'm super torn about all this.
By now, folks know my feelings about Google. But, having a treasure trove of generously licensed fonts that one can 100% self-host is nothing short of amazing. How can this org be so full of both sociopaths and kind, generous, well-meaning souls?! (I mean, I grok they want you to load from their CDN, so they can track you; but, who does that in 2023?)
However, I digress.
The redesigned interface offers improved search functionality, better organization of font collections, and a more visually appealing layout, based on Google's Material Design principles/design system.
Google Fonts now offers Featured Collections, which are curated sets of fonts organized by themes and styles. These collections are vetted and organized by a team of designers, engineers, and collaborators, making it easier for us mere humans to discover new fonts that fit their specific needs.
The “Knowledge” section is a resource that enables designers and developers of all skill levels and skills diversity to choose and use type with purpose. Folks can browse various topics related to typography, font selection, and best practices for using fonts in their projects.
In the “Material Symbols” section, you'll find the newest icons, consolidating over 3K glyphs in a single font file with a wide range of design variants. Symbols are available in three styles and four adjustable variable font styles (fill, weight, grade, and optical size).
It's a very welcome uplift to a fairly, previously nigh-unusable site. I encourage folks to take some time to re-visit Google Fonts, and consider refreshing your defaults for H2.
Wavefont is a variable font (that you can find in the new Google Fonts!) with a Weight, Round, and Vertical Alignment axes for rendering data, such as waveforms, spectrums, diagrams, bars, etc.
0-9chars are for simplified manual input with step 10 (bar height = number).
A-Zfor manual input with step 2, softened at edges a and Z (bar height = number of letter).
0..127values with step 1.
You truly need to experience this typeface to appreciate it.
With that in mind, I heartily encourage folks to:
visit the playground
poke at it on the Variable Fonts artboard (more on that in the last section)
actually experience it (trust me)
Variable Fonts Explorer
The Variable Fonts Explorer's goal is to “help designers and developers become more familiar with OpenType variable fonts in a way that isn’t overwhelming, while also providing straightforward info upfront about the font projects, who made them, and where to find more info or get the fonts to use.”
You can dig into these fonts by:
It's a remarkable, free resource to help you discover something truly new, and see novel aspects of typefaces you may have thought you already knew.
How is it Tuesday, already? ☮
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