Announced in 2016 and supported by Adobe, Apple, Google, and Microsoft, the new variable font format has revolutionized typography. The new format offers an array of benefits over static fonts and brings previously unheard of capabilities to digital fonts, changing the way we think about them and use them.
Traditionally, typefaces come in fixed, static styles. They can have distinct weights, from lighter to bolder or distinct widths, from narrower to wider. But what if your design calls for a Bold that’s a touch lighter? The variable font format is the answer.
Compared to the static fonts, variable fonts are dynamic and flexible. Instead of distinct fonts for the different styles that make up a typeface’s family, the entire design space is encompassed in a single file. Any variation within that range can be accessed so you’re not limited to predefined styles.
On the web, they can respond and adapt to factors like screen size, resolution, or even ambient light, automatically changing weight and width, ascender height, or descender length to optimize design fidelity, readability, and legibility, all with just a few lines of CSS. Only one file needs to be served to access all of the variations your design might call for, so bandwidth use and download time can be improved dramatically over static fonts. No need to compromise between design and page performance: the font instances are generated by CSS.
Having your custom typeface developed as a variable font brings all of these endless possibilities to your fingertips and ensures your brand is ready for the future of typography and design now. Type Network and our foundry partners have been on the forefront of the variable font format development since day one, constantly helping to push the technology to new heights.