Rocher Color: making a variable color font

Stacking multiple fonts on top of each other is a makeshift solution for creating multicolored text in digital media. I was well aware of this when I designed Rocher. On the other hand, I so excited about it I couldn’t keep myself from releasing it even knowing the user experience would be subpar.

Things have been changing rapidly since then. Support for color fonts has seen a considerable increase in the last couple of years. On top of that, variable fonts technology has opened up another plethora of possibilities. Merit Badge, by David Jonathan Ross, was the typeface that inspired me to go into this rabbit hole and release Rocher Color. This is its story.

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The state of underlines and strikethroughs

Some weeks ago, while developing a custom typeface for a client, I was asked about adjusting the position and thickness of the underlines and strikethroughs. I knew it was possible to customize these values in Glyphs, Fontlab or any other font editor. But honestly, I didn’t usually bother to configure them because I knew they weren’t really enforced by most graphic software. This was a custom project, so fine-tuned underlines and strikethroughs could potentially save my client from a few headaches when typesetting documents. With that in mind, I decided to investigate further.

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