Malva 2.0: variable font update

Version 2.0 of Malva is here and it comes with variable fonts! If you don’t know what that means, variable fonts are one of the most exciting new developments in digital typography in the last few years. This new format allows you to have many styles in a single font file. All styles are organised along axes, which means you now have the ability to select the exact weight value you need (or any other variation the font might have). No more wishing the bold was slightly bolder and the regular was a little lighter!

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Website redesign

After months of hard work, I’m delighted to tell you this website has received a well deserved facelift! I designed the new website with a mobile-first approach. Whether you’re visiting it on mobile or desktop, you’ll find much more information about each typeface, including OpenType features, its complete character set, language support and a type tester.

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Kiperman: a typographic tribute

You probably already know the most common reason to develop a custom typeface is when no typeface in the retail market meets a brand’s communication needs. Or maybe the brand needs exclusivity, a font family that no one else can use. Alternatively, it may be that the company is very large – with thousands of employees – and buying a license for all these people would be very expensive. Or the company uses very specific software or processes and not every font works correctly under these conditions.

Any of these arguments alone would justify developing a custom typeface. But what is not always remembered is that the custom route is also a great opportunity to pay tribute to someone.

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Kiperman: uma homenagem tipográfica

Você provavelmente já sabe que o principal motivo que leva uma empresa a investir em uma tipografia customizada é quando não existe uma tipografia de varejo que atenda exatamente suas necessidades de comunicação. Além disso, pode ser que ela precise de exclusividade, uma família tipográfica que ninguém mais poderá usar. Pode ser ainda que esta empresa é muito grande, com milhares de funcionários, e comprar uma licença para toda essa gente ficaria muito caro. Ou então ela precisa utilizar softwares ou processos bem específicos e não é qualquer fonte que funciona corretamente nestas condições.

Qualquer um dos argumentos citados já justificaria uma tipografia sob encomenda. Mas o que nem sempre é lembrado é que uma tipografia customizada também é uma ótima oportunidade para homenagear alguém.

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Custom fonts on the Kindle

A recent update for the Kindle software introduced the ability to use any third-party font to read any ebook. This has made the process of testing text typefaces a lot easier. Before this update, testing on Kindle meant embedding the fonts on ebooks using Calibre and transferring them to my Kindle Paperwhite. This would be fine, but doing so for every minor font version soon filled my device with dozens of the same ebooks that I would never actually read…

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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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Scripts for Glyphs

A quick update for those who develop fonts in Glyphs. I’ve recently published my first repository in GitHub with a few open source scripts. Their functionality range from the very simple (open all/selected nodes) to the somewhat complex (an almost complete solution for exporting and importing SVGs for making color fonts).

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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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