Twelve Days wrapped up

I hope you found my Twelve Days of Ax-mas series useful during the holiday season—I appreciate you joining me on that experiment as I wrote about a different axis each weekday. If you (understandably) missed or skipped any during that time, here is the full list:

Externally, the momentum behind the proposal to register the parametric axes we looked at last has slowed significantly. The consensus seems to be: it does make sense, but there is no path forward until the high- versus low-level axis conversation is resolved first.

One the positive side, the nature of being able to make custom axes means it’s entirely possible for other parametric fonts to ship using the same ideas as Amstelvar and Roboto Serif.

They might all be axes you want to promote to end users, but some will benefit from them, and I do think they are a useful way of thinking about visual space in a Variable Font design space.

There’s at least one other sizeable open source font I’ve come across that went from using a Contrast axis while in beta, to using the Y Opaque YOPQ axis. This is a lot like what Roboto Serif does, too: there is no need to use every parametric axis from the proposal. Using one or two is sufficient—even preferable—to offer lower-level design changes to designers, even other type designers, who appreciate it.

You can use a parametric axis, or the ideas from them, even if the proposal doesn’t go ahead.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to writing to you—not just about Variable Fonts—next year! Hope you and yours have a happy new year.

Until next time,