Scalable Vector Graphics (proper noun)

There are many situations where type designers might find themselves using Scalable Vector Graphics. Well, obviously.

But in this case I mean the SVG file format specifically. You might be using it for:

  • Specimens, especially for custom fonts where you are obligated to avoiding distributing the font files for a client’s custom typeface
  • Displaying custom lettering and wordmark and on your site
  • OpenType feature samples
  • In earlier days for web fonts, SVG was a fallback file format you may have distributed—perhaps some still do, even though the format has been removed from major browsers
  • The surprisingly recurring debate around icon libraries as SVGs, versus an icon library in a fonts

There are some interesting cases where your clients (in the case of custom lettering, custom fonts, and wordmark projects), and customers (in the case of retail typefaces) are using SVGs too.

SVGs are a portable vector format, but are also a distinctly web-centric format in some lingering ways, which impacts how they handle type. They can handle pretty much any vector design, but might not have the information to be a fully editable design source file (at least, when it comes to type).

I’ll be writing more about what type designers might find useful, interesting, or surprising over my next few messages.

Until next time,