Words are the primary component of content for the web. However, until a short while ago, all we had at our disposal were but a few system fonts. Adding to that, those system typefaces weren’t necessarily coherent from operating system to operating system (OS). Fortunately, Windows, macOS and Linux made up font-wise, and since then, all modern fonts have been compatible across those OS’. There’s no question, the future of web typography looks promising.
And it’s looking more and more promising, too. At the 2016 ATypI conference, the world’s biggest type design conference, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Adobe announced that they have been working on a new iteration of the OpenType standard, called variable fonts. Because it gives a lot more control to the user to modify the typeface depending on the context and device, this new version opens new opportunities for web typography and will close the gap in quality between web and print.
Variable fonts and parametric fonts are tools that will undeniably revolutionize responsive web type. They will allow graphic and web designers to explore shapes and sizes on their own and to tailor typefaces to their needs. Let’s learn the ins and outs of these new tools and how to take control of our typography.