MacDirectory Magazine

Ergo Josh

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Multi-dimensional Fonts Words by FontLab When we say “3D fonts”, most people think of typefaces in which the glyphs (characters) have three-dimensional appearance or are defined using 3D geometry and used for sculpting real objects or used in virtual reality. But traditional typography that puts text onto a flat surface like paper or a screen also uses fonts that are, in fact, multi-dimensional. Let me explain: One dimension of a font is the series of glyphs — one font can have 300 glyphs that support Latin-based European languages, another can have 65,000 glyphs that support European languages and Chinese. The 2nd font dimension is size: if you use a scalable (outline-based) OpenType font, you can make text at any size. But can we add more dimensions? Many font families consist of thin, light, regular, medium, bold and black fonts. So weight is a common 3rd font dimension. Width is another: fonts in a family can go from condensed to wide. Another one is slope: from reverse-oblique via upright through oblique. Those are dimensions (axes) in the so-called “design space”. Traditional font families are “static”: they only let you jump between pre-determined points along each axis: you can pick a light or a regular weight, but nothing in-between.

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