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Microsoft Design – Medium | Rod Cavazos (RXC)

Variable Fonts represent an evolutionary shift in typography. We check in on this new font standard and the impact it’s having.

Punctuated equilibrium describes how major evolutionary changes happen in bursts and cascades rather than through steady streams of incremental adaptation. After two glacial decades, digital typography finally finds itself in a lively period of punctuated equilibrium.

This metamorphosis comes in the form of a potent new standard: OpenType Font Variations (OTFV), more lyrically known as variable fonts. Unlike a few precursor technologies that arose and faded in the 1990s, OTFV smartly drops its pin on the typo-technical timeline.

Before taking a closer look at variable fonts, let’s doff our beanies, pork-pies, and Kangols in recognition of OTFV’s precursors...

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