Laurence Penney

Principal, LORP.ORG (Bristol, UK)

Laurence Penney is a consultant in font technology based in Bristol, UK. Focussed on dynamic type tech, he specialized in TrueType: coding rasterizers, hinting fonts, and training others how to hint fonts. He later took on the challenge of creating MyFonts, the open platform selling fonts from all foundries, part of the team that made it market leader by a wide margin. The recent revival of colour and variable fonts gives Laurence hope that the type world has not forgotten the best ideas from a generation ago and he looks forward to helping these technologies take off. Laurence’s Axis-Praxis website lets anyone play with variable fonts and, by means of Axis-Praxis as well as his talks & workshops, he hopes others will understand what the excitement is all about.

Beyond the bubble: Talking to web designers about variable fonts

Here in the font world we’re all fired up about variable fonts, yet we haven’t done much talking about them to typography’s new vanguard: CSS and JavaScript front-end developers. Laurence will share how he explains variable fonts to CSS-focussed audiences. Starting with the familiar (to us) wins in efficiency, tweakability and responsiveness (thx, DJR), he’ll go on to discuss efficient deployment techniques with fallback to static fonts. He’ll also call for a two-way dialogue, because we in the font world need to learn from web experts. We need their help not only with UI for variable fonts, but also for variable font commissions conceptually outside our traditional typographic backgrounds. Animated emoji are only the start!

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