Preparing, creating, proofing, and modifying variable fonts (DTL/URW++ Session) (105 Min.)

TYPO Labs 2017 New Dimensions in Type Engineering | Friday, 07 April | 11:00 am | Cube | English

This hands-on session is especially focused on the production and modification of OpenType Font Variations. Jürgen Willrodt will demonstrate how to prepare and modify already existing fonts for the production of variable fonts , i.e., making all glyphs isomorphic. After all, there are thousands of fonts that were not developed as ‘instances’. Jürgen will also show how to create variable fonts using FoundryMaster (the successor of FontMaster for macOS, Windows, and Linux). Finally he will demonstrate how to proof and modify OpenType Font Variations with the new version of OTMaster, which for instance can display the ‘fvar’, ‘STAT’ and ‘gvar’ tables. There is also a ‘variation viewer’, which has sliders for all available axes. The ‘side-by-side’ viewer has an option to show all defined instances.

FoundryMaster finds its origin in the illustrious IKARUS system and is the result of more than 30 years of professional font-tools development. Together with Axel Stoltenberg, one of the developers of FoundryMaster, Frank E. Blokland will demonstrate some of the program’s unique features and will also address the question why there is need for a font tool that does not support Python scripting. After all, FoundryMaster contains a wealth of sophisticated (batch) functions that ease the design as well as the production process.


Frank E. Blokland

Type Designer (’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands)

Frank E. Blokland is type designer (of among other typefaces, DTL Documenta and DTL Haarlemmer), Senior Lecturer in type design at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK) in The Hague since 1987, and Professor and Research Fellow at the Plantin Institute of Typography, Antwerp, since 1995. Blokland founded the Dutch…
Jürgen Willrodt

Jürgen Willrodt

Software Developer (Hamburg)

Jürgen Willrodt studied Physics and Mathematics and got a PhD in theoretical particle physics in 1976. He joined URW Software & Type GmbH in 1983 as software developer. His first major development project was the porting of the IKARUS font production system from DEC to Sun Unix. He has been…

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