The new OpenType variable font format will redefine what it means to make and use a typeface family; in this new format, a single font file can contain multiple weights, widths, optical sizes, and more! I will discuss the development of type families in the 20th and 21st centuries, and share my own experience creating large series of type. I will illustrate why variable fonts have the potential to influence this creative process, and in doing so how they may affect the relationship between type maker and type user.
David Jonathan Ross draws letters of all shapes and sizes for custom and retail typeface designs. A native of Los Angeles, He began drawing typefaces at Hampshire College and joined The Font Bureau in 2007 where he honed his bézier-wrangling skills. Now he publishes his designs at his own foundry, DJR, as well as working on projects with Type Network and developing display faces for his Font of the Month Club. You’ll find him in Western Massachusetts with his partner Emily and their two dogs, Sophie and Lily.