Variable Fonts

TechnologyVariable Fonts (OpenType Font Variations)
DescriptionAn extension to OpenType to allow a single file to contain multiple styles from the same family
AvailabilityIndustry standard


Variable fonts (more formally, OpenType Font Variations) were introduced as an extension to the OpenType font format in 2016. The new format allows multiple font weights and styles to be contained in a single file as pre-defined instances. By intelligently sharing the common data across different weights and styles, and by compressing the data which differs, the resulting file is considerably smaller than the equivalent traditional (static) font files. This leads to easier installation, smaller apps, and faster-loading webpages.

Endless Variation

The benefits of variable fonts don’t stop at the grouping together of existing styles. Through careful design and engineering, a variable font can also deliver additional variations. For example, every possible style and weight combination between the pre-defined instances in the file can be accessed. With compatible operating systems and applications now widespread, variable fonts are ready to help you with expressive and responsive typography.

You can read more about compatibility and the practicalities of deploying and using variable fonts in our guide.

External Resources