Font Development Best Practices

Technical guidance regarding font development and production

View project onGitHub

1.2 Style Guidelines

The purpose of this book is to give helpful guidance to those who want to create fonts that work well in the intended environments. The recommendations may seem at times dogmatic, but that’s the nature of a book of recommendations based on well-informed opinion.

With each recommendation we’ve tried to provide some indication of whether it’s subjective opinion or objective fact. Recommendations are generally in bold, and they fall into four loose types:

  • “Developers may choose to” - there is no single good option, and developers should consider various alternatives.
  • “We recommend that” - there seems to be one option that is best for most developers, that we ourselves have chosen and that we suggest that others follow.
  • “Ascender and descender values should” - there is clearly a best option and to do otherwise would be asking for problems.
  • “Production glyph names must” - if you don’t do this then your font is unlikely to work properly.

The style of writing is intended to be friendly but not too informal, from experienced font developers (the “We”) to fellow developers and industry colleagues. The goal is to be helpful!