Elliot Jay Stocks — designer & musician

Google Fonts Knowledge Q2 content drop

Today marks Google Fonts Knowledge’s second content drop of the year (well, actually third, but more on that in a sec) and I figured it was worth a quick post to cover all the newness.

This is the first drop where I’ve taken more of a step back from most of the content creation and instead helped coordinate other outside writers, and it’s also the first drop since launch to introduce a whole load of new modules: we have a module on typography in AR and VR, written by Niteesh Yadav, and the start of a type history module with three articles co-written by Micah Rich and Thomas Jockin.

The illustration from an article from Google Fonts Knowledge.

The introduction of these new modules is part of our wider efforts to grow the richness of the library (some of these articles are pretty deep dives) and make Google Fonts Knowledge an invaluable typographic resource. There’s surprisingly little written online about typography in AR and VR, and Niteesh Yadav is one of those people writing on the subject. Another prominent voice in this area, Andrew Johnson, was one of the people we brought in to act as an expert reviewer of this content, along with Joost Korngold from Google’s Immersive Arts team.

The illustration from an article from Google Fonts Knowledge.

However, I still created some new content myself, too: an article on installing and managing fonts (a subject I’ve always been into, but which I recently explored in depth since switching to Typeface for font management and filling my library with multiple variable fonts), and a load of new glossary definitions: counter, icon and symbol, icon font, Material Symbols, and parametric font. And you know how I’m always going on about improving existing content? Well, we separated out readability and legibility into two separate entries, and completely rewrote both. Big thanks to my teammates Hilary Palmen and Susanna Zaraysky there.

The illustration from an article from Google Fonts Knowledge.

As always, we want GFK to get better and better and better. There are two important ways you can help with that, if you’re interested: firstly, by telling us what kind of content you’d like to see that’s not currently covered; secondly, by telling us what you feel could be improved in the existing content, whether that’s something simple like correcting a typo, or something more nuanced like a suggestion for alternate approaches and opinions that could be used to expand the text (and accompanying illustrations). Please always feel free to reach out to me via email with any ideas you might have — including if you’d like to write something yourself.

At the start of this post, I said that this was technically GFK’s third content drop of the year, and that’s because we squeezed in a small one in May in between our regular quarterly drops. Let me tell you about it. This mini-drop existed to support the launch of Roboto Flex (see the official launch announcement on the Material Design blog): the new, variable version of Roboto that not only contains axes for fan favourites weight, width, slant, grade, and optical size, but also several parametric axes: ascender height, counter width, descender depth, figure height, lowercase height, thick stroke, thin stroke, and uppercase height. Whoa, hold on there, what’s a parametric axis? I hear you ask. I’m so glad you did, because I wrote an introductory guide for you.

So, if you haven’t visited GFK since we launched in December, be sure to check out all of the stuff mentioned in today’s drop, those parametric deep cuts we squeezed in back in May, and of course all of the still-kind-of-new stuff we launched for Q1, which I blogged about in April. By my count, that’s 45 articles and 140 glossary terms! Wait until you see what we’ve got planned for Q3.

Once again, thanks to Gerry Leonidas, Laurence Penny, and Thomas Phinney for their expert reviews, and to Sarah Daily for the copyediting and proofreading.