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Designing SVG fonts using styles

The Why

Just supporting SVG Fonts as per spec is not much fun. Designing fonts in Inkscape should be much more than just being able to make a particular shape marked as a glyph. This specification describes how to make Inkscape THE tool for font design.

Most of the description comes from Yuri Gordon's LiveJournal blog (head of Letterhead font design studio) and some ideas are borrowed from Ricardo Lafuente who created and


The current way of font design and production involves dealing with Bezier nodes, so it' a low-level way to work on a typeface. A high-level way would be dealing with definitions of a typeface like "venedian antiqua", that is --- with styles.

There is a pretty good understanding of typical features of various typefaces --- shape of drops and serifs, the look of arcs etc. However there is no ready to use database that would store such descriptions. Panose could be used as a starting point.


A template is a set of definitions that together build a typical font of some kind -- a typical slab serif or a typical antiqua. Font designer creates a new font from this templates and tweaks it to personalize it.

Connection points

In order to provide possibility to go from one type of e.g. serifs to another all stylable features should join at so called connection points. When a user chooses a different serif style, only this feature should be changed (some automatic adjustments should be available, though). Thus a user can turn a serif typeface into a sans-serif typeface by simply going from one definition to another.

Workflow and user interface