Playfair 2.0 extends and improves on Playfair Display. Playfair 2.0 is now a three axes variable font. This means that you, the designer, can choose any combination of width, weight, and optical size contained within these design extrema.
The optical size axis is the most extreme of the axes. Along that axis you can seamlessly change the letterforms from the extremely small Agate to the extremely big Needlepoint. The Agate has a very low contrast between the thickest and thinnest parts of its strokes, in fact the contrast is even slightly negative, meaning the the horisontal strokes are heavier than the vertical strokes. At the other end the Needlepoint is as high contrast as practically possible. The thinnest strokes are but a single unit wide, meaning that if you were to typeset in 1000 points using a Needlepoint weight, the resulting thinnest strokes would be one point wide.
The weight axis adds a second dimension by allowing you to seamlessly change from a light regular to a dark black. The third axis allows you to seamlessly change from Semi-Condensed to Semi-Expanded. Any combination within this design-envelope is now available to you.
This kind of flexibility means that you the designer can find the perfect expression in any context. You can make subtle changes to harmonise the way renderings vary across media, devices, or even specific webbrowsers.
Playfair 2.0 is stylistically a transitional design. From the time of enlightenment in the late 18th century, the broad nib quills were replaced by pointed steel pens. This influenced typographical letterforms to become increasingly detached from the written ones. Developments in printing technology, ink, and paper making made it possible to print letterforms of high contrast and delicate hairlines.
This design lends itself to this transitional period, and while it is not a revival of any particular design, it takes influence from the Caslon foundry type, the designs of printer and typeface designer John Baskerville, the punchcutter William Martin’s typeface for the ‘Boydell Shakspeare’ (sic) edition, and from the ‘Scotch Roman’ designs that followed thereafter.
Playfair 2.0 is well suited for general purpose typesetting. It has an extra large x-height and short descenders. Because it is now a variable font, you the designer can seamlessly interpolate Playfair in three dimensions:
- Widths from Semi-Condensed to Semi-Expanded
- Weights from Normal to Black
- Optical sizes from Agate to Needlepoint
Playfair 2.0 supports both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts with a glyph complement for the most used languages using these scripts.
Playfair 2.0 has been designed with context-dependant alternate designs of some glyphs. These alternates are automatically applied based on the optical size, the width, and the weight of the text. These substitutions are primarily instantiated in the smallest sizes. The smaller, the narrower, and the darker you typeset, the more of these substitutions you will encounter.
Playfair 2.0 Contains several stylistic alternate letterforms so that you the designer can change how your text appears to the world. Playfair 2.0 includes a full set of small-caps, common ligatures, rare ligatures including ſ, and discretionary ligatures.
- Polish alternate kreska forms are included.
- Catalan punt volat is supported.
- Dutch IJ and ij is supported.
- Case-transformation of Turkic languages is supported.
- Icelandic and Faroese fð and fþ ligatures included.
- Romanian comma accents are supported.
- Serbian Cyrillic letterforms are included.
- Vietnamese double-stacked diacritical marks are included.
- Special design of the її combination for Ukrainian is included.
- Mark-to-mark positioning and arbitrary composition of diacritical marks is supported.
Besides the default old-style numerals, Playfair 2.0 also includes lining numerals, scientific inferiors, numerators, denominators, pre-composed fractions, and arbitrary fractions.
Playfair 2.0 supports the following languages
Afrikaans, Albanian, Asu, Basque, Belarusian, Bemba, Bena, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chiga, Congo Swahili, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Embu, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Ganda, German, Gusii, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Jola-Fonyi, Kabuverdianu, Kalaallisut, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luo, Luyia, Macedonian, Machame, Makhuwa-Meetto, Makonde, Malagasy, Malay, Maltese, Manx, Meru, Morisyen, North Ndebele, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Nyankole, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Rombo, Rundi, Russian, Rwa, Samburu, Sango, Sangu, Sena, Serbian, Shambala, Shona, Slovak, Slovenian, Soga, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Swiss German, Taita, Teso, Turkmen, Vunjo, Welsh, and Zulu.
Playfair 2.0 is published under the Open Font License 1.1, granting you license to use the fonts free of charge, and enables you to extend & modify the family should you wish to. The complete source-files are available here.