New variable fonts from Adobe Originals

Photoshop and Illustrator announced plenty of new features at Adobe MAX this week, include some exciting typographic features we’ve been anticipating: support for OpenType variable fonts.

This new font format allows users to customize the styles within a typeface design, effectively giving them an entire family of fonts in a single file. We’ve included a few Adobe Originals families with this release of Illustrator and Photoshop to make it easier for you to explore what variable fonts can do.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of this week’s typographic updates from the Photoshop team.

Don’t miss the Illustrator announcement, either, which introduces its own nifty typographic controls.

variable font weight adjustment in illustrator

We chose six families to best show what the new format will allow, and how the possibilities may differ from one typeface to another. Five of these are from our Variable Concept font collection, allowing you to play with the full variable design space on some of our most popular Adobe Originals families (although you’ll only have a limited character set for now).

  • Myriad Variable Concept allows you to see how the weight and width styles of Myriad Pro can interact as you adjust each property.
  • Acumin Variable Pro allows you to adjust weight, width, and even the slant angle, combining all of Acumin Pro’s 90 variants in a single dynamic font file.
  • Minion Variable Concept is a special treat — a preview of a major update to the Minion family that will be released in the near future. Although you won’t yet get to see all the features of the new Minion, you’ll be able to adjust its revamped weight and optical size settings with this version.
Acumin, Minion, and Myriad Variable Concept fonts

From the Source superfamily, Source Sans Variable, Source Serif Variable, and Source Code Variable all allow you to play with the weight range in each design, and they also contain the complete character set of the Pro versions.

Source superfamily variable fonts

In addition to using the Source Variable families in Photoshop and Illustrator, you can download them from our GitHub page so you can try them out in other applications and environments as the support for variable fonts becomes more widespread. We’ll keep you posted as that support develops! Check out our roundup of variable fonts news and follow the discussions on TypeDrawers.

7 Responses

  1. this is a great idea, gonna update now!

  2. Chris Deyss says:

    I just ran across this new feature and am amazed! I work as a designer for a sign company and this really changes how I am able to work. Really looking forward to getting more of these variable fonts added into the Typekit!

  3. Hi, there is no support for accented characters (è, ò, à…).
    So now it’s almost useless.
    But the idea is cool.

    1. Dan Rhatigan says:

      The three Source families have the same big character set as their non-variable versions. The three Concept families will be released in the future with their full character sets, but for now we provided these limited versions to at least allow folks to play around with the new features with some fonts that have more potential styles.

  4. Simon Boyt says:

    Two weeks back, I read the news regarding the new features of Adobe Max. At that time I was so confused about the working of new variable fonts but after reading this useful blog post, I became aware with the new typographic features of Adobe Max. I am a graphic designer by profession and this post really helped me in improving my skills. My clients also love these new fonts and I will keep using them in future. Cheers

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Dan Rhatigan

Dan Rhatigan works with Adobe Typekit in New York as the Senior Manager of Adobe Type. He has over 25 years of eclectic experience in various industries as a typesetter, graphic designer, typeface designer, and teacher, including several years in London and New York serving as Type Director for Monotype. He has a BFA in graphic design from Boston University, an MA in typeface design from the University of Reading in the UK, and a very tattered passport.

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