Monday, April 1, 2013

Adobe Introduces new "Blank" Font

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Tech Crunch

Link to article:
Adobe Launches Blank, An OpenSource Fallback Font You Can't See

Repeat after me, "This Is Not An April Fool's Joke!" It sounds almost insane, but the latest product from the good folks at Adobe is an invisible font for web designers.  There actually IS a method to their madness.  More and more web designers are embedding custom fonts in their pages, and those fonts don't always load immediately.  So a visitor is treated to the jarring spectacle of their browser temporarily loading a default font, which is then replaced by the intended font once it is downloaded.  "Blank" is an open source font that is tiny and will load immediately before any default font gets any idea of appearing on the page. After a short period of seeing a blank "Blank" page, the correct font appears and you see the page the web designer intended.

Excerpt: "Adobe today launched Adobe Blank, a new open-source OpenType font that, at first glance, does absolutely nothing. Indeed, the whole point of the font, as its creator Ken Lunde writes today, is to render every Unicode character as a 'non-spacing and non-marking glyph.'

This may sound like a lame and early April Fool’s joke and even managed to inspire the only pun-thread on HackerNews in recent memory that wasn’t immediately downvoted into oblivion, but this is actually a pretty useful tool for web developers...

The idea here is to use Blank to avoid seeing your operating system’s or browser’s default font before the actual web-font has rendered. As more designers now use non-standard fonts on their sites to differentiate them from all the other sites that also use Helvetica, it’s become increasingly common for users to see this rather jarring switch between different fonts. As the Blank font is extremely small, it loads instantly and the user never sees the default font."

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