The Advantages of OpenType Fonts in Design

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Written By Reece Finlay

Reece Finlay, a typographic enthusiast and design aficionado, brings his passion for fonts and letterforms to life through this whimsical online space.

OpenType font technology has revolutionized the design industry, providing a range of features and benefits for both professional graphic designers and casual hobbyists. In this article, we’ll look at some of the key advantages of using OpenType fonts in your design work.

Improved Character Support

One of the biggest advantages of OpenType fonts is that they provide more character support than traditional TrueType fonts. Because OpenType uses Unicode encoding to store full sets of glyphs (characters), they can handle languages with complex typography, unusual characters and ligatures with ease. This makes them ideal for international projects or when creating typefaces with stylistic alternates such as swashes or flourishes.

Access to Advanced Features

OpenType fonts also allow you to access a wide range of advanced features not available using legacy font formats such as TrueType or PostScript Type 1 fonts. For example, some OpenType fonts come with built-in automatic kerning, advanced ligature substitution, contextual alternates for dynamic letter forms as well as special discretionary ligatures for iconic logos or brand marks. Designers can even customize OpenType features like changing weights or widths for maximum flexibility when typesetting.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Another great advantage of OpenType fonts is their cross-platform compatibility; these font files can be used on both Windows and Mac operating systems without the need for special conversion software or emulation processes. This means you can easily move type from one platform to another without any loss in quality – perfect if you share type between platforms frequently.

Hinting & Resolution Independence

Compared to other font formats, hinted OpenType also provides superior readability at small point sizes due to its built-in hinting instructions which are located within each glyph outline in the font file. Thanks to these hints, modern operating systems are able to adjust individual pixels so that letters still appear clear and legible even on low resolution screens such as smartphones or tablet displays. As an added bonus, since these hints reside within the font itself there’s no need for different versions of a font created specifically for different resolutions like there was with older TrueType files requiring different “ttf” and “dfont” variants.

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Reece Finlay