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£581 pledged of £20,000 goal
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By Font Combiner
£581 pledged of £20,000 goal
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About this project

Custom web fonts

Emerging as an essential component of modern web design, web fonts still have one or two obstacles to overcome.

  • Traditional font-creation applications require installation of dedicated software and a level of technical expertise unavailable to a lot of end users and web designers. 
  • Services offering links to fonts on third-party servers can be convenient, but often come with a price tag or compromises in the fine-grained control a designer likes to have over a finished product.

Font Combiner is a font creator in the web browser, addressing both of these problems and a few others, with a streamlined font creation and font improvement process.

Vollkorn-BoldItalic with an ampersand from LibreBaskerville-Italic
Vollkorn-BoldItalic with an ampersand from LibreBaskerville-Italic

 

Conceived in 2011 and launched in 2013, Font Combiner's goal is to make it easy for anyone to supplement the best open-license fonts with icons, alternative currency symbols or logograms, or even drop in additional characters from languages the original font designer had never intended to support.

We need funding to bring about the next evolution of this application, which will feature vastly improved Unicode support, opening up the same easy modifications to fonts across international character sets, along with an overhaul of the existing codebase to bring everything right up to date.

Current features

Replacement or additional characters are easily combined into a single integrated font file:

Alternative spacing or tracking characteristics are defined through the same single-page interface:

Hundreds of pre-added open-license fonts serve as sources, or upload your own:

Upload your own custom glyphs:

Download individual glyphs in vector or raster formats:

Comprehensive Unicode

With successful funding:

A mock-up of proposed Unicode UI
A mock-up of proposed Unicode UI

Your funding will allow full-time work on this application over the months to come, bringing about comprehensive Unicode support, with a realistic completion date falling within six to nine months.

Extras

Any additional funding will allow for extended feature sets, with stretch goals including:

  • An option to convert any font into a monospace equivalent
  • Support for ligatures
  • Work on a more advanced proportional-spacing algorithm

Finally, with enough interest, a community portal for open-license font discussions, with an as yet unplanned user-font trading platform, though this would require significant additional funding.

A frugal budget

Font Combiner is guided by the elegantly-phrased foundational goals and objectives described by the SIL Open Font License (OFL): 

  • To stimulate worldwide development of collaborative font projects
  • To support the font creation efforts of academic and linguistic communities
  • To provide a free and open framework in which fonts may be shared and improved in partnership with others

Driven this far by one lone web developer's enthusiasm for sharing, standardising and simplifying the process of font creation, with thousands of hours spent thus far (and with no funding to date), the amount of additional work and investment required is reasonably predictable.

The breakdown including Kickstarter and processing fees, includes server costs and other frugal expenditure on computer equipment, distribution of Kickstarter rewards and (primarily) business expenses and a salary for one hard-working web developer over a realistic development timescale of six to nine months.

Risks and challenges

The Unicode Standard contains more than 128,000 characters and although most fonts do not include anywhere near the full range, maintaining an intuitive user interface for location of subsets or particular characters within that range, presents a significant challenge.

Font Combiner is already a popular application with a number of regular users and Unicode integration must not introduce compromises in user interface design that detract from the straightforward approach to font creation and font refurbishment that has given this application its appeal to date.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.25

    Backer

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    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Early-access user

    Listed on the Font Combiner website as a backer of the project.

    A colourful Font Combiner sticker as a gesture of thanks.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Supporter level 1

    The above rewards along with a three-month Font Combiner premium subscription.

    A Font Combiner early-access account allowing testing of new Unicode and other features.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    Supporter level 2

    A twelve-month Font Combiner premium subscription.

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    Pledge £40 or more About $50

    Supporter level 3

    A twelve-month Font Combiner premium subscription for you and one other.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $125

    Supporter level 4

    A twelve-month Font Combiner premium subscription for you and three others.

    A personalised card to express our gratitude.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About $251

    Supporter level 5

    A lifetime Font Combiner premium subscription for you and three others.

    A personalised card to express our gratitude.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £300 or more About $376

    Supporter level 6

    Supporter level 5 rewards along with special consideration of feature requests or proposals for further expansion of the Font Combiner application.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $627

    Partner level 1

    Supporter level 6 rewards along with your name or company listed on the Font Combiner home page as a sponsor.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,255

    Partner level 2

    Partner level 1 rewards along with consultation prior to any major styling or application user-interface changes (if desired).

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About $6,273

    Partner level 3

    Partner level 2 rewards, immeasurable gratitude and extra-special consideration of any suggestions or proposals regarding the direction Font Combiner should take in the future.

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    Pledge £8,000 About $10,037

    Benefactor

    All the above rewards, extra recognition on the Font Combiner home page (if desired), and the knowledge that you have propelled Font Combiner towards a new level of success.

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Funding period

- (30 days)