The Yin and Yang of Font Metadata

Every font has two sides that appeal to our visual and analytic senses: a collection of shapes or glyphs, and an extensive set of metadata that you can use to find the right fonts for your projects a lot faster.

Both Sides Now

Fonts are unique creations. On the surface, they are collections of character glyphs, each one a piece of art. But there’s another side to every font: its metadata. While letter shapes appeal to the 70% of the brain that processes visual information, metadata tingles the analytic side of our psyche.

You see, a font’s metadata tells its story. That tale begins with who created it and when, who published it and who owns it. Metadata also provides font family data that software apps use to unite the font with members of its family, making it easier to use in creative projects.

Classes of Font Metadata

The majority of font metadata is comprised of metrics that provide details about font style, weight, slant, character width, version number, file size and a variety of other details. Some of this metadata is expressed in qualitative terms such as italic, while others are metrics that measure the degree of slant or percentage of lower-case-x height.

There’s also a growing class of font metadata that exists outside font files that includes classifications, descriptive tags and usage data. These data points live on font vendor websites, enterprise font servers and private file servers worldwide.

The Power to Find Fonts Fast

Why is all this information important? After all, we’re just talking fonts here, right? If every piece in a museum looked the same, it would be a pretty boring place. And if every website article and brochure used the same font, you would grow tired of them fairly fast—which is why we care about selecting the right fonts for our creative projects.

Metadata is the key to reducing tens of thousands of fonts to a handful of finalists for a project. A good font manager organizes your fonts, builds a database of your metadata, and provides search and visualization tools to streamline the font-selection process.

See More: Get a quick overview of FontAgent’s metadata power. No other font manager exposes more metadata, provides as many search facilities or includes as much font-visualization functionality.

Use FontAgent to take full advantage of font metadata

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