Work Sans typeface notes
Table of contents
You can find here my notes for the Work Sans typeface. Work Sans is designed by Wei Huang and is published under the SIL Open Font License Version 1.1.
Opinions & notes
Description from the creator and some personal notes in the end. The following quotes are from the project’s site.
Work Sans is based loosely on early Grotesques — i.e. Stephenson Blake, Miller & Richard and Bauerschen Giesserei.
The core of the fonts are optimized for on-screen medium-sized text usage (14px-48px) – but still can be used in print well. The fonts at the extreme weights are designed more for display use.
- It has a variable font.
- It’s playful and has a ton of features for an open-source typeface.
- Project on GitHub.
- Project’s website. You can find a description and excerpts in supported languages.
- Google Fonts entry.
- Typewolf review.
- Work Sans entry in fontinuse.com.
- Work Sans in beautiful web type.
- An NPM package I made for Work Sans with Unicode subsets. It also includes the italic styles that, at the time of writing, are not available in Google Fonts.
- An example repo that uses the package.
I load the variable version of Work Sans. Below is the exact version of the variable fonts I use.
Version 2.007; ttfautohint (v184.108.40.206-b0c9)
A peep at some distant orb has power to raise and purify our thoughts like a strain of sacred music, or a noble picture, or a passage from the grander poets. It always does one good.
Work Sans supports 39 layout features. It supports features essential for body text, such as old-style numbers (
onum), proportional numbers (
pnum), small caps, and it also has a ton of stylistic sets. It also has support for stylistic features such as swashes (
cswh) and discretionary ligatures (
dlig). The following table shows some of the most interesting to me:
|A E F L M N R S T||A E F L M N R S T||Capital swashes|
|n r t y||n r t y||Lowercase swashes|
|Reality||Reality||Contextual swashes compared to swashes|
|effect station||effect station||Discretionary ligatures|
|Rocksteady||Rocksteady||Contextual swashes and discretionary ligatures combined|
|• “ ” ‘ ’ ¶||• “ ” ‘ ’ ¶||Ornaments|
|l||l||Lowercase l without a tail.|
|R||R||Capital R alternate|
|G||G||Capital G alternate|
|a||a||Single story lowercase a|
For more interesting characters see the OpenType features above, check the playground, or get a copy from GitHub and drop it in the Wakamai Fondue app to discover them yourself.
According to Wakamai Fondue, it has 753 characters and 1410 glyphs. The font files cover the majority if not all of the following Unicode sets.
|Latin Extended Additional|
Not complete sets (below 50%)
Total characters = 48. This means that the typeface supports only specific languages/characters from these Unicode blocks. See the project’s site for detailed language support.
|IPA Extensions||1 char|
|Spacing Modifier Letters||19 chars|
|Combing Diacritical Marks||25 chars|
Weights & styles
It comes in 9 weights with matching italics. It’s also available in a variable font format with a
weight variation axis that supports weights from 100 to 900.
Other things to read
- Reveal animations on scroll with react-spring
- Gatsby background image example
- Extremely fast loading with Gatsby and self-hosted fonts