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Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:29 pm
by William
Alas, I have not kept up to date with OpenType developments.

I asked about colour font support for the Serif Affinity Publisher program, and a recent post seems to suggest that SVG rather than the CPAL and COLR format is the thing now.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index. ... ts-please/

Does anyone who has kept up to date with OpenType developments know anything about this please? Is the CPAL and COLR format becoming niche and maybe obsolescent?

William Overington
Saturday 2 February 2019

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:20 pm
by MikeW
I think that when/if Serif adds color support, it should at least be both COLR & SVG. Not one or the other. SBIX could also be added for our Apple brethren who want to insert color glyphs native to the Apple eco-system (but as they are bitmap fonts, they sort of suck as a format).

I don't know others' experience in actual print usage, but I have used colored fonts exactly twice for print work, and a variation of those designs intended for images on the web. Both times they were ads, not truly in larger publications.

Once both the fonts and application UIs themselves "grow up" and perhaps be able to alter the color palettes of such fonts (which may be impossible, but ya never know) I can see more use. Without the facility to manipulate the palette, though, one is left using the color(s) the designer has chosen, which I can guarantee will not fit but only a handful of design work—unless one designs using the canned color(s) provided.

I don't know if Dave Harris will ever be able to support them and I actually could care less about the issue.

Mike

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:43 pm
by William
Hi Mike

Thank you for replying.

... be able to alter the color palettes of such fonts (which may be impossible, but ya never know) ...

It would seem to be very easy to alter the CPAL/COLR specification to allow for this, though I have not done it so I cannot be sure.

At present, colour FFFF can be used to mean the foreground colour set by the application, so that, for example, one could have a colour font with letters decorated with green holly leaves and red berries and have the colour of the letter at the end user's choice, such as blue lettering or grey lettering and so on.

If colour FFFE in the colour font were "the first decoration colour" and the first decoration colour could be set in the application and colour FFFD in the colour font were "the second decoration colour" and the second decoration colour could be set in the application, then one could choose the colours oneself. Now, I remember that one of the glyphs in the Microsoft emoji font has about nine colours - the emoji with the confetti or similar, so maybe a drop down box in the application would be needed so as to choose n so as to adjust the end user's choice of "the nth decoration colour". I suppose that there would need to be default decoration colours as part of the standard so that a glyph that used decoratuon colours would look clourful even if no end user choices were made.

William

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:05 pm
by MikeW
William wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:43 pm
...I suppose that there would need to be default decoration colours as part of the standard so that a glyph that used decoratuon colours would look clourful even if no end user choices were made.
I haven't ever seen a color font that was devoid of color(s). There would be zero point.

I do not think the palette is actually stored in a font. The specs would need to be altered in order to include palettes. Even so, for SVG fonts that use gradients & transparency, it might be impossible. For flat color fonts like COLR, one would think that would be possible to include a palette.

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:56 am
by William
> I do not think the palette is actually stored in a font.

One or more colour palettes are stored in the font of a CPAL COLR font, it is the CPAL table.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/typogr ... /spec/cpal

William

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:21 pm
by MikeW
Thanks, William.

Needed/included in COLR fonts, optional in SVG fonts.

As far as I know, no one has included the ability to alter the colors at the UI level at this time. Could be wrong...

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:46 pm
by Erwin Denissen
I believe it was discussed a few years ago; making it possible to define the colors through css. I don't know if it has been implemented.

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:37 pm
by Erwin Denissen
Found more details about it, but be aware it is a working draft for css4.

Color Font Support in Web Browsers through CSS4

Re: Colour fonts - SVG and CPAL and COLR

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:50 pm
by MikeW
Yes. Being involved with print versus web, I was referring to print applications (layout and design applications specifically) in my comments.

However, this (palette colors) may be tweakable in QXP's HTML5 output via post-processing of the CSS sheet(s).