Unbounded: a new open source variable font

Unbounded, a recent typeface constitutes the kind of work expected from FBAUP’s typeface design students. Especially considering the contents and presentation in the interactive digital specimen. Although not explicitly sourced from historical exemplars (thus… not really a revival as we do in the master’s course), the type specimen presents the concept, anatomy features, character set, the variable axis, demonstrations of use, etc.

Most importantly, it implicitly demonstrates how to approach current —as in contemporary— design features such as the x-height to body proportion, the unique postmodern counter-shapes, and chevron-like attributes that make it “unique”.

Designing type revivals. Handbook for a historical approach to typeface design: https://www.designingtyperevivals.com/

This kind of approach is explained in Olocco and Patané’s recent book: Designing Type Revivals, and is similar to ou approach in class. Hence. A really neat example to study (and to deploy in future projects!)

Example of the different font weights in action

See more at the project’s GitHub repository, or on their online specimen: https://unbounded.polkadot.network/

Unbounded by both name and nature, it is available in six display weights ranging from light to black, as well as a single variable font. The typeface supports both Latin and Cyrillic scripts with over 1300 individual glyphs, including a collection of symbols and a unique figure building system. In addition the sizeable glyph set accommodates for hundreds of languages worldwide.

Unbounded is the product of a joint collaboration between Studio Koto, NaN, Parity Technologies and Web3 Foundation for Polkadot Network.


By Pedro Amado

Pedro Amado. Assistant Professor at FBAUP. Integrated researcher of the i2ADS research institute.