‘Adobe Blank’: A New Invisible Font That Actually Makes Sense

Adobe on Friday unveiled Adobe Blank, an open-source OpenType font that appears to do absolutely nothing. Appearance can be deceiving. While the font appears to do nothing, it is actually a fall-back font that can help developers maintain control of their websites output.

The font, created by Ken Lunde, renders every Unicode character as a “non-spacing and non-marking glyph.”

So what does that mean for developers? Essentially the code will render when a page loads, preventing “standard” fonts from loading before customized fonts.

According to Lunde:

  • Invoking this font, as a temporary measure, prevents OS- or application-level font-fallback from kicking in before the intended font can be rendered.
  • Related to the above, using the font allows one to detect when a web font is actually loaded, which is arguably a hack to overcome a limitation in CSS.

The average mobile and desktop browser uses default fonts before an actual web-font can be rendered. That fact often means that users see Arial, Helvetica or some other type of font before a designers hard work and meticulous planning are revealed. The problem is specifically a problem on slow loading internet connections and during times of heavy internet usage.

The new font is extremely small and loads instantly, ensuring that web users never see the original default font on their computer or mobile screen.

Smoothly transitioning from one font to another has become an increasing problem as more developers look to Google Web Fonts and other options to differentiate their websites from the standards of Times New Roman, Sans Script styles and others.

Adobe is already using the new open-source coding with its Edge Web Fonts extension for its Brackets code editor.

You can download the new open-source Adobe font at SourceForge. The code will soon be added to GitHub where further advances are likely to be developed.

I tried to post a photo of the Adobe Blank open-source project, then I realized I’m an idiot.

Will you be taking advantage of the Adobe invisible font?