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Laurence Penney

Variable font consultant and tool developer, UK

Laurence Penney is a consultant in dynamic font technology based in Bristol, UK. At university (B.Sc. Computer Science) he created a prototype parametric font system. From 1993 he specialised in TrueType, writing rasterisers and hinting fonts for clients. In 1999 he was hired as a founder member of MyFonts (Cambridge, MA). He enlarged the team and helped the company to become market leader by a wide margin. From 2016 he has been a consultant in variable fonts. He presents the technology at conferences and universities, and released the open source Fit-to-Width library. His Axis-Praxis website (2016–present) is the first place that anyone can play with variable fonts. In 2019 together with Irene Vlachou he launched FauxFoundry, a webfont service using variable font technology that provides automatic fallback fonts when the main font lacks characters. He recently released Samsa, an open source variable font visualization tool. In his spare time he collects “one-dimensional maps”.

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