Irin Kim & Thomas Jockin

Google Fonts: Digital Specimens & Lexend

June 14, Friday 15:00 – SALT Galata

As of ISType 2019, there are nearly 1,000 font families in the Google Fonts library, and each has a story to tell. To show the depth and beauty of each family, and express the cultural meaning of a typeface, Google is commissioning digital specimens to complement the Google Fonts catalog. This begins by sharing an overview of this commissioning programme, reviews some of the specimen websites available so far, and then dives deeper into one special project: Lexend.

Lexend is a variable font empirically shown to improve reading-proficiency significantly. Similarly to how prescription eyeglasses increase proficiency for those with short-sightedness, Lexend employs the new Variable Fonts technology to offer personalized fonts according to the Shaver-Troup Formulations. It is unreasonable to have the same eyeglasses prescribed to people with different vision needs. Why would it be reasonable to prescribe the same typography to people with different reading needs?


Kim is a visual designer in the Material Design team at Google, based in NYC. She has focused on developing design systems and visual identities, as well as contributing to UX/UI projects such as Material Design guidelines, the SPAN Design & Technology conference, and surfacing variable fonts in Google Fonts ( She recently led a project to add more Korean fonts to the Google Fonts library, and to showcase them she commissioned a website from local design studio Math Practice

Thomas Jockin is the Founder of TypeThursday. He is also Adjunct lecturer at CUNY Queens College, City College and SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology. In addition, Thomas is a typeface designer. Previous clients include Google, Express, Footlocker, and Michael Kors. Thomas’ fonts are available on Google Fonts, Adobe Fonts, and other distributors for use.