Multicolored font compatibility to simplify graphics creation in Illustrator

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Adobe / 123RF / scyther5

Adobe Illustrator is an industry standard for creating graphics — but creating fonts with multiple colors still requires going in and manually adjusting each letter. That’s about to change, however, as Adobe is working to add support for multicolored fonts to the next update. In a blog post published on Monday, July 17, the company shared plans for Adobe Illustrator multi-colored fonts, using a format called OpenType SVG fonts, which is slated to be available in the next software update.

The update will allow for fonts to be added to the system that have different colorations for each character — and even for parts of each character. Adobe says a prime example of the feature is Gilbert Font, a multicolored font (pictured above) designed in honor of Gilbert Baker, the designer of the LGBTQ flag. Each character is a different color, with some characters even sporting four different hues. For many letters, the different pieces that make up the font are different colors, with a transparent section where the segments overlap, such as where the loop of the lower-case b meets the line.

OT-SVG fonts can have different colors gradients and even patterns all inside a single letter or grammatical symbol, Adobe says. The format is ideal for text with heavy graphics, such as creating a font with floral decor or with the sheen of a metallic surface. Unlike PNG letter graphics, the OT-SVG file format is typically favored because the letters can be any size without pixelating.

To celebrate the compatibility of the new font format, Adobe is expected to include a few OT-SVG fonts for free when the update launches. Adobe says EmojiOne (which is already available inside Photoshop) is a fun, colorful font that will be part of the new options.

While the font type is already compatible with Photoshop, the feature will be launching inside the next version of Illustrator, though Adobe hasn’t yet announced availability. Photoshop added multicolored font capabilities last year, at the same time the program added emojis and a tool to find similar fonts. At that time, the update included two free colored OT-SVG fonts.