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Color Font is not being displayed in Affinity Designer 2 - Desktop


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IMO it is basically a "mistake" to export to color font (SVG / PDF only, and supported selectively) when b/w fallback is used in the UI (on app canvas). This is how other apps not supporting the technology revert to what they actually can use, and also export it uniformly to all format.

But I can easily see why many consider this at least a happy mistake as it makes the color version available (retaining text as text, and accordingly keeping the vector format).

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3 hours ago, lacerto said:

I tried PDF export for Playbox and it exported fine as a color font

Thanks, I don’t know why I didn’t think to try PDF instead of SVG. Perhaps I was conscious of the fact that SVGs display natively in modern browsers, whereas PDFs often rely on a browser extension.

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
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24 minutes ago, William Overington said:

I asked at the OpenType mailing list and Mr Peter Constable, a top expert in these matters, kindly answered.

https://lists.aau.at/pipermail/mpeg-otspec/2024-February/003303.html

William

Thanks, William. I see from that discussion that OT-SVG support was broken when Microsoft Edge switched to a Chromium-based ‘backend’ in 2021, which would explain why Playbox doesn’t now display as I thought I remembered.

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1 hour ago, lacerto said:

IMO it is basically a "mistake" to export to color font (SVG / PDF only, and supported selectively) when b/w fallback is used in the UI (on app canvas). This is how other apps not supporting the technology revert to what they actually can use, and also export it uniformly to all format.

But I can easily see why many consider this at least a happy mistake as it makes the color version available (retaining text as text, and accordingly keeping the vector format).

Well, I made a colour font using High-Logic FontCreator, set up a page using Affinity Designer, where the black and white versions of the glyphs were displayed, exported as an SVG with no conversion of the font to curves, displayed the SVG file using Microsoft Edge where the colourful glyphs were used in the display, gathered a screenshot, made a png file, then included the png file in a web page.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/mariposa_glyphs3.htm

That page linked from the following page.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/mariposa_novel.htm

So I got a good result using the facilities that I had available.

William

 

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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8 minutes ago, William Overington said:

So I got a good result using the facilities that I had available.

I am not sure what you are reporting? If I did not miss something, we have seen identical behavior with Playbox and Patriotic5323, that is, b/w fallbacks producing color fonts on SVG or PDF export? This behavior was first described by @Alfred (for certain kinds of SVG color font), then by me (reporting that Firefox appears to render most kind of SVGs, Edge some, and Chrome none), and then there was my post describing similar behavior in context of PDF export.

Is what you describe a new kind of case?

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I responded to the statement made that my idea, put forward in 2021, being referred to as a "mistake".

I wrote of how the method was of value to me in progressing my research.

However, I do not know at the time of writing this post if it will still work in the Edge browser.

I have (only)version 1 of Affinity Designer and it is not on this everyday computer that I am using at the moment. This computer is Windows 10S, the other computer is Windows 11 unlocked from S so that I could install the Affinity software that I got directly from Serif and also three High-Logic programs.

The colour font is available from the following web page.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/mariposa_novel.htm

You all are welcome to use it to try some tests, and generally if you so choose.

You can access the glyphs that have both monochrome and colourful versions by having ligatures on and using codes such as

%11

%21

&791

through to

&799

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

which would explain why Playbox doesn’t now display as I thought I remembered

@Alfred, please check this:

svgplaybox.jpg.ec84feedca775cfc1a257a8d66681657.jpg

...I at least was fooled by this, since in above case Playbox was exported actually as curves by Affinity. Then in next instance it exported it as font, and then b&w version was shown in Edge!

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6 minutes ago, William Overington said:

I responded to the statement made that my idea, put forward in 2021, being referred to as a "mistake".

I completely see your point and that is why I placed what I said in quotation marks, and also mentioned that I can see why it is a "happy mistake" to some. Edge, indeed. might be broken at the moment, but who knows (considering that Chrome currently does not render any of these examples as color fonts -- this was a totally new phenomenon to me so I cannot say if Chrome has sometimes behaved differently).

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I am wondering if there is possibly some confusion and discussion conflation as between

a font that is internally constructed using SVG glyphs

and

an SVG file exported from Affinity Designer.

I am not saying that there is confusion, I am just not certain one way or the other.

For example, my Mariposa font is not constructed internally using SVG glyphs, it uses the CPAL/COLR technology.

So can one now get colour output using an SVG file exported from Affinity Designer please?

I know one could in 2021, but I do not know if one can now.

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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40 minutes ago, lacerto said:

Edge, indeed. might be broken at the moment, but who knows (considering that Chrome currently does not render any of these examples as color fonts -- this was a totally new phenomenon to me so I cannot say if Chrome has sometimes behaved differently).

As noted earlier:

2 hours ago, Alfred said:

OT-SVG support was broken when Microsoft Edge switched to a Chromium-based ‘backend’ in 2021

 

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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2 hours ago, Alfred said:

Thanks, William. I see from that discussion that OT-SVG support was broken when Microsoft Edge switched to a Chromium-based ‘backend’ in 2021, which would explain why Playbox doesn’t now display as I thought I remembered.

I am still not clear whether OT-SVG support is referring to

fonts where the internal glyphs are made using SVG technology

or

rendering of any SVG file

or

both.

Also in this thread something to do with version 2 of Affinity Designer that is different from version 1.

Could you possibly try making an Affinity Designer design that includes one or more of the glyphs from my Mariposa font please, you will need ligatures on and codes such as %11 %791 % 795 %799 to display the glyphs in Affinity Designer and then export an SVG file with no conversion to curves of the font glyphs then try displaying the SVG file in whatever browsers that you have available please and report what you observe please?

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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22 minutes ago, William Overington said:

Also in this thread something to do with version 2 of Affinity Designer that is different from version 1.

Could you possibly try making an Affinity Designer design that includes one or more of the glyphs from my Mariposa font please, you will need ligatures on and codes such as %11 %791 % 795 %799 to display the glyphs in Affinity Designer and then export an SVG file with no conversion to curves of the font glyphs then try displaying the SVG file in whatever browsers that you have available please and report what you observe please?

 

I presume you've tried this in AD and would like to see if AD2 produces a different result. Well, the answer is that those glyphs retain their colours in AD2 (screenshot below) and the exported PDF and SVG files both look correct in Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

MariposaScreenshot.png.b8ecc45a9ac5de18cf4b6c014ece6ba2.png

 

Mariposa.pdf Mariposa.svg

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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Thank you.

So it seems that Microsoft Edge still supports colour fonts that have a CPAL/COLR internal structure.

I am surprised, yet delighted, that the PDF document displays in colour.

So it seems that results may depend on which colour font format has been used to make the font.

CPAL/COLR was, I think, the first font format for colour fonts yet might now be regarded as semi-obsolete.

The version of FontCreator here is version 8, which is from over a decade ago, and only has CPAL/COLR font capacity, but thus far, that has been sufficient for my needs.

I have not tried the experiment since this thread started,  Affinity Designer is on a different computer.

When you write

Well, the answer is that those glyphs retain their colours in AD2 (...

are you meaning that Affinity Designer 2 supports colour fonts directly

or

something else please?

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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12 minutes ago, William Overington said:

CPAL/COLR was, I think, the first font format for colour fonts yet might now be regarded as semi-obsolete.

There is a pretty good general description of the three most common color font technologies on Glyphs web site (all within the specs of OpenType). The CPAL/COLR based version is described here:

https://glyphsapp.com/learn/creating-a-microsoft-color-font

CPAL/COLR(v1) is not obsolete by no means, but in many ways the most advanced (and also rarest on field). 

As described in my first post within this thread, Affinity apps support at least to some extent sbix (bitmap based, common on macOS) and CPAL/COLR based (vector based, both Windows and macOS) fonts. What was surprising (at least to me) that they also support OpenType SVG-table based color fonts, for which I earlier believed that only the b/w fallback versions would be supported. But as shown within this thread, certain kinds of SVG-OTF color fonts will be exported as color fonts (or sometimes converted to outlines, but still in color) whenever exporting to SVG or PDF.

In a way Affinity apps prove out to be supporting color fonts at least on a level that is work(around)able...

Color can be worked in to fonts so well using other means that one could say that the whole color font technology is kind of obsolete, it never really fired, partly probably for reasons implied in this discussion: they are pretty complex, and still not widely supported (even within browsers).

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If most mainstream popular apps can handle colorfonts why can't Affinity? Vectorstyler is a new kid on the block and handles colorfonts very well.

iMac 27" 2019 Somona 14.4.1, iMac 27" Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Vectorstyler, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9  
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1 hour ago, firstdefence said:

If most mainstream popular apps can handle colorfonts why can't Affinity? Vectorstyler is a new kid on the block and handles colorfonts very well.

Why? For the same reason it doesn't handle Variable fonts, probably.

-- Walt
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32 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Why? For the same reason it doesn't handle Variable fonts, probably.

While colorfonts haven't taken off as much as the hype would suggest, I think it would be a benefit to Affinity and the community for sure. I hope when version 2.5 comes out we will see some feature improvements.

iMac 27" 2019 Somona 14.4.1, iMac 27" Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Vectorstyler, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9  
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I suggested colour fonts in around 2002 in the Unicode mailing list.

It was not until about a decade later after emoji had become encoded in Unicode that colour fonts became implemented.

The encoding of emoji has had an interesting effect, as predicted by Doug Ewell.

At that time support in applications for plane 1 Unicode characters was sparse. Plane 1 had been used for rarer scripts. Emoji were encoded into plane 1. The prediction was that encoding emoji would lead to better support for the rarer scripts as they too are encoded in Plane 1.

A similar thing happened with producing colour fonts for the colourful display of emoji, as colour font technology has been implemented for all Unicode characters, not just for emoji.

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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Fontlab Pad is an interesting app for both Mac and windows: https://www.fontlab.com/fontlab-pad/ should make it easier to typeset using colorfonts and then save to common file formats like SVG, PDF and PNG.

Unfortunately...

RUNS ON Mac OS X 10.6—10.14 and Windows XP—10. Free to use on any number of devices belonging to one household or organization. OPENS Color OpenType (.otf/.ttf) in SVG, sbix, COLR/CPAL and CBDT/CBLC flavors, Photofont (.phf) in PNG and SVG flavors, SVG fonts (.svg), monochrome OpenType, Type 1, web fonts, UFO, VFB. COPIES AND EXPORTS PDF, SVG, PNG.

But... I have it working on the latest Sonoma, I had to copy/paste the app into Applications.

iMac 27" 2019 Somona 14.4.1, iMac 27" Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher V1 & V2, Adobe, Inkscape, Vectorstyler, Blender, C4D, Sketchup + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9  
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4 hours ago, William Overington said:

When you write

Well, the answer is that those glyphs retain their colours in AD2 (...

are you meaning that Affinity Designer 2 supports colour fonts directly

or

something else please?

If you hadn’t replaced my parenthetical remark with an ellipsis in your quote, it would have read:

5 hours ago, Alfred said:

those glyphs retain their colours in AD2 (screenshot below)

In other words, the screenshot shows that your glyphs appear in full colour within AD2. You didn’t respond to my statement

5 hours ago, Alfred said:

I presume you've tried this in AD

so I’ve just tried it myself, and I can confirm that once again your glyphs appear in full colour.

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6 hours ago, firstdefence said:

If most mainstream popular apps can handle colorfonts why can't Affinity? Vectorstyler is a new kid on the block and handles colorfonts very well.

I might have my version somehow broken (1.1.122), but I am currently experiencing following:

a) VectorStyler (UI and PDF export):

vscolorfonts_ui.png.0c9dd04da15a6700fd785a4accb09a93.png vscolorfonts_export.png.1251d668b087dc6e1c4eee6346165fce.png

b) Affinity Publisher (UI and PDF export):

apubcolorfonts_ui.png.14cfed567090233f4dcf8f546d5d39e5.png  apubcolorfonts_export.png.4e63572259a48011a86c1e040c831192.png

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This getting confusing to me!

Does Affinity Designer version 2 support colour fonts, yes, no, partially, depends on what type of colour font, something else, what?

William

 

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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42 minutes ago, William Overington said:

This [is] getting confusing to me!

Does Affinity Designer version 2 support colour fonts, yes, no, partially, depends on what type of colour font, something else, what?

It seems to me that there was plenty of room for confusion earlier, but much less room in the wake of the discussion here. It is evident that CPAL/COLR displays correctly in the Affinity apps (both version 1 and version 2) but that other formats such as OT-SVG don’t. Different browsers yield different results, and the browser version can also affect the outcome when trying to display the various types of colour font.

Alfred spacer.png
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for Windows • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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My experience with Affinity Designer version 1, from some years ago, was that a CPAL/COLR colour font would display correctly but only in monochrome, not in colour.

Is that the same in Version 2, or is it otherwise?

William

Until December 2022, using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England. From January 2023, using an HP laptop running Windows 11 in England.

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1 minute ago, William Overington said:

My experience with Affinity Designer version 1, from some years ago, was tthat a CPAL/COLR colour font would display correctly but only in monochrome, not in colour.

Is that the same in Version 2, or is it otherwise?

As per my earlier screenshot and comments, your Mariposa font — which I understand to be a CPAL/COLR font — displays correctly in the Affinity Designer workspace (both version 1 and version 2).

Alfred spacer.png
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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 for iPad • iPadOS 17.4.1 (iPad 7th gen)

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