Variable Fonts italic axis

Hi everyone,

I have noticed that Figma does not display a slider for the italic axis. This only happens if the font is created with a slant axis. Is there a reason why it is not possible to select a position within the italic axis on a slider interface? According to the specs, the italic axis allows a scale interpretation.

Let me know, Céline

Hi Céline,

Thank you for getting in touch. I want to make sure I’ve fully understood your question—are you asking about how to italicize text? As you noted, this can be achieved by applying a slant. If you’re working with static fonts, you’ll need to select the specific font styles that are italicized.

You might find this page helpful for a deeper understanding: Variable fonts support in Figma.

If there’s something crucial I’ve overlooked, could you please direct me to the specific documentation that mentions the italic axis allows a scale interpretation? I’d be more than happy to look into it!

Thanks,
Toku

Hi Toku,

Thank you for your fast reply. Exactly, I was working with a variable font and intended to achieve an “animation” between upright to italic. However, the font I was using was mastered with an italic axis. (Because of the styl-linking in Microsoft, which is not working if you have a slant axis btw.) As I said, accordingly to the specs it’s not forbidden to create a semi-italic, see here: ital design-variation axis tag (OpenType 1.9) - Typography | Microsoft Learn it only specify that the value should sit somewhere between 0 and 1. So I wondered weather Figma is planing to change that in the near future?

Merci,
Céline

Yes, the italic axis slider is missing. Currently, we can either use an upright (ital=0) or italic (ital=1) version of the font, but not semi-italic (ital=0.5) or other italic angles in between (ital=0.2 or ital=0.6). This should be fixed as it’s limiting the potential of variable technology. If you are giving variable axes to choose from, then it should include all the axes a font supports.

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Oh this is great news. Can you give already a date by which you will have fixed it?

Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback. As I shared with the internal team, we took the approach of interpreting it as a on/off value, so the current spec for variable font italics is on or off. We keep hearing you and consider for the future improvements.

Thanks,
Toku