[Story]Sandoll’s User Friendly Font Family.

The first variable font from Sandoll, the Sandoll Comp Series 


Planning of the Sandoll Comp Series

The Sandoll Comp Series is Sandoll's first Latin font project planned for mixing with Hangul fonts for typesetting purposes. Mixing implies setting type by combining characters from different language scripts. The primary goal of the project was to create a font that not only complements the Sandoll Gothic Neo Series with a neutral impression but also fits well with general Hangul serif or gothic fonts. Therefore, while the basic weight was crafted to match the thickness of Sandoll Gothic Neo1 and Sandoll Myeongjo Neo1, it also aimed to experiment with various features considering its usage alongside other Hangul fonts.

Sandoll's First Variable Font

Furthermore, the Sandoll Comp Series marks Sandoll's first venture into variable fonts. The decision to incorporate variable font capabilities was not merely for showcasing its functional aspects but also with a clear objective to enable mixing with various Hangul fonts, not limited to just the Sandoll Neo Series.

Variable fonts are a new type of font where multiple individual fonts are compressed into a single font file. Developed jointly by Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Adobe, it was introduced as part of the OpenType 1.8 version. For instance, a font family consisting of nine weights can be used in a single file, with the added capability to finely customize weights between these nine variations. Variable fonts not only offer variations in weight but also support various styles as axes, allowing the use of numerous individual fonts within one file. Thus, variable fonts are an economically and designer-friendly technology that extends to micro-typography capabilities.

*The part about the above barrier-free font was written by referring to the article in the link.

Sandoll CompSerif

Sandoll CompSerif is Sandoll's first attempt at a Latin font and a variable font, so it comes with several features worth mentioning.

Firstly, ligature functionality. Ligatures combine two or more specific characters in a typeface to appear more natural on the line. For instance, when the terminal of the lowercase 'f' protrudes, it creates ambiguous spacing when combined with the following character, which ligatures help to resolve. CompSerif includes more ligatures to create a smoother appearance on the line.

Additionally, it offers uppercase punctuation marks. CompSerif provides eight additional punctuation marks suitable for uppercase lines, accessible through OpenType features, allowing users to select punctuation marks according to their needs for typesetting.

Small caps are also provided. The height of small caps is slightly larger than the x-height (height of lowercase x). When uppercase letters disrupt the texture of the line, using small caps can express a more stable texture.

CompSerif is notably labeled as 'first' in several aspects. It is the first font from Sandoll to provide all numeric sets, including Tabular Lining, Proportional Lining, Tabular Old-Style, and Proportional Old-Style, totaling four sets of numbers.

Old-style figures resemble lowercase characters in structure, ensuring alignment with lowercase letters. Tabular numbers are suitable for aligning long lines of numbers neatly, such as dates or mathematical formulas, as all numbers from 0 to 9 have the same width, allowing columns to be aligned uniformly.

Lastly, it supports superscript, subscript, and fraction glyphs. CompSerif includes glyphs for superscript and subscript to create fraction numbers. By utilizing OpenType features, users can easily create fraction expressions for typesetting.

Sandoll CompSans

Next is Sandoll CompSans. CompSans includes various features, including another variable feature. CompSans offers two variable features: weight axis and terminal axis.

The terminal axis, like the weight axis, is a special axis designed for usability extension. Terminals refer to the end of strokes. The design of Korean strokes is closely related to the angle of terminals, such as those of connectors or serif ends, and we determined that this is related to the impression of Latin. Users can finely adjust the angle of terminals to match the impression between Hangul fonts and CompSans.

CompSans includes a total of 23 alternate glyphs. Additional glyphs for ‘R’, ‘a’, ‘g’, and 'y’ are provided, along with their respective Latin extensions, allowing users to switch based on their preferences.

Latin extensions include glyphs with diacritics for pronunciation distinction, like 'Á' in Café. CompSans created 202 Latin extension glyphs based on the default Latin 56 characters (including 4 alternate glyphs), covering all European characters, totaling 206 languages.

The glyph composition of CompSans is the same as that of CompSerif, but it adds 38 additional punctuation marks to meet the needs of users who use CompSerif. Of course, CompSerif also underwent a spec update in line with the release of CompSans, providing an even better user experience.

Sandoll CompSans Italic

Finally, let's introduce the fresh Sandoll CompSans Italic. After the release of CompSerif and CompSans, there was a common feedback from various users regarding the addition of italics. CompSans Italic is a family tailored to meet users' needs. While italics have various purposes due to their long history, they are often used in conjunction with upright for emphasis nowadays, adding a rich typographic effect.

CompSans Italic reflects the characteristics of Neo Grotesque and Grotesque Italic familiar to designers while avoiding an excessive humanistic impression like Slate Italic and Adelle Sans Italic. CompSans Italic sets the angle slightly steeper compared to the two fonts, ensuring clear differentiation when typeset with upright. Additionally, overall letter spacing has been slightly reduced compared to upright to enhance coherence. 

CompSans Italic includes interesting alternate glyphs for 'e' and 'f'. The alternate glyph for 'e' emphasizes a hand-written impression, while that of 'f' is transformed into a design with a descender. As a result, when typeset with alternate glyphs, the overall impression of the layout becomes lighter and more casual than before. Furthermore, the terminals of 'f', 'j', and 'y' in the italic font are modified to accentuate features typical of italics compared to upright. 

Thus, CompSans Italic is a font that maximizes its charm when mixed with CompSans. We hope that users' works will become more diverse with the Sandoll Comp Series. 


The Sandoll Comp Series is a project with many firsts for Sandoll, making it quite meaningful. Designers often struggle when typesetting different Hangul and Latin fonts together. Differences in size adjustment, resulting thickness variations, and line positioning between Hangul and Latin fonts can be utilized to inject graphic fun into typesetting. However, sometimes a subtle impression, akin to wearing tone-on-tone clothing, is needed. That's when you should turn to the Sandoll Comp series.

The Sandoll Comp Series can be aptly described as a family developed solely for the convenience of users. We hope that the heart of Sandoll for users is conveyed, and we conclude the article here.

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