Typography meets data in this amazing free font

Datalegreya lets you beef up your text with line graphs without the need for any extra software.

If words are never quite enough for you, here's a great new free font that can add a little more meaning to your text.

Datalagreya is a clever OpenType font that enables you to weave data curves through your text. Made with small screens in mind - the sort you'd find on wearables and connected devices - it's designed to enable you to effectively display graphical data such as annual reports, stock prices and weather data in contexts where there isn't much space to play with.

Datalegreya lets you mix up type and data

Built on top of Alegreya Sans SC Thin, an open source font by type designer Juan Pablo Del Perla, Datalegreya allows you to create some surprisingly sophisticated effects without the need for any additional software.

It'll display your data as a plain line, or you can fill it with a gradient or a simple dot pattern. And if you want to add a little more context to your data, through clever use of ligatures, contextual alternates and its own kerning table, you can add legends and other information to both the X and Y axis of your little graph.

You can even adjust how your line graph is filled

What's the secret? After each letter of the text you want to use in Datalegreya, you then enter a special character followed by a number, and the font automatically creates a data curve from the these numbers. 

It's a little unintuitive at first, but once you get a feel for its ways it's surprisingly powerful; this page lets you play with the font and see how everything fits together.

It's a little complicated; the text above generates the results below

Datalegreya is fully compatible with any app that works with OpenType fonts, and it'll work equally well on the web. It's the work of Figs, a French digital design workshop that specialises in user experience design and bespoke user interfaces. It's put together a useful guide to getting great results out of Datalegreya; find it here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.

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