To solve problems with existing color font formats, we designed a next generation font format suitable for the web called COLRv1 which enables powerful 2D graphics glyph definitions (gradients, transforms), supports variations, and reuses existing contour definitions. Previous color font formats embed bitmap files into the OpenType font containers. They do not scale in high quality and have a large binary size. OpenType SVG embeds vectors but requires complex parsers and rasterisers.
COLRv1 will allow smaller emoji files, reaching a size where it becomes feasible to use this type of color vector font as an emoji font format on the web. Together with the Google Fonts team we consider COLRv1 the prospective successor format for the Google Noto emoji font and a prototype of Noto emoji exists in COLRv1. COLRv1 addresses scaling fidelity issues with bitmap fonts (particularly when up-scaled to large font sizes or high resolution displays). In experiments we've seen that we can bring down the emoji font size to about a fifth while at the same time increasing rendering fidelity. The reduced emoji font file size is as long as every Unicode iteration brings a large increase in new emoji and emoji sequence combinations. The development of a new format was necessary to incorporate support for OpenType variations, overcome parsing complexity and file size issues over OpenType SVG.
Status in Chromium
In development (tracking bug)
Consensus & Standardization
Last updated on 2021-06-23