Web Fonts Working Group Charter

The mission of the Web Fonts Working Group is to develop specifications that allow the interoperable deployment of downloadable fonts on the Web. Existing specifications (CSS3 Fonts, SVG) explain how to describe and link to fonts, so the main focus will be the standardisation of font formats suited to the task, and defining conformance (for fonts, authoring tools, viewers ...) covering all the technology required for WebFonts.

WOFF 1.0 is a W3C Recommendation, with many implementations. WOFF 2.0 is a W3C Proposed Recommendation, with increasing uptake. In the past two years there has been substantial uptake of WebFonts on production web pages.

However, for fonts with many glyphs (such as are typically used for Chinese and Japanese, for example), even with the compression provided by WOFF 1.0, download sizes are still large. Recently a modified, two-stage compression scheme was proposed which could offer significant filesize savings. Early experiments show an effective compression of between 10% to 40% compared to WOFF 1.0. This proposed charter adds the evaluation of the proposed method (and variations upon it) against a wide range of fonts, detailed examination of gains against complexity and memory usage (which may impact deployment on mobile, especially), and then the standardisation of an enhanced compression type, as a deliverable of the existing WebFonts Working Group.

Join the Web Fonts Working Group.

End date 30 April 2018
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chairs Vladimir Levantovsky (Monotype Imaging)
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 20)
Chris Lilley
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: Twice Annually


The Fonts WG will develop Recommendation-track specifications as listed under deliverables; track emerging implementations, and maintain communications with the typography, Web design and implementor communities.

Success Criteria

Existence of:

The Working group should encourage implementations, and engage in dialogue with implementors, but is not expected to be the sole source of implementations.

Out of Scope

Creation of new font formats, and significant implementation-breaking changes to existing ones, are out of scope.

Creation of new font linking mechanisms is out of scope.


Recommendation-track Deliverables

WOFF 1.0 specification
The Working group will continue to progress WOFF 1.0 towards W3C Recommendation, and track post-Rec errata.
WOFF 2.0 specification
This specification will enhance WOFF 1.0 by adding an improved compression scheme, as an alternative to the one used in WOFF 1.0. New user agents will handle both the older and newer schemes. Fallback behavior for older user agents will be defined and tested.

Other Deliverables

The group may also produce outreach and tutorial material, notes, demos and tools as it deems appropriate.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
WOFF July 2010 Nov 2010 Aug 2011 Oct 2012 Dec 2012
Evaluation report Jan 2014 May 2015 Feb 2016
WOFF 2.0 May 2014 May 2015 Mar 2016 Jan 2018 Mar 2018

Dependencies and Liaisons

Dependencies and Liaisons

CSS Working Group
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group maintains CSS3 Fonts, which defines the CSS serialisation of the WebFont linking mechanism.
SVG Working Group
The Scalable Vector graphics (SVG) Working Group defined the XML serialisation of the WebFont lnking mechanism, and also an SVG font format.
WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group
Accessibililty review of deliverables
Internationalization Activity
Internationalisation review of deliverables. Note that, for formats which repackage OpenType fonts, the I18N capabilities are the same as the original font.
Hypertext Coordination group
The WebFonts WG will coordinate with other relevant groups by participating in the Hypertext CG

External Groups

The WebFonts WG will, if needed, coordinate with SC29/WG11 regarding the Open Font Format (OpenType) specification. Changes to Open Font Format (OpenType) are out of scope of the WebFonts WG, although requirements may be communicated to SC29/WG11 if needed via the existing Class C liaison between W3C and SC29.


To be successful, the Web Fonts Working Group is expected to have six or more active participants for its duration. Effective participation to Web Fonts Working Group is expected to consume one work day per week for each participant; two days per week for chairs and editors. The Web Fonts Working Group will allocate also the necessary resources for building Test Suites for each specification.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-webfonts-wg@w3.org (archive).

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Web Fonts Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Web Fonts Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Extension history

Chris Lilley, chris@w3.org

$Date: 2018/01/11 14:51:59 $