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I'm looking for a refined open typeface that would enable switching between sans-serif and serif variants without changing the typesetting layout.

That means that when in an app, when the user toggles between serif and sans serif modes, the number of lines as well as the specific words in each sentence remain the same, guaranteeing that overflow behavior, line count and page counts are identical between the variants.

So the typeface must:

  • Have serif and sans-serif variants
  • Have the same width for each character for both serif and sans-serif variants
  • These two variants should not be monospaced*
  • Be distributed with an open license

Ideally the typeface should:

  • Provide variable font files (or at least many weights)
  • Have a refined design
  • Provide reasonable internationalization support

* while the serif and sans-serif variants should not be monospaced, an additional third variant which is monospaced would also be a nice bonus. Obviously, this variant doesn't have to have identical widths to the other two (since it can't).

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    Not sure this would be possible TBH, as serifs generally add width to glyphs, and the kerning will be different between serif and sans variants. Your best bet might actually be to only use monospace fonts, since all glyphs are the same width - all you'd maybe need to do is adjust the font size a little, but mixing standard serif and sans with monospace will not work as there are too many differences in glyph widths between normal and monospace fonts.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 30 at 10:05
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    My suggestion would be to get a font creation app and create your own set of fonts. These requirements are so specific, I'd be surprised anything like this exists Commented Apr 30 at 14:23

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Nothing I'm aware of has identical width between sans and serif.

Duplex and McClatchy from Commercial Type have the identical width, but they're not open-source and Duplex is a headline family (you could buy the rights, I guess, if your app's budget serves). I think you need to commission a designer to make custom fonts for your app.

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