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7 posts

script font kerning tracking and connectors

17/08/2012 à 18:59

I am new to font production, although I have years of calligraphy, typeface and lettering design experience.

What is the best way to build a script font so that it tracks and kerns automatically when it is used. I have spent countless hours in Fontlab adjusting the position of kerning pairs and retesting. I am not sure if "connectors" is the right word (I am referring to the part of the letter connects it to the next letter) trying to get them to hit every other letter in the right position. Is this how it is done? or is there a trick that I am missing. thanks in advance for any help here.

17/08/2012 à 20:16

17/08/2012 à 21:54

Late and with somewhat more words (thanks Claude ), but anyway ...

There are basically two ways to achieve this without having to make lots and lots of custom ligatures.
One, when drawing each and every glyph make sure that all connecting points of the individual glyphs are at exactly the same position and that the left and right bearings are both at zero. So the advance width of each glyph is exactly as wide as the glyph itself. Then the following glyph will perfectly connect with the previous glyph. No kerning is needed but at larger sizes the sharp vertical cut at the last letter of a word may look a bit odd.
Two, better, let the glyphs always overlap each other a bit as Claude already said. The bits that overlap must be positioned at - again - exactly the same position. Using negative bearings both left and right, exactly in the middle of the overlap will cause the glyphs to be perfectly connected. In this case the ending of the last letter of a word will have a nice rounded ending when used at larger sizes. Also here, when the bearings of each glyph are set correctly kerning is not nessary.
An example of the latter is the good old Bickham Script, see below for the an combination. The vertical red dotted lines are the left and right bearings.

17/08/2012 à 23:42

20/08/2012 à 08:59

Thanks so much for your help.

Well, you know, I knew all that and thought I had applied it but after reviewing your comments. I realize that the bearings are not in the exact right positions.

Unfortunately, I compensated for those ill placed bearings by adjusting all the kerning pairs (like I said I am new at this).

So now without having to scrap the font and start over, now that I fixed the there any way to easily remove ALL the metrics that I set for the pairs?

Thanks again.

20/08/2012 à 09:28

billdakelski, as far as I remember, if you open a "New Metrics Window" in Fontlab, you should have a "Tools" section at the bottom of this window. And in this "Tools" section, you should be able to see "Reset Kerning". Beware though, I'm not sure this is the proper way to do it, maybe you should wait for Koeiekat or Claudeserieux to confirm this, they know a lot more than I do.

20/08/2012 à 09:55

Not all the metrics, only the lower case kerning pairs, you'll want to keep the capital lower case pairs I assume. Somewhere in the program you are using there will be access to the kerning pairs table. Mass select all the lower case pairs and delete.

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