Weight of Regular and Bold

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Mike Thompson
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: Massachusetts
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Weight of Regular and Bold

Postby Mike Thompson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:50 am

On my web site, there are three fonts Shuneet, Shuneet Oblique and Shuneet Square.
Now I have developed seven weights for Shuneet which are light, thin, book, medium,
demi, bold and heavy. I want to match the weights of the other two (Shuneet Oblique and
Shuneet Square) to this progression of weights.

I have looked at a number of commercial fonts available in regular and bold and
calculated their weights according to the Panose scheme.

Calabri: Medium and Bold.
Tahoma: Demi-Bold and Heavy
Arial: A light Demi-Bold and a dark Bold

They are all over the place! Calabri is the most recent design so does this represent a current
accepted practice? When I press the [Bold] button in a word processor can I expect a Medium
font to become a Bold font (by the Panose definition)?
Mike Thompson
Hebrew Font Design
http://hebrew-font-shuneet.com

vanisaac
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2003 1:33 pm
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: Weight of Regular and Bold

Postby vanisaac » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:01 am

I think the only thing it is safe to expect when you hit the "bold" button is that the result will be heavier than the "unbold" option. Many fonts do not have explicit bold faces, so you are often just getting a generated heavier face. It's great that you are going to all this work to make different weights for your face, and I think the PANOSE classification system is a good place to start, but some faces in their pristine state are going to be all over the map in terms of weight, and it is ridiculous to try to impose PANOSE classifications when a great deal of software just plain doesn't support chosing the weight of a font. So in the end, the best case scenario you can realistically expect is that the regular form of the font will have an inherent weight that is dependent on the design of the face, and this can fall anywhere on the PANOSE scale. From that base point, you can further expect that the bold version will be heavier. That's it.

Mike Thompson
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Weight of Regular and Bold

Postby Mike Thompson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:15 pm

vanisaac
That seems good advice. For my two fonts Shuneet Square and Shuneet Oblique, I would strive to find a 'natural' weight
best suited to their design. Each would have a 'bold' weight that would be two Panose steps heavier. For instance, if the
Oblique Regular happened to be of Panose weight Book, then I would make the Oblique Bold to be a Panose demi-bold.
Mike
Mike Thompson
Hebrew Font Design
http://hebrew-font-shuneet.com


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