Quivira

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Laenglich
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Quivira

Post by Laenglich » Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:40 pm

Hello, everybody!

Once again, another newbie is trying not to be shy... :wink:

The font I've made within the last few months is called Quivira and is meant to become a Unicode font suitable for text writing. The current version 1.4 contains 2,222 characters and is available here:

http://www.grinningbit.com/files/Quivira.ttf

There is also a documentation of all the included characters as .pdf:

http://www.grinningbit.com/files/Quivira.pdf

I'd welcome any kind of feedback or tips.

Thank you very much & have a nice day!
Laenglich

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:56 pm

That’s a lot of characters you have there. My general advice would be not to add characters just because you can, but to do a bit more research into what is actually needed first. Repeating that amount of work for italic bold, and bold italic is not a light undertaking, although many symbols don't need italic variants.

Figures Round tops and round bottoms need to overshoot the tops of flat numerals. The flat bottom of numeral 3 looks odd. (The same is true for rounded tops and bottoms of letters like C O J etc., they usually cross the baseline otherwise they visually float above the baseline).

Superscripts The problem with scaled superscripts/subscripts is that they're too light compared to regular numerals. Make simple and use glyph transformer to make them bolder. A similar problem is found with reversed enclosed numerals. White numerals need to be bolder even if they are the same size.

Fractions Numerators usually align with tops of numerals, denominators with the base line.

1 ¼ ½ ¾ 7

Currency symbols £$¥¢₣€€ usually fit on the figure width.

Diacritics Dot above and diaeresis seem to be floating above the lowercase. They would look better centre aligned like the tilde and macron rather than top aligned.

Presentation Forms Take a look at how these are designed in other fonts. I've not seen many designs with the dot of fi above the f. Rather than extending the horizontal stroke, combine the contours. Roman Numerals like VIII may need condensing horizontally as well as combining contours.

Font Metrics

:arrow: Default line-spacing for 10 point text is currently 13.7 points, which is too much. You need to calculate the font metrics. I try to adjust the line gap so that default line spacing for 10 point text is always 12 point, but this is not always possible.

WinAscent-WinDescent+Line Gap = funits/em x 1.2 (for 120% leading).

:arrow: Auto-generated superscripts and subscripts from the font metrics you have entered on the General Tab are too small. Subscripts are superscripted because you have entered a negative value for the yOffset — you need to enter a positive value to move them below the baseline. MS suggest that subscripts bisect the baseline.

The arithmetic to calculate the metrics is simple once you know the formula:

Superscript yOffset = Superscript baseline offset x superscript height/figure height

Subscript yOffset = Subscript baseline offset x superscript height/figure height

SuperScript Vertical = funits/em x superscript height/figure height

Try These Values

Subscript horizontal = 1229 (2048 x 0.6)
Subscript vertical = 1229
Subscript y offset = 700
Superscript horizontal =1229
Superscript vertical = 1229
Superscript y offset = 1167 (700 / 0.6)

This is the result that I get in Page Plus with those figures:

Image

:arrow: Lastly, I noticed that you have an italic angle of 20° on the Post tab. It should be 0 for regular typestyles.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Laenglich
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Post by Laenglich » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:10 am

Hello!
Wow, you've tested a lot. Thank you very much!

I study computer science, this is what I need all these mathematical operators, control pictures etc. for; and the foreign letters are needed for some database projects (e.g. I collect coins and want to register them, with all the texts standing on them).
But the main reason is that I'd like to have one font which is suitable for any kind of document, no matter if it is about mathematical formulas or Russian song texts - I don't like to have a special font file for every single issue. I know about the problems with Unicode fonts (the huge line height for example), but these are less annoying to me than missing characters.

I did never plan to make italic, bold etc. versions of Quivira - the glyphs that are automatically generated by office programs look good enough to me.
Figures Round tops and round bottoms need to overshoot the tops of flat numerals. The flat bottom of numeral 3 looks odd. (The same is true for rounded tops and bottoms of letters like C O J etc., they usually cross the baseline otherwise they visually float above the baseline).
Yes, I've read about this in this forum before, but when I made the round tops just 5% higher, they became a whole pixel higher in font size 12 and thus looked much worse than before (I tested with some small letters, but I don't think this makes a difference). I guess hinting could solve this problem, but the programs which can do this are to expensive for me. But I’ll try again with a smaller change.
The numeral 3 actually looks odd, thanks. I'll care about that.
Superscripts The problem with scaled superscripts/subscripts is that they're too light compared to regular numerals. Make simple and use glyph transformer to make them bolder. A similar problem is found with reversed enclosed numerals. White numerals need to be bolder even if they are the same size.

You're right. The use of scaling seemed to be an easy way to get these characters quickly, but your proposal also sounds quite easy and will look better. I'll play with the parameters...
Fractions Numerators usually align with tops of numerals, denominators with the base line.
Hmm... I decided them to align with the super- and subscripts, so that every new fraction can be generated by using a superscript, U+2044 FRACTION SLASH and a subscript. I can't be the first one to have this idea, am I?
Currency symbols £$¥¢₣€€ usually fit on the figure width.
I'll try it, but I'm afraid the figure width isn't enough for these symbols (especially the Won-symbol), and I don't think wider figures look better. Well, I'll test it, maybe I find a good compromise.
Diacritics Dot above and diaeresis seem to be floating above the lowercase. They would look better centre aligned like the tilde and macron rather than top aligned.
Right. I’ve already thought about that and I’ll lower them.
Presentation Forms Take a look at how these are designed in other fonts. I've not seen many designs with the dot of fi above the f. Rather than extending the horizontal stroke, combine the contours. Roman Numerals like VIII may need condensing horizontally as well as combining contours.
I’ve NEVER seen a design with a dot like this. :wink: I just thought I try something new – I don’t use them anyway, they are only included for compatibility with some well known fonts and the Mac Standard. The Unicode Consortium calls them “deprecated” as well.
Font Metrics […]
Line-Spacing: Yes, this is a typical problem of Unicode fonts. I already have glyphs extending to the current borders. I decided to just tolerate this, and I hope it won’t become worse with future glyphs. If you use only “normal” letters, reducing the line height in your text editor does a good job.

Auto-generated superscripts and subscripts:
[…] Subscripts are superscripted […]
In my documents they look exactly as in your picture. Is it possible that M$-Word ignores these values?
I don’t remember where I’ve got them from. Will be fixed.

Italic angle: Oh, I thought this is meant to tell the text editor which angle it shall use for generating the italic variant. I’ll change it.

Kindest regards,
Laenglich

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:14 am

The figure overshoot on Arial is just 25 funits, about 1.67%

Using glyph transformer is easy, but remember there’s no undo, so save your font first. You will need to zoom in very close to delete a few intersecting nodes afterwards. It’s not difficult

Some currency symbols need to be wider. Won, Shekel, Peseta are obvious examples. I make Pts twice as wide as the numeral width. Its good for aligning figures in tables. I noticed that you made the fractions 1.5 times the figure width. The maths symbols would also benefit from being the same width as the figures, though 1200 is fine too as long as they're all the same. Punctuation marks .,;: are usually all the same width too.

Alphabetic presentation forms can be generated automatically with Open Type fonts. I'm sure most people don't bother to use them, though its not difficult to set up autocorrect to make the change for you.

I don't have Word, but WordPerfect also ignores the superscript metrics. Still, if you have the data in the font, it might as well be correct. The info on how to calculate it may be of interest to other forum members.

As far as I know, the italic angle is used only in italic fonts to calculate the caret rise and run, which are the metrics used by Windows to set the angle of the text cursor.

The shaded block elements are made of very small contours. I wonder if they work at all without hinting? You may need a much larger grid pattern.

The enclosed alphanumerics are very big, and the double circle is too heavy compared to the weight of the enclosed numeral. Compare with @, ® and ©. You might consider using your new superscripts with them instead. Only you know best how these characters will be used.
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Laenglich
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 1:29 pm
Location: Waghäusel, Germany

Post by Laenglich » Fri Jul 15, 2005 4:06 pm

Hi!

I've uploaded version 1.4.1 now - the link stays the same.

I've corrected the Font Metrics, using the values you suggested, so this should work now even in programs which don't ignore them. :wink:

I've also made the super- and subscripts, the fractions and the control pictures bolder; and I've added a little figure overshoot to every round glyph. I'm surprised about the large visible effect these little changes make - thanks again!

I'm still thinking about the widths of the digits and the currency symbols and some other things you've mentioned...

Kindest regards,
Laenglich

Dick Pape
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Post by Dick Pape » Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:36 am

Thank you Lenglich and Bhikkhu Pesala for the good conversation. I learned some good stuff especially the business on the metrics arithmetics.

Dick Pape

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