Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

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Psymon
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Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

Post by Psymon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:40 am

When you're doing your kerning, and you end up with a couple glyphs that would look best if they overlapped, is there anything wrong with that?

For example, in one of the fonts I'm working on, the uppercase "K" has a long right-hand leg that descends way down below the baseline (and off to the right a bit), and that's no problem for words like, say, "Kale," but for something like "Kyle" then I run into the issue of the the two descending parts overlapping.

Is there anything wrong with that, like, making them overlap when you're kerning two characters that would have that issue? I can do up some screenshots if you need them, but I'm sure you can probably imagine/understand what I mean.

(And pardon me if I used the wrong terminology for the parts of letters -- I presume you know what I mean in that regard, too, though.)

PJMiller
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Re: Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

Post by PJMiller » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:31 am

There is no hard rule for this. It is usually considered bad form to have collisions between characters but there are some circumstances where it can work quite well. It is up to the designer and the design of the glyphs.

Psymon
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Re: Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

Post by Psymon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:26 am

Yeah, I was thinking that it would be "not a good idea," but my fonts do seem to work despite my having a bunch of occurrences of glyph pairs overlapping in that way, and I just don't know how the heck it could possibly be avoided in some circumstances (like with my "K" and "y" example -- at least in the way those characters are with my font. Without them overlapping -- which looks just fine, if not actually looks "right" -- the characters just end up all-too-obviously spaced too far apart.

But after working on my font(s), and letting things overlap like that while kerning, I suddenly remembered seeing Bhikkhu's video (ages ago) about kerning and classes and stuff, where he took great pains in making sure that his characters didn't overlap.

So I don't know -- but like I said, as far as I can see, my fonts do seem to work okay wherever I've tried them (mainly in Photoshop, designing graphics, and embedded in ebooks), and my computer didn't fizzle out in a big puff of smoke and then blow up or anything. :lol:

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Re: Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:41 am

Overlapping characters shouldn't be an issue. It used to be an issue if a character contained overlapping contours, but even that no longer seems to be an issue.

To be sure do test your fonts in several popular word processing applications, web browsers, etc.
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Psymon
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Re: Overlapping pair adjustments -- problem or not?

Post by Psymon » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Erwin Denissen wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:41 am
Overlapping characters shouldn't be an issue. It used to be an issue if a character contained overlapping contours, but even that no longer seems to be an issue.
That much I've been very careful about, i.e. not having overlapping contours -- and that's easy enough to find/fix, of course. It's reassuring, though, that I don't have to worry about my pair adjustments overlapping (so it would appear, anyway).
To be sure do test your fonts in several popular word processing applications, web browsers, etc.
Actually, I did notice something odd yesterday while using my font in Photoshop -- my lining figures aren't listed in the OpenType features in there, although all the other OT features that I could turn on/off seem to be. I have a feeling that might be a problem with PS, though, not my font, but I don't know.

Also, re testing in web browsers, one thing I've been wanting to do -- but haven't gotten around to yet, other than to do a few experiments -- is totally update a couple of my websites and embed my fonts in them. Kerning seems to show up no problem, but not other OT features like ligatures and stuff.

But kerning is an OT feature, too, isn't it? At least, that's where I go to do my pair adjustments, in the OT Designer. In my ebooks where I've embedded my fonts I have no problem getting virtually all my OT features to work just perfectly (which is absolutely wonderful, to have a medium that can display things exactly as I want them to).

And that was my understanding, too, about embedding fonts into web pages -- that they just don't support OT features. I guess my question isn't so much how to get my ligatures to work, but rather why my kerning does seem to work in that medium -- like, why does that one "feature" work, when all the others don't? :roll:

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