Using Guidelines to Maintain Symmetry

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Using Guidelines to Maintain Symmetry

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 26, 2003 9:59 am

Making a smooth curve is not too hard if you have only a few points to manipulate, but to make an elipse symmetrical is difficult unless you use guidelines. I found that by drawing guidelines just inside the on-curve extreme points and snapping the off-curve points to the guidelines, I could easily get a symmetrical curve.

Image
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Keeping Serifs Symmetrical

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:28 am

Guidelines are helpful too to keep serifs the same weight and shape.

Image

Serifs on uppercase and lowercase letters may not be the same weight, but the serifs on all lowercase letters should be the same.

Thse are my own opinions. I welcome correctiions or suggestions for better methods from more experienced typographers.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vanisaac
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Post by vanisaac » Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:51 am

I always create the characters without the serifs, then go in and make the serifs on a typical character. I take that character, split the contour so the serif is isolated, select the serif, copy, hit undo, then paste the serif in any character that shares the serif style. I usually use the lower case L or I for the serifs on b,d,f,h,i,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,u, and maybe y. I will edit 'a' for use on d, u, and maybe t. v for w,x, and maybe y. My z, s, e, and c are rarely serifed. Of course, I make almost every character out of the canabalized parts of other characters. My current font is up to around 1100 characters now, including diacritics and ligatures, and I couldn't have done that from scratch on every character.

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Joining contours

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:07 am

I am working on existing fonts to make them a bit smoother. I have used your method for splitting contours before, but I find that joining them can be more difficult. Have you ever tried to make Ø slash by joing O and / for exmaple? I just gave up. Ł slash is quite time-consuming at best. I just could not get it to work at all on one font. I always got one of two resuls:

Image
OR
Image
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Diagonal Guidelines

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 26, 2003 11:37 am

To create a diagonal guideline, just select two distant points on a diagonal stroke and press G. Then you can move it aside and create another one. Diagonal guidelines are very helpful to make sure that diagonal strokes are even and parallel. I also align the slanting ends of serifs to the diagonal guides.
Image

Diagonal guidelines can be set to a precise angle by double-clicking on them. They can be rotated by holding down the shift key while rotating them with the mouse.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vanisaac
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Re: Joining contours

Post by vanisaac » Sat Jul 26, 2003 12:10 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I am working on existing fonts to make them a bit smoother. I have used your method for splitting contours before, but I find that joining them can be more difficult. Have you ever tried to make Ø slash by joing O and / for exmaple?
I know it's not pretty, and it takes a long time, but that's exactly what I did. I spent a lot of time at high magnification, reading the coordinates for where the curve of the O intersected the slash. Luckily, the mouse shows up on the rules on the side, so you can read it. Then, there was all the time I took with a superimposed O trying to adjust the off-curve points so that the O-slash had the same curve as the O. It was not fun, but I don't know of any other way to get the consistency that I demand of myself.

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Aligning Accents

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jul 26, 2003 12:13 pm

Guidelines are essential for aligning accents. I find that I need two for lowercase and two for upper case. In each case (pun not intended) the lower guideline marks the lowest point of any accent, and the top guideline marks the top of the dot accent or diareisis. In italic fonts, a diagonal guideline through the centre of the stroke helps to position accents horizontally. Illustrated below is the í acute from Century 731 Italic BT with the macron, tilde, and dot accents overlayed.
Image

For a full discussion see this Dissertation by Victor Gaultney on Diacritical Design
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