Firstly, if anyone has any real examples of font modification briefs – that they'd be happy to share
(private info censored) – I would really appreciate it. I
realize that this might be a big ask. Secondly, if anything here sounds
unfair or inconsiderate – please call me out on it. I'm trying to figure
out what type of proposals might be fair, or not. Context:
Many fonts do not have sufficient support for content
creation in an academically diverse organization, particularly in terms
of diacritics / compound chars. Due to our workflows, that rely on
pre-determined text specifications / series designs, choosing a font
based on a specific title is rarely an option. The majority of titles
use specifications based on an automated system, that does not pass
through our design team.
The idea of a plain vanilla
one-size-fits-all in Latin script is not appropriate for our organisation's culture at this point
. The first step for us is to optimize our microtypography*. To achieve this seamlessly, with minimal disruption to the production schedule, modifications are required. If this is successful, the next step would be a focus on further cost-saving mechanisms…
has to do with the details; setting the right glyph, getting the
appropriate kerning and tracking, and making stylistic choices such as
when to use small-caps. Micro techniques have received a lot of
attention recently, as browser makers adopt new CSS attributes that
allow for finer control over Web type. Microtypography deals mainly with
legibility and can be thought of as the design of letters and words.First steps:
I'm starting to think about how we can approach font modifications. So far we've been substituting, or adapting / creating custom glyphs based on FLOSS fonts, single weight. These instances are rarities not regularities. Usage is print only / PDF use, in a publication-type reading
environment. Ideally, it would be great
to move towards a standardized process, but that's only possible within
a specific budget.
1) What information do you detail? How many examples do you prefer to see?
2) Pricing structure, in your view what are fair points for negotiation. For example:
2.1) Usage limited to a single ISBN / series.
2.2) Complexity of glyph / char, e.g.
- adding a compound glyph for dotted h <ḥ>;
- vs. PUA Chinese Chars;
- vs. OT features for variants / shaping rules.
2.3) License rights for modification of a single glyph / limited unicode range, pending approval IP control. E.g.,
- Latin-based compound diacritics, for which combining forms can be sourced in the font;
- Limited icon range / simple-form icon range.
2.4) Distribution to our typesetters for use in typesetting. If they are licensed for the font, do you charge twice for the modification for us to supply it to them?
2.5) Multiple modifications at different points in time – can these be added to one "extended" font version? Is there opportunity for a model with an initial up-front cost, and then a fixed amount for each subsequent modification?
3) Do foundries have preferred freelancers, or is everything achieved in house – for both licenses that permit mods, and those which do not. Equally, if modifications are made to a FLOSS font - is it fair to continue the license as FLOSS?
4) Reasonable schedule / timeframe…?
5) Other considerations?