Proper weight instance progression for a multiple master

Hello everybody,

I just want to know if there are articles, or at least discussions, where i can find solutions for a proper instance weight progression for a multiple master font.
Now i'm tryin to use impallari progression, but...Well, i don't understand so much how to use it :pensive:  

Thanks a lot


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 880
    edited February 14
    There was a discussion about this a few months back.  It also included Lucas's method.
  • Abraham, I think the plot with the stem widths lined up is a bit misleading. One of the big reasons why the question of weight progression is non-trivial is because for heavy weights, the size of counters and spaces becomes the dominant visual characteristic. If your heaviest weights are placed relatively far apart, the counters will seemingly collapse abruptly in the last weight.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 880
    What is grown from a proper mathematical progression or a smooth visual progression are not necessarily the most useful variations of a font weight.  As we approach the extreme heavy weights, the number of visual problems increase greatly. As Christian stated above, the counter space becomes critical.  With it, the letter spacing requirements get more problematic.  A low contrast sans serif has the most difficulty at this extreme. Higher contrast fonts give more flexibility to solve visual problems. A type designer's job is to make a family of fonts useful together, not fit a curve.  That is not to say that both cannot be done. That is to say that fitting the curve is far less important and should not occur at the detriment of the families' usability for the job intended.
  • Abraham LeeAbraham Lee Posts: 2
    FWIW, I completely agree with both of you. I'm certainly not professing to understand this perfectly and very much respect your point of view based on experience. So, thanks for your feedback on my analysis! (BTW, I hold both @PabloImpallari and @Lucas de Groot and their expertise in the field in the highest regards.) 

    Design trade-offs will likely need to be made to make a specific interpolated weight work right. Weight progressions may not (ever?) fall precisely on any given curve. Still, I think it would be interesting to see how some of the "industrial strength" super families have decided to progress their weights and (perhaps unanswerably) why. This would probably be the most insightful study of all. But who has time for that kind of thing, right?

    I might just do this myself. Any recommendations on respected font super families with 5+ weights?
  • Just a quick note: in an OpenType variable font, you can use an 'avar' table to tweak a weight progression when interpolating between two "masters".
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