Minion Pro Phonetic

http://www.typophile.com/node/103873

Does anyone have a relevant contact(s) for a set of "ready-made" characters?
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Comments

  • Do you mean how to get a copy? Because although Adobe does allow derivation (bless them, it's increasingly rare) the result must legally stay internal.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 165
    Thanks Hrant, I'm aware of the restrictions. A TD member has kindly suggested a possible contact. If we proceed with it as an option, I'll confirm with Adobe.

    No point reinventing the wheel, if we don't have to.
  • OK, good luck. If not, you know how to find me.  :-)
  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 79
    edited June 19
    Katy Mawhood said: No point reinventing the wheel, if we don't have to.
    Katy, the phonetic glyphs that were in the file 08arv.pdf  of the typophile link you refer to above are all in the following pdf (the output of a lualatex file produced by a luatex script that I wrote in June 2013). I never heard afterwards of any other Minion phonetic font. 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 797
    Adobe may also know who designed those glyphs, so I would try contacting them.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,191
    Ugh. Those are some really clumsy IPA letters.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 165
    Thanks John. Your honesty made me break out with laughter.

    Thomas, liaison with Adobe has happened – all is looking well, although we will need to be patient.
  • Theunis de JongTheunis de Jong Posts: 13
    edited July 8
    Katy, the first versions of the IPA characters are by René Mulder, heavily based on parts of the original Minion. Since then, both Pieter Lamers and myself have been steadily replacing certain characters with a (slightly :pensive:) better design (sorry, John!).

    As noted in the original Typophile thread, the font is not available for commercial distribution.

    That said, I'd be delighted to see an "official" version! As a standalone font, this one lacks proper integration with the real Minion (all the extra accents only work on its own, very limited, set of base characters), I hardly can keep up with the demand for new forms (recently I needed a capitalized open o), and my current toolchain does not support base-to-mark and mark-to-mark, so a lot of accents have to be wrestled in place manually.

    Compare the latest version of Times New Roman, free with Windows: all of the hundreds of specialized IPA characters, all of the lowercase/capital pairs for - mostly - African orthography, and a set of properly combining accents to fulfil every linguist's wildest dreams.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 165
    Thanks Theunis, that's good to note – and thanks for the confirmation. Likewise, I'm always glad when I come across fonts with a wider set of diacritics.

    I hardly can keep up with the demand for new forms… and my current toolchain does not support base-to-mark and mark-to-mark, so a lot of accents have to be wrestled in place manually.
    Do you mix / convert between NFC and NFD unicode encodings, to fulfil print requirements? It's something we're doing increasingly with our typesetters, maintaining the NFC for XML capture. The base character is set in the text design font, with the combining mark in a matched alternative – such as Gentium Plus.
  • edited July 9
    Times New Roman is a good start, but not that good.

    You can’t seriously use it in many cases.
    For exemple it’s not good for noting prosody since ‖ and | have different length when they should have the same. Furthermore ‖ and ǁ should be distinguishable as one indicates prosody and the other a click sound.
    Some marks just don’t get positioned, like β̞, or some are positioned but not in the right place, like p̚, or are way to close too the letter, like e̞. Some symbols are a bit out of place, like ‿ being too wide or the marks p̚ or t̪ being too bold. In many cases there are also issues with marks width (or kerning), like ɔ̪t̪.

    As for African orthography, it’s good or even great, but there’s still room for improvement.

    Just because there’s only a handful of fonts that support these characters, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for “the characters are in the font and don’t look horrible”, having “everything looks good” would be nice.
  • Katy, I indeed do decompose characters if the original glyph is not in the base font or in my Phonetic font. My input these days is XML, but as it's usually a one-way street to typesetting, I don't have to save the original encoding. It makes my life marginally easier.

    Denis:

    Just because there’s only a handful of fonts that support these characters, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for “the characters are in the font and don’t look horrible” ...

    To handle egregiously bad cases of mis-matching fonts, every now and then I create a One Character Font (I wrote an InDesign script to do so), to use in a single document only. When I believe that character may return in later documents as well, I can always "promote" it to the complete font.

    The problem with getting to look x͡y and x͜y nice is a familiar one ... I don't know if an OpenType solution is even possible!
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,191
    The problem with getting to look x͡y and x͜y nice is a familiar one ... I don't know if an OpenType solution is even possible!
    It isn't easy. You'd need variant widths of the double mark, triggered contextually by width of the base letters, and then also position contextually based on whether the letters were e.g. medium width followed by narrow or narrow width followed by medium. It's doable, but a pain in the neck.

  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 165
    Just because there’s only a handful of fonts that support these characters, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for “the characters are in the font and don’t look horrible”, having “everything looks good” would be nice.
    Would you have any guidance, which can be scaled / quickly approved?
  • https://www.isoglosse.de/2016/06/fonts-for-phonetic-transcriptions/ is a good reference.

    Unfortunately, there are still some issues with its 5-star rated fonts.

    The International Phonetic Association has a IPA fonts page: https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/content/ipa-fonts
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 165
    Thanks Denis. We use a number of these typefaces, incl. ITC Stone Phonetic. I'm also quite a fan of the STIXTwo fonts. I agree, some of the fonts listed are still not ideal.

    Then there's also the typesetting systems to think about…
  • https://www.isoglosse.de/2016/06/fonts-for-phonetic-transcriptions/ is a good reference.

    Unfortunately, there are still some issues with its 5-star rated fonts.
    Thank you, Denis, for mentioning the overview I made. The STIX fonts Katy referred to are still missing from this overview; I haven’t gotten around to taking a good look at them. If any other publicly available fonts with at least reasonable IPA coverage are missing from my list, please let me know.

    Let me also add that the fonts that I have rated with five stars are not necessarily flawless in every respect. Even in five-star fonts, you are likely to find something that doesn’t work perfectly. IPA symbols are a fairly complex system, so it is far from easy to create a font that checks all the boxes. In my overview, five-star fonts are the ones that I see as best choices in the current market. Four and a half stars would probably be more accurate, but I think half stars aren’t available in Unicode, yet.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,191
    Re. STIX Two: the IPA support in the romans isn't bad, but lacking mark positioning, so only good so long as you don't need that. In the italics, there's an unfortunate mix of true italic and sloped roman in the IPA set, which we inherited from the older STIX fonts and did not have time/budget to fix. It's on our list of things to address in a future update.
  • @ChristopherBergmann: I wonder why Andron is the only typeface in the list lacking any stars at all. Is it that bad? ‘More styles’ missing is also not true. – You send me straight down into a final depression…
  • @ChristopherBergmann: I wonder why Andron is the only typeface in the list lacking any stars at all. Is it that bad? ‘More styles’ missing is also not true. – You send me straight down into a final depression…
    That’s certainly not what my overview is supposed to do, so let me explain.

    Andron is the only typeface that I have not rated because it is the only typeface that I could not evaluate properly. Most typefaces on the list were available to me for testing. In some cases, I had access to samples that were sufficient for evaluating the quality of the phonetic characters. For Andron, I had neither: no licence, no samples. I have a favourable impression of it (briefly described here in German), but I just didn’t know enough to give an actual rating. I had been meaning to get in touch with you to ask for a sample, but honestly I forgot. So if there is anything that could use some improvement, it is your website. I saw that there are (smallish) images of available characters in Andron Mega (is it me or are the images of the italics broken?), but it’s difficult to evaluate the symbols at that size and out of context. Maybe you could add a PDF character overview and a sample of phonetic typesetting.

    About the ‘More styles’ column: A red cross here means that the typeface family contains no styles/weights beyond Regular/Bold × Roman/Italic. As far as I can see, this is the case with Andron. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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