Stylistic set vs separate font

I'm designing a font combining Latin with insular Gaelic characters as a stylistic set. In your opinions, is this the best way to proceed? Should the Latin and Gaelic be separate fonts or combined as I'm currently doing?

Thanks in advance.
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  • In case of doubt I tend towards a twin-font solution. Because:

    • An alternate set needs additional implementation work in a more complex font master file. Not hugely more complicated, but more work. Keep things simple.
    • For the user it makes no difference wether to pick from a font submenu or from an inherent set menu. So what?
    • When you do a 2-fonts package it may be more obvious upfront for the potential buyer that you offer a bicameral font product for a special purpose.
    • The gaelic glyphs result in a widely different kerning scheme for that script. You’ll have to work through this for Latin and Gaelic respectively, entirely seperately anyway.
    • Gaelic requires its own scheme for alternate glyph choices (if applicable in your case).
    • Gealic also behaves completely different from mainstream Latin with ligature options, if you are going to implement these.

    All points promote, i.m.h.o., the sturdy but lean and economic way of going for 2 sister fonts, instead of an OT-set solution.

    When I did Andron-Irish as a font package of its own, I utilized OT-set-1 for the implementation of the alternate insular r- and s- shapes; and OT-set-2 for the implementation of the lenited consonants.
  • i have decided against stylistic sets when it goes beyond replaying one or two glyphs.
    (two story a and so on) 
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 926
    edited June 22
    Recent versions of the Adobe apps have wider (not just InDesign) and more visible support for Stylistic Sets, including support for set names. I wonder if this has made a difference in terms of use and awareness.
  • 3 people raised their hands.
    I dont have the same sample size but my experience is that the same applies to other OT features. That is to say we need to educate more…
  • >>That is to say we need to educate more…<<
    By "we" do you mean type designers, or Adobe? Seems to me that Adobe continues to drop the ball in educating its users on the advanced features available in their apps. I still remember the Multiple Masters debacle of the early 90s.

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,547
    I dont have the same sample size but my experience is that the same applies to other OT features. That is to say we need to educate more…
    Maybe type foundries should get together and produce a free ebook on using OpenType features in various apps. Similar to the PDF Laura Worthington uses to educate her customers about accessing PUA encoded glyphs.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,031
    Adobe once had an “OpenType User Guide” PDF that I did most of the writing for, which was pretty much exactly that. I think it was about a dozen pages. It explained what every feature was and how it worked and how to get at all the features in the apps of the day. They stopped updating it after I left, unfortunately. (About 5% of the content lives on today on a web page, though.)

    I would hope/suspect they would be willing to let folks use and revise the content, as long as it was not something being sold. I would be happy to dust that off. I am sure I have at least the PDF version, though presumably/sadly not the InDesign file.
  • I tend to pack everything into the main font via stylistic sets and then export dedicated instances with the most useful sets rotated into the default slots for ease of use.
  • Adobe once had an “OpenType User Guide” PDF that I did most of the writing for, which was pretty much exactly that. I think it was about a dozen pages. It explained what every feature was and how it worked and how to get at all the features in the apps of the day. They stopped updating it after I left, unfortunately. (About 5% of the content lives on today on a web page, though.)

    I would hope/suspect they would be willing to let folks use and revise the content, as long as it was not something being sold. I would be happy to dust that off. I am sure I have at least the PDF version, though presumably/sadly not the InDesign file.
    I have the (a) pdf of Adobe's, same one likely unless there is a newer one. ID CS3 circa 2008.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,031
    @Mike Wenzloff
    That is about right. Last version I did would have been some time in 2008.

    I am not immediately finding a copy of it myself! I will have to go look harder.
  • I can email a copy...PM me an address or let me know just to upload it to dropbox and I can PM a link. I'm using mobile right now.

    I think that if the scope of such a project is broad acceptance and usage of OT features, the document should be less technical/historic as in the first part of that document and should be as application agnostic as possible--i.e., not Adobe-centric.

    Which then may preclude using the verbiage of that document altogether.

    I believe the target audience should be defined and kept in mind when writing the document.

    Mike
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