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  • How do you handle the finances of a project?

    I have a bunch of questions about the general financial aspects of a commissioned project and would love to hear how you all handle them. What have you found that works or doesn't work?

    It is my top priority to 100% fair and honest to both myself and my clients so we both feel like we get what we wanted once the project is said and done.

    Specifically, I'm interested in the following kinds of details:
    1. Generating a quote - What factors do you include? How do you split things up? How do you itemize the task? Do you charge per-glyph? By the hour? Per feature set? Per language?
    2. Getting paid - Do you stick to the quote price or do you require some pricing flexibility if the project changes (e.g., if it takes more/less time than you anticipated)? Do you require payment up-front, either in-full or an initiation portion? Do you ask for a lump sum at the end? Do you consider financing options for the client (i.e., breaking up the total into monthly payments with interest)?
    Or, do you do something completely different? I'd love to hear your success and horror stories.
  • Re: Best Practice for removing components

    I usually use a simple script that takes care of these changes, generates the binary font, and then closes without saving the changed font. That way, I can be certain I haven't changed the original file. I've never had a problem with that approach.

    The other option you propose wouldn't be a problem, but it's just more manual intervention. If that way works better for you, I'd just make a copy of the original and give it an obvious name (e.g., "...-ERASE_ME.vlb") and once you've done all the final production steps on that and generated the fonts, delete it. It's a lot of extra steps that I'd probably mess up on, but do what works for you!
  • Re: Proper weight instance progression for a multiple master

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately and discovered something interesting. The CSS font-weight# progression (at least how they're described here) follows the nearly exact opposite Ogee curve from the Impallari progression:

    The best-fit Ogee curve of this progression is given by the purple dashed line while the true CSS values are the connected blue dots.

    NOTE: The exact names/values in this extended set of CSS values (or whether the values outside of the round 100s are even valid) can be debated, but that's not important. The purple Ogee curve is the important part.

    Here's my take on the weight progression: Does each weight look different enough from both its neighboring weights? I found that the Impallari progression means too little differentiation on both light and heavy ends of the weight spectrum. Why? Take a look at this chart:

    The 1-18 index refers to the CSS weight designations above, of course. That's what each progression looks like, but if that's too abstract for you, try this set of graphs instead which represent the relative weight (as if they were stem thickness, for example):

    Have a good long look at that. Notice anything? We can talk ratios all day, but here are some general observations:

    - Linear: Lighter weights are more distinct, gradually becoming less distinct as the weight increases.
    - Impallari: Lighter weights are less distinct, middle weights are more distinct, heavier weights are less distinct.
    - CSS: Lighter weights are more distinct, middle weights are less distinct, heavier weights are more distinct.
    - Lucas: Lighter weights are less distinct, gradually becoming more distinct as the weight increases.

    I tend to like the CSS progression best because most of the spectrum ends up being distinct from its neighbors. I also like that the body text weights (Book/350, Text/375, Normal/400, Thick/425, and ExtraThick/450 on these charts) are different enough, but similar enough to offer "grades" to work with, depending on the target medium.

    The golden question: What's the right approach? There are all sorts of progressions one can try. As has kind of been the consensus already, you're going to have to eyeball it ;). The above observations can at least guide you depending on how you'd like the progression to pan out.

    My two cents.

    P.S. I think it would be interesting to survey some of the super families and measure their stem thicknesses to see how their weights progress.