In Finder I see only the .ufo file, and I'm wondering how to inspect or open a UFO in order to access the contents as listed on Unified Font Object
To clarify my goal at the moment, I'm trying to check the file size of kerning.plist and back-check against what is considered an appropriate file size. Bonus points if you throw in what is considered normal file size for Adobe Latin 3 Character Set
A seemingly modest kerning data set can explode considerably during compilation.
See also this thread: http://typedrawers.com/discussion/960/number-of-kerning-pairs-vs-performance/#Comment_12465
This is a first-time, self-taught project so learning as I go and trying to be aware of potential errors that would involve going back over a lot of work.
Based on your comment how do you go about checking/balancing source kerning data size with the compiled size, so that it's not too large? also not sure what 'too large' would be?
Seriously, though, if one is working on a large glyph repertoire that requires a lot of kerning, then one either becomes educated on the technical details of GPOS kerning and adopts strategies/priorities accordingly, or one engages an experienced font technician to help resolve issues with large kerning sets that are not compiling.
In terms of the former, unfortunately, it’s not easy to boil it all down to a forum post.
But you’re in NYC, right? — if I make it down to Typographics in June and you can find me, buy me a beer (or two) and I can try to share some of what I’ve learned. ;-)
I am in NYC yes, and will be at Typographics. I'd love to take you up on your offer, so let me know if you make it!
I would say that beginner mistakes are usually the result of either not getting the character fitting well in hand before kerning, having too-liberal kerning classes, or attempting to kern everything with everything else.
It’s not always wise to try to generalize about such things, but I will say, just for a frame of reference, that in my experience a regular-weight serif text font with Extended Latin language coverage, with small caps and two sets of figures, competently fitted and reasonably kerned will average somewhere on the order of 3500–4000 kern pairs.
Others may have a different experience.
Don’t take such numbers too literally. That’s mostly just a check on order of magnitude. Less doesn’t necessarily mean a font isn’t kerned well. A bit more than that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong either.
I think I'll begin with kerning all the obvious issues in the uppercase, move to numerals and punctuation and finally uppercase/lowercase pairs and see what i get.
After kerning 10 pairs or so I've gone back to fixing a few curves, and then side-bearings (which really helped character fitting on some of the rounder shapes)...although I realize this isn't proper workflow.
The advice on averages and balancing metrics with optics is very helpful, thanks!
Something that novice type designers often get tripped up by: Kerning is not the same as spacing. Kerning is a system for handing exceptions to normal spacing, which is dictated by the sidebearings.