Re-ordering Font(families)?

Jörg Brüggemann
edited May 2020 in Technique and Theory

I've got a problem which I couldn't google. I've got so little information and knowledge on this topic, that coming up with the right search terms didn't work. Plus... I guess my Problem is rather rare.

We have a corporate font, which comes in more than one flavor. Due to a new corporate design, I am trying to create Indesign styles, so that everyone in our organiztation can use them and the same job doesn't have to be done serveral times.(and again on changes and updates)

The font in Question is the Rotis. Which many of us have as "Agfa Rotis". There is also the "Rotis", which is practical the same and its vanilla-flavor is named - depending wher you buy it - Std. or Regular. Agfa Rotis comes in many single files. Each weight as a single font which then identifies as "regular".

So creating ONE style library is easier said then done. Buying a font already owned, just because its name is inconvinient at some points, is not an option. We are financed by our members. But I still would like to solve this 

Possible Solution
Can I "repack" the Fonts? Taking them an make sure, that one of the three font variants you can buy is used as "the right way" and I create "edited" Font files of the other two, where the only change is, that in Indesign & Co. they show up in the same hierarchical structure as the "right one"?

This way, everbody just would need to install the repacked version of the fonts they licensed and we could all use the same style libraries and templates?

Am I crazy?

I would appreciate any commment on this.
Thanks in advance.



  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,807
    These fonts are owned by Monotype, these days.

    Unfortunately, their current licensing terms do not normally allow for modifications. Of course, people are bound by the terms in effect at the time and through the vendor they licensed them from—and that may be hard to even determine (because many normal people do not track that for years or decades as would be required).

    You could always contact Monotype and see if they would be willing to let you do the necessary renaming (“repacking” as you call it). This seems reasonable to me, but I have more liberal views on what licenses ought to allow than the average font vendor.

    If you do that, good luck! And let us know how it goes.
  • Jörg Brüggemann
    edited May 2020
    Thanks Thomas.

    I was already suspecting, that the legal side of my question would kind of turn out something like that.

    But even if Monotype gives me permission, i still have no clue, how I am going to do it. Is there a reference, which fields in ttf or otf i have to use in order to reach my goal? Or could you recommend a program to use?

    I'm using fonts for over 25 years now...but I have no clue on how to create or edit them. 
  • Jasper de Waard
    Of course I don't know the exact situation, but what you're trying to do sounds pretty ambitious to me, especially if you're not used to editing fonts.

    I'd think an easier solution would be to create a kind of fallback option in indesign, so that font B is used when font A cannot be found. Perhaps you could do that through scripting (honestly, I haven't got a clue, but it sounds like it should be doable). Alternatively, people could set font B as their default font in indesign, so that, when font A can't be found, font B will automatically be its replacement.
  • Jörg Brüggemann
    Hi Jasper,

    thanks for taking the time. I don't know, if this is ambitiuous. Thats kind of the reason why I'm here. To find how, how ambitiuous.

    A scripting option is something, I only would like to look into as a last option. I would prefer just to have "fitting" fonts.

    Theoretically I only have to change some metadata, don't I?
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,807
    It is metadata in some senses, but no more than almost any other part of the font. Still part of the compiled binary font file. If you don’t know what you are doing, yeah, messing with the font naming could be a challenge. There are WAY more different font name fields than any normal person would ever guess. Plus, running fonts through a font editor can mess with all sorts of other things (notably hinting), so that’s not ideal.

    Licensing issues aside, from a technical perspective, the best approach would be to use something relatively non-invasive, like ttx or OTMaster, and only mess with the fields you needed. And if this is the only such font thing you need to do, you would be better off paying a pro to spend 30-60 minutes to do it rather than figuring out all the details yourself.

    Or… just get everybody using the same darn fonts. I for one would be concerned about whether different “cuts” of the font in *some* cases might have different metrics, or different appearances for some non-core characters.