Oldstyle numbers by default?

Hey everyone,

Is there a way to put .onum tag as default?
I want the oldstyle numbers to be activated by default. 

Thank you!

Comments

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,084
    What font editor are you using? In the ones I've worked in, you can just draw oldstyle glyphs in the /one, /two, /three, etc. slots, then furnish lining figures with the appropriate suffixes. 
  • edited February 9
    Hello, Fernando. Yes, if you want to use .onum (oldstyle figures, proportional) as default, just put them in the /one, /two, /three, &c. default slots, as Craig said. Then you add the other figures with these suffixes:
    .lf = lining figures, proportional
    .tf = lining figures, tabular
    .tosf = oldstyle figures, tabular.
    My most recent typeface is made just like that.
  • Hola @Cristobal Henestrosa, Hi @Craig Eliason

    By doing what you propose, "Oldstyle Numbers" and "Lining Figures" would be changed when you use them in the design software programs. 

    I was wondering if there was a way of doing this only by OpenType coding. 

    Thanks!

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,959
    edited February 10
    If you want the oldstyle numerals to be the default, the suggestion from C & C is the way to do it. You can still have every feature do the same things they do today — and you should still include 'onum' even while having it map back to the same glyphs (!), so that apps can know oldstyle numerals are supported.

    Besides which, it's not within the power of the font, or its designer, to take a feature that is off by default (per the OpenType spec), and force an app to turn it on in the app UI. What you can do is control what the default glyphs are.

    (You can also put glyphs into GSUB features that are on by default or even required, such as 'rlig' 'rclt' or 'rvrn' ... but I don’t see any way in which such features would be relevant/helpful here. None of them would turn on 'onum' for you.)
  • By doing what you propose, "Oldstyle Numbers" and "Lining Figures" would be changed when you use them in the design software programs.
    I am afraid I don’t get you. As far as I know, they work as expected. Some screenshots below. As you can see, the default figure style contains the exact same glyphs as the proportional oldstyle figures.

    You can check how the OT features are working at Myfonts, too: https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/sudtipos/mon-nicolette/

    Please tell me if this is what you want to achieve.



  • Ahhhh!

    Now I understand perfectly, thank you so much for your patience! 
    :)
  • Good! Please let us know if you have any trouble with the OT code.
    ¡Un gran abrazo, Fernando!
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,626
    If at all possible, within the premise of one’s typeface, I recommend making the default figures tabular. 

    Because not all users will have access to, are comfortable with, or know how to use the alternate figures palette—and documents may require tabular setting.


  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,793
    edited February 10
    BTW guys please switch to the old French OS numeral alignment scheme already. The Anglo one's center of gravity is way too low. And nobody wants to see a Porsche 935 in a ditch.
  • @Hrant H. Papazian: Could you please talk a bit more about this? Mentioning a typeface that makes what you say would be enough. Thanks in advance.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,793
    edited February 10
    @Cristóbal Henestrosa It's sadly exceedingly rare today, but here's one:
    https://commercialtype.com/news/new_release_le_jeune
    An image previously provided by @Joe Elwell on TD:
    BTW, I also see an advantage to making the "2" ascend (something Eric Gill did once in a while).
  • You may think the “Anglo” OS figures have a center of gravity that is too low, but the alternative you are advocating has a center of gravity that seems far too high for my liking. I think the more common forms of oldstyle figures harmonize better with lowercase body text than these would.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,793
    edited February 10
    (Sorry for the digression. Maybe there's a better place to do this?)

    @André G. Isaak I just rediscovered this elaboration:
    https://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/20463/#Comment_20463
    The center of gravity of virtually any Latin-script languages is much higher than it seems when you only look at the collection of letters, versus factoring in frequency. The Legros & Grant "uniglyph" (as I call it) is quite revealing, as I believe is my lateral-scaling visualization.

    BTW the numeral forms are essentially the same, it's a question of how frequently clusters of numerals will distract the eye by sitting too low; and considering capital letters, it seems pretty impossible for them to ever really sit too high.
  • I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the etaoni... Letter frequencies in English vary considerably depending on whether types or tokens are considered as well as on the type of writing (e.g. academic writing will contain a much higher percentage of latinate forms). I suspect h and f (two letters with ascenders) have much higher frequencies than the above would indicate given that they occur in many common function words (the, this, of, for etc.)
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,793
    edited February 10
    (So much allegiance to convention, even when confronted with simple logic... :-)

    Calling it "French" is a shorthand, but a solid one because (as far as I know) it's where it started, and hasn't really been adopted elsewhere. And I think it ended in France only because of WW2. Calling the conventional one "Anglo" is more of a stretch, but I think it's better than "non-French".  :-)

    In a text face (where OS nums make sense) style is sillier than functionality, and readers can suffer from limitations imposed in favor of style. No reader will consciously notice the vertical position of OS numerals... but they can still suffer from the –unnecessarily– frequent disruption in the usage of the vertical space. And by the same logic, also not silly: making the descenders shorter than the ascenders... very much in spite of the "g" and "y". Like in Castoro.  :->

    Even within the realm of style, treating styles as ghettos limits Culture. It's entirely possible to make a staid workhorse face but be inspired by the numerals in an old French Didot.

    But most of all, this is not about the superiority of the old French scheme specifically, but the superiority of keeping one's mind open and seeing the harmfulness of certain conventions. There is no Design without such challenges. So, rethink the vertical alignment of the OS numerals, from scratch, even though most type designers will cry foul at the violation of their preconceptions. Because readers will benefit.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,793
    edited February 10
    I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the etaoni... Letter frequencies in English vary considerably depending on whether types or tokens are considered as well as on the type of writing (e.g. academic writing will contain a much higher percentage of latinate forms). I suspect h and f (two letters with ascenders) have much higher frequencies than the above would indicate given that they occur in many common function words (the, this, of, for etc.)
    Of course, a font cannot predict what text it will be used for, so has to be versatile and keep the typical in mind. But for a font specifically designed for Latin language text for example (where descenders are even more rare) the French scheme is even better.  :-)  Are there languages that use the Latin descender space notably more than English?

    The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that the center-of-gravity of languages that use the Latin script is generally above the middle of the x-height. Let's design accordingly, instead of blindly following convention.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,039
    ... suffer ... harmful ....
    Evidence?
     
  • Thanks, @Hrant H. Papazian. Frankly, I don’t see a good reason to switch to the “French” style, but I confess that I tend to stick with tradition. I am unsure if it will benefit or confuse the readers accustomed to the “Anglo” system. Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your point of view.
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