Extreme Font Weirdness

I’ve encountered some extremely weird behaviour in a font and even after looking at the font features in FontLab can't for the life of me figure out what's going on. I was wondering if anyone could explain this to me.

The font in question is the version of Dalton Maag’s Aller Light which is available from TypeKit (or Adobe Fonts as it is now called).

The light upright weight of this font contains small capitals as well as a number of ligatures not present in the other weights. However, there are no smcp/c2sc features and the ligatures aren't included in the liga feature.

One can add these glyphs using InDesign's glyph palette, but then all hell breaks loose. Many of the glyphs start acting as if they had large negative kerning pairs (which they don't) as well as vertical repositioning rules. sometimes they show up stacked above the previous glyph, sometimes they overlap it, sometimes they appear normally.

If anyone with a creative cloud subscription is willing to take a look at this and try to figure out what's happening, I'd be rather interested. I don't actually need the font for anything. This is just curiosity about what could cause such weird behaviour A few other Dalton Maag fonts in TypeKit also seem to contain alternates which aren't mapped to by any opentype feature and which behave in deranged ways).

I can't open the font in DTL OTMaster since that doesn't have an 'open installed font' option like FontLab and since its a TypeKit font I don't have the actual file.


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    I see ligatures working but no sign of small caps glyphs. 
  • As I said, it is only in the light weight of the font, and the glyphs are only available through InDesign's glyph palette since the relevant features are missing. The ligature feature only includes those ligatures present in the other weights, but not the f_j, f_t, etc. which are unique to the light weight.
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 383
    Dalton Maag offer full-featured trial fonts. Maybe you can get direct access to the font file this way.
  • I don't really need to acquire the demo font since I doubt OTMaster will shed any more light on the issue than FontLab will. Clearly there is something I am missing in the features. I'm just curious about what is going on and why.
  • Alex VisiAlex Visi Posts: 185
    That sounds like an indesign bug more than a font bug.
    It also sometimes turns on the liga button and subs random glyphs even though the font has no liga feature at all. Not the same, but just to note that it’s not perfect.
  • Quite possibly the problem is with InDesign rather than the font itself, though its odd that I haven't noticed such behaviour with other fonts. Still, if there are major font-related bugs in widely-used applications its still probably worth knowing about them.

    In case anyone decides to have a look at this, I should note that the version of InDesign CS I have installed is the Macintosh Arabic/ME version (v.16.3.2).
  • I recall that when I used Aller years ago at work (Dalton Maag still offers it for free in this version: https://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/aller) there were indeed inconsistencies across weight behaviors, similar to the ones you described. But a lot of time has passed, so I do not recall precisely.
  • BTW, I was using it locally, not through Adobe Fonts.
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