exploring variable fonts - seeking tipps for nodes placing/outline design

as expected, my four oblique masters to build a VF (width and weight axis) had only few matching glyphs ((i made the masters individually (regardless matching), then combined)). 

some glyphs with curves are designed with added nodes (more than just extremum nodes). those nodes define curves the way i prefer. 

to match masters, i had to decide whether to keep/force the complexity (adding nodes in the respective masters glyphs) or delete nodes/simplify outlines (compromise the design). i did both, depending on situations, to learn about VF.

the result makes me uncertain. i fear for the coherence of the font design and quality.

complex glyphs may interpolate bumpy, depending on my rather guessed positioning of the added on-curve-nodes. this can be super detailed (only notable zooming in or print at large).

simplified designs deliver better interpolation but may lack expression. 

how consistent are you regarding this problem? do you rather simplify or not?


in the Euro glyph (€) i even did redesign two curves without extremum points , since i couldn’t make it work smoothly with adding complexity. 

what do i risk/can go wrong with missing extremum points?


any opinions?

Comments

  • I would go for open corners and not really overlapping shapes. This could give some rendering issues
  • It's better to draw glyphs such as the euro with overlapping shapes, rather than a single contour. As long as you keep the contour orders in check, it makes kinkless interpolation much easier.
    on what stage in the process should overlaps be removed then? did this became obsolete and fonts are shipped with overlapping shapes and / or open corners?
  • jeremy tribbyjeremy tribby Posts: 141
    edited December 2022
    in a variable font, you may not want or need to remove overlaps at all. otherwise, overlaps are ideally removed at the very last stage, during build time. this gives you flexibility while drawing up until that point
  • in a variable font, you may not want or need to remove overlaps at all. otherwise, overlaps are ideally removed at the very last stage, during build time. this gives you flexibility while drawing up until that point
    thanks for pointing this out. that is how i approach it. i assumed all glyphs need removed overlaps, since overlaps trouble certain use (maybe CNC, plotter ?).
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,539
    i assumed all glyphs need removed overlaps, since overlaps trouble certain use
    They can, but that is the trade-off for achieving variable design spaces rather than single design instances. Some software and output environments do not handle overlaps well, but the answer to that is for them to do a better job. Poor handling of overlapping elements is already an issue using plenty of single design instance fonts, notably connecting script styles—including all Arabic fonts—and we recently had to implement an option in our build process to decompose and merge overlapping components in Devanagari fonts due to an issue a client found in one piece of software.

Sign In or Register to comment.