I was asked to add advanced mathematical symbols and size variants to an already existing font. Since I don’t have experience with mathematical typesetting I did some research and noticed that there are differences in the design of typefaces for text and their math companions.
Some differences I noticed are:
- size and position of basic mathematical symbols like plus, minus etc. (the plus often even goes below the baseline)
- position (and sometimes even an entirely different design) of delimiters like brackets, braces, parentheses etc.
- size and position of the summation sign
There are probably more, but these are the ones that I noticed.
Here are some screenshots from the typefaces I studied:
Fira Math and Fira Sans
The math version has slightly larger + and - which are positioned lower. Even the figures themselves are larger (the same as cap-height).The brace seems to be centred to the minus sign.
Libertinus Math and Libertinus
The overall design of +, - and braces are different – much larger and more distinctive.
I understand that the different application of the typeface leads to different design choices. But what specific criteria do I use to determine the size and position of these characters in math fonts? (+, -, √, ∑, etc.)
Also: How do I determine the size increase of the different delimiter variants?
I’d be grateful for your input!