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To know the standard practice...

Mithil MogareMithil Mogare Posts: 42
edited July 2023 in Font Technology
We usually compose accented letters by combining base glyph and accent marks with to anchor pins or points like A+acutecomb.case=Aacute. Also, we compose some glyphs by adding components like slash and backslash or comma and semicolon. 
I want to know the standard practice of exporting fonts. Can I remove overlaps and flatten all the glyphs (release all link references of particular element) to give subtle and smooth one contour feel before exporting?
what all other mistakes beginner designers do while exporting font?

Thank you.

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    Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 163
    lots to unpack here:

    Firstly, flattening glyphs BEFORE export can result in outlines not interpolating correctly across your masters (let's say a thin and extra bold) , as it's often necessary to hide nodes within the a glyphs outline to achieve interpolation. Flattening the glyphs will make the thin and extra bold have different amounts of nodes and handles which will cause all instances to break.

    Most type design programs will flatten during the export process so doing this manually isn't required. I'm speaking general here, as Variable Fonts often maintain overlaps during and after the export process. But this is a different situation. 

    One mistake of beginners is overusing components to create new glyphs. For example, the ogonek requires careful manipulation to connect correctly to base glyphs (eg the /aogonek, /eogonek etc). Beginner designers often build ogonek glyphs out of components with the /ogonekcomb, when the base glyph should be decomposed and the ogonek's shape manually adjusted to connect nicely to base glyph. One again, I'm being general here. If you looks at a well designed typeface and overlay the ę,ą and į, you'll see the ogoneks are all slightly different.

    To make matters more complicated, nesting of components can become problematic depending on your exporting format (TTF, OTF etc). Nesting is when you create a composite glyph out of two or more components, and then use that composite in another glyph which adds another component (i.e nesting). Blending composites and base outlines can also cause issues with some font formats.

    Beginner designers sometimes take the lazy approach to glyph construction by flipping outlines to create additional base glyph. Doing this is noticeable to experienced type designers as the flipped shape can look wrong depending on the overall design of the typeface (i.e. stress, stroke angle). It's best practice to assume that flipping a shape and doing no additional tweaking will result in odd outlines. Beginners sometimes take a 'one size fits all' approach.

    Hopefully this is helpful. before other TypeDrawers members jump on my comments, I'm aware my notes are brief and lack the depth that others may wish to contribute.


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    Mithil MogareMithil Mogare Posts: 42
    edited July 2023
    lots to unpack here:

    Firstly, flattening glyphs BEFORE export can result in outlines not interpolating correctly across your masters (let's say a thin and extra bold) , as it's often necessary to hide nodes within the a glyphs outline to achieve interpolation. Flattening the glyphs will make the thin and extra bold have different amounts of nodes and handles which will cause all instances to break.


    So is it ok to have one contour for accented glyph. I got opaque idea.
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    Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 163
    edited July 2023
    What are you trying to achieve? 
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    Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,765
    edited July 2023
    I generally agree with Paul. But to the point:

    if you are exporting flat, non-variable fonts, removing overlaps in the exported fonts (but usually not in your source files!) is ok—actually even good.

    if you need to maintain compatibility between styles for interpolation or vector addition, then removing overlaps is a bad idea.
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    What are you trying to achieve? 
    If you use some font's ę or ą in illustrator and make that text outline or expand it to vectors, you can see the overlapping of ogonek on base letter. (I tested Inter)

    On other hand, There are some fonts which has 
    ę or ą as a one contour. No overlaps nothing, just one form. (I tested Fort)

    I felt it was bad idea to have overlaps even after whole production. I am asking which font is meeting the standard practice.
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    Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 163
    Refer to Thomas’ comment above about overlaps. 

    Attempting to define what is standard practice for ALL fonts isn’t really possible. Plus type designers have different methods, and fonts can require different design and production solutions to achieve their goals. What I’m trying to say here is some type design rules are flexible while others aren’t, and sometimes what’s flexible is up to the discretion of the designer. Looking for rules which apply to ALL typefaces is a dangerous practice without knowing the full story, history, environment etc that the typeface had. 
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    Simon CozensSimon Cozens Posts: 725
    I really don't think it matters if the static glyphs have more than one contour. Why do you think it's more "subtle" and "smooth"? The effect is identical.
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    I really don't think it matters if the static glyphs have more than one contour. Why do you think it's more "subtle" and "smooth"? The effect is identical.
    I felt it is near to perfect. But as per Pauls opinion, I should consider full story, history, environment etc that the typeface had. 
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