Glyphs extensions for fonts containing basic western set

I start this thread in Technique and Theory, though it addresses more issues. Please tell if this belongs elsewhere.

For years, I was drawing full-set Type-1 Western MacOS Roman fonts. Today in FL5, generating OT fonts to use on my Mac (OS 10.10.5). I focused on design, neglected technology (coding, encoding, scripting) and hinting (auto-hints).

To cover more languages, it is necessary to add glyphs to my fonts. FL5 offers a selection of code pages - i switched on OpenType LatinPro and went on filling the empty spaces. Where as glyphs like for example Rcaron, ohungarumlaut in terms of name and design make sense to me (those even compile with existing source glyphs to start with), i feel clueless with Unicode named cells. The only hint i have here are low-res bitmaps, difficult to interprete. And what might be the difference from Omega and uni03A9 for instance (its bitmap image seems the same) ?

Regarding my low technical level, is it advisable to approach this with FL at all (since there are much more diacritical glyphs to do, not covered by OpenType LatPro yet?) Should I switch and learn Glyphs.app (open my OT-fonts there and then stay with .ufo ? Rather later than sooner kerning these additional characters may be a topic, also potential OT-features I am interested in). Other font editors on Mac?

What is a good reference when it comes to design glpyhs you haven’t encountered before? I am looking at the system font MinionPro, but this seems custom built and only helps for few glyphs.

Which tasks should I be able to provide and control myself (interested in design)? What steps and bits are better done by specialists and should be commisioned (sample-codepages or fonts, containing a reference design to start with for instance) ?

I question the workflow to achieve my goal, based on my existing character set: cover all european latin languages, having numbers sets (lining, OsF, both proportional and tabular), maybe even fractions and superscript. Producing print and web fonts.

Your thoughts and insights would be much aprrechiated.

White and cyan cells come from my existing set. Red cells are pretty clear. Blue and magenta cells i am not sure wether done correctly. Empty cells: i have no refernce design:


Comments

  • Your uppercase Eogonek and Aogonek might be OK (hard to tell at this resolution), but the remaining ogoneks need adjustment. You might want to look at the following:

    <http://www.twardoch.com/download/polishhowto/ogonek.html&gt;

    André
  • You can try Glyphs for 30 days for free.
    This might help getting up and running:
    https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/porting-to-glyphs
    https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/diacritics

    (disclaimer: I’m the developer of Glyphs)
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 435
    edited September 16
    I start this thread in Technique and Theory, though it addresses more issues. Please tell if this belongs elsewhere.

    For years, I was drawing full-set Type-1 Western MacOS Roman fonts. Today in FL5, generating OT fonts to use on my Mac (OS 10.10.5). I focused on design, neglected technology (coding, encoding, scripting) and hinting (auto-hints).

    To cover more languages, it is necessary to add glyphs to my fonts. FL5 offers a selection of code pages - i switched on OpenType LatinPro and went on filling the empty spaces. Where as glyphs like for example Rcaron, ohungarumlaut in terms of name and design make sense to me (those even compile with existing source glyphs to start with), i feel clueless with Unicode named cells. The only hint i have here are low-res bitmaps, difficult to interprete. And what might be the difference from Omega and uni03A9 for instance (its bitmap image seems the same) ?


    "Omega" is actually the Ohm Sign whereas uni03A9 is the uppercase greek letter. They will normally look the same, but one is a symbol and the other a greek letter.

    You should get a copy of the unicode standard and the unicode code charts for more info on all of this. The current version (12.1.0) can be downloaded here:

    CodeCharts.pdf

    Full Text pdf for Viewing

    André
  • The sad truth is that, still to the day, there is no general valid guidance available for fontmakers, to define sensible character sets (beyond the most obvious western set). Neither the UC codepages nor default encodings in the font applications are a reliable reference for that task. You may start with useful char. sets like the Adobe glyph lists, but even then you may wish to check and counter-check if there is everything in it you want to provide.
    My own way was, over the years, to elaborate and to study carefully the languages and script cultures of various countries and regions. To collect informations and resources. That is quite a challenge, admittedly. Because, while it is rather simplistic to detect the actual character requirements of current-day Lithuanian, Turkish or Maltese, it gets more tricky when you venture to judge about how neccessary it may be to embrace long-s and its ligatures, old-day Greenlandic Kra, peculiar Aseri characters, the Danish A/S-character or even extended sets for phonetic usage, Pinyin or Arabic transliteration sets, special characters wanted for Huronian, Guarani, Vietnamese, Afrikan languages – to name but a few – or other region-specific or historically relevant extensions. Yes, it is a mess … don’t despair, work on it yourself and build your own character encoding set, that is the best advice I can give.





  • Underware’s Latin Plus character is an excellent resource for building latin types. It covers 219 languages and the web site allows you to see the special letters required for each supported language. I’ve attached the character set as a list you can copy/paste into a Glyphs filter for easy use.

    Glyphs includes list filters of characters required for different regions of Europe, Pinyin, Vietnamese, IPA, and Pan African Latin. One of my favorite Glyphs features is that it automatically builds support for combining diacritical marks into fonts based on your anchors, which will allow users to cook up letters that you didn’t include in your fonts.
  • As for reference I find Fileformat.info handy when I encounter an unfamiliar glyph. Look at Unicode 10AA for example. You can see Fonts that support U+10AA. Scroll down and you'll see FreeSans has something very different going on. Maybe worth looking into why that is. With other characters, you'll see that it's consistent all the way down the page so you're probably safe to use it as a guide. Keep in mind that those sample fonts are rather conservative and even though these fonts are wll known, the majority can still get things wrong. More than half of these examples have the grave on the left instead of the right (or sometimes top) where it belongs.
  • To build your character set based on languages you want to support, the Alphabet Type Charset Builder comes in handy. You can use its output in "Glyph names (AGLFN)" format to build your own encoding file in FontLab, or (after converting to "nice glyph names" a list filter in Glyphs.

    As reference fonts for lots of common and uncommon glyphs, I can recommend the Brill typeface.
  • Underware’s Latin Plus character is an excellent resource for building latin types.
    Not bad to start with, but it leaves a few things to be desired.
    Above all I wonder why it spares Vietnamese. I suppose that Vietnamese is of more relevance than e.g. Volapük or Esperanto. However. Another important language I fail to find is Guaraní.
    A comprehensive support of Sami languages would also list Skolt Sami and the Ʒʒ Ǯǯ characters.
    The Saltillo (A78B A78A  Ꞌ ꞌ) is missing as well.
    One could always add Bribri, Navajo, Pitjantjatjara and Tłı̨•chǫ, of course. [ed.: • = iogonek, missing here?]
    A catering for Azeri without the currency character for Manat (₼) maybe of limited usefulness for the target audience in question. The monetary character set given, in general, is highly deficient, i.m.h.o. (if one aims to support a little more than the most basic requirements).




  • Andreas, you should publish your own addendum to Latin Plus. Not many people have your knowledge of the subject, and the rest of us would be happy to learn from you.
  • Your uppercase Eogonek and Aogonek might be OK (hard to tell at this resolution), but the remaining ogoneks need adjustment. You might want to look at the following:

    <http://www.twardoch.com/download/polishhowto/ogonek.html&gt;

    André
    Thank you for the link, André. I have some homework to do.
  • I start this thread in Technique and Theory, though it addresses more issues. Please tell if this belongs elsewhere.

    For years, I was drawing full-set Type-1 Western MacOS Roman fonts. Today in FL5, generating OT fonts to use on my Mac (OS 10.10.5). I focused on design, neglected technology (coding, encoding, scripting) and hinting (auto-hints).

    To cover more languages, it is necessary to add glyphs to my fonts. FL5 offers a selection of code pages - i switched on OpenType LatinPro and went on filling the empty spaces. Where as glyphs like for example Rcaron, ohungarumlaut in terms of name and design make sense to me (those even compile with existing source glyphs to start with), i feel clueless with Unicode named cells. The only hint i have here are low-res bitmaps, difficult to interprete. And what might be the difference from Omega and uni03A9 for instance (its bitmap image seems the same) ?


    "Omega" is actually the Ohm Sign whereas uni03A9 is the uppercase greek letter. They will normally look the same, but one is a symbol and the other a greek letter.

    You should get a copy of the unicode standard and the unicode code charts for more info on all of this. The current version (12.1.0) can be downloaded here:

    CodeCharts.pdf

    Full Text pdf for Viewing

    André
    Again, lots to study - thanks
  • Underware’s Latin Plus character is an excellent resource for building latin types. It covers 219 languages and the web site allows you to see the special letters required for each supported language. I’ve attached the character set as a list you can copy/paste into a Glyphs filter for easy use.

    Glyphs includes list filters of characters required for different regions of Europe, Pinyin, Vietnamese, IPA, and Pan African Latin. One of my favorite Glyphs features is that it automatically builds support for combining diacritical marks into fonts based on your anchors, which will allow users to cook up letters that you didn’t include in your fonts.
    thanks for your hints, James- you deliver good arguments

  • Same for Ray, Jens and Andreas, thank you for your comments. I have many browser-tabs open now and will hang on working through
  • you should publish your own addendum to Latin Plus
    surely a worthwhile idea, James. But my references are in a rather messy state, not fit for publishing (yet). However, I can give a view of the monetary & weight char. set I prefer for my (extended) Latin fonts:

    ₿¢₡₵₫€ƒ£₤₺₼₦₱₽Rs₹₩$ ℮l℔

    in case something gets screwed on the way, here the same as an image:



    … for the rest of the details see the UCS.
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