I'm working on variable Inconsolata, and have run into what seems to me a rather deep question about how to calibrate the axes. Basically, I'd like to make it so different widths with the same weight mix smoothly together, but I'm finding it depends on what I mean by "mix."
If I want to put letters of different widths together in the same word, then the most seamless mix has the stem weight roughly the same (possibly slightly lighter in condensed weights). But then the "color" of the condensed weight is considerably darker than the expanded.
Conversely, if I want to make the color roughly equal, then I find the stem widths need to be a lot thinner in the condensed weights, and glyphs look mismatched right next to each other.
My prototype font is in the two_axes2
branch of the Inconsolata repo, with currently only a handful of glyphs populated across all nine masters (three each for width and weight).
How do people resolve this? I have an extra constraint that I'm monospace, but I feel like I've got that pretty much in hand, at least across the weight range for the normal width.
I can provide images if it's not clear from the text above.