Layered fonts: layer suffix in family name or style name?

For layered fonts, what is the most common and preferrable naming scheme?
  • Foobar-Regular, Foobar-Bold, Foobar-RegularShadow, Foobar-BoldShadow
  • Foobar-Regular, Foobar-Bold, FoobarShadow-Regular, FoobarShadow-Bold
The former (using the Preferred family, name table id 16, and preferred style, name id 17 fields) is easier to output from a single project in FontLab 7, and is commonly supported in apps, but is not supported by at least one application: GIMP.
The latter requires manual manipulation of the font files after export or several exporting runs with changing names in between (at least in FontLab).
I was going to ask FontLab to make a change to support the second scheme, but I wanted to gain some support here first.

Comments

  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 473
    edited February 2
    I don't have the GIMP installed. Can you clarify what you mean by 'manipulation of the font files'?

    And just to clarify, I am assuming the font is set up as follows (taking only Fubar-RegularShadow)

    Family Name: Fubar Shadow
    Style Name: Regular
    PS Font Name: FubarShadow-Regular
    Preferred Family Name: Fubar
    Preferred Style Name: Regular Shadow
  • I can't believe I actually mispelled Foobar!
  • I can't believe I actually mispelled Foobar!
    Your spelling is correct too; it just has a slightly different meaning. :D
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 605
    edited February 2
    > Can you clarify what you mean by 'manipulation of the font files'?
    I meant editing the name table with TTX, for example.
    Fonts exported from FontLab have the following scheme:
    Family Name: Fubar Shadow
    Style Name: Regular
    PS Font Name: Fubar-RegularShadow
    Preferred Family Name: Fubar
    Preferred Style Name: Regular Shadow
    Do you think the PS name (id 6) constructed this way could be problematic? Is not all that matters that it is unique? (Probably not to all software developers...)
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 473
    edited February 2
    Try using FubarShadow-Regular instead and see if that works.

    André

    [EDIT: just to clarify, there shouldn't be anything wrong with your postscript name. I'm just wondering if that might be what is causing issues for the GIMP.]
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 605
    Thanks for the suggestion. Didn't work though.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,857
    I would have thought the optimal (for humans) PS Font Name would be: Foobar-Shadow
    Which is none of the above.

    It would be nice if FL made it easier to manually override the names, just in general.

    Then again, I would also be sympathetic to the argument that this particular problem looks to be a GIMP bug, and should be fixed on that side of the fence.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 605
    edited February 2
    @Thomas Phinney For a single set of layers, yes. What about Foobar, Foobar Shadow, Foobar Black, Foobar Shadow Black? Admittedly, a rare case though, most people just make layered version out of the boldest weight.
    I filed a bug in the GIMP tracker, but then again, how can we be sure there aren't more apps like this?
  • I just tested it in FontLab 7. Names generated by the application are correct: "family name"+ style:


  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,857
    @Thomas Phinney For a single set of layers, yes. What about Foobar, Foobar Shadow, Foobar Black, Foobar Shadow Black? Admittedly, a rare case though, most people just make layered version out of the boldest weight.

    What about them? I would name them all just as you said, though. Basically, one leaves "Regular" out of the name, unless that is the only style.
    I filed a bug in the GIMP tracker, but then again, how can we be sure there aren't more apps like this?

    I have not heard about this particular issue, in any app that can handle a wide range of font names and is neither limited to WWS, nor to traditional four-member families. That said, of course there are more apps like this. Any given bug you can imagine, exists, and exists in more than one app. The question is, which app bugs—if any—do you bother to work around in your fonts? For me, the answer depends on both how painful the workaround is (in terms of breaking standards and/or work to accomplish), and how important the app is (in general or for the particular font).
    Is not all that matters that it is unique?

    Some apps expose the PostScript Font Name to users. This is more common among higher-end graphics and publishing apps, and among open source apps.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 605
    edited February 3
    I just tested it in FontLab 7. Names generated by the application are correct: "family name"+ style:
    No one ever stated they aren't. The general issue (applicable to other cases) is that FontLab enforces the same family name for all layers in a project, which is sometimes unhandy. Alex from the support team has filed a feature request for me, so we'll see.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 605
    In general, after all, I think having the layers in one family is more handy for Adobe apps, as I can copy the text frame and just switch to the next layer in the Style dropdown. If anyone complains about the GIMP issue, I'll just send them a modified version until the bug is fixed.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 977
    I filed a bug in the GIMP tracker, but then again, how can we be sure there aren't more apps like this?
    I haven't received bug reports about font names not showing up correctly in the last decade apart from GIMP. It's a special case because it seems to have its own special way of handling fonts. Even if a typeface uses the Twardoch naming method, it can have problems in GIMP. GIMP has a separate font folder which can conflict with the system font folder. I get this bug occasionally: some fonts in a family in the system folder and others in the GIMP folder causing mayhem.
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