I have thought about this for a long time, but I have not reached a solution that fully satsifies me. So, as I am in the process of making final decisions with font naming, I wished to ask for opinions, especially to the more experts on the technical and production sides.
The fields to consider:
Family name / Style name / Full name / Postscript / Style group
So far, the two prominent naming conventions that seems to be in use are as follows.
I will use "Bold" as an example for the weight.
1a. San Francisco (Apple)
Here, since the intended use for the typeface is for screen and print, the family manages with two optical sizes, respectively named "Text" and "Display".
This convention does not satisfy me because, while one can consider the relative perception of digital fonts which can be used onscreen (but also the use we can now make directly on printed billboards, large posters, etc.), I would prefer the names to be immediately recognizable in their optical hierarchy, be it numerical (12, 24, 36 etc.) or descriptive (Small, Medium, Large, etc.).
Plus, it does not allow much optical sizes. If I wish to have, say, two caption sizes (5pt, 6pt), three text sizes (8pt, 10pt, 12pt) and so on, I don’t know how I could name them.
San Francisco Text / Bold / San Francisco Text Bold / SanFranciscoText-Bold / San Francisco Text
1b. Adobe Jenson Pro optical (Adobe)
A variation of the above criteria. This kind of naming convention, widely adopted has been the earliest used, by Adobe and then many others (using intermediate categories like "Subhead", or further expansions like "Caption" or "Micro"). Here the main difference lies in the fact that the optical size is specified within the style name, and not in the family name.
As above it does not satisfy me much as it does not allow for precise optical sizes. If I wish to have, say, two caption sizes (5pt, 6pt), three text sizes (8pt, 10pt, 12pt) and so on, I also don’t know how I could name them.
Adobe Jenson Pro / Bold Caption / Adobe Jenson Pro Bold Caption / AJensonPro-BoldCapt / Adobe Jenson Pro Capt
The family follows the traditional numerical value (in points) scheme, which includes the actual intended optical size for printing in the Family name. I think this is also the convention used at the time for ITC Bodoni, and more recently by Synthview Operetta.
I like this solution, but not the fact that this way each optical series ends up being a family of its own.
Paperback 12 / Bold / Paperback 12 Bold / Paperback12-Bold / Paperback 12 Roman
Given the two examples, an idea which occurred to me, and that could be immediately recognizable by non-designers and non-professionals, would be to use the size codes used in clothing, like:
extra extra small (XXS)
extra small (XS)
extra large (XL)
extra extra large (XXL)
extra extra extra large (3XL)
and so on.
These could be conveniently grouped to represent a caption range, a text range, subhead and a display ranges (e.g. XXS to S and so on).
So I was thinking of something like:
De Vinne M / Bold / De Vinne M Bold / DeVinne-M-Bold / De Vinne M Roman
De Vinne XL / Bold / De Vinne XL Bold / DeVinne-XL-Bold / De Vinne XL Roman
or, more descriptively, using both the more "universal" cloth size coding and the respective point size for print:
De Vinne M 12 / Bold / De Vinne M 12 Bold / DeVinne-M12-Bold / De Vinne M 12 Roman
De Vinne XL 60 / Bold / De Vinne XL 60 Bold / DeVinne-XL60-Bold / De Vinne XL 60 Roman
Also, could something like this work?
De Vinne / Bold / De Vinne 12 Bold / DeVinne-12-Bold / 12Bold
De Vinne / Bold / De Vinne 60 Bold / DeVinne-60-Bold / 60Bold
I am still very undecided.
Thanks everyone in advance for your expertise and opinions!