Font with extremely tall ascenders/descenders in multiline text in Adobe applications

Michael RafailykMichael Rafailyk Posts: 37
edited August 27 in Technique and Theory
Hello, type drawers!
I'm currently working on a handwritten face with very long ascenders and descenders and I'm wondering what is the best way to set vertical metrics? I see two approaches here but not sure the first one is right:

1. Set x-height to normal and let ascenders/descenders go out of the box.
Pros: The font looks the same size comparing to the other fonts.
Cons: The line height (leading) in Adobe apps is 125% of the UPM by default, so descenders of a top line and ascenders of a bottom line intersect each other on multiline text. Of course, designer can set the leading and fix it, but it feels wrong.

2. Fit a whole height (from tallest to lowest point) to 100-125% of the UPM.
Pros: Multiline in Adobe applications looks right.
Cons: The font looks pretty small comparing to the others.

Has anyone come across a similar one, and how did you solve it?
Thanks.

Comments

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,095
    The new Zapfino was 2.5x the size, wasn’t it? That was a huge change to make to a system font! It remains my favorite example of how digital font size is rather arbitrary.
  • @John Hudson Just a week ago, I checked Zapfino font metrics on my Mac, and now you tell a story behind it. It shed light, thanks!
  • The new Zapfino was 2.5x the size, wasn’t it? That was a huge change to make to a system font! It remains my favorite example of how digital font size is rather arbitrary.
    I'm not sure that I would refer to Zapfino as a 'system font'. It was distributed as part of MacOS, but AFAIK it wasn't a required font and was never actually used by the system.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,095
    Sure, you could call it “an OS pre-installed font” or something like that. Bundled with the OS and normally pre-installed. 
  • Florian PircherFlorian Pircher Posts: 71
    edited August 31
    André G. Isaak said:
    it wasn't a required font and was never actually used by the system.
    Once a font is shipped as part of an OS, software on that OS expects that font to be available. So while the core set of Apple provided apps might not have used Zapfino, third party apps might have. I cannot find any example of this for Zapfino specifically, but Palatino is also a system font by Zapf, used by the build-in reader mode in Safari, the Books app, or third party apps to show a registration card:

    It would not surprise me if some other app uses Zapfino (or Optima) for its license certificate window. Removing these fonts in an OS update would break such apps (or at least render their license windows less celebratory).

    A system font can also be used in documents. If a later OS release removed the font, a user would find their document with a fallback font. In that sense, any system provided front is a required font.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,173
    Microsoft makes a distinction between core fonts and system fonts. Core fonts are things like Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New, Segoe UI, and other fonts that are used, or have been used, as default fonts in a variety of situations in the operating system or other MS products. System fonts include the core fonts, but also any others that are bundled with the OS and hence subject to similar stability considerations.
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 561
    edited September 1
    André G. Isaak said:
    it wasn't a required font and was never actually used by the system.
    Once a font is shipped as part of an OS, software on that OS expects that font to be available.
    I've always used the term 'system font' to mean 'required system font'  (for macOS, that used to be (many of) the ones in /Library/Fonts rather than System/Library/Fonts, though recently the font organization has changed)  but I can see why others mights not adopt that usage and I see your point.

    However, I've always very strongly believed that if an application uses a font which isn't one of the required system fonts, it should always be able to gracefully fall back onto one of the core systems fonts. If it can't, the developer should really consider licensing the font for embedding in the application.

    I've always been in the habit of removing as many system fonts as possible to reduce menu clutter, and I suspect that I'm probably not alone in this regard. It's annoying to have to scroll through a menu several screens long. Everything I don't regularly use (which is most of the fonts included with macOS) get moved into my FontExplorer X folder and are kept inactive until I actually need them for something.

    The fact that the OS does allow you to remove most fonts means it isn't really wise for an application to assume they will be there just because they are bundled with the OS.
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