Briem's curve compensation and how to implement in Glyphs

Hi everyone!

I’ve been reading some bits about curve compensation in italics based on obliques – primarily looking at Briem’s theory for fixing curves found in this article.

It’s something I’ve been playing around with, but I wanted to gather some opinions based on a point found in the instructions.

In the second point 3, it reads: “Slide the points of the new extremas to match the height coordinates”, and I’m curious as to what the consensus would be on the use of the term “slide”. As there are a few different ways to move points, would you read this to mean:

  1. Simply move the points using the arrow keys
  2. Move the points holding the option key to move only the selected points and not the attached handles
  3. Move the points using the option+control keys to proportionally adjust the surrounding unselected handles at the same time

I’ve tested all three, as a visual comparison. In order, from left to right:

I’m initially leaning towards the first method, as I think the results are slightly flatter and rounder in the lighter weight, but I don’t thinks it looks the best in the heavier weight. Edit: the more I look at them the more I prefer method 3.

Anyway, what do you reckon? Method 1, 2, or 3?


I would go with 3 in both cases since the object is to correct the weight imbalance introduced by the slanting. That appears to me to have been achieved in 3.


You can try out my Italify plugin: GitHub - eweracs/Italify: To-be one-stop shop for synthetic italics.

It’s very broken and experimental, but you can have a look at the code anyway. I haven’t properly implemented the “sliding” of nodes to their vertical positions.

Ctrl and Opt. Not Cmd.

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I got a reply from Gunnlaugur Briem:

For a tilted curve I prefer shifting both nodes and handles. But making a few variations and then deciding is usually worth considering. As far as I know, the credit belongs to Peter Karow, who built it into the Ikarus program.


That’s amazing! Thanks @mekkablue!

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Thanks for pointing that out. My mistake. I’ve updated my post now.