Comparing Master Regular & Interpolated Regular

This might be a fairly me-specific thing, but interested to see if there’s a solution.

I am building a typeface from a Regular weight, however am transitioning to a two-master (Thin + Bold masters = interpolated Regular) workflow. I would like to compare my master Regular and interpolated Regular in the one file, to avoid having to keep track of multiple files (i.e. one containing just Thin and Bold masters, and one containing the original Regular master).

To cut to the actual question: Is there a way I can ‘ignore’ the Regular master when creating an instance for the Regular interpolated from the Thin and Bold? Can I create an instance for the master Regular and interpolated Regular in the one file? The Regular master would likely only be required for a short period of time, whilst I ensure that the interpolated Regular is producing a satisfactory result as compared to the original.

Let me know if more clarification is needed. Thanks!

Not sure if there might be a better way, but what I’d do is put the regular master in the background layer for all glyphs, then hit the re-interpolate button in the layers panel (under the cog icon) to generate an interpolated regular. Then you can compare the interpolated one with the background layer that you drew previously.

You can keep the Regular Master, but set up two Regular instances, one of them with an Disable Masters custom parameter. Set the parameter value to the name of the master you want to ignore.

Then you can compare the two instances:

  • in the Preview area (you can set shortcuts for my scripts Next and Previous Master to quickly switch between them),
  • in the exported files (e.g. in an InD doc set up for that purpose),
  • or with the Show Interpolations plugin (see the readme to find out how to only show two instances and set the colors for them, or, perhaps better, only set a color for the instance, and compare it with the master).

Unless you’re designing a very weird typeface you’re not going to get an acceptable regular weight by interpolating between thin and bold. The contrast ratios are too different and the horizontal strokes are going to be a mess.

Yes, I was going to mention that too, it’s normally best to keep a master somewhere in the middle to control the stroke thicknesses. (I often keep a bold master in there too, between regular and black, for the same reason. Regular and bold can then be spaced for text sizes; the extreme weights, which are more suited to display sizes, can have the spacing tightened up.)

Excellent points, thanks. @mekkablue that solution is exactly what I needed – though I will rethink my approach based on what you’ve mentioned @DunwichTypeFounders and @Bendy.

I know it’s good practice to establish extreme masters, to aid with finding the right balance for weights/styles in-between. I was under the impression that the Regular (and other intermediate weights) could be had ‘for free’, however it’s clear that very little comes for free in type design! I understand that different approaches to design decisions and optical compensations are required for the light, regular and heavy side of things respectively.


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I did several typefaces with only a Thin and a Bold/Black. There are several letters that need some adjustments but that can be handled by brace layers.
If you have a proper Black with a different contrast than the Thin, a master in the middle might be necessary. But Don’t use the Regular but something like the Semibold. That is where the contras changes the most.

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Thanks Georg, this helps. I’ve been waiting for a case to come up where I’d need to use brace layers, I’ll read up on them again.

Georg, no regular? Can you post images/a link to see the interpolated results? I’m curious.

For example the typefaces on this website.

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Just to clarify (and not to be pedantic!) for anyone that comes across this, this custom parameter is labelled ‘Disable Masters’, not ‘Ignore Masters’. Thanks again @mekkablue!

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Fixed it, thanks!

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