I’m working a lot on counter-italics these days and I often find myself copying the Italic layer to the counterItalic one and mirroring it.
I’ve found out that counterItalics are actually an amazing benchmark for Italic curves consistency, since you can spot inconsistencies right away just by looking at the effect your optical adjustments on the Italic have on the counterItalic.
I think that being able to refer to the Italic layer in the counterItalic (with a component that changes dynamically) would not only speed up dramatically this kind of specular slanted projects but also give the designers hints as to whether their curves are correct or not!
Let me know if this makes any sense (I’m aware that most letters can’t be mirrored without having to adjust the contrast, but in geometric and modular fonts, it would still prove incredibly helpful.)
Two easier ways to do that:
- View the letter using a temporary black fill (spacebar), or
- Flip the letter top to bottom (right panel).
Either will show inconsistencies very quickly.
Yeah, those are good ways to check the curves, but they won’t let you have a specular version of your layer in another layer, which is what you need if you don’t want to copy it in the other Master any time you change it. (think about 12+ masters scenarios, things get complicated).
Also, you want to see the italic instance in context with other letters, and the flip option in preview is not the same as a counterItalic instance you can use as reference.
By the way, there are other uses to this feature: imagine you have to create a condensed master with even proportions and one with classical proportions: you want to have the possibility to change the width of just a few letters while keeping all the others as perfect copies of the first Master.
Those counter italics are quite a rare feature. And if you rally only using components, you might as well build an export filter that does the mirroring on export.
I agree that this counter italics thing might be not common, but the second scenario I mentioned most certainly is.!
There is no problem in copying one master and modifying some glyphs, but it would be much more intuitive and quick to have dynamic compatibility among masters that have many glyphs in common.
Essentially are you just asking for components that can come from different layers?
I am I was trying to explain two scenarios in which they would be useful.