Providing another set of spacing/kerning


I’m currently looking at making some optical adjustments to a display font in order for it to work for titling. It’s a bold no-contrast sans serif, with three masters and 8 weights from Thin to Ultra Bold. The variation in weight provides a good starting point for the optical size, and most glyphs don’t actually need to change because the counters are already quite open and there are no features to dress down. I’ve started to add the few that need changing as alternates (maybe 4/5, mostly making them wider and lower the crotches where needed). However, the spacing would need to be different, much looser. The default spacing is currently super tight (on purpose) so tracking works to a point but it would be better if I could provide a different set of metrics.

What are my options? Creating an optical axis and duplicating 90% of the font (and having to change my brace tricks to bracket tricks)? Duplicating the font and have two font files?

I realise this is probably a slightly unorthodox case so happy to take unorthodox answers if needed.

The Brace tricks should still work. I would try this first. Consider a set of scripts that help you keep the masters in sync where necessary.

Ah! I got the impression the brace trick only worked on one axis. Great to hear otherwise. I think I might be able to get away with components for the glyphs that don’t change across optical masters. Thank you!

I now see that I was a little naive thinking I could do it through components – I just realised you can link a component from a master to another in the way I was picturing.

What would you recommend in terms of script? Something that would copy over the outlines from the “display” masters onto the “titling” masters, without touching the metrics keys, and use a whitelist for the glyphs that will need to be different?

Anything in your treasure trove of scripts that I can use as a starting point?

Or duplicate the master.

If I were you, I would write scripts for keeping track of what has changed (New Tab with changed outlines, or the like) and one that transfers layer content in selected glyphs (Reset layer to Master X).