Too many stylistic sets - how would you approach this?

I’m working on a hand-drawn calligraphy script with LOTS of character variants, but they come in sets. So for example, there are currently 24 sets in which g, y, and z all have the same style of descender (in other words, there are 24 descender styles that apply across those three letters).

(I also have sets of ascender styles, t-cross styles, etc., which I could easily combine into the same stylistic sets, if I could have 24 stylistic sets).

I could reduce the number of styles to just 20, but what’s alluring about this typeface is that it has so many swashy, swoopy options.

I also know that I CAN use character variants (.cv01, etc.), but here it seems to make the most sense to me (from an end-user standpoint) to create stylistic sets so that the exact same descender style can be applied to a whole chunk of text at once, for example. But I can’t have more than 20 stylistic sets.

I’m interested to know how others would approach this scenario. I welcome your thoughts and advice.

(Also, I’m already using .fina and .init features)

Split in separate families with 12 stylistic sets each? But honestly, from user perspective, even 12 sets is a nightmare to navigate and manage, and I love stylistic sets and alternates. You’re doing the work for 5% of users, who will use 5% of alternates. I know it’s hard to stop :slight_smile:

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My core customers LOVE these options. They use them like crazy in my previous fonts, which are designed to give users fonts that they can make look like they’re hand-lettered. But I may just have to cap it at 20 and call it done. :slight_smile:

In that case go for it, of course. If you split families you can have 40 instead of 20 sets :wink:

You can try character variants (cv00–cv99). I have never tried them so I don’t really know if they work in your case.

I would go for .cvXX, and consider stylistic sets only for some basic choices that apply to all or most of the glyph set.

If your clients are geeky enough and it fits your design, you could combine some of the stylistic sets, e.g., use ss01-ss04 for lengths of ascenders/descenders, and ss05-08 for loop styles, then you can combine a certain length with a certain loopiness with .ss01.ss07, the same loop but a little larger would .ss02.ss07 and so on. You get the idea.