Kerning for PS Type 1 fonts in OS X (Pages-iWork.)

_Palatine_'s picture

http://www.underware.nl/site2/index.php?id1=support&id2=kerning

"Mac OSX users, please be aware that the operating system doesn't support kerning for PostScript flavoured OpenType fonts, also not for PostScript fonts. This is only for cocoa applications like Freehand, which rely on the operating system to provide kerning information instead of taking the information straight from the font. Some other applications, like InDesign do support kerning for PostScript Fonts."
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Is this still true for OS X Snow Leopard? Does this problem affect Pages (iWork)?

nina's picture

Huh. I dunno what the theory behind this is, but I just checked and on this end, the kerning seems to work just fine. Using Pages '09 (version 4.0.3) on OS 10.6.2. The font is PS Type 1.

_Palatine_'s picture

Thanks, Nina.

I just tested it myself with Dolly and the kerning is fine (same specs as you.) I should hope Pages is sophisticated enough that this wouldn't be a problem, and thankfully it isn't. False alarm. But thanks for looking into it on your end.

It might be the case that Underware's information is out of date or simply doesn't apply to Pages. It's interesting because if I'm not mistaken Pages is written in Cocoa.

By the way, I just visited your website. It's very well done, but aside from that, Patria looks fantastic in Nordlandliebe - at least from what I could tell from the photos.

nina's picture

Thanks Christian, glad you like it! I'm quite enthused about Patria myself.
BTW I've just switched my site over to webfonts. Pretty exciting stuff :-)

Paul Cutler's picture

I read this was a problem with the first 2 versions of Snow Leopard and then they addressed it with 10.6.2.

pbc

hrant's picture

Christian, It's nice to hear the kind words about Patria.
Thanks to Nina for making it sing. You can see more photos here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48413419@N00/sets/72157622858884157/

hhp

_Palatine_'s picture

Hrant:

That's a helluva "g" in Patria. I like it.

What's the story behind it?

It appears the italic would work seamlessly with the roman. It's almost upright, standing at attention as if begging for treats.

_Palatine_'s picture

Paul:

I didn't know that. Yikes! Glad they fixed it. Of all the operating systems out there I'd naturally expect OS X to be the most capable when it comes to typography.

hrant's picture

That "g" is actually a compromise between the conventional form and what I consider ideal. Here's an early rough sketch (pardon the ugly ears) of the compromise process:

http://www.themicrofoundry.com/other/gs2.gif

I'm a firm believer in the open-bottom binocular "g", even though it's difficult to make it sober - I wasn't going to compromise on that. I further feel that -ideally- in the bottom bowl the top should be thin and the thickest part should on the right (the lefthand form). However I conceded that it might make things too "pushy", and -with the encouragement of Roy Preston, who pointed out the "g" in the italic of Zapf International- decided to compromise with the conventional form (the righthand one); the end-result (the middle form) I'm very happy with.

BTW, I'm actually fond of canine analogies in type. One of the parts of Nour&Patria, the Latin subordinate of Nour, is code-named Harrier. Quadraat is a bloodhound. And Souvenir is a Golden Retriever.

hhp

nina's picture

Hrant, interesting! Thanks for showing that.

"-ideally- in the bottom bowl the top should be thin and the thickest part should on the right"
Care to share why? (Does it stand out better?)

hrant's picture

Actually the other way around: the "g" is already too divergent
from the rest (the closed-bottom binocular form for example is
topologically highly alien - almost like a Chinese logograph),
it needs more help belonging. There's little risk of it* becoming
too integrated - the rich descender and the ear take care of that.

* I mean the binocular form. The monocular one is hopeless.

hhp

nina's picture

Are you saying that your original "g" would integrate better because it's normalizing the stress? (On the other hand, the «traditional contrast» one relates to the "s", which is why I thought that one might be more «harmonious» inside the font. Unless you'd change the stress on the "s" too I guess.)

hrant's picture

All this is not a precise science. I have ideas of which characters needs help in which ways. This includes considerations of divergence in the x-height region versus the extender space (think of the "s" versus the bottom of the "g"), what distracts a reader too much versus just enough, letterwise differentiation, and who knows what else. And not least in this complex, nebulous "equation" is what people expect. People react to the glyphs in a font; maybe not readers when faced with a text font, but designers choosing any font are certainly paying attention to individual glyphs. And I don't want a designer to say: «I'm not going to use Patria because of the "g".» So I make my "g", "s" and all the others just pushy enough; and I see my job -in part- as helping people in spite of themselves.

This might seem anti-Design, but to me it's a higher level of Design (and maybe anti-Art, because it devalues what I want).

hhp

_Palatine_'s picture

Hrant:

Spoken like someone who does *not* live in an ivory tower with the birds.

Hell, I'm satisfied. :-)

nina's picture

I enjoy how you don't pretend that all this is not mindbendingly complex. Thanks. :-)

Thomas Phinney's picture

I'll just note that the title of this thread and the evidence given are about one thing (Type 1 fonts) and the quoted blurb in the original post is about something else (OpenType CFF fonts).

Cheers,

T

nina's picture

Hm – I took the quote to mean both these things («… for PostScript flavoured OpenType fonts, also not for PostScript fonts»). Since Christian was especially asking about PS Type 1 (as per the title) I figured that's the one he's primarily interested in.

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