Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post Reply
Jeremy Tribby
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Dec 2022

Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post by Jeremy Tribby »

hi all, I was wondering if others frequently run into issues with Л and л (El-cy and el-cy) as well as the sides of letters with spikes. imagine in a sans serif and some combinations like АЛ and АД or дл. I will kern these pretty tightly, maybe close to AA. but kern-on seems unhappy about it, and thinks they are too tight. I can put them into their own "special spacing" categories, but I wonder if I'm getting something wrong or there's something to look at before I commit to that solution?
User avatar
Tim Ahrens
Site Admin
Posts: 424
Joined: 11 Jul 2019

Re: Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post by Tim Ahrens »

This is tricky to answer without seeing the font.

Kern On never thinks a pair is too tight as such, it only thinks it is it is too tight compared to another pair. For example, when it says “дл is too tight compared to vn” it might as well say, “vn is too loose compared to дл”, with the same meaning. The UI is simply made so that the sentence starts with the pair that was removed.

Btw, when KO decides whether to remove the tight or the loose model it takes into account the priority of the models, an internal value handled automatically. Newly set pairs have a low priority whereas “Try again” gives them a high priority. In case of equal priority, it tries to estimate which of the two models is more in line with all the other models. In the end, the user will decide how to handle the unresolvable mismatch.

Maybe you want to send me the file? Then I can have a closer look. The main question is, what is the other pair that KO thinks would be too loose if it keeps the дл.

I’d advise against using special spacing as a hack. It is meant to be used only if you want glyphs to visually look looser or tighter than the standard.
Jeremy Tribby
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Dec 2022

Re: Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post by Jeremy Tribby »

Thanks for the response, Tim! What you're saying makes sense, in the sense that Kern-On is agnostic to script and convention, and instead relies on shapes/notan - but I believe that may be what's causing the issue. Certain Cyrillic pairs can be uniquely tight, in a way that would make a shape/notan machine like Kern-On correctly say "this is wrong," and still be wrong overall, because an acceptable convention is to be very tight, too tight. I first tried to confirm your idea that there may be another pair somewhere else negatively impacting Kern-On's decisions with Cyrillic and this mostly took me through the tighter Latin pairs - AA, TT, tt, rt, etc. I was able to make a few adjustments to satisfy Kern-On in some of my masters (larger optical size, where the spacing is tighter), but in the more loosely spaced masters (smaller optical size), where some Cyrillic pairs will be noticeably tight by comparison to the other pairs, I seem to run into problems, where it makes a lot of suggestions or rejects my pairs outright
I am go to try tweaking a few more things, and still hunt for any odd pairs that may be causing trouble, but I can send you an email with a file if I get stuck, if that's the easiest way to figure it out
Jeremy Tribby
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Dec 2022

Re: Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post by Jeremy Tribby »

> It is meant to be used only if you want glyphs to visually look looser or tighter than the standard.

This may be the answer too, though :)
Jeremy Tribby
Posts: 14
Joined: 25 Dec 2022

Re: Cyrillic question - Л and л

Post by Jeremy Tribby »

Just as an update in case anyone else runs into this eventually,

> It is meant to be used only if you want glyphs to visually look looser or tighter than the standard.

This ended up being the case for me. What is standard (at least to some type designers) for Cyrillic in certain pairs that take on more of a ligature-like form, is simply not something Kern On agrees with, because they are a little bit tighter than analogous pairs in Latin.
Post Reply