Kerning the Dreaded Papyrus

jafo's picture

Yes, I know, Papyrus is considered harmful; let's move past that, shall we? I've decided to rehabilitate it by kerning therapy, which is something I needed practice in anyway. I'm quite pleased with the results, although I don't plan on doing it old-school (2054 individual pairs IIRC) ever again.

I'm sure it isn't legitimate to post the resulting font, but (assuming interest) is it OK to post the AFM?

quadibloc's picture

Probably not. I can remember a case where someone was sued for posting a program that went to different locations in a laserdisc without the permission of the copyright holder of the movie therein.

HVB's picture

John: I dont understand the relevance.
Jafo: I think the afm might be questionable, but a set of imaged would be fine

hrant's picture

Actually I think distributing a set of custom kerning pairs for a third-party font is probably entirely fine. But I'm not a lawyer. Which is fine by me because they make boring fonts. :-)


oldnick's picture

I agree with Hrant; in fact, if the new and improved kerning actually were new and improved, I would welcome it…

jafo's picture

Leaving aside the issue of how something can be both new and improved at the same time, I can verify that this kerning is "new," but "improved" is open to debate. ;^)

The shapes and spirits of the letters (err, the letter and spirit of the shapes?) lend themselves to some unusual kerning possibilities. For example, the rightmost legs of R and K dip well below the baseline, whimsically inviting letters to perch above them. A touch of whimsy suits the face -- and really, it's no different in theory from tucking letters beneath the eaves of a T.

Anyway, I'll contact Microsoft to get official word on what I can do. With lawyers, permission is generally easier (and cheaper!) than forgiveness.

Nick Shinn's picture

Whatever, you could make a kerning file for use in Quark XPress, without touching the font.

jafo's picture

As far as I can tell, distributing a kerning file doesn't violate the license, so I'm releasing the AFM file, which FontLab and IIRC FontForge allow you to use directly, even though the font is TT. (Cool, hunh?) The font itself only says it's from Microsoft, whose typography group pointed me to Monotype, who haven't bothered to get back to me. I make no claim to ownership of the font, use at your own risk, yadda yadda, I'm not responsible for anything you may do with this, up to and including imploding the Solar System by using it.

My understanding is that it's legal to distribute the kerning file, and I'll cease, desist, halt, all that good stuff if this is unethical or illegal.

That said, if you agree to all of the above terms, here's the link:

I chose to expand the kerning to individual kerning to ensure maximal compatibility across platforms; and there are a godawful lot of unlikely pairs, just in case any Martians want to use it.

jafo's picture

Also, I'd be glad to post an XPress kerning file if somebody wants to buy me an XPress license. ;^)

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