Help formatting small letter i with stroke

Mike Hunter's picture

We would like to learn how to incorporate a unicode character that exists in one (or more) font sets, but not in the font that we wish to use. Unicode 0268 is a small letter i with a stroke in, for example, New Tomes Roman, but we want to have it in Caslon. Any suggestions

hrant's picture

It depends on the font, and how set you are on using that font...

The proper way to do something like this is to add the missing character(s) directly into the font, but most commercial fonts don't allow modification (which means you need to have the modification done by the font house itself, a proposition that's often expensive and sometimes slow). There are some notable exceptions to this, and all open-source (AKA libre) fonts allow modification, but you might want to keep an open mind about switching to a different font.

In the absolute worst case you can use a separate font with just the missing characters (in the same style) and sub that in as needed, but of course that's very inelegant (plus you can't kern across fonts).

So: Which Caslon?

hhp

Mike Hunter's picture

Adobe Caslon Pro. Switching may be the only option. Normally very helpful, Adobe not so much on this question. Thanks for your input.

hrant's picture

Actually that's quite fortunate, since Adobe is one of the few font houses that allows modification (as long as all parties involved have a license to the original). In fact not too long ago I myself was commissioned to add 10 accented letters (each in UC and lc, in six styles) to Adobe Garamond Premier for support of Sanskrit transliteration. There are others here who can do that sort of job for you as well, but feel free to shoot me an email for a quick quote: hpapazian at gmail dot com

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

Adobe allows the end user to modify their fonts for their own use. Anyone who has a font editing program, and a modicum of skill, can make this character up for you.

hrant's picture

This particular case indeed requires only modest effort (which means any third-party fee should be modest as well) but a good font editor is not cheap, and learning how to use it (especially without breaking the original) isn't trivial. Most people aren't idle and/or adventurous enough to avoid the cost-effective solution of simply out-sourcing the work.

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

I'd be just a little careful taking up Hrant's shameless plug. David Lemon at Adobe once told him it was OK for a third party (him) to modify someone else's fonts, and it probably is all right, though you can see from the long discussion below no one wants to be too terribly clear.

(For reference, aside form David Lemon, Christoper Slye is another Adobe employee, and Thomas Phinney was head of the group for a while, though I believe he'd left when this thread occurred.)

http://typophile.com/node/47313?page=1

* * *

The character you mention is an IPA phonetic character -- rather than an i with the combining diacritic U+0335. I'm not sure if there is any real syntactical distinction between the two, but not being sure is enough to stay safe. Besides, few of the font publishers put in the combining diacritics (though according to Unicode, all should).

Since it's not a common phonetic character -- others are usually needed in any phonetic context, I suspect it's for a "Native American" language. In fact, I think I've seen it in an Mexican/Central American Indian language, newly given a written form.

Anyway, if that's the case, you're apt to need other characters -- or other phonetic characters, if it really is a case of phonetics. Best is to learn how to do the work yourself; alternatively, pick a font family where the work's already done -- like Ross Mills Huronia, which covers most Native American orthographies.

http://www.tiro.com/huronia/index.html

hrant's picture

I don't understand why it's shameless. Over these past 15+ years I've been pretty altruistic in helping out near-total-strangers, but nobody can teach somebody how to use FontLab in a forum post... So I can offer a mutually beneficial avenue by charging a fee. I think that's no different than announcing a new font for sale*. Are those shameless too?

* http://typophile.com/node/101182

You give some good advice on occasion, but I think here you're allowing our numerous past disagreements (which I feel stem mostly from your pervasive denigration of type designers) to replace objectivity with spite. Please don't cast aspersions on my work on Adobe fonts - there's nothing shady about it. I believe David Lemon, Christopher Slye and Thomas Phinney all trust me with this sort of thing.

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

There is a difference between casting aspersion on someone's work and someone's opinion that only they -- either singularly, or as a group -- can do such work. I don't know your specific work, so could not cast aspersions on it. In any case, I wouldn't.

What does rile me to no end is your 100+ posts per fortnight that only a *type designer* is capable of doing anything to a font -- and often to a text -- save, perhaps, writing it and setting justified lines. Even here, some type designers claim superiority. Maybe it's in the water?

* * *

If one reads the thread I cited carefully, I think what you should come away with is the Adobe lawyers have written something, and no one is quite certain what it means. What one can get away with, yes. I think you're correct that the odds of a lawsuit are remote to none. It is a little different to say "Adobe means this or that."

hrant's picture

Calling my offer "shameless" is shameful. I only offer my paid services when it's not possible to help directly on Typophile; you're trying to undermine that, I suspect simply because you don't like me (along with pretty much all type designers it seems).

Furthermore, you're putting words in my mouth (and type designers collectively) possibly in order to fight a personal bugbear. Anybody who works with letterforms and/or their spacing -in a font- is a type designer, and you certainly don't need to have designed a stand-alone font to add a stroke to an "i". However -unless you're going to perform some contorted hack- you do need a font editor, and you need to know how to use it. In fact you are a type designer yourself (although you should know that most typesetters are not). But not because you use InDesign! You have made ridiculous statements concerning the viability of typesetting software in carrying out typeface design - don't expect to get away with that in front of people who rely heavily on something like FontLab, for good reason. All this should be obvious to you, but I feel you're allowing some misplaced inferiority complex -or a convenient belief that type designers are leeches- to cloud your objectivity.

And lawyers? Here's a riddle I enjoy telling: What's 20,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start. I don't care what lawyers pretend they believe; I care about what David, Christopher and Thomas believe. And to me it is people like that who represent Adobe's typographic presence.

I don't offer my modification services because I think I can get away with it; I offer the service when I believe it's a legal, ethical and mutually beneficial solution.

And FYI: http://typophile.com/node/101351

hhp

hrant's picture

And if anybody really needed evidence that free does not equate to easy:
http://typophile.com/node/101395

hhp

Mike Hunter's picture

Thanks for the entertaining help. charles ellertson, we have contacted Ross Mills about Huronia. Thank you for the heads-up.

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