OT issues with upcoming typeface

Martin Silvertant's picture

I'm still working on an upcoming typeface called Melk Sans. I had major issues before which have been fixed, but today I noticed a minor issue and I'm puzzled as to what is the cause. I thought I would start this thread not only to ask for feedback on this issue, but to ask other questions as well.

First off, the issue I'm having now is in the OpenType features when used together. As you can see in the PDF, the standard ligatures work fine (fi and ff are contextual ligatures which I placed in the standard ligatures set because they're less obtrusive than connected ligatures, which I threw out), the discretionary ligatures (st) work fine and the stylistic alternates work fine when the discretionary ligatures are turned off. However, when the stylistic alternates are turned on either with the standard ligatures or discretionary ligatures or both, some of the ligatures are being replaced; the second /st ligature is being replaced by an alternate /a and the /ff ligature is being replaced by /ar. Can someone explain what's going on there?

The order of the OT features in FontLab is the following: DLIG, LIGA, SS01, SALT, CALT.

I figured I must be doing something wrong with that order but I still don't see the logic in ligatures being replaced by different letters which I didn't actually program that way. Also, is it possible at all to turn stylistic sets on in Illustrator? For now I have the same code in both SS01 and SALT. I would prefer to make a few stylistic sets, but if there is no support for it in Illustrator I might have to use SALT and generate a few different fonts with different SALT programming.

Melk Sans OT issue.pdf301.88 KB
Jens Kutilek's picture

Does it work correctly when you preview the features in FontLab’s Preview panel?

Martin Silvertant's picture

Yes, everything works perfectly there.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Whatever the problem was before, it's fixed now. I changed the order of the OT functions so it might have had something to do with that.

Does anyone know if stylistic sets are accessible in Illustrator? If not, how do you still give people access to such features in Illustrator, or don't you?

Thomas Phinney's picture

No, stylistic sets are not accessible in Illustrator.

Either you let the glyphs remain inaccessible in Illustrator (as they are in many non-pro apps), or you duplicate them to some other feature(s). If you only have one or two stylistic sets it isn't so bad, but it becomes impractical with many such sets.

Of course, one might hope that Adobe would add the functionality to Illustrator. But I wouldn't hold my breath for that.

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