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I've come to realize that, at least for me, the most time-consuming and maddening part of the typeface design process is turning finished glyphs into an actual, usable font, rather than the process of designing and drawing the glyphs themselves.
For instance, imagine you want to create a font with a regular and bold weight. Once you've got both faces drawn, glyph by glyph, you need to apply metrics and kerning. The problem is, the metrics and kerning values for the bold weight should really be exactly the same as they are for regular, just pushed out a bit in both directions. Of course I'm oversimplifying things, and this wouldn't apply to all typefaces, but for the "average" typeface I think this holds for the purpose of the point I'm trying to make.
The fact that there is so much redundant work to be done across all weights of a font isn't even the primary problem. The real issue for me is that since kerning can take so long, and be so subjective, I'm not sure I really trust myself to make the exact same decisions for every kerning pair across all weights. What if I kern the A/V pair slightly differently in the bold weight, when compared to how it was done in the regular weight? The only "solution" would be to manually compare every kerning pair from every weight with each other, one by one, ensuring they look similar enough to work as a family.
For me, creating an entire family's worth of glyphs is a reasonable task. But the remaining work for turning a glyph set into a font, when multiplied by the number of weights in a well-developed family, seems unreasonable cumbersome and error-prone.
Does anyone have any perspective on this, or insight into how this workflow is usually handled among different foundries/designers?