What is the best way to beta test fonts...

phrostbyte64's picture

What is the best way to beta test fonts for metrics and kerning. I'm getting to the end of a project and I wanted to know if anyone had any wonderful, and here-to undiscovered, methods for font testing. I generally start using them.

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...from the Fontry

blank's picture

Build a test file around your standard encoding that shows every letter and punctuation mark set against every other letter. You can generate these with Metrics Machine if you have it, or just use Indesign’s find and replace within selection ability. Run a page of nothing but random number combinations, set up all your math and fractions, etc. Make sure to break these into sections or smaller files. For diacritics, run at least one paragraph from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in every language the font supports. Run Leslie Cabarga’s Kern King tests.

And test everything turned sideways. I am convinced that looking at Lithuanian text sideways in bad lighting will show off just about every problem at once.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

And test everything turned sideways.

I've also been advised to turn printouts upside-down.

tourdeforce's picture

Try to look at printouts in mirror :)
It can help sometimes.

phrostbyte64's picture

So what is the benefit to looking at a font sample, upside-down, sideways or backwards?

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...from the Fontry

nina's picture

The idea is that the lettershapes become more abstract, so you can see the space better, because you aren't reading. I think it works better for some people than others, though.

eliason's picture

So what is the benefit to looking at a font sample upside-down?

When you stand on your head, the blood rushes to your brain and you can think more effectively about what you're seeing. ;-)

phrostbyte64's picture

When you stand on your head, the blood rushes to your brain and you can think more effectively about what you’re seeing. ;-)

Very funny...

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...from the Fontry

blank's picture

I think it works better for some people than others, though.

I can read backward and upside down without much trouble, that’s why I go with a language I don’t know. But flipping letters around does change the way we perceive the balance of spaces whether one can read it or not, so it’s a great way to spot spacing problems and wonky curves.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

What altaira said... I would add that you're not just looking at the space, but at the overall type color as well (one affects the other)... It will be easier to check for a consistent color if your eyes are not distracted from trying to read the words...

EDIT: I posted at the same time as James! What James said, too.

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