Ascent/descent query

pablohoney77's picture

okay so, i know i probably shouldn't do this, but I have this font i'm working on that has these big swash caps and i kinda want to set the ascent/descent as shown in the illustration below. what would be the disadvantages of such a configuration? why shouldn't i do this? or can i get away with it? any insight would be appreciated.

a samsing
(illustration 01)

eolson's picture

Paul -

I'm guessing you meant to say the x-height and baseline?
Setting your ascent/descent as shown would be pretty
cumbersome for the user - epescially if used in conjuction
with other fonts.

pablohoney77's picture

No, i meant ascent & descent. These swash letters (Y & R) are to be used sparingly and the rest of the letters you see in this example are the actual caps. The lowercase is morticed and the descenders and ascenders of the lc don't reach above/below the bounds i've set in the above illustration. Since the Swash caps are meant to be used sparingly (in one line settings), i thought that it would be silly to set the ascent/descent on these letters unless it would cause some cataclysmic problems like chopping off whatever lies above/below the boundaries that i've set in the above example.

I guess that should have been the original question: if i set the ascent/descent as shown above will the regions outside this bounding area still print?

eolson's picture

I can't with complete confidence say yes to this question.

pablohoney77's picture

Well thanks for commenting at least. Sometimes I feel like i'm talking to myself in here!

dezcom's picture

>Sometimes I feel like i'm talking to myself in here!<
I have felt that way too at times when I posted a sans font for a crit but I soon realized that sometimes it takes people a while.

The only problem you will have printing your font is that you have to be sure to allow enough leading so that you don't overlap other things. Since this is a display font, that should be easy to accomplish. Diacritics in text fonts on the capitals are often above type height and they print but more leading is often needed in CE languages where there are lots of diacritics.


hrant's picture

I'm not sure what the red lines are.
I can assume they're the "normal" baseline and capheight, and I guess you're worried about going too far down/up with the bigger caps. Certainly with the descenders there shouldn't be a problem, and even with the ascenders you should be safe, although once you add the accents on the big caps you'll really be going way up. My guess is that some apps will truncate the tops at some point, but not the ones that really matter.

Do some testing.


eolson's picture

I should add, I was making a very literal reading of your
question Paul. If you were to set your ascent/descent as
the lines show, one would then assume the cap height
is 1000 with the swash caps shooting over/under?
This would be bad.

When in doubt, be conservative with this stuff. I like
to keep my cap height between 666 and 714. Usually 666
because it splits evenly and gives a nod to the beast, if
you know what I mean. Then you can set your ascent
at something like 750 and the descent at 250. This is
of course assuming you have a rather standard design.

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