How to set up Metrics / Kerning in 2011?

Brown Fox's picture

Dear Type wizzards,

I have a question regarding an up to date way of setting up spacing and kerning for a whole type-family in a efficient and consistent way. I've been designing font's for more then 10 years now, originally in Fontographer and then Fontlab. I'm familiar with the basic concept and methods of spacing and kerning as well as class kerning, masters etc. but feel that my methods are outdated, very time consuming and prone to errors and inconsistencies.
I've been recently looking into Superpolator and Metrics Machine but haven't purchased anything as I've wanted to aks around a bit first what the way to go about is these days. My technical knowledge and patience is quite limited I have to admit and I've never worked with scripts and robofog.

Is there any neat instructions or manuals around? Any previous threads on the subject or clever suggestions on the topic?

Many thanks in advance!

blank's picture

Metrics Machine is a really sweet kerning tool if Fontlab's tools aren't doing what you want. The downside is that Fontlab can't get it together and release a product that supports the UFO format, so you have to use Robofab scripts to go back-and-forth between Fontlab and Metrics Machine. Tal's UFOCentral script has taken some of the pain out of that. Glyphs is a font design tool that has native support for UFO so that you can just work in UFO apps without headaches; at least one more UFO-native design tool is in development as well

…but feel that my methods are outdated, very time consuming and prone to errors and inconsistencies.

Kerning is a very complex task and as such will always be prone to errors and inconsistencies. Metrics Machine can make the process more efficient, especially if your work flow varies from project-to-project.

And, of course, you can also just pay for iKern, which will semi-automatically even out spacing and kern for you. I'll leave it at that to avoid another iKern debate.

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