Kerning question

Aleme's picture

Hello,
Does a lot of kerning increase a file size ?
Thanks.
Aleme

oldnick's picture

Define “a lot”; generally speaking, most kerning pairs don't add all that many bytes to a file—the pair itself and the value. As I understand it (and I may be mistaken), that’ a whopping six ASCII characters, maybe…

Aleme's picture

Thanks Oldnick, I am working on non Latin font with a lot of Glyphs. It requires a lot of Kerning .
Aleme

oldnick's picture

It is quite likely that Arial Regular contains quite a few more glyphs—and, presumably, a lot more kerning—than the font you are creating. The font file is 764kb in size—relatively large, but not large enough to choke my Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Grandpa Box…

Jens Kutilek's picture

What kind of kerning are we talking about? GPOS or kern table?

A full kern table with 10920 pairs (the maximum that any application will use) adds about 65 kB to a font file.

For GPOS kerning, it’s not that simple to calculate.

oldnick's picture

OTOH, you might consider doing one or more passes through your complete character set in the Metrics Window, concentrating on…metrics. Thoughtful spacing can eliminate the need for many kerning pairs; study Frederic Goudy's typefaces for examples…

PabloImpallari's picture

In the latest updates of some of my fonts I have removed the KERN table, and used GPOS kern only. This saves, as Jens said, around 50kb per font.

For desktop fonts it's not necessary, but for web-fonts it's a great optimization.

Keep in mind that web developers do everything in their power, and spend considerable effort, to optimize things (images, css, javascript, etc) saving every possible byte. And not only bytes... they also optimize the number of request that the browser make to the web server (by combining multiple files in just one, for example sprites for images and creating only one JavaScript file containing all the code from multiple files).

Optimized webfonts are always welcome by web developers, because the size of the files is an important concern in many situations.

More info about optimizations and performance here: http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html

Aleme's picture

Thanks Pablo for the input and the link.
Aleme

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