Font weights – method for in-between range

Explorer ,
Mar 01, 2022 Mar 01, 2022

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Working with 10 pt. Calluna Sans for the body text of a printed book and finding its regular weight is a touch too heavy, while the alternative, Calluna Sans Light, is too fine. A middle point would be ideal. Are there any options available to achieve this, or what have others done such situations? 

It's a humanist sans serif, similar to Scala, which is ideal in its weight for this project, but cannot be used for other reasons. I've heard of a technique referred to as "grading" which somehow achieves a proportional sliming of weight, but may have to be applied to the whole of the page, inclusive all elements such as graphics and photos, which is problematic.

Thank you in advance for any input!

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How to , Print , Type

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2022 Mar 01, 2022

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The only thing I could suggest would be to use the Light version and then add a small stroke of about .125pt or less to the text. 

 

It's not ideal, and you'll probably need a small amount of kerning to the text. 

 

I'm sure there's other ways. But that's what I'd attempt.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2022 Mar 01, 2022

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@Eugene Tyson wrote:

It's not ideal, and you'll probably need a small amount of kerning to the text. 


 

Do you mean tracking?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2022 Mar 01, 2022

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Yes, I was trying the font with a small amount of text and applied kerning to my small sample.

But with larger batches of text it would be the tracking.

Sorry for not being concise enough.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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"add a small stroke of about .125pt"

This introduces massive complexity to a file for no real gain. Strokes on type are rendered separately when going to print, so you end up negating any possible positive effects of Type hinting built into the font at small sizes, as there will be NO hinting in the stroke. In fact, the stroked Light may end up looking BOLDER than unstroked Regular when printed on certain printers.

Regardless, the stroke also adds height to the type, not just width. And, as mentioned, it can fill in in the pinch points.

Plus you would have to make sure your strokes have mitre limit settings that won't cause "spikes"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 01, 2022 Mar 01, 2022

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Unless the font designer has created a variable axis version of it (which I see no evidence of), you're out of luck.

Based on what I just measured, the Light is exactly 80% the stroke width of the Regular; a very small difference. At 10 point, even on a high resolution output device (1200 dpi), that's not even a two-pixel difference.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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There are definitely problematic issues that can occur. I admit it's not something I would usually do, but if you're stuck you're stuck and it 'can' work. 

 

There are of course always caveats to working outside the norm.

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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Thanks Eugene Tyson – in at least my inital experimentation, adding about half of the suggested.125pt seems to look quite good. Is this method, though it seems to fit the bill, a kind of 'type crime' for any reason? What I do notice is that the pinched portions of the font seem to lose something. Does the application of an even additional thinkness interfere with the degree of modulation to the stroke's design? Or perhaps it's that the light version has less modulation to begin with, and so adding weight just makes that more apparent. Would the miter setting have something to do with this? I wonder what other implications there are – does it throw x-height, cap, or ascender height off, or turn the H&J settings response wonky? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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All very good questions, I guess it might. 

 

You are in a tight spot. It's not something I'd normally do. But in a pinch it can work. But it does need a good eye kept on it 

 

Sorry I wasn't clear about this at the start. My fault for poking around forums at 6 in the morning.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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I've heard of a technique referred to as "grading" which somehow achieves a proportional sliming of weight

 

That could be a reference to variable fonts, that are an update to the old multiple master fonts from the 90s. InDesign includes Acumin Variable Concept, which has weight, width, and slant axes:

 

Screen Shot 31.png

 

Search variable fonts

https://justcreative.com/best-variable-fonts

https://www.designcuts.com/product/oliviar-sans-variable-fonts/?ref=jacobcass&tap_s=1927917-0226b1

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