Whatever happened to Kepler?

New Here ,
Mar 21, 2009 Mar 21, 2009

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Years ago I purchased Kepler MM and quickly became very fond of it. I loved its combination of modern and humanist characteristics -- the high contrast with the soft, lachrymal and wedge-shaped serifs on characters such as "c," "a," and "r." But technology moved on and Adobe stopped supporting Multiple Master fonts. Compatibility problems with OS X, etc., meant that the font had to be put away for several years.

Recently I had a chance to redesign a magazine and chose Kepler as the main text and display font. Since Leopard now supports MM fonts, I installed it and used it successfully for the first issue.

For various reasons, now I would like to convert the MM fonts to the OpenType version of Kepler.

But Kepler Std is a MUCH different typface than Kepler MM. Gone are the old serifs, replaced with more traditional modern ball-shaped serifs on the "r" and "a." The lowercase "a" now even sports a full tail, instead of the truncated one found on Kepler MM.

I'm sure I'll continue with the conversion, and will grow to appreciate the new character forms. But I will miss the old Kepler. It was a unique and beautiful typeface.

What happened? Can anyone explain why these two versions of the font would be so different?

-- SB

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Participant ,
Mar 21, 2009 Mar 21, 2009

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I believe Robert Slimbach, the designer, reworked it.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 21, 2009 Mar 21, 2009

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Yes, that's exactly what happened. He took advantage of the fact that Adobe doesn't claim compatibility between the OpenType version and the old MM version to revise it a bit.

At the time, I thought it would be useful to write this stuff up. See http://www.adobe.com/type/opentype/T1_to_OTF_FAQ.htm for details on compatibility.

Cheers,

T

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New Here ,
Mar 21, 2009 Mar 21, 2009

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John, Thomas --

Thank you for your comments and for the link. I might suggest editing that page to specifically mention the changes to Kepler -- as far as I can tell from the sample sheets, they are significant. At large sizes they may change the entire look and feel of the typeface -- to the extant that, had I been aware of them, I may not have chosen Kepler for this particular project.

Live and learn. Using Multiple Master fonts is not a good practice these days; there are many good reasons to convert to OpenType. I'm sure the revised typeface will work just as well (if not better) once I get used to working with it.

- SB

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 22, 2009 Mar 22, 2009

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Actually, it does specifically mention changes to Kepler (along with a number of other typefaces Robert revised).

Also, I'm not at Adobe any longer, so I can't make any changes to that documentation.

Cheers,

T

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