How to determine a font's natural size?

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How to determine a font's natural size?

Gé van Gasteren-2
Dear Evan,

To clarify: fonts are always scaleable – unless we’re talking about bitmap fonts, of course.
So basically, they are "one size fits all".

Only, a font looks more harmonious at certain sizes than at others. Intricate designs have to be shown at large point sizes, stubby letters may make for clear text type at small sizes but look ugly when used for headlines, etc.

That’s what was meant by "the natural size is inherent in the font [design]".

This is also the reason why a font designer would decide to produce a given font in different "optical sizes", as you call it. In fact, those are variations of one design, optimized for use at a certain size, e.g. text size or display size.

On 31 July 2017 at 17:47, <[hidden email]> wrote:
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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: How to determine a font's natural size? (Dave Crossland)
   2. Re: How to determine a font's natural size? (Martin B. Brilliant)
   3. Re: How to determine a font's natural size? (Samuel Sutherland)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Crossland <[hidden email]>
To: Discussion forum for fontforge users <[hidden email]>
Cc: 
Bcc: 
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:14:18 -0400
Subject: Re: [fontforge-users] How to determine a font's natural size?
You can use a font designed for use at 6pt at 600pt, but that would be up to you. 

On 31 July 2017 at 09:01, Evan Aad <[hidden email]> wrote:
I see how it would be inherent in a potato, but I don't see how it is inherent in font data, considering your previous statement that the font size "isn't recorded in the font."

On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 3:42 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
The proportions of the letterforms. this is inherent if the letterforms are expressed in font data, wood, metal, or potato 

On Jul 31, 2017 4:19 AM, "Evan Aad" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks. What do you mean by a *natural* property of the TypeFace?

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 10:10 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
This isn't recorded in the font. It's a natural property of the Typeface.

On Jul 30, 2017 5:09 AM, "EvenEven Odd" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I was told that, unless a font has optical sizes (e.g. Latin Modern), it is designed at a single size. I was told that this size should be in the font information. How can I determine this size with FontForge or otherwise? I run macOS Sierra v. 10.12.6 (the most recent).

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--
Cheers
Dave


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Martin B. Brilliant" <[hidden email]>
To: Discussion forum for fontforge users <[hidden email]>
Cc: 
Bcc: 
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:41:50 -0400
Subject: Re: [fontforge-users] How to determine a font's natural size?
I’m confused. How can you tell how much of the proportions of the letterforms are dependent on the optical size and how much on the design of the typeface?

Is it like obscenity: “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it”?

On Jul 31, 2017, at 8:42 AM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:

The proportions of the letterforms. this is inherent if the letterforms are expressed in font data, wood, metal, or potato 

On Jul 31, 2017 4:19 AM, "Evan Aad" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks. What do you mean by a *natural* property of the TypeFace?

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 10:10 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
This isn't recorded in the font. It's a natural property of the Typeface.

On Jul 30, 2017 5:09 AM, "EvenEven Odd" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I was told that, unless a font has optical sizes (e.g. Latin Modern), it is designed at a single size. I was told that this size should be in the font information. How can I determine this size with FontForge or otherwise? I run macOS Sierra v. 10.12.6 (the most recent).



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Samuel Sutherland <[hidden email]>
To: Discussion forum for fontforge users <[hidden email]>, [hidden email]
Cc: 
Bcc: 
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 16:47:34 +0100
Subject: Re: [fontforge-users] How to determine a font's natural size?
It's entirely subjective. 
As Dave said, you can use a font that was designed at 6pt at 600pt but it might well look ugly - that's entirely subjective. There is no way to know outright what size a font was designed at seeing the font only, it's entirely down to the personality of the designer. 


On 31 Jul 2017 16:43, "Martin B. Brilliant" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I’m confused. How can you tell how much of the proportions of the letterforms are dependent on the optical size and how much on the design of the typeface?

Is it like obscenity: “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it”?

On Jul 31, 2017, at 8:42 AM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:

The proportions of the letterforms. this is inherent if the letterforms are expressed in font data, wood, metal, or potato 

On Jul 31, 2017 4:19 AM, "Evan Aad" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks. What do you mean by a *natural* property of the TypeFace?

On Sun, Jul 30, 2017 at 10:10 PM, Dave Crossland <[hidden email]> wrote:
This isn't recorded in the font. It's a natural property of the Typeface.

On Jul 30, 2017 5:09 AM, "EvenEven Odd" <[hidden email]> wrote:
I was told that, unless a font has optical sizes (e.g. Latin Modern), it is designed at a single size. I was told that this size should be in the font information. How can I determine this size with FontForge or otherwise? I run macOS Sierra v. 10.12.6 (the most recent).


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