Jump to content
You must now use your email address to sign in [click for more info] ×

Open Type Interface

Recommended Posts

I thought I would bring this open-type interface initiative to your attention. The type community is going to lobby Adobe very hard to improve their open-type interface. It seems to me that Affinity Designer can probably do a better job here. The information about this can be found here: 




And designers are starting to mock up the interface methods that they'd like to see; something to look to for inspiration, perhaps.


Cheers, Peter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Staff

Hi Peter,

Welcome to Affinity Forums.

Thanks for sharing the link with us. You may have accidentally added a space to the link - it points to a 404 error (page not found) -, but it's easy to spot the correct page. Here's the correct link just for reference.


Thanks again :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent article/opinion piece. I have to agree with the Pstoyko and the author of the linked post.


The biggest take-away, for me, is the simple fact that there's so many options available with OpenType, most users are unaware of them and the onus is really on the developer to create an integrated, seamless and logical interface to use them. It's quite interesting how different apps take on this challenge. MangaStudio 5 treats OT like TrueType, no auto ligatures, no glyphs, nada. The app I use for my comics, ComicLife, has custom kerning and leading for all fonts. When it comes to open type, they recognize auto ligatures, but offer no way to access them (or anything outside of the "default"). It wasn't until I got into the Character & Typography panels in AD that I realized that there was a lot I was missing. For instance the font "Wild Pen OT" ( http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/corradine/wild-pen/ot/ ) became a whole new font when I opened the typography panel. There was so many options I was able to make the text for a map I'm working on take on the characteristics of a hand-written map. I feel like I was, for the first time, really able to use most, if not all, of what OT could do.


IMHO, Affinity is on the right track with how they are showing OT features. 


I end up using both the Character and Typography panels at the same time, I wish that they were merged into one panel with disclosure triangles to hide/show either Character or Typography. This new panel could be activated via the Character menu command. And then the typography panel opened by a click on the triangle next to Typography in the panel. One less menu command, one more robust panel, that in most cases would be open anyway.


And BTW, I'd like an order of buffalo pig wings with that. :P

Mac OS X Catinlina, 2014 iMac, 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7, Huion Kamvas Pro 22 Graphic Tablet, 16GB RAM, MacOS10.12 || Magic keyboard w/numeric keypad, wireless trackpad, Kengsington Edge Trackball || Flux Capacitor in a secure location


I encourage kids to go ahead and play on my lawn. I mean, how else can I make sure the death-traps work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The type community is going to lobby Adobe very hard to improve their open-type interface. It seems to me that Affinity Designer can probably do a better job here.


Better than Adobe, or better than we have so far? We're aiming for typographic excellence. OpenType has so many potential features, many of which are hard to test as they are rarely implemented by fonts. If there are specific features you think we should be exposing and aren't, we're open to suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the open-type features of Affinity Designer. My sense is that this movement has two goals: making the features work; increasing the usage of the features because the interface is easy to use, handy, and reveals the font features in a visual way. I think that's why this is mostly about the interface. For example, I might know that a font supports alternative glyphs. But unless I can see those glyphs, I can't imagine (let alone see) how the alternatives might improve my work. An interface that makes those alternative letter forms visible with a handy preview (or something) and easy to select would help solve the problem of underutilization of typefaces. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update: One of the top type designers has submitted a proposed interface that is worth considering here. There are two proposals. One is an incremental improvement over the existing Affinity Designer implementation and reaffirms the direction Affinity Designer has taken. It's just a show/hide item in the open type list. The other proposal is a more visual interface. Food for thought. Link below:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.