142 votes
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Why don't upper case numbers exist?

They do. The thing is, you probably don't realise, because upper case numbers have been all you've been using or seeing. There is a distinction between 'default' numbers and 'oldstyle' numbers. The ...
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93 votes
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Why is the minus sign not on the same height as the plus sign?

The vertical alignment of a plus sign and minus sign will be consistent (obviously I can't say for certain for all fonts, but generally). What you are using there (I assume), and the key on your ...
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  • 39.9k
49 votes

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

While upper case numbers do exist, as is shown in vincents answer, they did not originally exist at all. Remember, our numbers are copied from the Muslim scientists who wrote in Arabic.* Arabic is ...
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  • 55.1k
44 votes
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Why do these letters have gaps in them?

The actual reason is not for unity. Is for durability of the stencil. Small triangles like under the N or the gap that would form inside the E would break very fast and the stencil would be useless in ...
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  • 3,027
34 votes
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What is the difference between a well constructed and a poorly constructed font?

A Good font: Pair kernings have been addressed. How does "AV" look? Or "To"? The glyph box is not dramatically larger (or smaller) than the glyphs Glyph alignment on the baseline is correct, ...
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  • 196k
27 votes

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

What is case? The discussion both in this question and in the one it inspired on ELU seems to conflate two distinct meanings of ‘uppercase’ and ‘lowercase’: Based purely on shape and size, ...
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27 votes
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Do I really need an ſ (long s) in my typeface?

Being under the illusion that I am somewhat of an expert on the long s¹, I mostly agree with your assessment. The only slight addition I would like to make are texts talking about historical texts. On ...
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  • 14.2k
27 votes
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Which font's digits resemble Nixie tube digits?

One family I've recently noticed is the TT Chocolates and the Extra Light looks pretty close to what you need, but note the '1' in the image below is replaced with an uppercase 'i' (as suggested by ...
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  • 27.4k
23 votes

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

Capital letters exist as our written and printed language has decided they should. The rules for usage of capital letters typically is for starting sentences and proper nouns. The rules simply don'...
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  • 49.8k
21 votes

Why do these letters have gaps in them?

There are a number of reasons for the gaps on the stencil letters: Not to collapse when wet with paint Ease to remove from the stenciling surface durability of the stencil itself The letters were ...
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  • 7,786
20 votes
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Helvetica: trailing leg in lowercase "a"

The right leg is reduced for thicker weights, eg. bolds and blacks, probably as optical corrections. Basicly, the thicker the weight, the smaller the leg. Myfonts offers a live preview where you type ...
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  • 27.4k
19 votes
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When designing a latin-based typeface, how are diacritics handled?

Some background on me, so you can estimate how much or little authority I have: My native language (German) uses diacritics (ÄÖÜäöü) as well as non-diacritical special characters (ß) and is in the ...
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  • 14.2k
16 votes
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Can a typeface be designed to have characters depend on previous characters within a typed word?

Yes you can do it. You do it through an OpenType feature called Contextual Alternates (calt). Sample code: feature calt { lookup calt1 { sub a' b by a.ss01 ; } calt1; } ...
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  • 7,136
14 votes
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Can TrueType fonts contain color?

There is no official or standardized answer to this, but many of the big players have undertaken mostly-independent efforts to extend or replace existing type specifications to include color, and it ...
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14 votes
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Is there a general rule regarding font spacing?

It's called kerning, which is an additional spacing applied to specific pairs of characters1. The aim is to have a perceived equal spacing between glyphs. Mathematically equal spacing based on the ...
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  • 39.9k
14 votes

Which font's digits resemble Nixie tube digits?

You can try some version Bernhard Gothic. This is Extra Light: It's not free and clearly it has different curves than the tube photo. I guess in your application idea the whole presentation with ...
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  • 50.3k
13 votes
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How can I create accented letters in a font where the glyphs look wrong?

If you do not want to switch to a different font, I see two quick and dirty options: As the font has a single ´ as a character, you can type s´ in your document and insert negative space in between ...
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  • 14.2k
13 votes

What is the difference between a well constructed and a poorly constructed font?

It really tends to come down to flow: is the spacing even? Are there uneven blobs of color where everything gets to seem too thick or thin? Do strokes feel like they narrow to join evenly on the 'm' ...
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  • 3,342
12 votes

Will typeface design ever "stop"?

It is not really going to stop (but the reason is not nesseserily design per se). The reason you have many similar different manufacturers of same looking font is same as why you have lots of ...
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  • 55.1k
12 votes

Can I export an Inkscape SVG to a TTF file?

Short answer – no. There is a lot more to designing a font than just designing the glyphs and doing a "Save As". There are a number of things Illustrator or Inkscape can't do with regards to your new ...
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  • 39.9k
12 votes
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What are some common kerning pairs?

While this may not directly answer your titular question, I hope that it somewhat solves your problem: The following techniques helped me reducing the work on manually kerning a font (which was ...
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  • 14.2k
11 votes

The description and interpretations of TrueType font points and curves

TrueType uses quadratic Bézier curves, while most other vector programs (including Glyphs and Illustrator) use cubic Bézier curves. You can see that your Glyphs example does not use quadratic Bézier ...
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  • 14.2k
10 votes

Will typeface design ever "stop"?

Yes, experts say around 2043 we'll hit 'peak typeface' and production will drop precariously. Oh, they'll still find deposits of original typeface ideas scattered here and there across the planet, ...
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  • 49.8k
10 votes
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Is kerning lacking in the Gentium font?

Kerning of accented characters is still suboptimal with a freshly downloaded version of Gentium Plus. Note the collision in the pairs fà and ïb as well as the overly large gap between ľ and e in the ...
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  • 14.2k
10 votes

Can a typeface be designed to have characters depend on previous characters within a typed word?

Yes, this can be done. There are several intelligent font standards, namely AAT, Graphite, and OpenType, that allow to do this. The latter seems to be the succeeding one. Here is an example that I ...
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  • 14.2k
10 votes
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Why is Bounce (and Tumble) rarely done these days?

For the most part... People are lazy. Since a user has to manually adjust each glyph for most typefaces, users won't bother with the effort. In addition, some software doesn't allow for slight glyph ...
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  • 196k
10 votes
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What is the rationale and market value for designing a new font face?

I can not answer for everybody; I can just provide an answer as to why I have made my own fonts. For me there are 3 primary reasons: Because I can. As banal as it sounds I just wanted to make one. ...
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  • 55.1k
9 votes

Handwriting font that at random picks characters?

Randomness is possible.* You just have to be really smart and really dedicated to make it happen. Serious programming chops required. Most of the very natural looking handwriting fonts you'll find use ...
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  • 17.4k
9 votes

Can I export an Inkscape SVG to a TTF file?

FontForge allows you to batch import SVGs (and other vector files) via file → import. I quote the documentation: […] you may either select several image files and they will be loaded consecutively ...
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  • 14.2k
9 votes

Why do these letters have gaps in them?

Reduce blurring/smearing of the letter edges around small areas of the stencil: The gaps are additional connections from the primary area of the stencil into an area with a small shape. The ...
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  • 195

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