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Working with optical sizes

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Working with optical sizes

Relatively rare though they are, there are some typefaces that give you the option of different optical sizes, and this is an example, it's called Warnock Pro. It's not one of the fonts that comes with InDesign as standard. So, you may not have this, but I wanted to show you this anyway. We have here four different optical sizes, caption, regular, subhead, and display. So that's going from smallest to largest. And in terms of their presence on the page, the smaller versions are a little bit heavier so that they don't get lost at small type sizes, and the display versions are a little bit more finely sculpted so that they don't look too clunky when used at large sizes.

Working with optical sizes

Relatively rare though they are, there are some typefaces that give you the option of different optical sizes, and this is an example, it's called Warnock Pro. It's not one of the fonts that comes with InDesign as standard. So, you may not have this, but I wanted to show you this anyway. We have here four different optical sizes, caption, regular, subhead, and display. So that's going from smallest to largest. And in terms of their presence on the page, the smaller versions are a little bit heavier so that they don't get lost at small type sizes, and the display versions are a little bit more finely sculpted so that they don't look too clunky when used at large sizes.

So, you should choose whatever is appropriate for the size that you're working at. So if it's 8 point or below, you want caption, if it's above that and up to about say 13 point, then you want regular. Anything from 13, 14 point up to say 24 point would be subhead, and anything bigger than that would be considered display. If we just take a look at them on the menu, you can see that this particular typeface, Warnock Pro, comes in a number of weights, so we have Light, Regular, Semi bold, Bold, and each of those weights comes in a specific optical size.

So you have a tremendous range of choice. In some ways, perhaps, an overwhelming amount of choice, but it really does expand your range of options if you are working in a variety of different sizes. In a similar vein, the same sort of principle, there are other typefaces that have these things called Titling Alternates. And one such example is Adobe Garamond Pro, which is part of the standard font set that comes with InDesign. Now, I have just typed this out here. This is Adobe Garamond Pro, it's regular, this is not with Titling Alternates turned on.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select that, and then I'm going to duplicate it down below, holding down the Alt key and the Shift key just to drag away from it. And then I'm going to select the type within the frame and come up to my OpenType menu where I will switch to Titling Alternates. You may have just noticed something very subtle happen. The spacing slightly changes, and the characters are a little bit more finely drawn than the regular characters.

This is a difficult thing to represent on screen, and you're only really going to appreciate the difference when these are printed out at large sizes. I was looking at this earlier on, I found something quite interesting, and that is that the Automatic Kerning varies between the regular and the regular with Titling Alternates turned on. Between the T and the I, we can see we have -28 for the regular, but for the Titling Alternates, it's now gone to -29. Okay, a very subtle difference. I think this is because I turned on Optical as my chosen Auto Kerning method.

If I were to switch that to Metrics, we see we do get some rather unfortunate spacing happening with the Titling Alternate version beneath, where there is no kerning adjustment between the T and the I. So this is one of those rare cases where I think Optical Kerning is going to be preferable, and so that we're comparing like with like, I'm going to use Optical Kerning for both. And then just to demonstrate there is very subtle difference in the shapes of these characters, I'm going to apply the color red to the top example, and then I'm going to move this one exactly on top of it.

We can see right there that we're seeing some of the red behind the black. Now, that's slightly misleading because most of the difference is coming from the spacing rather than the shapes of the characters themselves. But if we disregard the first line and look at the second line, we can see that especially in the case of the A, we're seeing the shape of the original outline behind the more finely sculpted Titling Alternate. Now, it's relatively rare that you're going to need these, and there are relatively few fonts that even offer this as an option.

But if you are working with display type at large sizes, then you may want to consider if you have the option available using Titling Alternates.

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This video is part of

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InDesign Typography

125 video lessons · 21926 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 9m 25s
    1. What is Typekit? (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 56s
    2. Choosing and syncing fonts (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 6s
    3. Syncing problems (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 43s
    4. Typekit resources (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 5s
    5. Using the Font menu (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 35s
  3. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  4. 48m 34s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
    11. Combining typefaces (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 44s
  5. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  6. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  7. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  8. 48m 42s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
    11. Stylistic sets (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 54s
  9. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  10. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  11. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  12. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  13. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  14. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  15. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  16. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  17. 44m 26s
    1. Working with type outlines (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 50s
    2. Creating an interlocking effect (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 31s
    3. Fusing letterforms (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 15s
    4. Type and gradients (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 57s
    5. Type and transparency (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 50s
    6. Type on a path: Circles (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 48s
    7. Type on a path: Calligram (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 16s
    8. Vertical type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      2m 58s
    9. Type and image: Gradient (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 38s
    10. Type and image: "See-through" type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      1m 8s
    11. Type and image: "Disappearing" type (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 15s
  18. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  19. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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