Style: Condensed: Discern amount of condensation

Bug #685660 reported by Paul Sladen on 2010-12-05
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Font Family

Bug Description

For certain legal textual content, or in space critical locations it is useful to have a font variant than can fit more words into the same amount of space (example: see the bottom of film posters, which tend to use highly condensed typefaces).

The hope is that an Ubuntu Condensed variant will additionally help in the case of translated strings, where the new string has come out longer than the original, such as may happen with some Germanic compound words (eg. Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung or Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz).

The current main decision to be take is the amount of reduction to be implemented, compared to the Ubuntu Regular (note that Regular will receive a -4% tracking tightening, see bug #677149). Some interpolated samples have been provided by Dalton Maag showing a series of condensations. Each of the interpolation steps appeared (by a quick glance) to save ~6% compared with the ones above/below it on the scale. This becomes significant when the copy is ~18 lines long, whereby one line would be saved.

The principal question being asked in order to help guide the decision on the level, seems to be how much real-world saving this will create at a given condensation. This metric can either be deduced from measuring the supplied sample sheets compared to the norm (very limited corpus), or in a more automated way if the .ttfs can be supplied; then the corpus can be enlarged, particularly with Germanic compounds with a lower incidence of word spaces.

  1. Quick measurements can be made based on the existing sample sheets
  2. For better data, DM will need to supply .ttfs for the interpolations, and somebody else will need to supply a suitable larger corpus

Shiraaz Gabru (shiraaz) on 2011-01-18
Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
milestone: medium → light
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Situation update, we have three test variation .ttfs in-hand for Ubuntu Condensed. This need batch running with various sample text to get some realworld saving data at each of the three levels of condensation.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Ubuntu Condensed is now complete, so there's no more work to be done here.

Changed in ubuntu-font-family:
status: Incomplete → Fix Released
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