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Specimen Builder: Print Template

This Indesign template is a template generated as part of the Type Specimens project. Here is the digital counterpart.

The design of the template is based on insights from a considerable amount of user research into what is a usable and useful format. This can be summarised as:

  • Print specimens are used as reference or cataloging detailed information.
  • The back story or design reference for the typeface is of less importance than detail of the glyphs and language support.
  • Users expect paragraphs and headings set in every weight or style at multiple sizes.
  • Users also expect a complete list of all glyphs.

Generating the list of glyphs

To generate a list of glyphs for your font, you will need a license for Glyphs and this Glyphs script from Tosche Omagari

Installing the script

Put the scripts into the Scripts folder which appears when you choose Open Scripts Folder from the Scripts menu. After installation, either choose Refresh Script Menu (Option+Shift+Command+Y) or restart the application.

For some scripts, you will also need to install Tal Leming's Vanilla and may need to install other modules. In Glyphs 2, you can install them from Preferences > Addons.

Generating the text file for importing into Indesign

To generate the list of categorised glyphs:

  1. Open the font file in Glyphs.
  2. From the top menu, choose Scripts > Export Indesign tagged Text with All Glyphs. This loads a diaglogue box with the following options:
  • Choose weight or style file to export from the dropdown.
  • Choose if the export file should be tab-separated, unicode characters first, or to break up the unicode characters into categories.
  1. Click Export
  2. This will generate a text file in the same folder as the font file you opened with Glyphs.

Importing the text file into Indesign

  1. The font needs to be loaded in Indesign.
  2. In the specimen template, delete all content in the Glyphset text boxes.
  3. From the main menu, go to File > Place and choose the exported text file.

Content sources

If you are creating specimens in multiple languages, you can use these resources for sourcing content:

  1. Rosetta's Universal Specimen The Universal Specimen from Rosetta displays the Universal Declaraiton of Human Rights in multiple panels in 138 languages.

  2. Aksharamukha : Script Converter This is an excellent resource for providing sample text – from old scriptures, or religious text – across many complex scripts and languages (including derivations).

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