Category Archives: Collaboration

Some designers’ thoughts about iKern.

Jeff Warrington


Jeff Warrington, The Look Partnership: «I am excited to work with Igino and iKern. As a solo designer—and a control freak—iKern is a productive way to outsource spacing, kerning and font engineering, enabling me to focus on design, without loosing momentum to the tedious, but critical aspects of producing quality fonts.»

Mark Caneso

psType_logoMark Caneso, p.s.type : «A huge thank you to Igino for his IKern Service. The greatest aspect of IKern, aside from the amazing job of spacing and kerning, is that it frees up so much time that can be focused on the creation of  new designs and ideas. It was a pleasure working with Igino and I will definitely be collaborating with him again in the future.»

Rob Keller

mota_italic_logoRob Keller, Mota Italic: «Ever since meeting Igino in 2007 and seeing iKern work its magic first hand I have been an impressed fan. iKern’s headache-inducingly-complex algorithms assure consistent and even spacing; and the results are always fine-tuned exactly to the designer requests. Its strength and usefulness comes not only from the fine spacing and kerning it creates for thousands of glyphs, but it is flexible in handling special exceptions. For us, it easily accommodated an intricate system of alternates – integrating the hundreds of substitutions seamlessly while respecting the way they function. This agility, and the fact it is fully customizable, means that iKern can adapt to nearly any set of problems or needs. iKern certainly has our recommendation!»

Giangiorgio Fuga

gftGiangiorgio Fuga, Giò Fuga Type: «I’m drawing and then digitizing fonts from many years. The most difficult step, but also the more boring because it takes much time, has always been the control of the metrics and the optical balance of kerning pairs. The advent of OpenType format, with its endless possibilities including the management of several enconding and therefore a much increased number of glyphs, made the kerning production a mammoth task. The various autokern functions already present in Fontographer or FontLab kerning assistance are not able to well and completely operate.
In my last work I found myself designing a custom font in three variables for Yamaha Motor, which included nearly 1200 glyphs each for the presence, besides the Latin alphabet, of Cyrillic and also Extended Greek. A manual optimization of kerning, especially for italic, would have been costly in time and certainly without harmonious and complete results.
Well, Igino’s Ikern “Type Design Service” has proved to be essential for a definitive fine tuning of the font family. I’m going to take advantage of his valuable service for all my fonts I’m upgrading to OpenType version. Thanks Igino!»

Lasko Dzurovski

totemlogoLasko Dzurovski, Totem design+print: «My collaboration with Igino started when i found myself overwhelmed with the big volume and short deadline of my most recent project, which included creation of fonts with over 15000 characters. The kerning, personally the most difficult part for me, took me a lot of time and I wouldn’t have done it as perfectly as Igino with the iKern. A little twist in the glass was added when Igino had to deal with all the specific Cyrillic characters which have different kerning features, and he made it all work. iKern will definitely be an important part of my future projects.»

Patrick Griffin


Patrick Griffin, Canada Type: «Igino Marini’s iKern system trumps every other font metrics method I’ve seen. Its advantage points over other fitting and kerning systems range from exception-aware mathematical modules to speedy global counterspace tweaking precision. It’s one of those things where the fonts you send in are all out of whack, and when you get them back they slap you awake with how much sense they make. And there’s a cherry on top: This great system couldn’t have been developed by a nicer or more accommodating guy. Igino truly is the Walter Tracy of the digital type era. Type designers who have worked with him know for a fact that we are very lucky to have him.»

Michael Doret

AlphabetSoup_logoMichael Doret, Alphabet Soup Type Founders: «I’m fairly new to the font world, only having five designs under my belt. Part of what slows me up is my dread of dealing with spacing and kerning. My friend Stuart Sandler suggested that on my next project I try Igino’s iKern service. I did, and to my shock and amazement my font came back as good or better than I would have done it myself! I will definitely be a return customer. iKern has made the fontmaking process much less forbidding to people like me.»

Stuart Sandler

fontbroslogoStuart Sandler, Font Bros: «Having designed display typefaces since 1996, I was extremely skeptical about the ability for any automated process to be able to replace what I knew to be quality spacing and kerning. Clearly Fontographer and Fontlab cannot perform this, so how could iKern? Out of curiosity I felt the need to determine if Igino’s service would be even close to the demands of display type which requires much more complexity due to the lack of consistent forms compared to a basic Roman typeface. Turns out I was totally wrong! Ikern not only did as good a job as I’ve seen, but did it without ‘cheating’ by adding tons of kerns as I had expected … The spacing was meticulous and dead-on and the kerning was kept minimal to what was necessary to make the font display well without being loaded with unnecessary kern pairs … Not only do I continue to recommend iKern to other type designers, but I’m happy to keep Igino busy!»

Michele Patanè


Michele Patanè, Cinetype, tutor at the Corso di Alta Formazione in Type Design,, Consorzio del Politecnico di Milano: «Font design must regard idea and development, two essential aspects of the design process, both necessary and with different time implications. How many typefaces will never be used because designer don’t have enough time to develop them? We can’t forget how important is spacing and kerning correctly a font, and how much time it requires. In my recent experience with iKern I can say without any rhetoric that this a turning point of the typeface design process. Now we can test different spacing, quickly, for different application or any kind of use dimension; we can save time and be sure that we won’t occur in errors caused by repetitive operations. I believe blindly in eye function as a meter of judgement, but I am sure that my eye need time to understand things and to refresh attention. With iKern now I can pay more attention to the little shades and be sure that everything is going for the best result.
And I’d like to focus again on the design process because I think It is necessary for typeface design to find the right way to produce high quality font at the right price. If we save time we can cut costs increasing quality because we can pass most of the time on designing and testing the font instead of on repetitive jobs that a computer can do better than us.»

Jan Schmoeger

paragraph100x100Jan Schmoeger, Paragraph: « The sans-serif typeface Frutiger was everywhere in 1980. In the late eighties it was replaced by Stone Sans, then Myriad came along in 1992. In 2008 I attempted to rejuvenate these great typefaces. I analysed the proportions and spacing of Frutiger and used the principles as a base for my own typeface, Mentone. There were only a very few kerning pairs in the original, so I thought it will be fine if I’ll do the same. By the time I added the Central European, Baltic and Turkish characters, I was way out of my depth. Eight fonts in the family, each requiring individual spacing and kerning adjustments, would have added months of work to the task. Then Igino Marini and iKern came to the rescue: the number of kerning pairs went up tenfold (from 135 to 1345), the spacing and kerning from bumpy/simplified to smooth/comprehensive. Now, I cannot imagine designing new typefaces any other way.»