Karsten Luecke

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Karsten Luecke, Karsten Luecke Type Foundry: «One thing that repeatedly strikes me is a rather abstract discussion, and vehement rejection, of automatic spacing. Whether spacing is done manually or automatically is not relevant. It is spacing theories which are relevant because it is them that determine results — regardless of whether these theories are applied manually or automatically. And while manual spacing usually means “just doing it”, automatic spacing is not possible without having formulated a theory which then can be checked, refined, even be replaced by another theory.
When discussing iKern spacing with Igino, which discussion is an essential part of the process, the type designer needs to consider the typeface’s spacing as a system. It is not about adjusting this or that specific pair. It is about adjusting one or more global parameters which has an effect on a number of visually similar specific pairs. For Igino, as master of his theory, the discussion means that he needs to decide whether adjusting some parameters (as anticipated by his theory) will do or whether (part of) his program (and thus the theory itself) needs to be reconsidered and rewritten.
The question is not: manual or automatic? but rather: what effects does the theory produce? The iKern theory, judging by the results, looks pretty sound. And where not, being a theory formulated as program, it is open for discussion and refinement. Compare this to the “gut feeling” driven designer who may still be wondering whether he got this or that specific pair right …»