Those letter sequences fit together so nicely that it really is surprising that there is no kerning. But as I think about it, I realize that I’ve thought Gentium looked beautiful and “just so” since long before I had access to applications that implemented kerning.
I’ve been using (and loving) Gentium since late 2002 or early 2003 – almost as long as it’s been publicly available. In high school, as a first-year Latin student, I was searching for a serif typeface where the macrons felt native and natural, rather than looking like an ugly, blocky addition thoughtlessly pasted-on, and found that in Gentium. (The fact that the name was in Latin was a very nice bonus.) The macrons in the stock Microsoft typefaces are much less terrible now, though I think Gentium still does a better job with them than most.
As a chemistry student in high school and college, I also quite appreciated how capital I, lower-case l, and 1 were all easily distinguishable from each other. And as a life-long choral singer, I continue to appreciate how the IPA characters in Gentium look so natural.
To this day, Gentuim Plus Compact is my go-to serif typeface.
I love it so much that the English text on my ketubah (Jewish marriage document) is printed in Gentium Plus Compact Italic, as its balance of calligraphic and typographic sensibilities fit perfectly with the Hebrew scribal calligraphy typeface.
Thank you for designing such a beautiful and useful typeface. I very much look forward to the release of the bold weight and being able to stop using Gentium Basic for bold!