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  • Re: The Next Font Format?

    I wish there were a format that would take the browser and app out of the equation so type would work the same everywhere every time.
  • Re: The letter S

    No! You must have a special way!

    Seriously, I think the only "trick" is to train your eye through the experience of drawing it (however you draw it) until you know when it looks right or not. There's no trick that will let you skip that step.
  • Re: The letter S

    I don't understand the difficulty of this character? I just deconstruct the section mark and put the top and bottom of that together for both Ss. If I have dollar sign done, i just delete the bar and add a bit of weight to the diagonal.
  • Re: The letter S

    I long ago realised that the trick to making an S — for me at least — is to completely ignore the middle section until the end, and to concentrate on a mental image of the top and bottom relative to each other. I usually create these as separate outlines, and move them about and adjust them until I am happy, and only then connect them. At that stage, if the top and bottom are solid, the middle section just sort of falls into place.
  • Re: The letter S

    Here's my trick for drawing S: draw thousands of really crappy ones over the course of several years. Eventually you'll find that the S's that used to come out lousy—and you had no idea why—are coming out a lot better—and you still have no idea why.
  • Re: The letter S

    Circles are worse than useless for drawing an S. Even Beziers can get in the way or drawing an S. I've found an S technique that works for me. I start with a crude polygon S. Kind of chunk and octagonal, maybe around 25 segments. I open a preview window, zoomed way out so the glyphs are only a few blurry pixels high. I type test words containing S. Then I go around to each point on my chunky polygonal S and bang the arrow keys until it starts to harmonize with the rest of the alphabet. I don't think about curve construction, just the mass of it and how it looks next to the other letters. No measuring or thinking involved. I just do it by eye and I try to only look at the small blurry version. Once it starts looking like it makes sense, I add more points, one-by-one. I bump those around with the arrow keys, maybe zooming in on my test words a bit. As more points are added, the less I need to bump the arrow keys around. Once it's looking sort of smooth, I throw it to the background layer and draw it again with Beziers.

    It's just one of those letters where measuring and geometry can really throw you off. I prefer to let the rest of the alphabet decide what the S is supposed to look like. I use this for question marks, ampersand, five, sterling... this and that.

  • Typography Videos (Website)

    Hey everyone

    Here is a website that I've created with some feedback from TypeDrawers.

    Right now there's a lot of conferences and type related videos (+70 videos an I have a ton to upload)

    I'm being very careful with the tags, dates and documenting each video, so that content can be accessible. If you have any suggestions, or videos to share, they'll be very welcomed at:

    Hope you like!

  • Re: Using OpenType to distinguish tone letters?

    Hmm... I did a project once that kind of did half of what you're talking about.

    An English teacher wanted a typeface that could have phonetic markers appear above/below words. He had been doing it by hand by manipulating worksheets in Photoshop for a long time. (see below)

    I came up with a substitution system to do that work for him. For instance, to indicate a short e sound, you'd type "_e" after the character in the word. Like, the word "bet" would be typed "be_et" and the _e would be replaced with a phonetic marker glyph with a negative sidebearing, that would appear above the e.

    The client wanted short vowels to be red, long vowels to be blue. I didn't know anything about colorfonts 3 years ago, so I taught him how to do this by using "find/replace" substitutions that apply a character style in InDesign. He could search for instances of the underscore-based code and change the color of those glyphs.

    It was especially difficult because I needed to draw horizontal lines of varying lengths to span different combinations of letters that made a particular sound, and also different heights to accommodate capital letters.

    This project was crazy! But so satisfying :) Also, I must note that this is based off of Source Sans, the Open Source typeface by Paul Hunt. Props to him!

    So... I know this isn't completely what you mentioned, but I thought I'd share since I've never shown this anywhere :)
  • Re: M75: going nowhere

    > So it is ok not to be mathematically exact, to adjust things so they look right.

    It’s not just ok, it’s one of the bases of type design.
  • Re: Are printed specimens just fun objects or do they really help sell type?

    Back when I was in school, I loved collecting type specimens. It was a great way to share with other classmates, too: "check out this cool thing I got." Perhaps it's easier to share things online these days, but there is something to be said for having something precious in your hand, to endear you to a foundry.