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  • Re: New: LeMo V5

    Since a couple of months the B/W print-on-demand edition of my dissertation is for sale at the bookshop of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. The book is selling well and the museum ordered new stock yesterday. Before you know, it will become a bestseller. :)
  • Re: Font Release Help/Tips

    You should start by testing everything with an expansive set of proofs. If you don’t have proofs you can download mine:

    Make sure you review the diacriticals thoroughly. If you find no errors you weren’t paying attention and need to look again. If you need to compare against another font use GlyphProofer from Ben Kiel and House Industries:
    Don’t compare against a massive font like Noto or Brill. Typotheque, Typofonderie, H&FJ, Darden Studio, Commercial Type, and Underware are just a few of the great foundries to compare to. (There's nothing wrong with the Brill fonts, but using them with Glyphproofer with generate hundreds of unnecessary pages.)

    Build your own proofs to test OpenType features.

    Open your compiled fonts and review every single glyph in every single font for things like incorrect sidebearings or interpolation errors. If you find no errors you weren’t paying attention and need to look again. 

    Test with the other popular Adobe apps: Photoshop and Illustrator. Look for problems with font names and how they appear in menus. Then play around a little to make sure that stuff like OpenType features work.

    Install the fonts on Windows. Copy/paste the test strings from for Indesign files into Textedit and save as rich text. Make sure they at least work in Wordpad. If you have Office for Windows test in Word and Powerpoint.

    Now go back to your Mac and check the fonts with Font Book. If you get no errors then install them. Test the fonts in Textedit, and if you have Office for Mac, test there too.

    You should ask the Robofont forum if there are any common problems or mistakes people make. I don’t use Robofont so I don’t know about that (but I’ve never heard Robofont users complain. I rarely have issues with Latin fonts generated with the stable release of Glyphs. I only compile final fonts with the betas if Georg tells me to.

  • What, no Covfefe font yet?

    I’m surprised. Google has nothing, not even a freebie.

    But if you’re wracking your brains for new typeface names and draw the line at trumpery, here are some ideas from a June 1968 ad in Art Direction magazine:

  • Re: What, no Covfefe font yet?

    Be sure it supports Cyrillic!
  • Re: At what point of the design process do you start digitising your drawings?

    I think the common element here is the importance of becoming skilled with the tool that you use. It's not so much the tool as the skill and experience of its user.
  • Re: Show me your failures!

    When I started my first text font, I just wanted to pay attention to the technical side of the work, so I purposefully made the outlines very ugly. My idea was to learn about character sets and open type without getting bogged down in the details.

    In the end, I did notice that it actually shone at very small sizes. I did so many legibility tests, blurring the output and correcting for ambiguity, that it remains readable down to about 3pt. Not so much for screen, but a good xerox output was sharply readable.

    So, I've done better since then. But you can't say it's not original.
  • Abusing a Neural Network Drawing Tool intended for faces… (makying TYPE-FACES?)

    This morning i came across
    it allows you to draw faces and have it blend with a source image in an intelligent fashion.

    Warning - it's highly addictive.

    Now drawing with a mouse the results of the letter shapes are crude,
    however, I thought it was an interesting enough experience that id like to share the results with you here.

    Further it would be interesting to see what could happen if the underlying
    reference is typographic instead of a human portrait, 

    David Březina presented some materials during one typostammtisch in berlin
    that showed computer generated letter shapes based on a small number defined of glyphs
    somehow interpolated from a huge database, kind of makes me wonder how human intervention 
    could manipulate the results in a not unsimilar fashion to what is seen here. simply by scribbbling a little here and there…

    so instead of your drawing being blended with a face it could be blended with a didot, haettenschweiler or whatever…
    the experience also reminded me of lucas de groots porno font.

    some more faces

  • [OTVar] Animation of symbols/emoji using CSS animation with variable fonts

    I thought people might be interested in this animation I put together (based on photographs by Eadweard Muybridge) to understand how efficent it can be with variable fonts and CSS animation. Variable browsers only!

    Those without a variable browser can see the effect here:

    The horse is a single glyph, composed of 16 key frames, each traced manually from Muybridge’s photographs and saved as two masters and 14 brace layers (intermediate masters) in Glyphs. It’s then exported as a variable TrueType font and converted to WOFF2, resulting in a tiny file of 3960 bytes. The variable technology inside MacOS and Safari provides the in-between instances to make it smooth. The HTML <body> simply contains a single horse emoji glyph:  Finally, CSS animation gets the horse moving with a minimum of code.
  • Re: Kerning and Nick Shinn's mashed potatoes preference

    I have often contemplated this matter.

    In my opinion, one of the pinnacles of text production was the era of American book publishing in the 1940s and ’50s — publishers like Alfred A. Knopf, Random House, et al., and great composing houses like Plimpton, Kingsport, and MacKenzie & Harris. These texts were nearly all composed on either Linotype or Monotype machines, both of which boasted libraries of now-classic book faces.

    But neither of these machine casters employed pair kerning as we think of it today. The Linotype could not accommodate any kerns whatsoever. Although the Monotype could accommodate kerns in the traditional sense of the word (overhangs extending beyond the body), this is not the same as the kind of individual pair kerning that we think of today.

    And yet, despite the occasional usual suspect that might catch the eye (To, We, Va, etc.), these unkerned settings remain a high standard of pleasant readability that I think we are still hard pressed to equal today.

    Of course, one can’t completely separate the typesetting from the other variables that contribute to making these books what they are; but still, focusing on the type, it makes one think.

    I can’t help feeling that, these days, especially among newbies, the role of kerning can tend to get overemphasized at the expense of other fundamentals.

    To adopt a different culinary metaphor, pair kerning is like seasoning. A truly great recipe will often need only a dash of salt and maybe a pinch of pepper. And it doesn’t necessarily improve by throwing a bunch of extra herbs and spices at it.

  • Re: How much % is fair to pay to reseller companies?

    Adam, your suggested model is actually the opposite of what I proposed. My proposal was that the distributor percentage would go down as sales went up, rewarding the person who created the product that is generating so much value. I mean, the service that the distributor provides is the same for all fonts, right? So it isn't the service that is making one font sell better than another, but rather something about the font itself. I've always held that we should maximise the financial return to the person who is creating the value, not to what become, at that scale of sales, mere rentiers.

    With regard to avoiding the 'tiny royalties trap', the obvious solution would be a minimal payment to all font makers included in the collection, regardless of whether their fonts sell, in recognition of the fact that their fonts are contributing to the 'one stop shopping' value of the distributor. Call it a universal basic font income.  :)