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  • Re: Options for new type designers?

    Free tip for everyone, but specifically for you, Martin: the type industry is made up of like 70% autists, 20% too cool for school, and 10% just randomly brutally honest people. Or something like that. People appreciate experience on its own (even if you don’t) and generally will respect you for the work you put out and nothing else. That should suit you pretty well I assume. But please think for a few more minutes longer next time before you flat out disagree with someone as experienced as Ray when it comes to marketing and finding your niche. He knows a lot more than you or I do, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way to our young ears.

    All in all, what I’m trying to say, is: try to always be aware of where you are. I’d say it’s actually a really bad place to get feedback on your foundry logo, but it’s a good place to talk about market strategies and multiple master prepolation.
  • Re: What is a newspaper typeface?

    I was the design director at a daily newspaper for several years, so I'm somewhat familiar with the issue.

    The choice of a newspaper typeface involves aesthetics, personality, legibility and all those other considerations that, really, apply to most any project. What makes a newspaper different is also having to consider the high-speed web press printing and cheap newsprint.

    Newsprint is highly absorbent, so dot gain is a big factor. Dot gain, in case you're unfamiliar with it, is the tendency of ink to spread out a bit as it soaks into the paper. This isn't a huge problem with headlines, but for body copy and smaller text, like credit lines, a regular weight typeface can start looking like a rather inelegant bold version of itself where counters begin to fill in and delicate subtleties disappear.

    Newspapers are typically printed on high-speed web presses that are optimized for volume instead of quality. Ink coverage is also optimized to accommodate paying advertisements. For example, a full-page, solid-color ad might cause the pressmen to dial back the ink coverage to prevent ink set off onto other pages in the signature, but this also has a tendency to lessen the amount of ink laid down on those other pages. In other words, a very light typeface at small point sizes can almost disappear into an illegible ghost of itself. Similarly, a typeface with large differences between thicks and thins can simultaneously have thick strokes bulking up due to dot gain while having the thin strokes and serifs almost vanishing.

    These aren't huge considerations for headlines, and newspaper printing quality has improved enormously over the past few years. Even so, it's still important to use sturdy, highly readable faces that can hold up under this kind of abuse. As already mentioned by AbiRasheed, ink traps come in useful for mitigating the effects of dot gain blurring. Also, newspapers are meant to be read, of course, and people can be very fussy about what typefaces they've gotten used to in their newspapers. As a result, the typefaces used on anything but artsy, feature pages tend to be more conservative and less experimental, as Stephen mentioned.

    For what it's worth, at the paper where I worked, we used Franklin Gothic for headlines, cutlines, bylines and similar things. The standard body face we used was Nimrod.
  • Re: Extracting FEA from a opentype font

    Why do you need to extract this data from the binaries if Adobe has made all the source files for this font available?

    Mark’s comment has nothing to do with copyright infringement. If you extract data from a generated font binary you won't always get the original source code. Some things, such as OpenType features, need to be disassembled.
  • Re: MyFonts and families

    I don't know if it's really a race to the bottom unless we're sacrificing quality on the way. If I sell a typeface family for $100 to 10 people, $10 to 100 people or $1 to 1000 people, it doesn't make me want to make me cut corners on the next product any more or less. I get paid just as much in all 3 scenarios.

    I'm really thinking that bundles and deep discounting aren't a problem at all, they're a symptom of something. Does this happen in other fields? Any economists care to explain this phenomenon? I want to art college so I have no idea what I'm talking about.
    Well, speaking as a type designer who is also an MBA....

    What you say would be true, only if the price elasticity of demand is non-linear and makes *exactly* the right curve. In general, for most products and services, this is not the case. That is, it would be unlikely, a massive coincidence, for any particular good if the price elasticity curve happens to be shaped such that there is no profit-maximizing price and all points are equal.

    Note: don't forget the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). That's why I wrote profit-maximizing rather than revenue-maximizing. If you have 1000 customers instead of 10, don't you think you might have higher support costs?

    We also have at least some experience with price changes for fonts. When font prices dropped in the early-mid 90s, thanks to Microsoft and Corel, profits plummeted. Adobe laid off half their type staff in 1994. So I am at least provisionally suspicious that further price drops are good for font revenue—although I will be the first to say that it may vary depending on what part of the market you're operating in.
  • Re: Anybody else want to commission a open source Wordpress type tester?

    Just a short update here, where the idea first formed. The plugin is now available from the Wordpress plugin directory, so you can simply install it from your Wordpress admin panel. Needless to say your feedback is very welcome!

    There is still plenty of improvements to work on, but for now already many thanks to the folks that donated on IndieGoGo to the project, making it possible for me to spend time on developing this. Also a shout out to github user drawcard, Lasse Fister and anybody involved with Opentype.js for contributing to the building blocks this was built on ;)
  • Re: Proper weight instance progression for a multiple master

    "If it looks good, it is good."  Apologies to Duke Ellington.
  • Re: Text Files for Kerning Pairs

    I start with this:
    End with this:
    with everything in between for UC, lc and small caps.
    Then I go on to:
    Aar Abo Act Adj Aer Aft Aga Ahe Aie Aji Ake Alm Amo Ano Aoa App Aqu Art Ass Att Aug Ave Awa Axe Aye Azo 
    Zan Zbr Zco Zdj Zer Zfl Zga Zhe Zie Zji Zke Zlm Zmo Zno Zol Zpi Zqu Zro Zsn Zti Zut Zvl Zwl Zxl Zyl Zzl 
    with everything in between as well as for UC to small caps.

    Then there are the punctuation and sorts, numbers and symbols.

    I do this for latin, greek and cyrillic. I prefer the brute force approach, it is simple and I can move through it in a fairly straightforward way. I don't concern myself with pairs that may not be needed. I just balance everything. And don't forget the Eth, Thorn, AE and the rest.

    Easy peasy


    And if you think kerning is a slog, you are probably in the wrong business

  • Re: Text Files for Kerning Pairs

    You need to kern all alphabetic pairs. Proper nouns don't follow the same patterns as other words. And writing today often includes words from other languages.

    For example, most of my customers are in the USA. That doesn't mean I can limit myself to pairs for English and Spanish. Because an American magazine might have a story about a Chinese basketball player eating dinner with a Slovenian hockey player, at an Ethiopian restaurant, during which they discuss their families and home towns.