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  • Re: How big is the type design industry?

    Not to mention the dollars Google sunk into the Noto fonts. Also Chinese and Japanese fonts are expensive, and I'd wager that a lot of money is being spent in that space. Latin likely has the volume, but there's definitely money in non-Latin.    
  • Re: Where is Arabic Italic originating from?

    I have been toying with the idea of creating an “italic” style of a Naskh typeface based on Indian style of Naskh, as it seems to work well for being slanted and has enough contrast with the regular that is not available with mechanical slanting.
  • Re: How big is the type design industry?

    "TYPE" has a market cap of $824.36M, but even if the rest of the industry had a valuation in excess of $1.2B it would be hard to make the case. For that statement to be accurate the industry would need to be generating annual revenue in the billions. That's my five ¢.  
  • Re: Why FontCreator hardly used by professionals?

    Because quadratic Béziers blow.

    Just kidding. Mostly. Ha-ha only serious.

    Better answer: basically, it's about the types of curves you can create and how easy they are to work with. I'll try to explain, but it's a complex subject.

    FontCreator only creates TrueType fonts, which only use quadratic Béziers. Such curves are described by three points: two endpoints on the curve and a single control point off the curve. Remember conic sections from high school? That's the sort of things you can create with these. Kinda limiting. In practice, you have to have a lot of segments and control points, and it's really easy to get a curve kinked up and spend hours trying to get a smooth curve.

    Cubic Béziers (used in PostScript), however, are a very different thing. You have two off-curve control points to work with, allowing for much more complex shapes. These curves are supple, smooth. One of the best features is that it's trivial to set up a curve pivot (my term; I don't know the proper one, but mine is groovy) -- move a point on one side, and a paired point moves the opposite way, giving symmetry and smoothness. Literal counterpoint, for the musically-inclined. Adobe Illustrator, InkScape and a lot of other vector drawing apps use these curves.

    In short, quadratic Béziers are much harder to work with. If you change a curve on, say, the rightmost point of /p, you have to move a lot of points to get the resulting curve to smoothly integrate. It's much, much easier with cubic Béziers.

    Still, TrueType has some very real advantages. First, it's usable in pretty much every game and graphics engine, so it's nigh universal. Second, it has the possibility of superb screen appearance, because its hinting engine (basically, instructions on how to warp things so they look better) is ridiculously powerful (but equally ridiculously hard to use). System fonts in Windows and Android are TrueType, and they look great. TrueType is perfectly valid, and its disadvantages really aren't that bad.

    Don't let anybody mock you for liking FontCreator -- it's a great editor.

  • Re: Graphology


    What a revealing thread! I had no idea that rationalism was such a force here

    What Mark, Thomas, and James are putting forward is not rationalism, it is empiricism.

    Empiricism proceeds from experience, so has room for emotion and even for mysticism. But experimental empiricism, of the kind that on which science relies, involves specific processes of testing falsifiable hypotheses, such that claims can be demonstrated to be true or false. In that respect, as Ofir notes, science is less open to charlatanism than mysticism or other non-rational belief systems, because when science makes mistakes new science can correct those mistakes; indeed, it is the only thing that can. [NB: non-rational ≠ irrational; non-rational beliefs proceed from grounds that cannot be arrived at through reason, e.g. revelation, but are still subject to reason; irrational beliefs are contrary to reason. Believing that God exists in three persons is non-rational; believing that I have three hands is irrational.]

    I understand the attraction of the idea that some activity that humans do, such as writing, reveals something deep about their subconscious psyches, or the idea that the arrangement of the heavens overhead when they were born reveals something about their destinies. These are not ideas that hold any attraction for me, and I'm personally pleased that they consistently fail to meet the truth criteria of experimental testing. But I understand why some people like these ideas.They do fail testing, though: the claims of the proponents of graphology and astrology don't stand up to experimental enquiry. Now, one can say that the experiments are insufficient, or that there are aspects of these claims that cannot be tested empirically — i.e. that there is something inherently mystical in their nature, even in their outcomes, that cannot be subjected to the methods of science —, but then I would say that these are areas of private, non-rational belief. If someone wants to believe that his or her handwriting reveals something about his or her psyche, that's his or her business. But it really is his or her business: there's no empirical grounds for anyone else share to this belief, and to apply that belief to someone else's writing is at best an imposition and at worst an injustice.

    With regard to my own handwriting, I know that it reveals two very specific things about be: a) I didn't learn to hold a pen properly when I was a child, and b) I've not taken the time to consciously correct and improve my writing.
  • Re: Graphology

    Mysticism is not a way to know about the world except by accident, although its existence tells a lot about how the human brain works.

    Human beings are not perfectly rational creatures. Perfect knowledge is not necessary for survival. Our brains our subject to illusions, just like our senses, but it is more difficult to detect because our brain is the thing we use for detecting things. Our desires, emotions, and existing beliefs play into this as well. Hence, we easily and naturally adopt unsupportable beliefs about the world. In other words, mysticism.

    The scientific method is a workaround we discovered that enables us overcome our cognitive shortcomings. Science allows us to transcend mysticism, not the other way around.
  • Re: Graphology

    Would that the so-called “scientific” readability of typefaces received the same opprobrium.
  • Re: Graphology

    Graphology is not a science. If you choose to believe in astrology or graphology or the like that is up to you. Just be aware that attempts to validate graphology have consistently failed, over and over, literally hundreds of times.
  • Re: FontLab job(s): doc writing, testing, support

    So, we are now welcoming Igor Freiberger and Pooja Saxena to FontLab, both working across multiple functional roles!
  • Re: Where is Arabic Italic originating from?

    @yanone included a Ruq’aa style ‘Italic’ in his FF Amman: