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  • Re: Doesn't the forum webfont need refurbishing?

    It is 2017, you don’t need all scripts in a single font file (and you can’t, the glyph limit for OpenType fonts is 65535 glyphs per font file). I think unicode-range is supported correctly by current versions of relevant browsers now, so that is a way to use web fonts for more character ranges and have the browser download them only when needed.

  • Re: Doesn't the forum webfont need refurbishing?

    On Windows Lucida Sans Unicode would be a solid fallback.
    I don't think so. On Windows 10 my Lucida Sans Unicode only has 8 of 256 glyphs in Latin Extended Additional. 
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    @John Savard-- Having a lot of experience with early typewriters too, I can tell you that the intent of the 2-color ribbon was primarily for accountants to highlight a negative number, not for highlighting words -- although that could be and was done.

    When such a ribbon was used in an accounting machine, negative numbers automatically switched to the red ink.
  • Re: Best Practice for removing components

    Why would one manually decompose components before exporting fonts?

    because you might need do remove overlaps. And for CFF it doesn’t make a difference. For TrueType it would be bad (to remove all).
  • Re: Units per em

    Yes, that's right. The first version of Zapfino for Apple was very small on the body, in order to accommodate the very tall ascenders of the taller style variants. This was done in consultation with Apple, and they shipped the font, but then they got a lot of complaints from people saying that the font was too small relative to other fonts. So Apple decided to change the UPM so that everything would scale larger.
  • Re: Open source font tester?

    Is it possible to obfuscate a web font specimen, using simple cipher? A=G B=W C=X etc. I wouldn't propose doing that on the web for non-specimen use because that's awful. But if you're just using it to displaying a specimen, the words contained in the specimen don't matter in terms of search or comprehension. The quick brown fox becomes Plo kmijn uhbyg gbv. Every day, you scramble the cipher, change specimen text and regenerate the scrambled web fonts. Not unbreakable for sure but it might be more difficult for automated tools to keep up with new font releases. Even if the cipher gets cracked every day, sometimes it might fail on a letter. Unless there's a human checking that the letters are all in place, the automated ripping tool becomes unreliable since a font with a misplaced letter is essentially useless.
    If I understand that correctly, I did something similar once. It was an offline PC application and protecting the font was not the matter, but protecting the text was.
    So they didn't want to do encryptions and stuff like that. I proposed we could change the font and you type some gibberish things and they "see" it like a proper sentence. If they copy that it is not usable. 
    And because it was Persian, I had to replace an entire character glyphs (initial, medial, final and isolated) with another character glyphs so you can type easier.

    I don't quite remember, but I think we had some problems with ligatures cause the glyphs had changed. Altogether it was an easy and simple solution for that case.

    But if it is going to be used to protect fonts, I don't actually know how to decipher them to the correct glyphs each time. It is better for Latin fonts, I think.
    And the big problem is after all of that, the user would have the entire glyphs and he could edit the font and move the glyphs to the right spot and boom there is your font!

    Another Idea would be removing some glyphs. Is that so bad? I managed to remove enough glyphs so my own "invented" Persian pangram would show up correctly :)

    P.S: I have seen some strange scripting in Persian fonts, but they can't do that on the web, only with programs, I think Tasmeem from WinSoft is doing something strong to do this kind of "protection".
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    You are aware that up to 8% of Caucasian males and 1% of Caucasian females have some degree of red-green color blindness? It is one of the most widely-known and common X-linked inherited illnesses. "X-linked" as in located on the X chromosome - males has one and female two, so female can be carrier without being affected.

    So one always have to be careful about relying on color to convey information - for example, if you use green-on-red for emphasis, it might have the opposite effect: a substantial part of the general population simply see it as redacted.

    I am also of the opinion that legibility comes first - ornamental to the extent of sacrificing legibility isn't.
  • Re: Type Design Workshops or Classes in LA

    The requirements are that the venue sponsor the event such that there isn't a rental fee, and they have a projector, wifi, printer, and desk space for 10-30 students
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    To me personally this trend mostly speaks of a longing for the analog. Be it illuminated scripts with color decorations, carvings with inlayed color, or woodblock prints with layered impressions of different color, the current trend in these types (be in implicit sets to be used in conjunction or multi-color font formats) relives that tangible aspect of typography - which readers young and old alike have come to reminisce about. As such, I think it's worth cherishing these new forms as stylistic evolution.

    From the point of view of designing type, however, I feel it's a gimmick. In the stylistic sense it is something that is easily recognised as trendy, and from a marketing standpoint innovators can thus claim new markets. Maybe it's because users of type don't feel confident (or can't afford to, in terms of time investment) to do these type of very graphic design laden experiments with type that they are comfortable with type designers picking colors and variations on their behalf - which makes this whole affair a tad bit more sad altogether.
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    I don't have time to write as long a response here as I would like, but here are some thoughts:

    1. When talking about colour in typography, it is important to distinguish between the use of multiple colours applied to text, and use of multiple colours applied to individual letters. These are different uses, with different roles in typography, and different implications for reading. I don't think Mark made this distinction, and conflates chromatic typography — use of colour in the design and arrangement of text — and chromatic fonts — use of colour in the design of glyphs. When he's talking about colour as analogous to things like bold and italic to make a case for chromatic fonts, these categories get confused. Colour is already an aspect of typography, especially on the Web where it doesn't cost anything, and has been for a long time without involving chromatic fonts.

    2. One of the things on which all readability research agrees — as does common sense —, is that higher contrast between positive figure and negative ground aids reading, while we find it harder to read at lower contrasts. This is why 'black' and 'white' remain the standard of readable text reproduction, despite the freedom and low cost of using different combinations on the Web. When people do deviate from this, as in the recent trend for grey text on many websites, readability suffers (especially for those of us whose eyes are no longer young).

    3. Maintaining strong contrast between figure and ground requires consistent density in the elements that make up the former, which is why a poorly inked page or some kinds of antialiasing of text on screen impede readability: they degrade the letter image by making some parts of it lighter than other parts, reducing their contrast with the ground. It isn't difficult to see how changing the colour of some parts of the letter has the same effect, which is why I consider polychromatic fonts to be only appropriate for display typography at large sizes, i.e. at sizes at which we do not rely on complete letter image for recognition, but rather on edge mapping.

    4. As has been demonstrated by Denis Pelli and other researchers, we read within spatial frequency channels determined by the characteristic spatial frequencies of scripts and text styles. Changes in spatial frequency in text require retuning of spatial frequency channels, which slows and interferes with reading. It isn't difficult to see how colouring parts of a letter in different ways may alter spatial frequencies, in combination with the reduced stroke density and contrast discussed above. This is not to say that one couldn't make polychromatic fonts that stick within a single spatial frequency channel, but being aware of the need and strategies to accomplish it would need to be part of the design process. It's something we take for granted when designing text typefaces for typical, single-colour, high contrast reproduction, because we've inherited evolved letterforms and weight/proportion relationships that work and which we tend not to question. It seems to me that an intelligent approach to designing polychromatic fonts would start by questioning those things, rather than just applying colour in fancy ways to letterforms that evolved in monochromatic media.