Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Best Of

  • Re: Ludlow accents

    And from 1958. 



    Not aware of any other showings of accents. If I find time I'll dig through some of my weirder Ludlow stuff. 
  • Re: Ludlow accents

    Two pages from the 1936 catalog. 

  • Re: What are 'true italics'?


    BTW, just like cursiveness, Latinization has its place. Just not as a default.
    My position is that I agree with you that there's no need to Latinize Armenian, but I disagree with the idea that Cyrillic letterforms should go back to what existed before Peter the Great.

    The Cyrillic letter shapes are sufficiently closely related to those of the Latin alphabet and of Greek, at least in the upper case, that the whole Latin alphabet apparatus of typefaces, lettering styles, and script styles really belongs as naturally to the Cyrillic script as to the Latin script.

    The traditional Armenian typeface often appeared either entirely in italics, or with the lower case in italics - slanted italics, not cursive. Instead of simply accepting yours as an outsider's perspective, I suppose one could (hopefully, in jest) try to make the claim that out of revenge for Latinization, perhaps this proposal for italics is an attempt to Armenianize the Latin script!

    In the typesetting of mathematics, occasionally the capital letters from Fraktur are used as symbols. Also, script - the default Spencerian kind - is sometimes used for certain purposes. This is perhaps a function of what happens to be lying around the printing office in any case, so as to avoid delays or extra expense as new characters are cut and cast.

    First, the Aldine press typeset entire books in italics so as to save space, and allow the printing of inexpensive compact editions. (Presumably, if they knew better back then, they would have come up with something like Corona.)

    Then this alternate typeface that they happened to have lying around got used for emphasis as an alternative to letterspacing - which is what was used before, and then continued to be used with Fraktur.

    And so we see in typefaces like Caslon and Baskerville that the italics are much narrower than the Roman.

    That needed fixing, and it got fixed.

    I've felt that there is a mismatch in the conventional serif typefaces for Greek between an upper case that looks much like that of Roman and a highly cursive lower case. Given the history of Greece, the proper development of Greek typography was interrupted, and Porson Greek was developed by people who didn't speak Greek as their own language, but who wanted something useful for studying the classics, the New Testament, and for use in mathematical formulas. So it's plausible that it could be flawed.

    The Latin script, on the other hand, has been in the hands of a number of wealthy and powerful nations, and enjoys dominance. Which means that its users haven't been denied the opportunity to develop it according to their preferences. And there are subtle differences between English, French, Italian, and Polish typography which would seem to serve as evidence that there has been the opportunity to try out different approaches.

    Right now, slanted italics for Roman typefaces most commonly occur under two particular circumstances: typefaces designed by people who are native speakers of Chinese or Japanese, or printing done digitally where slanting the letters to make an italic saves having a second typeface template present. So they have a bad reputation.

    None of this really negates your point that the use of a different script form as a basis for italics brings in extraneous context.

    At one time, again, for convenience in limiting the number of fonts a printing shop would have to buy, a Scotch Roman might have used a Clarendon as its boldface instead of a bold version of the same typeface. Looking at the bold versions of, say, Baskerville and Times Roman, though, even though in both cases there are definite changes making their bold versions different from what you would get due to, say, double-printing with offset, as was done to make bold with daisywheel printers once upon a time, the differences are much less than are the case with italics.

    Thus, I think you could have a point in an abstract sense, even if, in the concrete world of existing script users and their ingrained preferences, there is both limited opportunity for change and limited urgency for change.
  • Re: FontLab Studio and High Sierra

    I hope you all got your exit strategy in place. Next year, with macOS 10.14, FontLab Studio 5 will not run at all because 32 bit applications will be obsolete.
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    The term software can be confusing. Some people I've encountered have trouble understanding not only the concept but also the language embedding font software into application software. They don't seem to grasp the idea of software being added to software. They may not even know that an app is software. I'm sure there was a time when being a web or software developer required some knowledge of how computers work. But I've encountered people using kits that help them generate software applications with no technical knowledge required. They know that they've used the font in the app generation tool but they're not sure whether the font goes in to the app or if it's used to generate the app. E-book development tools don't explain to the author that font software is being embedded into a document. Is the book software? Replace font software with font or the font itself and I think it's going to be easier to grasp.
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    When answering licensing questions, I tend to use the terms font (the name and associated visual appearance) and font file (the thing you install, i.e., the software). From the point of view of a font developer, font and font file are redundant, and we tend to use the term typeface for the first thing and font for the second thing. But colloquially, I think font and font file is how users think of it, or at least makes more sense to them if they haven't thought about it. Caring about the distinction between typeface and font has become an internet joke. Most users know what a file is on a computer, so I think it works, and is easier than trying to correct or educate multitudes of users.
  • Re: Is it ok to call a "typeface design" the UI of a font software program?

    The objective is to differentiate "font software" from an "image of lettering", clearly and quickly with minimal jargon. 
    Perhaps I am of a simple mind, but is it not, in fact, quite obvious to your average Joe or Josefine that the one is the font and the other is the stuff you make with it?

    I would go so far as to say that the idea that fonts are software is foreign to most people to begin with, and inventing a remedy for this self made problem might be solved simply by calling things what they are in the users' mind.
  • Re: Weapon of choice

    Thomas, I used to have a bloodletting problem at work from using an Xacto knife for years until 1987, then we bought a $2,000 Mac and my problems ended. Next year I bought one for home and have been blood free ever since ;-)
    PS. I love the Aaron chair, too ;-)
  • Re: Anyone have experience with this font identification software (Find my Font)?

    I have been using it for a few years and its awesome.
    I don't use it very much for identification. I use it mostly as a font manager / library browser.
  • Re: FontLab Studio and High Sierra

    Microsoft has a much better record than Apple in catering for users and developers of software in professional markets, including custom-developed software or software that costs several times more than the hardware it runs on. 

    I have both native and virtualized Windows environments and they allow me to easily run apps from the last three decades, including apps from defunct vendors.

    Type design and font development tools are a good example here: I occasionally use pieces of old but still useful software on old Windows, all working fine. On the Mac, I cannot say it's possible. 

    macOS is a fine OS to work on in terms of UI and graphics, but when it comes to stability for developers, it's terrible.

    Every few years Apple changes all of its toolchain, removes things that were previously working fine and forces thousands of developers to rewrite large portions of software from scratch. 

    This does have the "nice" side-effect that developers may charge users upgrade prices because the older versions of their apps stop working on newer macOS, so users come running. On the other hand, on Windows, apps may run forever so users may not be "pressured" into upgrading so easily. 

    The additional problem with Apple is that they tend to be very secretive, so as a  developer, getting detailed information about why something is not working isn't easy. Microsoft always has been more relaxed and cooperative with software vendors. 

    As for exit strategies — I might agree that using cross-platform apps which you can run on more than one OS is indeed a decent contingency plan. Using software that is heavily tied into just one software (and hardware) platform always poses a certain risk.