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Kent Lew

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Kent Lew
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  • Re: What is a newspaper typeface?

    However, of late, the technical requirements of newspapers have changed, as they're now being printed by offset lithography instead of by stereotype, and that has reduced the problem.
    By “of late” I suppose you mean since roughly four decades ago.

    Offset lithography certainly improved control and consistency in the printing of newspapers.

    But the paper is usually quite thin and absorbent (to differing degrees in different shops), and the presses run at very high speeds. So, unique challenges do remain.
  • Re: Philippine piso symbol U+20B1

    Paul — Thanks for your observations. Yes, banknotes are almost never any use for gauging native use of a currency symbol, as most do not display one.
  • Re: [OTVar] Axis Interaction and Literality

    The question becomes, should a width axis then be considered "non-literal"?
    In the sense you’re talking about: Yes.

    This is probably not intuitive in terms of user expectation,

    Really? Are there users who expect to change the weight of a font and not have a line length change to some degree?

    I imagine that for those situations where users want to be able to change weight interactively and have line length stay constant, there will be secondary mechanisms and plug-ins that will calculate and manage such for you from within the provided weight/width matrix.

    Although the idea you keep advocating may have some value for certain designs or certain use cases, I don’t think that it is necessarily a preferable default behavior moving forward.

  • Re: Slashed zero with downstroke?

    Didn’t the representation of our modern concept of zero as numeral/figure basically start out as a contrastless symbol from the beginning?

    I would think the relevant question is when in history did contrast get added to harmonize it with the rest of the written/typographic figures?

    (Which then necessitated strategies for differentiation from Oo in certain contexts.)
  • Re: Replace ß by smallcap eszett or smallcap ss?

    Seems to me the whole reason this is an issue is because the small-cap mechanism in the OpenType Layout framework was conceived to operate outside of any text-level casing mechanisms, and so the type designer or font engineer is left with the task of deciding these casing rules, one way or another.

    This is why we have to worry about idiosyncrasies like Turkish dotted i and eszett in our {smcp} features.

    And that makes these small-cap casing choices font-specific, which is a bad place for them (as John has argued).

    If only a font had just the responsibility for mapping encoded uppercase forms to their corresponding small-cap variant, and any lowercase-uppercase case mapping were left to the text-processing engine to handle — according to localization or user-specifiable standards or whatever — then fluid situations like the eszett could be addressed in a much more responsive way.

    A {smcp} lookup is really a bad projectile for trying to hit a moving target like this, unfortunately.