Apologies accepted, of course. One can discuss whether OTM (version 7 will become available around the end of August) is a type-design app, but it has quite some obviously satisﬁed users worldwide. At the recent TYPO Labs conference we demonstrated FoundryMaster though, the new successor of FontMaster for macOS, Windows, and Linux, which makes many nifty (batch) IKARUS-based funtions, such as intelligent scaling, available for the UFO format. Let’s see whether this type-design app, which will be offered for a price far below that of all current major font editors, will make us a bit more a major/active developer.
Although times are undoubtedly changing and new technologies make other design and production methods possible, I still believe that there is no better way to learn the tension of curves, the (relation between the) quality of contours and counters, and to understand that a speedy process is not always the best way to preserve the highest quality, than drawing with pencil, pen, and brush. I wonder whether the fact that drawing on paper has become less common might be also simply the result of a lack of training and hence of the speciﬁc skills required for analog drawing.
As I wrote above, roughly 40 years ago as student I just had to make analog drawings because there was no other way to design letters. I have always been very pleased with this training. I think that today at type courses manual digitizing should be demonstrated and that students should play around with it. If they decide not to use it and to sculpture directly in Bézier format, that would be a decision, i.e., a choice, based on experience and knowledge. Also it makes sense to show the IKARUS system if one wants to place the current digital font technology in a historical context. On the aforementioned Facebook page Juergen Willrodt states that FoundryMaster will support manually digitizing in the near future too. Yeah!
To garnish my plea for good ol’ manual labour, I post a few drawings here based on an italic by Guyot, which I made 22 years ago for DTL VandenKeere. I made these drawings with pencil, pen, and brush (you can see traces of white paint) next to prints of the regular version –which was drawn on paper ﬁrst too and then manually digitized, of course.
Yesterday the seven EcTd students gave nice and interesting presentations on the process
and progress of their personal projects. From Guyot to Tavernier, from Van den
Keere to Dwiggins, and from civilité to nifty color fonts capturing the French-Renaissance patterning. Below you will ﬁnd a
small selection of photos taken at the cozy auditorium of the
Museum Plantin-Moretus, where the EcTd sessions take place.