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Dave Crossland

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Dave Crossland
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  • Re: Launch Timing

    I think Thierry Blancpain is spot-on. I've always published typefaces as soon as I was able to, with a couple of exceptions recently made recently where faces were released at specific type events, like Typographics (Space Mono in 2016, Spectral in 2017.) That's more about the event than the typeface :)

    I would say that December and August, being summer and winter holiday months in the West, are obviously not ideal time to release anything that isn't specifically useful for either holiday. You see this in stuff like this graph of general interest in fonts on Google Search:



    https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today 5-y&q=fonts

    There is a steep drop at Christmas time, and there is a peak around valentines day (a lot of people need fonts to make their own romantic graphic designs, I guess ;) and then this slides down to the July 4 summer holiday in the US, and then trends up to Thanksgiving, and then down to the Christmas drop again. 

    This is somewhat a different topic, but interestingly I've seen that, over the long term, it seems interest in fonts has trended down in the last 20 years. Here's the long view on Google Trends is from 2004 to today:



    https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=fonts 

    The longest view is provided by the Google Books n-gram search, where use of the word "fonts" exploded in the mid 80s (with DTP) and peaked in the early 1990s. The word "typefaces" traces a similar although more muted path (and in the above doesn't even register) 



    – https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=fonts,typefaces&year_start=1970&year_end=2017&corpus=15&smoothing=0&share=&direct_url=t1;,fonts;,c0;.t1;,typefaces;,c0

    Despite these declines, the "font economy" has only grown, though :)
  • Re: A List Apart considers user interfaces for variable fonts

    'What is the typographic equivalent of the magic wand, a "Make this text better" button?'
    Sounds like we need a standardized/registered set of 'lower level' axis that are used in concert to 'construct' or 'blend' the 'higher level' axes that are already registered... like https://variationsguide.typenetwork.com :)
  • Re: [OTVar] hidden axis flag

    Laurence said:
    it’s probably a bad idea to show unregistered axes at all
    I don't like the idea that axes need to be registered in order to show up in UIs, which is what this implies.

    I think it is very important to show some unregistered axes! (And not show some others, on a per font basis.)

    I would even offer that "Registration" would be better called "Interoperable" because that is its purpose.

    I must stress how important I think it is to see visibility-flagged and registered-for-interop as orthogonal issues. 

    John Hudson said:
    So you want are flags for 'Always show this', 'Sometimes show this', and 'Never show this'? The 'sometimes' criteria are unclear. What does 'advanced' UI actually mean, and who gets to decide? If a developer has a single UI paradigm, should this flag be interpreted as include or exclude the axis?

    I am optimistic that the 'sometimes' criteria can become clear; but if it isn't, then it can be interpreted either as include or exclude, depending on the audience of the app; perhaps InDesign would veer to include and Word would veer to exclude. However, probably it should be specified to be the same as default ('no flags at all') choice..?

    I believe a user should always be able to see all axes; but I have a clear sense of orders of magnitude different kinds of users. 


    Dave, what's the difference between "show in expert modes" and "show to developers and people who really care to see everything"?
    The difference is between typographic experts - who know how to make things look just right - and developers/engineers - who know how to make things work. 

    Its tempting to conceptualize of the experts sitting between the engineers on the right and the 'everyday users' on the left, in a spectrum of sophistication. But actually this is not a straight line, because the sophistication is of a different kind. 

    That's why 3 levels of flagging are needed.
  • Re: Public domain pros and cons

    Personal opinion, not legal advice:

    John, you are raising a point that I was only referencing by implication, so I want to thank you for that. My view is that in the eu and many other places, unlike the us, and as Khaled had said, you can't put something in the public domain, it can only have the monopoly rights adhered to it expire. So if your intent is to gift something to humanity, to make it available to everyone, which seems to me the actual urge behind an attempt to put something in the public domain, then the ofl and licenses like it keep that intent intact, while licenses like cc0 and mit/bsd/Apache do not and allow that intent to be subverted by downstream 3rd parties. Maybe you don't mind your work that you intended for everyone with a computer not being available to everyone with a computer, but it seems kind of short sighted to me. 

    Ray, you say you want fewer support emails. Only the ofl is going to deliver that, because everything else is less common and going to generate more questions. Adam and John both know from the Noto mailing list how many questions Noto gets, under ofl, so there's no way away from it, but using the same license as the majority of other libre fonts (with an extensive and well maintained FAQ) is the best Ray can do. (Well maybe the way to get away from it completely is to ask someone else to maintain the fonts. I'm happy to do that...  If they are ofl :)

    In the USA typeface designers are categorically all public domain except those subject to design patents which are very few and those last for 15 years. In the eu there are design rights that adhere for a few years unless registered and then join the public domain; if registered they join after 5 years unless re-registered, which can be done up to a maximum term of 25 years. In most places it's ambiguous. In Israel typeface designs are subject to regular authoring copyrights, so I'm not sure how anyone draws anything there without risking a lawsuit. Well, they just shoulder the risk, I guess. 

    Anyway, I don't think the meaning of the public domain is that all monopoly rights expired, that's just the situation. The meaning of all monopoly rights expiring is that the public's freedom to use, study, modify and redistribute the work is unfettered; and no monopoly rights can be re-adhered (as far as I know.) So the ofl recreates that situation before the monopoly rights expire. 
  • Re: Naming font modifications

    I've overseen the kind of upgrade Joyce describes and used "Family two" and "Family 2" depending on what felt right for the face. Pondering it now... since numbers are sometimes used for grades perhaps "Family v2" would be best generally. For me, Jubilation seems more like a "Two" than a "2" :)

    (I also published a lot of families as "Something One" which are single style families intended to be expanded later, but are not the Regular Roman style of what that family will be, so likely the rerelease full family will then be simply "Something" rather than "Something Two")