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John Savard


John Savard
Last Active
  • Re: Units per em

    Given that 18 units per em was good enough for Monotype, on the one hand no doubt 1000 units per em is enough, but on the other hand, a number of units that is a multiple of 18 would provide compatibility.
  • Re: 656565656

    To me, the 5 and 6 look very much the same at the top, and also the same at the bottom, but I'm less sure. With the 8 and the 0, at first the 8 looked bigger, and later, the 0 looked bigger.
  • Re: Optical correction in Arabic monoline

    I don't know a word of Arabic, but to me, the third one looked as though the stroke width was uniform, so the thinner vertical lines may be a simple optical correction for reasons that are not dependent on the script or culture, except as they are a consequence of the visual appearance of the script.
  • Re: What is a newspaper typeface?

    I would put it this way: with a large x-height, and with open counters, newspaper type has to lack certain features that suggest grace and delicacy. That does not mean that it cannot be designed with aesthetics strongly in mind; that does not mean that it cannot be beautiful in some respects.

    But when you combine those deficiencies with a need to be very familiar and comfortable to a wide range of ordinary readers, it is likely that the resulting face will not be all that interesting to those whose primary interest is aesthetic and not practical.

    I would not call Melior ugly; but then, I would not call Corona ugly either, and yet I can understand that some might feel that way. 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.
  • The Invention of the Arabic Typewriter

    Books and web pages frequently include tables of the four different versions of each letter of the Arabic alphabet, initial, final, medial, and isolated. This does not do justice to the Naksh script; although it is not as different from the Latin script in its requirements as Nastaliq, some features of even this script were discarded to allow Western typesetting equipment to be used for Arabic.

    In a discussion some time ago on Typophile, I mentioned that on a typewriter, the four forms of Arabic letters are reduced to two, since the line joining two letters can be associated with the first letter in its entirety. This is because kerning is no problem with a typewriter, and letters can overprint each other, unlike the case with metal type.

    I have now found more information about this. It turns out that the reduction of the letters of the Arabic alphabet to two basic forms for a typewriter was described in U.S. Patent 637,109, issued to Selim Haddad of Cairo, Egypt, then in the Turkish Empire, on November 14, 1899.