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Nick Shinn


Nick Shinn
Last Active
Member, Type Person
Invited by
Admin James Puckett
  • Re: At what point of the design process do you start digitising your drawings?

    I question the premise of this thread, which locates drawing as a purely analogue media process. I draw digitally, using a tablet and stylus, creating and manipulating Bezier paths on screen in FontLab.

    I don’t digitize my analog drawings per se, in the sense of tracing over them or copying— they are rough sketches used to work out ideas.

    Now that I have amassed a body of work in various genres, I often develop new work by transforming or cannibalizing the old. And that too is drawing.

    However, I have made script fonts by drawing over scans of my writing/calligraphy—which are not drawing.

    And I made Handsome by writing directly into Fontographer.
  • Re: Kerning and Nick Shinn's mashed potatoes preference

    Are you saying that some kerning "mistakes" make it better or easier to read?

    No. I’m saying that type needs to breathe, and fonts in which gaps are closed up—which is the majority of kerning—have the air sucked out of them.

    Also, consider the default (above) of Helvetica, compared with InDesign’s “Optical” kerning (below), in which the t-o is closed up, and the r-y is opened. Such is the tacit “kerning mental algorithm” designers employ to even things out, but IMHO it contradicts the inherent balance that the original type design gives to such words. After all, these ur-grot letter forms evolved to their neutral perfection in a kern-free environment.
  • Re: The vinyl records of font formats

    Vinyl may be compared to foundry type, in terms of being analog and accurate. Fred Smeijers calculates a resolution of 2540 dpi, in his book Counterpunch.

    I went to a high end consumer audio show recently, and almost all the exhibitors were demonstrating their equipment using vinyl records as source, not digital. I doubt audiophiles would drop six figures on a second rate sound system.
  • Re: Graphology

    Would that the so-called “scientific” readability of typefaces received the same opprobrium.
  • Re: Why FontCreator hardly used by professionals?

    I can only speak for myself. I’ve never heard of this application! I stick with FontLab, which I’ve been using for ten years. I dislike changing software and having to learn new stuff when the old is familiar and perfectly adequate; however, I have been hearing good things about Glyphs recently, and will give that a try soon.