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Nick Shinn


Nick Shinn
Last Active
Member, Type Person
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Admin James Puckett
  • Re: The vinyl records of font formats

    Vinyl is lossless. It is an analog medium that reproduces sound waves continuously, whereas digital media samples those waves, losing information in between the samples. A moot point at higher sampling rates, e.g. FLAC.

    But it could also be argued that the molecular limits of analog represent loss, in tape and vinyl.

  • Re: The vinyl records of font formats

    Essentially, people who prefer vinyl prefer the way it distorts sound, whether they realize that's what it is or not.

    “Distort” is rather a loaded word. By the same token, one might say that the process of letterpress printing “distorts” the shape of type. 

    The crucial thing is that concept, design and production be geared to a particular technology, then whatever the nature of that technology is, the product is true and authentic.

    On the simple basis of quantity of sonic information, vinyl is a lossless system that has more data than MP3s or streamed music, so one might say that such mainstream digital technologies are “low res”, especially when they are compressed to jack up the volume.

  • Re: [OTVar] Introducing OpenType variable fonts

    There is already a perfectly good technical term for this kind of thing: Metafont, coined by Donald Knuth in 1979. 
    (The classical Greek prefix meaning “beyond”—hence Metafont would cover both “restricted” and “unrestricted” implementations.)
    But every organization wants to put its own brand on the concept, hence Multiple Masters, GX and now Variable.
    So don’t kid me that “Variable” is anything other than a snappy marketing term!

  • Re: [OTVar] Introducing OpenType variable fonts

    Any OpenType font with features is a variable font, in as much as it can vary the glyph that sets a character—especially one with Stylistic Sets that cover an entire character set.

    Slider Font might be a better term, as presumably a slider will always be used to make the OTVar fonts do their stuff. 
  • Re: Sans-Serif For Text

    A “sans-serif text face” doesn’t mean much.
    That’s like saying a leather foot shoe.
    All alphabetic typefaces are potentially “great for reading”.
    It’s how they’re chosen and set for a particular document that’s significant.

    nb, “text” has a specific typographic meaning (think “text” as Unicode strings, as opposed to graphics files), “text faces” is an indiscriminate, vernacular usage, like calling typefaces fonts, because all faces with alphabets are text faces (as opposed to symbol faces).