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Nick Shinn


Nick Shinn
Last Active
Member, Type Person
Invited by
Admin James Puckett
  • Re: New Open Source Font by Production Type: Spectral

    It helps that a new typeface looks good when the glyphs are closely inspected up large, even if the intended usage is small.

    That’s because one purposively forms one’s impression of where it fits in the vast panoply of faces, and culture in general, by such inspection—so one can’t help but be aware of the quality of detailing, which will thus colour one’s estimation of the design’s merit.
  • 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: When did the "Serif vs. Sans" derby started?

    Certainly, fonts do have rendering problems at low resolution, but how much distortion is acceptable is open to debate. Microsoft and Apple took different approaches, crisp vs. fuzzy. In as much as Microsoft foregrounded its sub-pixel-implementing fonts (including serifed) in readability theory, e.g. “Now Read This”, it did play to and reinforce the idea that there is something demonstrable about readability, and that sharpness is desirable; however, I concur with Thomas that it was just very very obvious that serifed type didn’t work as well as sans on pre-Retina screens.

    Times was actually not too bad, and with its finely tapered serifs has some finesse when scaled up in size.
  • Re: How big is the type design industry?

    Marketing products and services can be an even bigger challenge.

    Marketing is crucial for retail fonts. Unless a western corporation licences a Latin-Cyrillic-Greek typeface family for a nice fee, there is insufficient return on investment for native Latin designers to provide Cyrillic and especially Greek.

    At least, that’s my experience. I have no presence in Cyrillic/Greek markets, and the few Cyrillic/Greek designers who licence the occasional Shinntype font don’t amount to much income.

  • Re: How big is the type design industry?

    There is no such thing as a type design industry, just as there is no book writing industry, film directing industry, or automobile designing industry.

    The numbers being discussed here refer primarily to the font software licencing industry.