How skeleton based type design could shake up digital type design workflows

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  • ivan louetteivan louette Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Just my two cents about drawing with strokes. Two years ago when I began to draw fonts I did some experiments with them. I find this technique not only funny but also very interesting for two reasons : 1° that imposes some research about how to draw a linear character which can be suited for that, and readability benefits from that ; 2° some very interesting discoveries about how shapes play in the page space and about glyphs spacing can be done with this technique.

    My main tools are Inkscape and Fontforge (I am on Linux : Kubuntu for a while now) but every time I upgrade my system I re-install the last Creature House Expression 3 before MS destroy it (Ironically it was… and perhaps remains distributed for free by MS itself). It works like a charm on Wine and even with pressure sensitivity.

    I use also Inkscape internal tools, like custom svg filters to alterate shapes and I vectorize them or trace them manually afterwards. But this is another subject.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    I'm sad that we have yet to properly define what a serif is (because we've been too busy with how it's been painted as opposed to what it actually needs to do).
    I think that's because of two reasons, first ,"Proper" has degraded from absolute to relative level about two decades or so ago (this brought up a lot of advantages and progress in any field), and the second is that ignorance grows aside to knowledge... the bad news are that ignorance grows, both by quantity and by gap, the cup will never be filled. The good news are that knowledge grows as well, so instead of waiting for the cup to be filled one can enjoy drinking the water, there are plenty of it.

    The things we should fight or wish to bury are limiting ideas (or the attachment to them) not tools or means, for the biggest barriers was and probably will ever be in our minds.

    Using Skeletons (and the Matrix and SX system) Fontark represent the most promising breakthrough in type design tools, it is yet far from being perfect, but worth digging into.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371

    My main tools are Inkscape and Fontforge ...
    Try Fontark, you'll do it (minus the filter effects) and more, in a fraction of the time.
  • ivan louetteivan louette Posts: 265
    @Ofir Shavit Very interesting indeed. I will try if it works with Chromium browser instead of Chrome. One difference is that in Inkscape and Expression you can wrap any shape along your curve. In Expression you can edit the local width of a wrapped shape while in Inkscape you can do that for simple lines with Powerstroke.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    There are differences for sure, the main difference is that Fontark was developed for type design. With it you have the qualities of Powerstroke but with flexible (controllable) cross-glyphs control, plus the outline is wisely generated in real time. When you trace a Powerstroke to outline you get an unworkable contour, with Fontark the outlines are always clean and enable further editing.

    I'm demonstrating it by demand to anyone interested, feel free to contact me and I'll show you how it works and what it is capable of.

    Not sure for the chromium issue though, can't you run a Chrome (or Safari/Edge) on Linux?
  • ivan louetteivan louette Posts: 265
    I installed Chromium and it seems to work in this browser. Do you know any issue specific to Chromium ?
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 371
    No, it should work fine.
  • Since you are quoting Noordzij, you might be familiar with his arguments in Counterpunch? 
    I haven't chance to read Counterpunch yet. Could you eventually quote his arguments here? So I might elaborate on it a little bit.

    Thank you

  • Russell_McGormanRussell_McGorman Posts: 192
    edited October 2016
    Are you also sad about the birth of Sans serifs?
                 :)
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