@Hrant H. Papazian
Whachutalkingabout? Autotracing is exciting as hell. Perhaps you might consider straight up autotracing of historical fonts boring and I agree, that could be boring. But it's kinda neato sometimes.
I find autotracing very useful for producing special effects. If I need to produce a layer of newspaper halftone or stipple, it's pretty much impossible to accomplish without autotracing. One of my typefaces called Mochon
which was drawn with grease pencil would be been impossible to make without autotracing. If I had manually traced all those shapes, I don't know if the boringness level would be affected.
I went through a phase almost 15 years ago of using existing metal/phototype fonts, autotracing, manually cleaning up, adding special effects, autotracing and manually cleaning up again. At the time I thought of it like sampling music and creating something new. I tried to make it clear in the descriptions that it was based on old material. I think some of the results are good but some of it doesn't sit well with me in 2021. At the time I was inspired by sampling in music, these days I'd avoid it...I cringe a bit when I see some of them. But I sure don't feel bored.Teeshirt
started as an autotrace of an old American Typewriter specimen. I manually cleaned it up, expanded the character set, and used that to create layers in Photoshop. I painted real teeshirt fabric with acrylic paint, cracked it and scanned it. It would have been about the same amount of work to make an original typeface and much less work to use one of my own fonts. But I couldn't. The whole point of the typeface was 1970's teeshirt and it needed an authentic 1970's typeface for it to work properly. I could barely justify it to myself at the time but my desire to make something cool overrode the dubious ethics of it. Nowadays, I wouldn't attempt it.Tight
...so embarrassing. At the time I was unable to track down Dean Morris to ask permission. A couple of years after I made it, he called me out on it, publicly. If any of you young designers are thinking of doing this sort of thing, consider that you might feel stupid about it later and the original designer will make you feel like a dick.
Isn't that just a little bit interesting? C'mon, Hrant. All the cool kids are doing it.