Good article

Dear friends, I really like this article.

Someday I hope Ethiopic will be included in this kind of work. 

What do you think?

https://christoph.koe.berlin/articles/en/pangea/

Comments

  • The name Pangea certainly is intriguing, and it would be great to see something that lives up to that name.

    That said, a few thoughts:

    But most of them have one thing in common: they are latin, static, and one-dimensional and they differ only slightly.
    In spite of this observation and the name Pangea, the article doesn't really highlight much beyond Latin.

    Pangea goes one step further: Since its release Vietnamese and Latin characters for transcribing e.g. Arabic and Sanskrit, as well as Greek and an extended Cyrillic... have been supported.
    Latin transcription of other scripts is... still Latin. Greek and Cyrillic are a start, though.

    Optical sizes are by no means a new idea–before phototypesetting made fonts infinitely scalable, every size had to be physically produced (and optimised). Even today, very few fonts are adapted for different reading sizes – and it is very rare to find a sans serif. But there really isn’t a way around it if you want to realise a design idea without compromise. 
    This and the fact that it's a variable font led me to expect the font would have an optical size variation axis. So, I was surprised to find that it doesn't. I suppose, though, given the way the "Text" instances compare to their non-"Text" counterparts, the Extenders, Apertures and Spacing axes are like parametric axes that, being exposed independently, can be used for selecting instances for different optical sizes as well as providing other options (in a way not unlike David Berlow's parametric axes as demonstrated in Amstelvar, though maybe more useful or, at least, familiar, as independent axes than, say, "x-opaque", etc.).

    And, I guess, if OpenType were extended with some a capability for synthetic axes that allow defining an axis that gets implemented as controlling other axes (rather than controlling deltas directly), then perhaps an optical size axis could be added that could be implemented using the parametric axes.

    Finally, initially it wasn't clear to me why this discussion would be filed under Font Technology, though it did lead me to comment on variable font tech topics. If the intent was to generate that kind of discussion, then I guess that categorization made sense.

  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 746

    Someday I hope Ethiopic will be included in this kind of work.


    Of course, Ethiopic is included in many "Unicode fonts", that is, fonts that include support for a great many languages.
    But Pangaea is something more than that. It seeks a unified design across all the scripts that it supports. This makes it harder to include Ethiopic, since many font designers will be unsure that a design for that script following that unified design will be acceptable.
    That, alone, probably wouldn't be an insuperable obstacle. But since Pangaea is also a variable font, that requires even more confidence, so I'm not surprised that, at the moment, it has only ventured very slightly beyond the Latin script.

  • Of course, Ethiopic is included in many "Unicode fonts", that is, fonts that include support for a great many languages.
    But Pangaea is something more than that. It seeks a unified design across all the scripts that it supports. This makes it harder to include Ethiopic, since many font designers will be unsure that a design for that script following that unified design will be acceptable.
    That, alone, probably wouldn't be an insuperable obstacle. But since Pangaea is also a variable font, that requires even more confidence, so I'm not surprised that, at the moment, it has only ventured very slightly beyond the Latin script.

    That makes complete sense. And the challenges would be greater if you were to consider more scripts besides Ethiopic. It just makes me wonder if the name Pangea was really the best choice for a font: it invites an expectation that probably could never be met.

    Unless one envisions a future in which many fewer scripts are used around the world. Or it's imagined that an ancient and prehistoric culture in the tectonic past used certain scripts and a font is supporting that.
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