Posts in Category "Making Fonts"

December 23, 2005

Lying fonts – good or bad?

With Unicode and OpenType, there are specifications about how certain things should be done: particularly encodings and OpenType layout features. But some things are not as well or easily supported in applications, which leads to the temptation for font developers to “lie” about the encoding or alternate glyphs, in order to get something that works more easily. What specific kinds of lies are font developers tempted by, and is this lying a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately in discussions on the public OpenType list and in the Typophile forums, and I thought I should put all my thoughts in one place.

2:18 PM Permalink
December 13, 2005

Quality in Typefaces & Fonts

What makes for quality type? What’s the difference between typeface quality and font quality? Who makes quality typefaces/fonts? Today’s post is partly an education for the beginner, but also a plea to my colleagues at other companies for more testing.

One of the things that attracted me to work in the type group at Adobe, when I was dreaming of such things a decade or more ago, was my belief that Adobe made the best fonts. Now, of course, I didn’t know all the world’s type foundries then – and with the ever-growing number of font vendors out there, I still don’t. However, Adobe certainly makes very good fonts, and my concern with quality has continued to this day….

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11:49 PM Permalink
October 27, 2005

Increased expectations & OT font glyph sets

I was planning on making my next post about contextual alternates and features in OpenType. Instead, I’m writing today because I’m really tired, and want to say that one complaint I’ve heard from some font developers is largely true.

Some typeface designers have been saying in the last year or two, in posts on Typophile and elsewhere, that there’s one main problem with making fonts that have tons of typographic features and extended language support. It’s a whole bunch more work to make such fonts. They don’t think they can charge enough extra to make it worth the extra work. Plus, they end up spending more time on fewer designs, and the proportion of their type design time that’s spent creatively is going down. But it’s a general trend, and some feel they don’t have much choice but to go along with it.

Note: if you don’t already know about OpenType, read one or more of the following.

So, I’ve been sitting here the last week working hard on my upcoming typeface, Hypatia Sans™ Pro Most of what I’ve been doing is the thrilling, death-defying task of assembling accented characters using composites and mark attachment in FontLab Studio 5. Somewhere along the way, I got a bit worn out, and I am wanting to express my commiseration with my fellow type designers and offer a few thoughts about the challenges we face in this “brave new world”….

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10:04 AM Permalink