September 17, 2013

Dr. Donald E. Knuth to be honored with third Dr. Peter Karow Award during ATypI Amsterdam

Dr. Don KnuthAdobe, in partnership with the Dutch Type Library, is pleased to announce that Dr. Donald E. Knuth has been named the recipient of the Dr. Peter Karow Award for Font Technology & Digital Typography.

This prestigious award was established in 2003 by the Dutch Type Library (DTL) as a means to celebrate visionaries who have made exceptional innovations in the development of digital type and typography-related technology.

The inaugural award was presented to its namesake, Dr. Peter Karow, at the third DTL FontMaster Conference held near Den Bosch, The Netherlands, in 2003. Dr. Karow, one of the founders of URW Software & Type GmbH, invented Ikarus, the spline-based type design and production software developed to convert typefaces and logos from photographic film into scalable digital fonts and symbols.

The second Dr. Peter Karow Award was presented to Thomas Milo at the Type[&]Design 2009 Conference in The Hague, the seat of the Dutch government. Thomas Milo and his DecoType team were honored for the Advanced Composition Engine (ACE), a revolutionary typographic technology designed to solve the formidable Arabic script shaping, kerning, and line layout challenges (ACE sits at the heart of the WinSoft Tasmeem plugin for Adobe InDesign Middle Eastern). The ACE font layout engine pioneered the “smartness” needed to support scripts that require a more thorough technology than their Latin counterparts. The Dutch government was represented at the award ceremony.

The third Dr. Peter Karow Award has been unanimously awarded to Dr. Knuth by this year’s jury: Dr. Karow, Thomas Milo (DecoType), David Lemon (Adobe), Peter Rosenfeld and Dr. Jürgen Willrodt (both URW++), and chairman Frank E. Blokland (DTL). Continue reading…

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June 19, 2013

Adobe CFF font rasterizer accepted by FreeType

Last month we announced that Adobe, in collaboration with Google and FreeType, contributed its CFF font rasterizer technology to FreeType. Today we are happy to let everyone know that the Adobe CFF Engine has been accepted by FreeType and the Adobe-enhanced rasterizer is now on by default.

We’d like to thank everyone who tested the Adobe CFF Engine and reported issues during the beta period. The code was released as a “mature” beta but testers did find a few issues and an improved version of the rasterizer is now being delivered to all devices that use the latest version on FreeType (version Continue reading…

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May 1, 2013

Adobe contributes font rasterizer technology to FreeType

Today we are pleased to announce that Adobe has contributed its CFF rasterizer to FreeType. The code is now available for testing in the latest beta version of FreeType. This open source project, aimed at improving CFF rasterization in devices and environments that use FreeType, is a collaboration between Adobe, Google and FreeType.

Modern fonts use one of two outline formats – TrueType or CFF. TrueType was developed by Apple in 1990, while CFF (the Compact Font Format) was developed by Adobe as a second-generation form of the Type 1 format (often called PostScript fonts) that Adobe first released in 1984. Either TrueType or CFF can be used in OpenType fonts. The two share many qualities, but differ in two primary ways: they use different math to describe the curves in letterforms, and they have different styles of “hinting.” (Hinting = providing guidance to the rasterizer to ensure each letterform is represented as faithful as possible in a limited set of pixels.) TrueType puts most of the emphasis on instructions built into the font, while Type 1 and CFF rely more on intelligence in the rasterizer. This makes the quality of the rasterizer particularly important, and Adobe expects its contribution to FreeType will produce a noticeable improvement for CFF fonts in environments that use FreeType. Continue reading…

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April 3, 2013

Adobe Blank Redux

As discussed in our March 28, 2013 article, Adobe Blank was recently released as a open source special-purpose OpenType font that helps to solve the FOUT (Flash Of Unstyled Text) problem.

The version that was initially released was approximately 80K in size, and included 257 glyphs, 256 of which were functional in the sense that they are mapped from 1,111,998 Unicode code points, though they are intentionally non-spacing and non-marking. I further analyzed the tables, and found a way to trim the size further by increasing the number of glyphs to 2,049, 2,048 of which are functional. The size is now a more modest 32K.
Continue reading…

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April 1, 2013

New type specimens are now available

The Adobe Type team is often asked for more details on how we go about designing typefaces; what sort of historical elements went into the design, was there a specific approach that we took, and what problems we were trying to solve. Very often, a combination of factors like historical precedent, language coverage, stylistic trends and media target (print, web, UI, app, etc.) can be interesting to our customers.

With the typophile in mind, and others who are interested in font design, we produced our latest set of type specimens. These specimens, now available as PDFs on, delve into the design of four recent Adobe Original typefaces – Trajan Sans, Trajan Pro 3, Myriad Arabic and Myriad Hebrew. We hope you enjoy reading this material and learning more about these typefaces.



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March 28, 2013

Introducing Adobe Blank

Earlier this year, the Adobe Type Team was approached by one of our other development teams to produce a special-purpose font with two fascinating—at least to me—characteristics:

  • All Unicode code points are covered.
  • All code points are rendered using a non-spacing and non-marking glyph.

I decided to take on this task, because I immediately recognized that the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS was the appropriate vehicle for developing such a font.

The font itself was developed early this year, and I finally got around to releasing it on Open@Adobe as a new open-source project named Adobe Blank OpenType Font. I will soon mirror it on GitHub for those who prefer to get their open-source material from there.
Continue reading…

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March 1, 2013

For the love of type


A few weeks back my co-worker Miguel Sousa blogged about the fundraising adventure our team embarked on to help raise money for the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. Now that we have all of the donations tallied and matching requests submitted, I am happy to announce that our crazy idea of selling cupcakes in-a-jar for Valentine’s Day raised $7,500 for the Hamilton Museum. As lovers of type, and supporters of the Hamilton Museum, we couldn’t be happier with how this fundraiser turned out. Continue reading…

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February 11, 2013

Our fundraiser for the Hamilton Wood Type Museum

Hamilton Fundraiser

As you may have heard, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum has been asked to vacate its current site, and so is seeking for donations to help pay for the move and purchasing a new facility. The museum is located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and houses the world’s largest collection of wood type, estimated to be over 1.5 million pieces. The building that bears its name is the place where the long extinct Hamilton Wood Type company began producing type in 1880 and within 20 years became the largest provider in the United States.

Continue reading…

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February 8, 2013

Thank you to all our Chinese and Japanese community translators

Back in December, I did a post to thank all of the people who contributed translations to our Community Translation project. Since then we’ve had a lot of activity translating our typeface notes to Chinese and Japanese (over 100 accepted translations). We are very pleased to see all of this activity and want to publicly thank the following five individuals

Ying Ning

Tonny Xu

Vincent Ding

Hai Liang

Takesato Hayashi

Without them, and all of the other individuals we mentioned in December, this program would not be a success.

To learn more about the Adobe Type Community Translation program, refer to Typblography project page. If you have any questions or requests related to the Type Community Translation program feel free to reach out to us at

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January 22, 2013

Adobe type design workshop, India 2013

For a second year, Adobe is proud to be one of the sponsors of the Indian Institute of Technology’s Typography Day, this year at their campus in Guwahati. In connection with this event, Paul D. Hunt of the Adobe type team will be presenting on the process of developing Adobe’s newest non-Latin font offering: Adobe Gurmukhi.

This year, Mr. Hunt will also be hosting a three-day type development workshop directly after the conference in Guwahati from 11–13 March, 2013. The workshop location is currently slated for Guwahati, however if there is not enough interest at this location or if there is more interest for a workshop in Delhi, the location is subject to change. Therefore applications are now being considered for both Guwahati and Delhi and the final workshop location will be decided by popular response. This workshop is targeted at helping to foster local type designers and engineers within Indian subcontinental region and will thus be limited to persons residing in this area.

The workshop is intended to be an in-depth review of the font development process to assist typeface designers in taking their design and font development skills to the next level. Whether you are a novice who wants to turn letter drawings into type, or you have had some experience designing and developing fonts, this workshop will present a range of topics that will help you to improve the technical quality of your font output. During this workshop series Mr. Hunt will demonstrate general type design principles using FontLab Studio 5 and the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO), however these principles will also be applicable to other type design environments.

Continue reading…

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