Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new pilot program – Adobe Type Community Translation. This program is aimed at getting translations for Adobe’s typeface notes and will offer handsome rewards for contributors. We will be leveraging Adobe’s own community translation tool, the Adobe Translator application, to get translations for our 400+ typeface notes (also referred to as typeface histories). These typeface notes provide users additional information about the typeface and often include information about the history of the typeface. On average, these typeface notes are about 100 words in length. Continue reading…
Since the release of Source Sans Pro we have received an enormous amount of feedback which, in addition to congratulating us on the project, has made us aware of a number of issues that affected this font family. I’m pleased to say that we have revised the fonts and that the updated files have been posted on Open@Adobe at SourceForge. Here’s the list of changes:
- Improved sidebearings of some glyphs, improved kerning classes, improved some kern pairs.
- Fixed metrics issues with upright letter D and composites.
- Added glyphs and OpenType feature support for Jarai language.
- Added ‘ordfeminine’ glyph to ‘ss02′ feature.
- Changed glyph name ‘schwa.supss’ to ‘uni0259.sups’.
- Changed weightClass value of the ExtraLight fonts from 250 to 200.
- Changed OS/2.usWinAscent and OS/2.usWinDescent values to be the same across all fonts.
- Changed hhea.Ascender and hhea.Descender values as a result of the OS/2usWin changes.
- Changed OS/2 table version number from 4 to 3.
- Harmonized the copyright strings.
Also today, in response to the many requests we got, I’m happy to announce that Source Sans Pro is now hosted on GitHub as well. We expect this repository to become the place where we engage with the community and do the continuous development, whereas SourceForge will remain the location where we post each stable revision of the family.
We had heard about GitHub before, but we weren’t aware how popular it was. The team had little experience using it or working with the tools available for interacting with the repositories. Fortunately, we were able to enlist the help of Paul Picazo, a colleague from the EchoSign team, who gave us a two-hour crash course which got us most of the way up-to-speed with the tools and processes. Thanks a lot Paul!
Finally, for the many of you who expressed interest in the monowidth version of the Source Sans design, all I can say for now is that its development is moving along quite well and that we’ll have more news in the near future.
Over at Daring Fireball yesterday, John Gruber waxed rhapsodic about his lifelong relationship with pixels, and their marginalization in the new MacBook Pro Retina Display. He then talked about fonts in that context:
Regarding font choices, you not only need not choose a font optimized for rendering on screen, but should not. Fonts optimized for screen rendering look cheap on the retina MacBook Pro — sometimes downright cheesy — in the same way they do when printed in a glossy magazine. [...] Great fonts, intricately designed for high-resolution output, aren’t just allowed, they are necessary for a design that truly sings on this display.
John is talking about the long game of type design that Adobe has been practicing and advocating for over 25 years — especially in the last two or three years as screen fonts (a.k.a. web fonts) have taken a front seat in designer workflows and font foundry business planning. While there’s nothing wrong with finding the perfect solution to a contemporary problem — as many foundries have sought to do with highly screen-optimized fonts — it’s an endeavor that takes a lot of time and resources, always with the looming threat that those benefits will be fleeting. At Adobe, we’ve always been very comfortable relying on the inherent value of type designed to work well in print and high-resolution environments. No doubt that is a conservative choice, but keep in mind that Adobe Type has always been a product for digital workflows. One of the first Adobe Originals, Adobe Garamond, was designed in consideration, not defiance, of the 300 dpi laser printers of its time. Doing so did not make it incongruous with the past or the future.
I’m looking forward to the day when this bifurcation, “fonts” and “web fonts,” disappears and we can get back to simply practicing good typography with good typefaces, and worrying less about the medium and the technology. Although it seems like we’ve been anticipating high resolution screens for at least fifteen years, perhaps we are, finally, almost there.
This is a brief summary of my experiences as an attendee at this year’s TypeCon in Milwaukee.
My arrival to Milwaukee on Wednesday night was followed by immediate degustation of Milwaukee brats and beer; which is a promising start for any type conference. It is a great idea to start the main conference with a keynote in the evening because it gives people a chance to do some sightseeing and squeeze in some type-related activities before the events kick off. Continue reading…
Adobe’s legacy in type technology
Adobe has come a long way since its early days in which the specification for the PostScript Type 1 font format was a closely-guarded trade secret leading up to the “font wars.” Since this specification was begrudgingly published in 1990, Adobe has been more proactive in publicly releasing tools for developing and producing high-quality type. Subsequently, Adobe collaborated with Microsoft on the OpenType standard, which was later made an open standard for type technology as the Open Font Format: a free, publicly available standard (ISO/IEC 14496-22:2009). In connection with this, Adobe has shared its tool set for building OpenType fonts as the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO). Although these tools are not open source, they can be used freely and have been downloaded by thousands of users. Additionally, tools such as FontLab Studio and FontMaster make use of AFDKO code for building fonts. I believe that the world of type design and typography has benefited greatly from Adobe’s contributions in the arena of type technology. In adding to this legacy, I am proud to announce that today marks another milestone as Adobe makes yet another type resource freely available by releasing the Source Sans Pro family as our first-ever open source type family.
The ever-popular Myriad type family now has new Arabic and Hebrew members! These have recently been added as part of a suite-wide effort to provide better support for languages of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These new typefaces were designed and developed by the Adobe type team in San Jose and have already be recognized for their excellence as one of the winners of the Letter.2 competition conducted by the Association Typographique Internationale. A core set of styles from these type families is bundled with Adobe Creative Suite 6 applications. This core set includes four basic styles: Regular, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic. However, the type styles bundled with CS6 include only a small subset of the new Myriad Arabic and Myriad Hebrew type systems that were created to provide a wider range typographic options for designers. To preview and purchase additional styles or the full families, see our pages for Myriad Arabic and Myriad Hebrew. In the future, these pages will include glyph complement showings for the fonts, likewise full digital specimens with text showings are still forthcoming.
I know some of you are wondering what’s up with fonts for CS6. The font set shipping with CS6 closely resembles the set that shipped with CS5. However, the following new families will ship with CS6.
• Adobe Devanagari (4 fonts)
• Adobe Naskh (1 font)
• Myriad Arabic (4 fonts)
• Myriad Hebrew (4 fonts)
The new version of Adobe Reader (10.1.3) released last week includes new functionality that allows users to sign documents electronically. This new capability leverages three fonts that we designed and developed in record time. They emulate the real handwriting of some of our team members and are intended to serve as a proxy to anyone’s signature.
Last week, the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts was the venue for TYPO San Francisco. TYPO is a series of conferences organized by FontShop, and is well known for its annual installment in Berlin, where designers from all over the world have the chance to talk to a large, interested audience. This concept has recently been exported to London; San Francisco was the first TYPO to be held outside Europe. Obviously, this venture was a success, as initial attendance expectations were exceeded – the event attracted designers from all over the country. Continue reading…