November 6, 2013
This article was written by my co-worker, Ernie March. Ernie has been our font QE guy for almost 20 years. After some subtle hints (no pun intended), I was finally able to talk him into writing something about all the work that goes into making sure we deliver high-quality fonts to our customers. This is Ernie’s first post on our blog, and I certainly hope it won’t be his last.
No, we don’t just throw it over the fence!
When it comes to font development, our design and production team spends a good deal of time making choices: deciding what the font should look like, what sort of language coverage it should have, what OpenType features it will contain, etc. Then they get down to the serious business of actually creating the font.
The team does a lot of testing during this process, and asks for input from experts in languages/scripts where we don’t already have expertise in-house. Rather than just throw them over the fence once they think they’re done, my co-workers send the fonts over to Quality Engineering (also known as my desk). I test the look, accuracy, and functionality of everything imaginable. This testing involves checking the validity of all the tables in the font file using Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType tools, including a separate check of the outlines, plus the language coverage and Unicode values. Once the files pass these critical tests, a set of visual proofs are created and carefully examined. Among other things, this proofing includes creating waterfalls in order to check stem hints and alignment zones at a variety of sizes—both onscreen and in print—and glyph dumps to check shapes and accent/mark placement. Continue reading…
November 2, 2012
Since the launch of Source Sans Pro just over two months ago, it has been encouraging to us to see its adoption in places such as the text font on the popular social news site, Digg, and incorporated as part of Stanford University’s identity guidelines for digital media. Part of the reason that we care about adoption is that we hope that as others want to use these fonts, they will also help to develop this type family to cover an expanding range of use cases.
Logos Bible Software 5 interface featuring Source Sans Pro
In fact, we recently had our first collaborative experience to extend the functionality of Source Sans. Not long after the fonts’ release, Logos Bible Software contacted us with a list of features which they indicated interest in helping to develop. Today Logos is launching the latest version of their bible study application and they have switched to using Source Sans as the main type for the user interface. In speaking about why Logos decided to make this change to their UI design, Bob Pritchet, CEO of Logos Bible Software, remarks, “Source Sans is a beautiful and uniquely useful type family with multiple weights, a rich set of glyphs, strong OpenType feature support, and most importantly, an open source license that allows us to extend it for specific needs, like scholarly text-critical apparatuses and ancient scripts.”
January 23, 2012
I am pleased to announce that this year Adobe is one of the sponsors of the Indian Institute of Technology’s Typography Day at its Industrial Design Centre in Mumbai. In connection with this event, I will be presenting on the typesetting capabilities for Indian scripts in Adobe InDesign. This will only be the beginning of my journey….
In order to benefit individuals active in the field of typeface design, I will also be hosting a series of one-day type development workshops in several Indian cities. These workshops will be targeted at helping to foster local type designers and engineers within India and will thus be limited to persons residing in the region.
November 4, 2011
Even though InDesign’s linguistic support is reasonably extensive, it covers only a few dozen of the world’s languages. Out of the box you’ll find support for most Western languages, from Bulgarian to Ukrainian, and if you happen to be using a Middle-Eastern (ME) version, you’ll also have support for Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew.
List of the languages supported out of the box by InDesign CS5.5
But what about other Arabic languages such as Urdu and Uyghur? Or Indian languages such as Hindi or Tamil? Or even other European languages such as Gaelic? Is it possible to enable those? The answer is yes, and there are two ways of doing it.
September 29, 2010
Adobe has put a lot of effort into developing and supporting the OpenType font format, so we’re pleased that in the last ten years or so, type users have embraced it and enjoyed the layout features it offers. Getting accustomed to the typographic richness that OpenType provides means, though, that one misses it when it’s not available. That’s the problem we have right now with fonts on the web.
OpenType text layout requires an application or client to support a particular feature — substitutions like stylistic alternates and small caps, for example — before it can be seen or used. Most browsers don’t do this today. Your browser might receive a feature-laden OpenType font and use it to render the text you’re looking at, but it will ignore most or all of its OpenType features. (There is currently limited support for default ligatures, alternates and kerning in the current versions of Firefox and Safari, but it is far from the comprehensive support that web designers would like.)
Thankfully that’s about to change due to the growing popularity of web fonts and ongoing work on the next major revision for fonts in CSS, the “CSS Fonts Module Level 3,” usually just called “CSS3 Fonts.” (See the latest Editor’s Draft for all the details. Currently, OpenType layout is covered in the section Font Feature Properties.)