TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Mon Dec 17 14:40:14 EST 2018






Livetype [Pedro Reis Amado]

Started and maintained by Portugal-born Pedro Amado, who taught in the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University Porto, and is now professor at the University of Aveiro, the LiveType Project focuses on the development of complete Fonts using Fontforge. This project aims that everyone involved can and will learn more about typography and type developing in a collaborative method. It will provide the fonts and the font files regularly to users, developers and anyone with an interest in type. They are working on their first font. On Typophile, the question came up regarding the use of the (free) FontForge software rather than the commercial FontLab editor. Amado's reply and additional points:

  • 1. No third party. One of the main directives of this project is to ALWAYS keep it on an Open [Source] Basis so we don't depend on third party, commercial solutions.
  • 2. Open Source. I really believe in the future of Open Source Software. Bear with me for a moment - I work as a Design Tecnhician in a Fine-Arts Faculty in Portugal. As you might know, our public education system doesn't have that much money. The ones who do are usefull courses/faculties like engineering So this situation leaves us with obsolete growing, underdeveloped, non-market responsive solutions. All this because people who are running the system are spending money in vaious stupid ways. If you are familiar with Manuel Castells' opinions, you might agree that one way to promote a better future is through the use of Open Source solutions. In a very practical way, save some money to invest on more important things - enter Linux & Open Source Software, hence the use of Fontforge. Take the case of our neighbours, the spanish region of Estremadura. The public education system developed their own personalized, scaled to needs Linux Distro - Linex - that they implemented on the whole school system. It worked and the savings were huge! Brasil and some regions in Africa and India are also taking on similar initiatives I know these are difficult to implement solutions, and calculating the costs arent this simple. But this takes to me next point.
  • 3. Training. Imlementing this cost saving solutions means taking on a higher maitenance cost and further system administration - hey! I work on an University arent Universities supposed to promote knowlegde? How about using these systems, develop them, teach students howto, and then coming full circle when students start to use them in their professional lives and saving money to companies etc Nevertheless students should be also trained on the tools that the market needs - so teaching commercial tools and practices is also necessary. So the perfect solution would be to train students how to do it independently of the tools. So as a member of a Faculty I feel its my obligation to start using this systems, and start promoting them (along with commercial and established solutions). The LiveType Project is exactly this - I want to show people that is possible to use the free, open source solutions to learn how to do it with professional quality. And talking about learning
  • 4. Collaboration. The fact that they learn how to do it on a Linux platform, or on a Mac platform or on a Win platform doesn't affect what they learn. This is really it. I don't consider myself a type designer Im just an amateur typographer and type designer whanabe, so I also want to learn how to type design better, who knows if I grow to be good at it? I also want to learn no matter the platform. I also want to learn and knowlege should be acquired in a Free, Open Source Collaborative way! Things work out better if we collaborate with each other.
In 2005, this project morphed into Typeforge. Speaker at ATypI 2010 in Dublin. Speaker at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw on The evolution of the type specimen book.

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html