TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Fri Jan 21 19:18:13 EST 2022
FONT RECOGNITION VIA FONT MOOSE
A Treatise on Font Rasterisation
The title of this informative article is A Treatise on Font Rasterisation With an Emphasis on Free Software. It explains font hinting, anti-aliasing, subpixel rendering and positioning, and gives a survey of the state of the art, and pays special attention to X11 and Unix. The following Unix tools are discussed: Freetype, Fontconfig, Cairo, Qt and Xft. [Google] [More] ⦿
Judy Litt at QuaLitty Design in Austin discusses typography, and provides links to font sites and font software, and offers general advice on all things typographic (hinting, font choice, font editors, etcetera). Faulty web page. [Google] [More] ⦿
ACAF stands for Ascender Compact Asian Fonts. Their blurb at the launch in 2006: ACAF uses proprietary techniques to render the complex ideographs found in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) scripts. By using component outlines, versus entire character outlines, ACAF offers significant benefits over standard TrueType or OpenType font formats. And unlike other compact font formats, such as stroke or stick fonts, the quality of Ascender Compact Asian Fonts is such that no embedded bitmaps are necessary for typical screen sizes. This savings in space by reusing pierces of font outlines is useful for high quality (scalable) fonts on mobile devices and digital TVs. [Google] [More] ⦿
AccentKernMaker (akm 2.1) is a useful script which works with existing Fontographer[tm] metrics files (.met) Based on the available kerning information, akm 2.1 creates a complete kerning table for accented characters for Macintosh Standard, Macintosh Central European, and Windows East European character set. It also offers a possibility to create kerning table for custom encoding. It's a free on-line web service. [Google] [More] ⦿
Reactions by typophiles to Acrobat Reader 7, released in December 2004. Good news: It includes Myriad and Minion Pro (for free). Bad news: read on. Grant Hutchinson writes: "Every release since 4.0 has been bigger, slower and more bloated with creeping featuritis to the point of disfunction. Meh, indeed. Do yourself a favor... download version 7, install the free fonts and turf the rest." The general feeling is to hang on as long as possible to the Acrobat Reader 3 and 4 versions. [Google] [More] ⦿
For her Master's degree in Design and Multimedia at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, Beatriz Diogo created a script---Adaptype--- that allows any font's width to respond to the window size and the development of a website. Github link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Adrian Robert's pages with links on random generation of images (using iterated function systems, or fractals), including a bit of material on random font generation. He wrote the free program "randim". [Google] [More] ⦿
Explanation of the idea of hand-antialiasing by Chris Johnson, who claims Microsoft may well have borrowed his ideas for their ClearType. He has produced some Mac bitmap fonts that can be freely downloaded. [Google] [More] ⦿
All Good Things Typography
Dead link. Archive (FontPool), history of type, type classification (by Matthias Neuber and Morton K. Pedersen), page layout guide, type choice guide, logo type guide, mixing type guide, Windows software guide, Mac type software guide, glossary. By Kevin Woodward. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free on-line application by Beyondnorth publishhed in 2008: Alphatype can be used to view your favorite fonts on any computer. Includes an easy access interface for changing font attributes. Alphatype is meant to generating new typographical ideas and will not replace system font viewers. Other on-line applications by them include Alphapixeltype, and Alphagrid. All are useful for type selection and layout. [Google] [More] ⦿
Birmingham, UK-based Antonio Roberts (aka Hellocatfood) wrote a program called glitch that will replace a certain portion of the font data by random values, esulting in glitch typefaces. A prototype example was called Dataface (2012, free at OFL). OFL link. [Google] [More] ⦿
The fonts installed in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) are:
Ares Software Corporation
From Nicolas Fabian's description of this wonderful but short-lived company: "Ares Software Corporation was founded in August, 1990. The company's goal was to create value added software which enhanced existing font libraries and simplified the daily work of graphic designers, typographers and micro computer users in general. Ernie Brock, Harold Grey and their team of dedicated programmers produced some of the most creative typographic software in the history of computers, including the legendary FontStudio, FontMonger, FontHopper, FontMinder, FontFiddler, and the most unique software of them all, FontChameleon. But, when Adobe Systems purchased Ares, all competing Ares products were discontinued on June 6, 1997. A most unfortunate event in the history of creative typography." Martin Kotulla reminds people that Ares was very useful in producing artificial copies of fonts, and that Adobe's purchase is interesting. [Google] [More] ⦿
Developer (with Ari Rappoport) of LiveType at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. LiveType is font creation software that uses a parametric model for the fonts and allows the user to specify any number of constraints. Useful for creating multiple master fonts. You may also find some fun font applets at his site. ParamTT is a the complementary font design tool to create and manipulate LiveType characters. [Google] [More] ⦿
Adobe product, which "lets you take control of your font menu for easier access to all of your fonts. ATR Deluxe automatically sorts your fonts according to family name, listing style, and weight variations in a submenu under each name." Comes with ATM Deluxe 4.5. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font technology specialist at Linotype, Germany. He was born in Manisa (Turkey) in 1974 and grew up in Marburg (Germany) before moving to Frankfurt in 1994. He studied political science and computer science at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität and later at the Fernuniversität Hagen. He joined Linotype as an intern in 2000 before becoming the full time Font Technology Specialist in 2002. At ATypI 2008 in St. Petersburg, he spoke about Automation in font production. Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik on the topic of web fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
Autotracing is the process of taking bitmap or pixel images and making smoooth, usually Bezier spline, outlines, as is required when taking a pixelized image of a glyph and making it into a possible opentype glyph. Tools in this genre include:
Help with the use of autotrace for making a font via Autotrace from an existing font is provided by this video made in 2021 by Piotr Grochowski (Poland). The (polite, but negative) reaction to this video by the typophiles was quite predictable---they do not like the promotion of piracy software. It is ironic that none of the people villifying Grochowski are criticizing Bitstream and Monotype for similar past sins (i.e., copying existing digital fonts). [Google] [More] ⦿
The Batik SVG Toolkit is a Java-based toolkit for applications or applets that want to use images in the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format for various purposes, such as display, generation or manipulation. The project's ambition is to give developers a set of core modules that can be used together or individually to support specific SVG solutions. Examples of modules are the SVG Parser, the SVG Generator and the SVG DOM. It includes an SVG Font Converter, called TrueType Font to SVG (ttf2svg): The TrueType Font converter application helps to embed font definitions in SVG files. Typically, one can just include a minimal subset of needed characters. [Google] [More] ⦿
The programs bdftofon.exe, pcftofon.exe, bdftopcf.exe, mkfontdir.exe allow conversions from .bdf to .fon format (used by emacs and vim in UNIX environments). Starnet went commercial, and placed those programs elsewhere. So, you'll only find them in some archives I guess. [Google] [More] ⦿
Japanese and other font utilities resource page kept by Hiroyuki Tsutsumi. Freeware utilities by him, developed from 2003 until 2005:
Canadian-Iranian software engineer and type expert. He worked at Google in Mountain View, CA, and at Facebook. At the time he quit Facebook, his annual salary, as reported by The New York Times, was 1.5 million dollars.
Behdad Esfahbod was born in 1982 in Sari, Iran. While at high school Esfahbod won a silver in the 1999 International Olympiad in Informatics and then gold in 2000. He studied computer engineering at Sharif University in Tehran while discovering the world of computer typography and open source.
In 2003 he moved to Canada, studied computer science at the University of Toronto (MSc, class of 2006), became a regular contributor to GNOME---he was a director at GNOME Foundation from 2007 to 2010, serving as the president from 2008 to 2009---and many other open source projects. Esfahbod was among the founders of Sharif FarsiWeb Inc. which carried out internationalization and standardization projects related to open source and Persian language. He worked at Red Hat, Google, and generally became the go-to person regarding everything font and text rendering in open source projects. Among the projects he has led are the cairo, fontconfig, HarfBuzz, and pango libraries, which are standard parts of the GNOME desktop environment, the Google Chrome web browser, and the LibreOffice suite of programs. He received an O'Reilly Open Source Award in 2013 for his work on HarfBuzz. In 2012, he obtained an MBA from the University of Toronto as well.
Speaker at ATypI 2014 in Barcelona. The abstract of his talk there explains the current status of the FontTools package: FontTools/TTX is a Python package for converting OpenType font fonts to / from XML. It was developed in early 2000s by Just van Rossum and has been in wide use by the type community since, mostly for testing and inspection, but its development has had stopped for the most part. In Summer 2013 I resurrected FontTools development by adding support for many tables that have not been supported before (EBDT/EBLC, CBDT/CBLC, sbix, COLR/CPAL, SVG, ...), as well as implementing new tools: a full font subsetting tool, font inspection tool, font merge tool. In this talk I will talk about the community gathered around the new FontTools development as well as my plans to expand FontTools into a full Open Source font production pipeline. Speaker at ATypI 2015 in Sao Paulo. Speaker at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw on The Open Source Python Font Production Pipeline.
Addendum: Read his personal story involving psychological torture by the Iranian government. New York Times article in August 2020 about his Iranian experience: Esfahbod was arrested by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' intelligence unit during a 2020 visit to Tehran. He was then moved to Evin prison, where he was psychologically pressured and interrogated in solitary confinement for seven days. They downloaded all his private data from his devices. Iranian security forces let him go based on his promise to spy on his friends once he was back in United States.
Unclear what this is. There seems to be a system called "berlin". The page goes on: "LibGFont is a library which hides the differences between bitmapped, type-1, and truetype fonts. It exposes enough information for an application to obtain metrics for each glyph and font, as well as render glyphs into a cache for onscreen display." [Google] [More] ⦿
Bissantz SparkFonts 5
TrueType Fonts for the character-oriented generation of sparklines with SparkMaker. The fonts were made in 2005-2006 by a German guy at Bissantz GmbH, Ralf Steinsträsser: TrueType Fonts for the character-oriented generation of sparklines with SparkMaker. They are dingbat fonts with lines, histograms, pieces of circles, all designed to make graphs, pie charts, and stock market charts. It is a data visualization tool. [Google] [More] ⦿
BitCopy 2.0 costs 2000 USD, plus 186 USD per year for maintenance. Creates bitmap fonts for Xerox FNT, PostScript type 3, AFP, HP LaserJet, PCL4 and 5, from PostScript and truetype fonts, Atech FastFonts, and other bitmap fonts. A bitmap font editor is included. By Lytrod Software Design Tools. [Google] [More] ⦿
Add dynamic fonts to your web pages. Commercial product. It looks like the Bitstream product requires so-called .pfr binary files, which are probably directly derived from truetype files. I guess you can get these from Bitstream's 200-font WebFont Maker CD. Also, the users need the Bitstream web browser add-ons. See also here. [Google] [More] ⦿
A new kerning method based on Bezier curves first proposed by Toshi Omagari at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw. Space between letters is now explicitly drawn, an iea that saw some use in Microsoft's Cambria math. [Google] [More] ⦿
On November 15, 1998, Microsoft claimed a major breakthrough in font technology with what they are calling "ClearType". They state: "The effective tripling of horizontal resolution in ClearType subpixel rendering allows much greater fidelity to the true angle of italic type, and ClearType's patented color-filtering techniques maintain high contrast and so enable comfortable [on screen] reading". The book Now read this (John Berry and John Hudson, 2004, Microsoft Reading and Advanced Reading Technologies Group) explains the technology in more detail. In the ClearType project (2004), Microsoft releases six Western families (Calibri and Consolas by Luc(as) de Groot, Candara by Gary Munch, Corbel by Jeremy Tankard, Cambria by Jelle Bosma, and the extraordinary Constantia by John Hudson) and one full Japo-Western family, Meiryo, developed by Eiichi Kono and Matthew Carter. Review by Anne van Wagener: Calibri is a pleasure to read, Cambria is a formal and solid workhorse serif, the informal sans Candara is her least favorite, Consolas is a monospaced typeface, Constantia is her favorite--it is a clean and readable serif, and Corbel, a sans, is crisp and refreshing. On a trademark note: Constantia is the name of a pre-2000 typeface designed by Bill Horton (Foster & Horton)---if Bill plays his card right, he could make some good money off this. Typohile discussion. Microsoft we page on the ClearType font collection. [Google] [More] ⦿
Dan Sayers (aka iotic) is an app developer and software engineer, who studied mathematics at Oxford from 1994 until 1998, and evoluionary systems at Sussex from 2008 until 2010.
He designed La Avería en El Ordenador (2011, OFL), an average of all 725 fonts on his computer. The fontfamily was split into Avería, Avería Sans and Avería Serif. Now, this may seem like a simple thing, but it is not! He took almost a year to complete this task, giving it a lot of thought. In the process, he created Font Path Viewer, a free web app for viewing the font outlines (with control points) of all fonts on one's system. He did the following clever thing: each font contour was split into 500 equal pieces (a serious exercise for Bezier fanatics), numbered from 1 to 500, and all 500 positions were averaged (over the fonts on his system) to obtain Avería. Interpolations between fonts have been attempted before (see Superpolator, or Font Remix), but to have it automated in this way is quite another achievement. More images of Avería: i, ii, iii.
Averia Serif Libre (2012) exists in six styles, and there are also the Averia Libre, Averia Sans Libre and Averia Gruesa Libre families. These are available from Google Web Fonts.
So, here is my small request for Dan: build an on-line tool, based on the Bezier outline cutting principle you pioneered, for interpolating between two typefaces. The user would submit two fonts, and the interpolation would be shown on the screen after a couple of seconds. I am sure you can do it!
German graphic designer who has his own studio. He created the (free) experimental font family Drebiek (2008) around the theme of the triangle, the morbidly obese Diet-Fat (2008), Cartoons Abstract (2009), the monoline Cinga (2009), the experimental Boss M (2009), the art deco stencil typeface Trage Keinen Namen (2008) and the simple handwriting typeface Berger&Berger Caps (2009). One can also download a font tool called Typometer. At Dafont, he calls himself Dundeee.
Author of "abcdefg" [a better constraint driven environment for font generation] (1989 Raster Imaging and Digital Typography conference, pp. 54-70), as employee of Xerox PARC. She describes an experimental system that automates the generation of letters in a font from four master characters (o, h, p and v). [Google] [More] ⦿
"D-Type Font Engine consists of an ultra-fast grayscale rasterizer capable of generating beautiful antialiased type on screen or any other raster device." It works with TrueType, type 1, OpenType and type 3 fonts. For Windows, Mac and Unix. A demo (DType V3.2) is available. Located in Toronto, Ontario. [Google] [More] ⦿
Paul Haeberli's free C code (1989) for transforming mouse positions into dynamic (and calligraphic) strokes. A free port to OpenGL and GLUT (and Mac OSX) by Nicholas Zambetti is here. Zambetti lives in Ivrea, Italy. [Google] [More] ⦿
Founded by Ben Bauermeister and Clyde McQueen in 1990, former employees of Aldus. Based in Seattle, it created for Hewlett-Packard FontSmart (a product that gives users 110 fonts and a font-management technology for HP's LaserJet 5L, 5P and 5Si printers in an innovative and compressed format). It also made FontWorks (a truetype font generation engine for Windows), Infinifont (a parametric font generation system), and PANOSE (a fonty classification system). On December 21, 1995, HP bought the company and that was the end of it. The in-house type designer was Karl Leuthold. They produced about 340 "clones" of the major typeface styles, including Albertus, AntiqueOlive, Arial, AugustaEC, BistroEC, BodoniEC, BookAntiqua, BookmanEC, BookmanOldStyle, CGOmega, CGTimes, CafeEC, CenturyGothic, CenturySchoolbook, Clarendon, CourierEC, EtnaEC, GaramondEC, GeneraEC, GillSans, Goudy-Old-Style-EW, GraphosEC, InformaEC, LetterGothic, LetterSansEC, MentorEC, MetrostyleEC, ModalEC, NewTributeEC, OperinaEC, Ozzie, SchoolbookEC, StationEC, StriderEC, StylusEC, TerasEC, TerasMonospaceEC, Univers, VillageOldstyleEC, WilmingtonEC. MyFonts link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
Erik Van Blokland
Sells a 2000 font (TT and T1) CD called Fantastic Fonts for 13USD. Plus 300 truetype handwriting fonts for 13USD. And 300 funky fonts for 13USD. Font Magician (13USD) lets you create special effects. Kid's Fonts (300 truetype fonts) for 13USD. Based in Rockland, DE. Footnote: Expert Software is one of the world's largest font cloners. I doubt that they ever made an original font. For example, under the label Ly's Media, they renamed all the WSI "Hand-Plain" series LEHN001 through LEHN283, and sold them once again. It is a real mess. Download that collection here. [Google] [More] ⦿
In June 2019, together with Laurence Penney, Irene Vlachou initiated the experimental project FauxFoundry, a web font service offering fallback fonts, such that multiple scripts can be presented with reasonable fidelity to the web designer's intent, even when the primary font does not support those scripts. Currently working for Greek, thus providing Greek fallback fonts for fonts that do not contain Greek. The system takes measurements from Latin fonts that represent the parametric axes developed by Type Network. In the process, FauxFoundry developed the FauxForger software utility. [Google] [More] ⦿
"The FastFont to Bitmap Font Generator (FBM.EXE) is provided for those developers that just want a quick way to generate HP PCL soft fonts for distribution with their applications. FBM generates HP PCL bitmap fonts (.SFP/.SPL) from PageTech's proprietary FastFont scalable typeface format (.FF1). The Type Importer is included with FBM to convert TrueType and PostScript Type I and Type III fonts into our FastFont format. AllType can also convert scalable fonts into FastFont format. The price for FBM with Type Importer is US$249." [Google] [More] ⦿
Kevin Carothers and Alex Korobka's free open C code to transform FNT fonts into BDF fonts (all bitmap formats).
FONmaker is FontLab's PC program capable of automatically generating FON, FNT, SPF and BDF bitmap fonts from any TrueType or Type 1 font installed in Windows. FONmaker uses the Windows (or ATM) rasteriser to build bitmaps, so results are completely compatible with the outline originals. From Pyrus: "Use FONmaker to generate bitmap fonts from outline fonts in TrueType or Type 1 format. FONmaker can produce bitmap fonts in FON, FNT, SPF/SFL and BDF formats using standard Windows rasterizers, so resulting bitmap fonts are completely compatible with their outline originals. Other important FONmaker features include: support for multiple codepages, selectable destination resolution, batch-mode processing of many fonts at once and possibility to rename fonts." [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Bakery is a command-line tool written in Python 3 for checking the quality of font projects. It is a tool similar to tools used for checking the quality of fonts on Google Fonts.
Font Flipper is a free web app. Designers can upload images, place text on them, and then preview that text in different font styles. Users can work their way through any number of the 800+ font families found on Google Fonts, liking or disliking each one along the way. Their liked fonts are then easily accessible to download. Font Flipper is an easy way to preview Google Fonts on top of custom designs without having to download fonts to a computer first. The designers are Brandon Shepherd (Lexington, KY) and Brett Shepherd. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Flowers is a nice visualization tool written by Matt Gilbert. All the curved segments of all characters in a font are placed coming out of the center, providing beautiful synthetic graphics that are open to interpretation. This project involved some FontLab python macros and Processing (ALPHA) with NanoXML and AWMartin's AIExport package. [Google] [More] ⦿
Adobe's Font Folio 11 released in 2007 is an OpenType-based update of Font Folio 10. For five computers, it can be had for 2600 US dollars. Adobe's announcement speaks of Adobe Font Folio 11 software, in its continuing lobbying and brainwashing effort to make people believe that fonts are software. [Google] [More] ⦿
A summary of digital font formats, as of 2012:
3D Fonts and 3D Graphics Renderer sold by DCSi. " Font F/X Version 2.0 is a 3D text and animation program for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0. Font F/X transforms any TrueType font into a compelling 3D graphic image". Full evaluation product at download.com. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Goggles is an pen source font viewer for various font formats. It is a desktop application for macOS. Supported formats include ttf/otf (including variable fonts and COLR/CPAL-based color fonts), ttc/otc, woff/woff2, ufo/ufoz, designspace, and ttx. FontGoggles was written by Just van Rossum in 2020 and funded by GoogleFonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Remix tools
Mac and PC software, initially free, and requiring Python. The tools written by Tim ahrens are plug-ins for FontLab that allow scaling of glyphs without affecting the stroke weight. Also, they allow to tune the width, height and weight of single letters interactively, automatically generate small caps, generate superiors, inferiors, numerators and denominators, create true condensed and extended versions, generate tabular figures with only a couple of clicks, and slant glyphs while keeping vertical tangents straight. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free utility for batch renaming of font files according to the font names that can be found within the (truetype, opentype) fonts. It does alter the font files, and is therefore harmless. FontRenamer, versions 1.37 and 2.04. Free utilities for Windows. Version 3.05 is here. [Google] [More] ⦿
Smart webfont compression and format conversion tool between Opentype, Truetype, woff, SVG, and eot: Font-spider is a compress tool for WebFont which can analyze your web-page intelligently to find the fonts out which have been used and then compress them. Github link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Tester is a free online font comparison tool. It allows you to easily preview and compare different fonts side by side with various CSS font styles applied to them. It is very useful for web developers who are looking for just the right font/style/color to use in their pages. To use it all you have to do is simply enter the text you would like to preview, modify the various CSS properties until you find a style you like, and then click on the Get CSS Code button to generate all the necassary CSS code to reproduce those styles in your webpage. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free on-line font testing sites (drag and drop fonts):Google] [More] ⦿
Font effect generator. The typophiles do not like software that deforms letters and is just plain ugly: For the true type masochist!. Referring to similar software such as Ares FontChameleon, Aldus Type Twister, TypeStyler, and Microsoft WordArt, the typophiles agree: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. [Google] [More] ⦿
35USD utility for Windows (from ca. 2001) that makes all characters of a truetype font into individual "bmp" files. Free partially functional demo (numbers 0-9 only). By Webcatering in Stillwater, OK. [Google] [More] ⦿
Andreas Koller is a Senior Creative Technologist at Skype in London, designing, researching and prototyping product innovation and tools. In 2014 he graduated from the Information Experience Design MA programme at Royal College of Art. Before that he studied at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences.
A specialist in generative and algorithmic art and design, he created the free software Fontastic: Fontastic is a library for creating font files in TTF and WOFF format which you can then use in any design program or website. It allows one to make fonts based on data, sensors, live feeds, or any other algorithm, or manipulate existing fonts to create one's own version. Fontastic was designed to make it as easy as possible to create a font in Processing. Under the hood, it uses doubletype, a Java font editor that builds font files according to the TrueType format, and sfntly to create Web Open Font Format files. [Google] [More] ⦿
A free google utility developed by Google in 2016 for testing fonts. It takes as input two fonts (typically a font before and after a change), and generates a PDF showing the typeset text in both. Differences atrehighlighted. [Google] [More] ⦿
FontExpert 2.0 (alternate site)
Discontinued program by Sampo Kaasila developed in 1992-1993 by him at type Solutions. Using TrueType or Type 1 fonts as input, the operator could modify the font weight, width, contrast, x-height, descenders and tracking and produce any intermediate font. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type blog and type jump site in Hungarian, run by Budapest-based studio Gidata Kft. On this sub-page, one can download free or demo versions of FontLab, Fontographer, FogLamp, TypeTool, BitFonter, AsiaFontStudio, TransType SE, TransType Pro, FonMaker, ScanFont, FontFlasher, FogLamp, and SigMaker. [Google] [More] ⦿
TeX macros for converting Adobe Font Metric files to TeX metric (TFM) and virtual font (VF) format. Fontinst is a program that helps with installing fonts for (La)TeX. Since it is written entirely in TeX macros, it is completely portable. [Google] [More] ⦿
A Windows phone app by Pramati Technologies: Fontli is a social network for Typography enthusiasts to broadcast their passion through pictures taken from a mobile device. What makes Fontli different from other photo sharing applications is its typography centric features. Users can spot a typeface by simple photo tagging and Fontli gives additional information on the Typeface such as Designer/Foundry info and other pictures tagged with it. [Google] [More] ⦿
Compile fonts from sources (UFO, Glyphs) to binary (OpenType, TrueType). By 2020, fontmake has grown into a very popular tool, partly driven by Google Fonts' requirement that all its fonts be made with open source tools. Google's requirement is that there is a reproducible build process that does not rely on commercially licensed software. This leads most often to the production chain Fontmake+UFO+DesignSpace. [Google] [More] ⦿
A typedrawers discussion in 2020 about the use of fontmake or Adobe's AFDKO in font production. Quoting font technology expert Adam Twardoch: AFDKO is an older set of tools and libraries that was created to convert between various font formats. Its most-used components were those for converting Type 1 fonts into CFF-based OpenType fonts, for compressing the CFF table using subroutines, and to compile feature definitions from the FEA format into binary OT tables. AFDKO is mostly written in C/C++, with some code in Python.
fontmake is a small tool that uses a large set of libraries written in Python, written from scratch or significantly extended in the last few years. Its core is fontTools, originally a Python-based OpenType parser, today a set of libraries that provides alternative, newer implementions of most of the commonly-useed AFDKO modules. There are additional libraries like ufo2ft or glyphsLib that fontmake uses to convert other formats into something fontTools can compile.
Originally, developers used AFDKO and fontTools in combination. In fact AFDKO does use fontTools itself in small bits. The code of ADFKO was a haphazard mix of different languages and programming styles and glue-code.
fontmake, fontTools and the other libs are written in a much cleaner way, esp. since the migration to Python 3. Almost all of relevance what AFDKO could do the fontTools-based workflow can do (I find calling it "fontmake" is a bit of misnomer, fontmake really is just a small frontend).
Users still use AFDKO because it's well-established and it's shortcomings are well-known. But the community is gradually migrating towards the Python-only ecosystem built around fontTools and fronted by fontmake.
AFDKO and fontTools is an interesting case if you compare how they came to be. Both projects are opensource, but there is an important difference. AFDKO was developed in-house within Adobe, to fit Adobe's own workflows for font development, and also their particular focus on the types of fonts they were making. Adobe made the source of AFDKO available to interested parties so that apps like FontLab could bundle the compiled code.
Overall, the number of people who had insight into the code was small. Because there were hardly any open collab tools for code, changes and fixes, even if made by some of those who had insight, may have only ended up in the private forks.
Much later, Adobe opensourced the bulk of AFDKO. This was great — but the code remained very tied to its original limitations: there are many functionalities for Euro-centric fonts but few for complex scripts.
fontTools was different. It was opensource from day one. When Behdad Esfahbod and Google i18n took over its maintenance, and the code appeared on Github, a large group of people could advance it.
People added new functionalities and other libraries quickly, and they all worked well together. The ecosystem around fontTools outgrew the original scope of the library many times.
I think the fontTools ecosystem is better, largely because the library was opensource from the start, so it could grow by consensus.
Package made in 2005 by Marc Penninga that includes these free UNIX tools written in Perl. The package provides tools to simplify using OpenType fonts with LaTeX. It contains:
For UNIX/X-Windows users: Fontconfig is a library designed to provide system-wide font configuration, customization and application access. Fontconfig contains two essential modules, the configuration module which builds an internal configuration from XML files and the matching module which accepts font patterns and returns the nearest matching font. [Google] [More] ⦿
The (free) Fontsampler WordPress plugin lets you embed interactive font previews of your OpenType webfonts. It is intended for type designers, foundries, resellers and anybody else interested in showcasing nice webfonts on their WordPress site. Fontsampler is an open source project developed by Johannes Neumeier. [Google] [More] ⦿
Commercial font rasterizer. "CurveSoft(tm) is pleased to announce the availability of FontScope-Omni: A pair of high-performance portable rasterizer libraries for Type 1 and TrueType fonts. FontScope-Omni allows developers and programmers to build scalable font support for both major font formats directly into their applications thus providing a fast, efficient, high quality platform-independent solution to the problem of providing scalable font support. Tested on Linux(x86), SunOS(Sparc), and Windows NT(x86). Is claimed to be fast, anti-aliases, works with Java, TCL/TK, multiple master fonts. Distribution has the source code. You can download a free demo for the Linux(x86) and SunOS(SPARC) platforms. Demo can be used as a font browser." Full product only 50USD! [Google] [More] ⦿
Lausanne and/or Paris-based type site related to a project conceived and designed by two graphic designers, Franz Hoffman and Pierre Terrier from studio koilinen, and a software developer, Marc Escher. A quote: It provides the ability to create fonts that preserves the gestures of a given handwriting and the original look of the drawing appliance (ball-point pen, pencil, ink, paper, etc.)
Fontself allows one to make fonts directly in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. It appears that one can create, with their commercial software an Opentype font by simple dragging and dropping an image with the individual letters. It works on both Mac and Windows. This, in turn can be used to simulate handwriting. Fonts (format unclear, not downloadable) include grunge typefaces (Agrotesk, Linexspray), handwriting (Psycho, Mascara, Meriem, Bic, Ehcadnarac, Manu, Signo, Manuscript), and scanned text typefaces (Baskerville, Garabig, Franklin Multi, Sabon, Gothique, Dido). Fontself also provides an editor for creating color fonts. Creative Market link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Fontstand is a Mac OS X app that allows one to try fonts for free or rent them by the month for desktop use for just a fraction of the regular price. Launched in 2015 by Andrej Kratky and Peter Bilak. [Google] [More] ⦿
A nifty and elegant free service by FontShop started in 2008 to make, share and download modular fonts, peppered, of course, with FontShop ads. FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks. Once you're done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application. You can keep your creations to yourself, but we encourage users to share their "FontStructions". Explore the Gallery of fonts made by other FontStruct users and download them or even copy them and make your own variations. Creation page.
It is amazing how the 100 or so basic shapes can be combined in many beautiful typefaces---this is not just a simple generalization of a pixel font editor. After only 3 weeks, FontStruct had over 21,000 registered users, and people had already made over 23,000 new fonts. FontStruct was made for FontShop by Robert Meek.
List of many designers and fonts at FontStruct compiled by yours truly.
My wishlist for them [which they have happily ignored for many years now, and things are getting increasingly worse]: to add all font designer names to their pages and inside the fonts, to organize a super-page with a list of all designers, to speed up the software and/or internet line (by a factor of ten), to remove the annoying extra clicks on license agreements before downloads, to fix the browser crashes reported by many (Allan Weiser and others; Mac OSX Leopard/Firefox has problems and still crashes Firefox as late as January 2010), to enable mass downloads and mass downloads per designer, to split the free fonts from those that cannot be downloaded (an increasingly large portion, by the way), to eliminate logins with passwords for visiting tourists, and to eliminate Flash (it crashes in Google Chrome regularly when FontStruct windows are open).
Daumen9 made by Crissov in 2009 exposes the fundamental flaw of all modular designs that work within the limitations of truetype or opentype or type 1---one can't achieve proper small circles. Not FontStruct's error---blame it on short-sightedness of the font format engineers. [Google] [More] ⦿
The fontTools project was started by Just van Rossum in 1999, and was maintained as an open source project at Sourceforge. In 2008, Paul Wise (pabs3) began helping Just with stability maintenance. In 2013 Behdad Esfahbod began a friendly fork, thoroughly reviewing the codebase and making changes at Github to add new features and support for new font formats.
fontTools is a library for manipulating fonts, written in Python. The project includes the TTX tool, that can convert TrueType and OpenType fonts to and from an XML text format, which is also called TTX. It supports TrueType, OpenType, AFM and to an extent Type 1 and some Mac-specific formats. The project has a BSD-style open-source licence. Among other things this means you can use it free of charge. Once installed you can use the ttx command to convert binary font files (.otf, .ttf, etc) to the TTX xml format, edit them, and convert them back to binary format. TTX files have a .ttx file extension. The following tables are currently supported: BASE, CBDT, CBLC, CFF, COLR, CPAL, DSIG, EBDT, EBLC, FFTM, GDEF, GMAP, GPKG, GPOS, GSUB, JSTF, LTSH, MATH, META, OS/2, SING, SVG, TSI0, TSI1, TSI2, TSI3, TSI5, TSIB, TSID, TSIJ, TSIP, TSIS, TSIV, VDMX, VORG, avar, cmap, cvt, feat, fpgm, fvar, gasp, glyf, gvar, hdmx, head, hhea, hmtx, kern, loca, ltag, maxp, meta, name, post, prep, sbix, trak, vhea and vmtx. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free font test program by Microsoft. Font Validator is a tool for testing fonts prior to release. This testing ensures that fonts meet Microsoft's high quality standards and perform exceptionally well on Microsoft's platform. Hin-Tak Leung manages the Github site. [Google] [More] ⦿
For Home or Office Use
"For Home or Office Use" is a strange name for a foundry, but that is exactly what it is. The fonts are made by Achim Reichert (Paris) and Wolfgang Breuer (Berlin). Their commercial Mac type 1 fonts include thhe experimental Try family (2Try-Strich, 3Try-Straight, 4Try-kerned, 7Try-Medserif, 8Try-Micro, 12Try-Lego, 131Try-Klingspor,- eo, 161Try-Bitter,- eo, 172Try-Reg, 1722Try-Fliess Fett, 1721Try-Reg Inline, 174Try-Serif, 1742Try-Serif Fett, 18Try-Annette), Abnehmen (free), A-Teile, A-Teile Neue, 0031aAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, 0031eAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, 0062aAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, 0062eAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, 0125aAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, 0125eAddStrokeWeight-Oblique, Almatadema-Eins, -Fier, -Vier, 0031aConvertToPath-Italic, 0031bConvertToPath-Italic, 0062aConvertToPath-Italic, 0062bConvertToPath-Italic, 0125aConvertToPath-Italic, 0125bConvertToPath-Italic, Densite, Ouvert, Knubb, Knubb-20, Birthday-Regular, Birthday-Bold, 0034Paper, 0034Paper-Italic, 0034Paper-Oblique, 0057Paper, 0057Paper-Italic, 0057Paper-Oblique, 0075aPaper, 0075aPaper-Italic, 0075bPaper, 0075cPaper, 0075dPaper-Italic, Free 0034-0075dPaper Font, Paper, 0031aPlotter, 0031bPlotter, 0031aPlotter-Bandzug, 0031bPlotter-Bandzug, 0031aPlotter-Twenty, 0031bPlotter-Twenty, 0062aPlotter, 0062bPlotter, 0062aPlotter-Twenty, 0062bPlotter-Twenty, 0125aPlotter, 0125bPlotter, 0125aPlotter-Twenty, 0125bPlotter-Twenty, 0125aPlotter-Breitband, 05aPlotter, F.T./Brown, F.T. Bold, la bonne heure, -bold, Lini Eins, Lini Drei - eo, Lini-Vier - eo, Love-1, Love-10, NEW FEw, NEW GEw, NEW Klein, sBit34, WIR 2, WIR 3, WIR 4, WIR 6Vi, WIR 7Vi.
The fonts by Breuer in this list include the A-Teile family, the Birthday family, and the Plotter family.
There is a free type software program called Abnehmen, as well as a number of experimental stroke-based fonts whose stroke thickness can be adjusted with Adobe InDesign, for example. [Google] [More] ⦿
Based on research by Professor Horace H.S. Ip and Dr. Helena T.F. Wong at the Department of Computer Science of the City University of Hong Kong, two approaches are followed for the generation of Chinese (and other) calligraphic fonts. In the first approach, a truetype font's features are detected using fractals, and this permits generation of characters using calligraphic pens. In a second approach, a (physical) brush model is able to capture the physical effects of the writing process due to brush geometry, brush orientations and motions, ink absorption and depositing by the brush hairs. Resulting papers:
During his computer science studies at the University of Hamburg, Frank Bruder, a supporter of open source code software, designed several typefaces. Creator of the Open Font Library fonts Tomson Talks (2008, comic lettering), Block Stencil (2008), Far Side (2008, sci-fi) and Futhaark hnias (2008, runes), Tomson Talks (2010, hand-printed). Aka Skotan. Dark End is a hand-coded SVG font---check the source code to see what can be done with so little! Devian tart link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Frederik De Bleser
"This is the (current) home of the (non-official) FreeType Java Port. FreeType is an excellent and highly competitively priced TrueType font library. FreeType is implemented in C." By rolandpj. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free software by Henry Maddock, who writes: FTGL is a free, open source library to enable developers to use arbitrary fonts in their OpenGL (www.opengl.org) applications. Unlike other OpenGL font libraries FTGL uses standard font file formats so doesn't need a preprocessing step to convert the high quality font data into a lesser quality, proprietary format. FTGL uses the Freetype (www.freetype.org) font library to open and 'decode' the fonts. It then takes that output and stores it in a format most efficient for OpenGL rendering. [Google] [More] ⦿
FyFont (2006-2007) is created by Martin Solli and Reiner Lenz at ITN, Linköping University, Sweden (contributions early in the project by Sandra Larsson). The search engine is included in ongoing research about Content Based Image Retrieval, and the purpose is to demonstrate research results. One can submit an image or an image URL to their web site, and FyFont will recognize the font from among those residing at Dafont. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free source code in C by Thomas Boutell for creating GIF images directly: "gd is a graphics library. It allows your code to quickly draw images complete with lines, arcs, text, multiple colors, cut and paste from other images, and flood fills, and write out the result as a .GIF file. This is particularly useful in World Wide Web applications, where .GIF is the format used for inline images. " There is plenty of font support. For example, there are functions like gdImageString to draw multiple characters on the image. [Google] [More] ⦿
Michael Schmitz at the Universität der Künste Berlin developed a tool, genotyp, that allows one to blend and marry various types, the way Font Chameleon used to do. Discussion at TypeForum. [Google] [More] ⦿
Diplom Engineer and painter from Hamburg who designed or digitized over 210 Fraktur fonts. He is heavily involved in the Bund für Deutsche Schrift und Sprache. Helzel is the designer at Delbanco-Frakturschriften of DS-DtWerkschrift (1997), DS-Fruehling (1996), DS-MaximilianGotisch (1994), DS-MaximilianTitel (1994), DS-Post-Fraktur (1997). He has hand-digitized over 200 Fraktur fonts, including
Helzel also offers a free "Frakturconverter" program for Windows which transforms Antiqua fonts into Fraktur fonts.
List of his fonts as of 2009: (Anker-)Schul-Fraktur, Accidenz-Gotisch, Akzidenz-Gotisch, Aldine, Albion-Gotisch, Alt-Fraktur, Alt-Gotisch (Bradley), Alt-Deutsch (after Ferdinand Theinhardt, 1851), Alte Münchner Fraktur (after a 1850 typeface by Gustav Lorenz), Alte deutsche Schreibschrift, Alte Schwabacher, Amts-Fraktur (after Heinrich Wilhelm Hoffmeister), Andreae Fraktur, Andreas-Schrift, Angelsächsisch, Angelsächsisch, Verzierte, Antike Gotisch, Aramäische Quadratschrift, Astra, Bastard, Bernhard-Fraktur, Bismarck-Gotisch, Breite deutsche Anzeigenschrift, Breite Kanzlei, Breitkopf-Fraktur, Britannia (Alt-Gotisch), Büxenstein-Antiqua, Büxenstein-Fraktur (after a house style at D. Stempel, 1912), Canzlei, Caxton, Caxton-Type, Claudius, Courante Gotisch, Danziger Fraktur (after A. W. Kafemann), Derby, Deutsche Reichsschrift (after a 1910 typeface by Wilhelm Woellmer), Deutsche Schrägschrift, Deutsche Schreibschrift (Bismarck-Zeit and Goethe-Zeit: school fonts), Deutsche Schrift, Deutsche Werkschrift, Deutsche Zierschrift, Deutsch-Gotisch, Deutschland, Dresdner Amts-Fraktur, Eckmann-Schrift, Einfache Kanzlei, Elegant, Element, Enge Gotisch (2008, after an 1880 font by Bauersche Giesserei), Enge moderne Kanzlei, Enge König-Type, Enge Kanzlei, Englische Antiqua, Faust-Fraktur, Fette Gotisch, Fette Schwabacher, Fichte-Fraktur, Fractur, Französische Antiqua, Frühling-Fraktur (1997, after Koch's original from 1917), Garamond-Antiqua, Genzsch-Antiqua, Germanen-Fraktur (this is the same as Stempel's Normannia from 1905), Germanisch, Goethe-Fraktur (after Wilheml Woelmmer), Gotenburg, Graeca, Gronau-Gotisch (after Heinrich Ehlert, 1850), Gursch-Fraktur, Gutenberg-Fraktur, Gutenberg-Bibelschrift, Gutenberg-Gotisch, Haenel-Antiqua, Halbfette Aldine, Halbfette Kanzlei, Halbfette Normalfraktur, Halbfette Schwabacher-Flinsch, Halbfette Wallau, Hamburger Druckschrift, Hamburger Fraktur, Hamburger Schwabacher, Hammonia-Gotisch, Hansa-Fraktur, Hansa-Gotisch (after a Genzsch & Heyse original), Hebräisch, Hellenistische Antiqua "Graeca", Hölderlin (after Eugen Weiss, 1937), Holländische Gotisch, Hoyer-Fraktur, Humboldt-Fraktur, Hupp-Fraktur, Ideal-Fraktur, Jean-Paul-Fraktur, Jubiläumsfraktur, Kaiser-Gotisch, Kanzlei, Karl-May-Fehsenfeld-Fraktur, (after a 1870 font used in the Karl-May books) Karl-May-Radebeul (after a 1890 font used in the Karl-May books), Kirchengotisch, Moderne, Kleist-Fraktur, Kleukens-Fraktur, Koch-Antiqua, Koch-Fraktur, König-Fraktur G14, König-Type, Kühne-Gotisch, Kühne-Schrift, Kurante Gotisch, Kurmark, Lichte National, Liebing-Type, Liturgisch (after Otto Hupp, 1906), Logos, Ludlow-Wartburg-Fraktur (after Ludlow, ca. 1920), Magere Wallau, Mainzer Fraktur, Manuskript-Gotisch, Mars-Fraktur, Maximilian-Gotisch, Mediaeval-Gotisch, Leipziger Altfraktur (after a 1912 typeface by Carl Kloberg), Midoline (after Jean Midolle's typeface from 1840 at Julius Klinkhardt), Moderne Kanzlei, Moderne Kirchen-Gotisch (based on an original from ca. 1880), Mönchs-Gotisch, Morris-Gotisch (Uncial-Gotisch, Unzial-Gotisch, after Emil Gursch), Münster-Gotisch, Neu-Gotisch klein, Neudeutsch(-Hupp), Neue (moderne) Fraktur, Neue Schwabacher, Nordisch-Antiqua, Normal-Fraktur (1999, after the font by Gustav Schelter, 1835), Normannia-Fraktur, Nürnberg, Offenbach, Post-Fraktur, Psalter-Gotisch, Ratdolt-Rotunda, Reklame-Fraktur halbfett, Renaissance-Fraktur, Renaissance-Kanzlei, Renata (after a Schwabacher of the Bauersche Giesserei, 1914), Richard-Wagner-Fraktur, Romeo Fraktur (2009, after a Stempel font from 1910), Rundgotisch, Russisch-Römisch, Salzmann-Fraktur, Schmale Accidenz-Gotisch, Schmale Haas-Gotisch, Schmale halbfette Fraktur, Schmale halbfette Gotisch, Schneidler-Schwabacher, Schraffierte Gotisch "Stella", Schreibschrift, Schul-Fraktur, Schwabacher, Schwabacher Mager Gross (after Albert Anklam, 1876), Sonderdruck-Antiqua (2008, after a 1913 typeface by Deberny and Peignot), Stahl (2007, after a 1937 typeface by Hans Kühne), Stahl Kursiv (2009, after Hans Kühne), Stella, Stempel-Fraktur, Straßburg (a blackletter based on fter H type by H. Berthold, 1926), Tannenberg, Thannhaeuser-Fraktur, Tiemann-Fraktur, Tiemann-Gotisch, Tiemann-Mediaeval, Unger-Fraktur, Verzierte Angelsächsisch, Verzierte Musirte Gotisch, Victoria-Gotisch (Viktoria-Gotisch), Wallau, Wartburg-Fraktur, Weber-Fraktur, Weiß-Fraktur, Werkschrift Germanisch, Wieynck-Gotisch, Wilhelm-Klingspor-Gotisch, Wohe-Kursive (after Wolgang Hendlmeier, 1988), Wohe Textura (2009, after Wolfgang Hendlmeier), Zeitungs-Fraktur, Zeitungs-Schwabacher (halbfette Neue Zeitungs-Schwabacher, to be more precise---based on a 1900 typeface by Pustet), Zentenar-Buchschrift.
Git for type designers
In 2015 former KABK-LetterStudio student Gabor Kerekes started programming a small tool named GlyphCollector. The tool is meant for collecting multiple representations of glyphs from a scanned page and for subsequently generating an average image. One has to select one glyph of each character that has to be converted, and to save the image to a folder. Next GlyphCollector gathers all characters for which it finds a reference and puts these per character in a folder. Subsequently for all selected characters an average glyph is calculated and converted to outline. GC distills the original spacing from the prints in question and converts the outlines directly to an OpenType font. It is Mac OS tool for creating a decent starting point for digital revivals but also for researching historic prints. Its initial prototype was made for the Renaissance module of Dr. Frank Blokland in the LetterStudio class at The Royal Academy of Art, Github link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Thom Janssen introduced GlyphMorf on Github in 2017. GlyphMorf is an experimental way for making parametric adjustments to a font, in RoboFont. GlyphMorf analyzes the glyph drawing and extracts parameters so that one generate further fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
The blurb states: Glyphtracer takes an image of letters. It detects all letter forms and allows the user to tag them. They are then vectorised and passed on to Fontforge for fine tuning. However, I can't find any software on the site. [Google] [More] ⦿
The type experts discuss kerning tools in 2018. Here is an overview of their recommendations:
GraphicFont 1.0 is a Java class that allows you to define and use different bitmap fonts in your Java programs. This idea comes from Paul Haeberli's WebFont. Developed by Kevin Hughes. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free software by Ralf S. Engelschall: "The gFONT program creates a GIF image for a given ASCII string by the use of an arbitrary TeX-available font (Postscript or METAFONT). The used font is converted from TeX's PK format to gFONT's own GdF format (Gd Font) and rendered into the resulting GIF image by the use of its own enhanced Gd library. The result is intended to be included into HTML pages with an IMG tag." Current version 1.0.3. [Google] [More] ⦿
Herschey font format
Hinting and Japanese fonts
Hiroshi Utumi states: Hinting is not good for square characters (Japanese, Chinese etc). Run kcontrol and disable hinting please. $ kcontrol Font -> Settings -> Hinting style -> Choose "None". His advice is for Linux users. Mire specifically: see here. [Google] [More] ⦿
The typophiles discuss the demise of hinting in fonts. Type designers can rejoice, because they can now concentrate on the artistic job of designing curves and white spaces. They should not have to deal with engineering tasks such as hinting. That task should be left to the font rendering software. The process should be automated at that level. Some passages from that discussion:
Rosetta Type's Hyperglot is a web app and a command line tool for determiningh if a given font can be used for a certain language. It also includes a language database. The main contributors at the time of the launch, March 2021, were David Brezina (Rosetta Type), Johannes Neumeier, Sergio Martins and Toshi Omagari. Others include Denis Moyogo Jacquerye, Hrant Papazian, Meir Sadan, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Michael Rießler, M. Mahali Syarifuddin, Fadhl Haqq, and Fredrick Brennan. [Google] [More] ⦿
Hz-program was a proprietary, patented typographic composition computer program, created by German typeface designer Hermann Zapf in 1988 based on work he carried out first at Harvard University and then at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The goal of this program was to produce the perfect grey type area without the rivers and holes of too-wide word spacing. Little is known about the composition algorithm created by Zapf and implemented in Hz-program. It is partly based on a typographically acceptable expansion or condensing of letters, called scaling, accorduibng to Zapf. Inside Hz is also a kerning program, that computes negative and in some cases positive kerning adjustments for glyph pairs on the fly.
The Hz-program was patented by URW (the patent expired in July 2010). Later, it was acquired by Adobe Systems for inclusion as the composition engine in Adobe InDesign application. It is not known if the Hz-program algorithm is still included in the latest releases of InDesign.
Books and articles:
Igino Marini's kerning program, which is better than InDesign's Kernus according to the examples on Igino's page. He will even kern your fonts for you! The program was tested on a collection of revivals of Fell types developed by Igino, an Italian engineer. [Google] [More] ⦿
An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format: Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development. People have used it as a first stage in drawing glyphs for fonts, importing the vector graphics into FontForge or FontLab. Tutorial by Tavmjong Bah. [Google] [More] ⦿
Very interesting software development at Itoh Lab in Japan. Software includes the generation of scratched or brushed calligraphic bitmap images from truetype fonts. Some of the programs use fuzzy reasoning, fractals and "brush-touch" (sic) cursors. [Google] [More] ⦿
Dead link, which stated: Agfa Monotype Corporation, announced the release of iType, a highly compact, extremely portable font scaling technology. Designed particularly for smart Internet devices, iType gives OEMs the industry's fastest, highest quality solution for developing products that generate text for on-screen display. [Google] [More] ⦿
Agfa's rasterizing technology for truetype fonts and bitmaps that works well on environments (mobile phones, PDAs) that have restricted memory. It includes the possibility of describing fonts compactly based on strokes and should thus be useful for Asian languages. See also here. On July 16, 2002, it was licensed to HP for its OpenVMS Operating System, together with 14 fonts, 12 of which are clones of Arial, Courier and Times New Roman, called Albany[tm], Cumberland[tm] and Thorndale[tm]. The absurdities in naming fonts due to the excessive use of trademarking are polluting the font landscape like never before. By the way, I thought that geographical names (such as Albany) could not be trademarked.
Director of Obx Labs and professor of design at Concordia University, Montreal, since 2002. With Bruno Nadeau, he developed creative type software called Mr. Softie. His bio at Concordia: Jason Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Computation Arts program at Concordia University. His research explores the semantics of interaction, and his creative practice revolves around experiments with dynamic, interactive and performative text. He teaches Interactive Media and Advanced Topics in Computational Media. Before entering academia he spent ten years leading projects in places such as Interval Research and the Institute for Research on Learning. He studied philosophy and computer science at Stanford University, and then art and design at the Royal College of Art, London, where he received an MPhil. [Google] [More] ⦿
Just Van Rossum
Kerning: A survey
Sebastian Kosch surveys existing kerning methods in 2019 as part of his research for his own Google-supported method called YinYangFit. A verbatim excerpt:
General links on typography and fonts, compiled by Denis Roegel (with earlier contributions by Karl Tombre who is no longer involved). Very, very useful. This page contains, among other things:
Laurence Penney (born Isleworth, London, 1969, based in Bristol, UK) is a digital type specialist and dynamic (or variable) font technology expert, who has his own blog. His work has had a major impact on the type technology world we know today.
At university (B.Sc. Computer Science) he created a prototype parametric font system, and wrote that it was a weird and unusable font production system, proving to himself that over-automation of type design is a Bad Thing.
He was involved in Type Chimerique: Type Chimirique (formerly Kendrick Digital Typography) is a small organization dedicated to digital fontology. In other words, we specialize in everything to do with digital type. We design, hint and customize type to your requirements---avoiding automatic systems whenever there's a suspicion of inferior quality, writing our own tools where existing ones aren't enough. We're particularly into TrueType, and take commissions for writing custom TrueType (and OpenType) editing tools---for glyph outlines and other parts of the font file. We also design, adapt and hint and Type 1 fonts. From 1993 onwards, he went freelance and (in his own words) divined the black art of TrueType hinting, tweaking fonts for Microsoft, Linotype and indie designers.
In 1999 he was hired as a founder member of MyFonts, at the time only an idea within Bitstream (Cambridge, MA). He enlarged the team and helped the company to become market leader by a wide margin. In particular, he helped create the site's unique balance between newbie appeal and an extensive typographic resource. He developed MyFonts.com's in-house software, contributed editorial content, and co-managed the distributor's contacts with foundries and designers.
At ATypI 2004 in Prague, Penney spoke about EULAs.
From 2016 he has been a consultant in variable fonts. He presents aspects of the technology at conferences and universities, and wrote the open source Fit-to-Width library. His Axis-Praxis website (2016-present) is the first place that anyone can play with variable fonts.
Laurence also lectures on font technology at typographic conferences and is visiting lecturer at Reading University.
Speaker at ATypI 2019 in Tokyo on the topic of Parametric Fallback Fonts for the Web. Related to that talk, he set up FauxFoundry with Irene Vlachou in 2019. FauxFoundry provides tools for providing Greek fonts that match a Latin counterpart. [Google] [MyFonts] [More] ⦿
LCDF stands for Little Cambridgeport Design Factory. LCDF TypeTools is a tremendously useful free software package written and maintained by Eddie Kohler between 1997 and 2019. These programs are available at LCDF:
A project in cognitive sciences at the University of Indiana, headed by Gary McGraw, John Rehling and Douglas Hofstadter, and active from about 1992 until 1994. A lot of it is captured in McGraw's PhD thesis.
They state: "The specific focus of Letter Spirit is the creative act of artistic letter-design. The aim is to model how the 26 lowercase letters of the roman alphabet can be rendered in many different but internally coherent styles. The program addresses two important aspects of letterforms: the categorical sameness possessed by letters belonging to a given category (e.g., `a') and the stylistic sameness possessed by letters belonging to a given style (e.g., Helvetica). Starting with one or more seed letters representing the beginnings of a style, the program will attempt to create the rest of the alphabet in such a way that all 26 letters share that same style, or spirit." Fonts created in this manner include Standard square, Double Backslash, Hint Four, Zigzag, Snout, Bowtie, Weird Arrow, Sabretooth, Sluice and Flournoy Ranch. [Google] [More] ⦿
LetterSetter is an on-line commercial font specimen layout piece of software, operated, developed and hosted by LettError and TypeSupply. With it, type foundries, designers, typographers, and design agencies can host their own fonts at lettersetter.net, and present them in customizable specimen layouts. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Font Technology Award has been introduced by Linotype to honor extraordinary efforts in the development and support of font technology. It is usually given at Linotype's TypoTechnica meetings. Past recipients:
25 USD software by Blue Line Studios: "LogotypeMaker displays a string of text using all your currently installed fonts--one font typeface per line--with just a single click. This is a great tool for graphics professionals who create logotypes, taking away the hassle of searching for an appropriate font in the first step of the process." [Google] [More] ⦿
LS Cadencer and LS Cadenculator
These two tools by Lukas Schneider (LS) are meant for applying auto-spacing to fonts using an underlying grid for calculating the side-bearings. The underlying principle and algorithm originte in Frank E. Blokland's PhD dissertation on the (effects of) systematization, standardization, and unitization in Renaissance font production. The LS Cadencer tools were developed by Lukas Schneider as extensions/plugins for the font editors Robofont and Glyphs.
Schneider: With these tools the principles of spacing, applied in the production of printing types in the sixteenth century, are in a way transferred to our current digital technology of font design.
LS Cadencer is meant for applying auto-spacing to fonts using an underlying grid. This grid is flexible and dependent on the so called stem-interval. The stem-interval is always measured at the key glyph, either the m or the n. The grid can be widened or tightend by the user to influence the spacing in general.
LS Cadenculator, the second tool, reverse engineers in a way what LS Cadencer does. The user can provide a folder of existing font files in .otf or .ufo formats. All side-bearings of a given set of glyphs will be measured in these fonts. The basis of these calculations is again the stem-interval of the m or n glyphs and the grid-steps which can be influence by the user, to either widening or tightening the underlying grid. Discussion at Typedrawers. [Google] [More] ⦿
Marek Z. Jeziorek was born and grew up in Poland, and studied mathematics, informatics and mechanics of the University of Warsaw. In 1976, he relocated to the United States, where he obtained an MSc in Computer Science in 1980 from UW (University of Wisconsin, Madison). He worked as compiler engineer at Intel and joined Google in 2003. Marek joined Google's font team in July 2015 as a Technical Program Manager.
Speaker (with Behdad Esfahbod) at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw on the topic of The Open Source Python Font Production Pipeline: The Open Source Python Font Production Pipeline is a set of tools build by the open source community, including Google developers. It has been used by Google to produce Google's Noto font families. It can be used by anybody to automate their font production as well. The pipeline takes various inputs (e.g., *.glyphs files) and compiles them into multiple binaries (*.TTF and *.OTF files among others). This presentation is about why Google wanted to have an open source font toolchain, how the toolchain [aka pipeline] was architected, engineered and debugged and how Google uses it to produce and validate Noto fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
An old discussion of a wonderful discontinued piece of software: " Metamorphosis was the premiere font conversion utility for the Macintosh and has only gotten better now that it has metamorphosed into Metamorphosis Professional. It's a fine utility from a fine company. (Altsys's portfolio also boasts Freehand (marketed by Aldus), Art Importer, and Fontographer.) Metamorphosis converts fonts and does it well. It currently boasts the ability to convert between seven outline formats: Type 1 fonts for the Mac, PC, and NeXT; Type 3 fonts for the Mac and PC; and TrueType for the Mac and PC. In addition, it can also convert any of the above formats to a PICT file containing smooth-polygon versions of the text, an EPS file containing the PostScript outlines, or a Fontographer file for editing with Fontographer. Metamorphosis Professional does its translations in one of two ways, either outline-to-outline or outline-to-PostScript-printer-to-outline. In most cases, Metamorphosis Professional will read in the outline file of one format and transform it into the new format. For a few Type 3 fonts with unknown formats, it will instead download the font to an attached PostScript printer and then have the printer send back the outlines. As an added perk, Metamorphosis Professional will allow you to convert fonts stored in a PostScript printer's RAM or ROM. Altsys is also supposed to send you a DA which will duplicate the conversion functions of the application when you register your version, though I've yet to receive mine. " [Google] [More] ⦿
Born and raised in Tennessee, Michael Paul Young currently calls Bangkok, Thailand home. He founded, managed and directs daily the online design shop YouWorkForThem, which is located in Baltimore, MD. Home page. Creator of "Apply", a free texture tool that allows you to customize any font you wish with an array of inky splatters and sprays. In 2000-2001, he made the pixelish YWFT DesignGraphik family. With Teerayut Puchpen, he designed the ultra-fat counterless typeface Pudge (2010). In 2011, he created YWFT Motown Expanded and YWFT Motown Condensed, which were based on YWFT Motown (2009, Travis Stearns). With Michael Cina and Taechit Jiropaskosol, he designed YWFT Agostina Alternate (2011).
Microsoft Font Validator
Font Validator is a free tool for testing fonts prior to release. This testing ensures that fonts meet Microsoft's high quality standards and perform exceptionally well on Microsoft's platform. Major developers include Hin-Tak Leung and Aaron Bell. Dave Crossland's comments on this project: This tool was developed mainly in the 1990s, and had fallen into an unmaintained state. The version downloadable from the Microsoft typography web site is from 2003 and it performs 177 tests. Aaron and I spoke about liberating it so it could be brought up to modern standards in NYC last year, and after getting approval from his team I sought out some volunteers to take a look. The main obstacle to liberating the tool was that it partially depended on the Windows font rendering system which was unlikely to be liberated, and less importantly, parts of MSIE for XML report rendering. The corresponding libre renderer is FreeType and Hin-Tak Leung, a FreeType developer, volunteered; his experience with Mono, the libre implementation of Microsofts app platform, made the work ahead to make it run with and without Windows somewhat familiar. Aaron was then able to pass Hin-Tak parts of the source code that was updated inside MS around 2009, for the last OpenType spec being prepared at that time as well as testing for ClearType rasterization. The 2009 code does 194 tests. Today Mono on non-windows can be used to build and run it, and Hin-Tak is mainly developing it using GNU+Linux, and it works on Mac OS X also. Hin-Tak did an amazing job and now that it runs, Aaron has been able to finally post it publicly. Also my thanks to Cosimo Lupo at Dalton Maag for testing and verifying Hin-Tak's work along the way.
Microsoft Visual TrueType is a free software tool for viewing, editing, and adding hinting instructions to the outlines of TrueType and OpenType/TTF fonts. You use Visual TrueType after creating a font in a font editor or after converting an existing font to the TrueType format. Since 2016, it includes a Autohinting mode. People report that VTT Autohint is crisper than TTF Autohint. In 2018, the VTT team included Mike Duggan and Paul Linnerud. In 2021, the VTT compilers became open source. Porting to Mac was done by Georg Seifert and Hin-Tak Leung. Github link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Monotype Imaging's patented MicroType Express font compression technology for fonts is used within embedded applications. From the company blurb: The technology minimizes memory usage for font data storage in resource-constrained environments, where both ROM and RAM savings are critical. Small font files are built without sacrificing the qualities, features and capabilities of OpenType and TrueType fonts. They say that different tables have different statistical properties and thus call for separate compression approaches. Ordinary zipping reduces truetype fonts by about 35 to 50 percent in size. I guess MicroType bites off a bit more, but since zipping is already almost optimal, it will be interesting to see how much more MicroType can achieve. [Google] [More] ⦿
Mike Doughty's great font site, with particularly interesting subpages on the following:
Mitsubishi's Saffron Type System
An effort by Mitsubishi to represent Asian types (Chinese, Japanese) in termns of basic strokes: 330 fundamental strokes can cover over 8000 glyphs, for example. Each stroke in turn is gently decomposed in pieces based on a center stroke and endings. The motivation is to be able to store these large fonts on mobile devices. The article "An improved representation for stroke-based fonts" (2006) is by Elena Jakubiak and Sarah Frisken of Tufts and Ronald Perry of Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. [Google] [More] ⦿
Software developed in Jason Lewis's group at Concordia University in Montreal. It is graphics software developed by and for artists, and permits experimentation on letter shapes. One of its chief developers is Bruno Nadeau. Examples have been created by Tania Alvarez and Anna Oguienko, among others. [Google] [More] ⦿
MuirMcNeil Design Systems
MuirMcNeil Design Systems is a project-based collaborative between Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil, est. 2010. Their activities are focussed on exploring parametric design systems to generate appropriate solutions to visual communication problems. Hamish Muir is a founding principal of 8vo (1985-2001) and co-editor of Octavo (1986-1992). He currently combines work as an independent graphic design consultant specialising in editorial, information and systems design with teaching part-time at the London College of Communication. Paul McNeil is a London-based independent graphic design consultant specialising in type, information and systems design. He is a Senior Lecturer in Postgraduate Graphic Design at the London College of Communication and lead developer, MA Contemporary Typographic Media.
They have several parametric and modular software systems for typography and type design. These include 20-20 (done in 1974: a modular design idea in the spirit of FontStructor, but without any active software), Interact (done in 1994---grid-based parametric screen fonts), Three Six (an experimental optical / geometric type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights. It explores the possibilities of using systematic principles to generate geometric typeforms which are distinctive at large point sizes but which can also be read at smaller sizes in bodies of extended text), Four Two (an extension of Three Six). The Three Six project led to a number of multiparametric dot fonts. It was published by FontFont in 2012.
In 2014, four commercial modular and pixelish typeface families were published, Panopticon (a system of layered 3d geometric typefaces), Intersect, Nine (Metric, Mono) and Interact. In that series, the nine-weight geometric almost-typewriter typeface Nine Mono (monospaced and monoline) stands out. The superfamily of pixelish and dot matrix fonts Two followed in 2015.
Muir helped Dalton Maag with the development of Tephra (2008), an experimental multi-layered LED-inspired family.
In 2016, the designed the dot matrix-themed identity for Typecon on the theme Resound. Still in 2016, MuirMcNeil released the geometric stencil typeface Cut.
THD Sentient (2017) is an all-capitals monolinear rounded proportionally spaced all caps sans type family in four weights, designed by Tim Hutchinson in collaboration with MuirMcNeil.
In 2017, Paul McNeil and Hamish Muir co-designed the stencil family Five.
Typefaces from 2018: Farset (MuirMcNeil and John McMillan), Feirste (a gaelic typeface by MuirMcNeil and John McMillan). Farset and Feirste are digital reinterpretations of the tiled lettering used for Belfast's historic street signage in matching Latin and Gaelic scripts.
In 2020, they released the Bauhaus typeface Two Bar Mono to complement the TwoPoint, TwoPlus and TwoBit series. Interlock (2020) is an experimental geometric bitmap typeface.
Worm (2021) is an experimental modular type system designed in seven compatible weights.
A discussion in December 2018 on Typedrawers regarding the need to have just one font format, in an era in which we have OTF, TTF, CFF, woff (TTF based), woff (CFF based), woff2 (TTF based), woff2 (CFF based), variable opentype, and color fonts. The conclusion is that the proliferation of rasterizers and applications makes this a complicated problem. Belleve Invis has a wish list though, should they invent a universal format: plain interpretation without programming languages, high-level hinting, B-splines for kinkless interpolation, sub-glyph component sharing, and per-glyph variation. [Google] [More] ⦿
OpenType.js is written and maintained by Frederik De Bleser.
"Page Technology Marketing, Inc. (PageTech) specializes in HP PCL page description language, Intellifont, TrueType[tm] and PostScript typeface conversion utilities and related technology. Our original AllType (150USD), "Universal Typeface Converter" will evolve into a Web-based typeface conversion service. Until we are completely automated with a trialware converter, E-Commerce front-end, etc., we will only accept orders for custom typeface conversion projects with a minimum order amount of US$300. We plan to launch a fully automated service by March 2001." [Google] [More] ⦿
"Paint Shop Pro is a full-featured graphics program for image creation, viewing and manipulation. Features include painting tools, photo retouching, image enhancements and editing, color adjustment, an image browser, batch file conversion, a screen capture utility, TWAIN scanner support, flexible image viewing and support for over 30 different file formats. " By JASC Software, shareware. Useful for creating special effects with fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Paradiit project was started in 2011-2012 at the University of Tours, France, by Frederic Rayar and Jean-Yves Ramel. The project focused on layout analysis, text/graphics separation, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and text transcription processes dedicated to old books and historical documents. In particular, it can separate glyphs in a text for later use in type design. . [Google] [More] ⦿
Russian company with an office in California, specializing in pen software. Calligrapher recognizes handwritten text. And Morphink animates text characters. And "ParaGraph PerfectDraw technology smoothes and shades lines drawn on pen tablets using anti-aliasing technology, producing Web animation that is more pleasing to the eye." [Google] [More] ⦿
Parametric TrueType fonts
Tutorial by Laurence Penney about parametric fonts. The title "parametric truetype fonts" is a misnomer. Laurence surveys Knuth's Metafont system, FontWorks by ElseWare. Infinifont by Hewlett-Packard, Ares FontChameleon, LiveType (by Ariel Shamir and Ari Rappoport), and "abcdefg" (by Debra Adams). [Google] [More] ⦿
The main digital type foundry in Russia. ParaType was established as a font department of ParaGraph International in 1989 in Moscow, Russia. At that time in the Soviet Union, all typeface development was concentrated in a state research institute, Polygraphmash. It had the most complete collection of Cyrillic typefaces, which included revivals of Cyrillic typefaces developed by the Berthold and Lehmann type foundries established at the end of 19th century in St. Petersburg, and artwork from Vadim Lazurski, Galina Bannikova, Nikolay Kudryashov and other masters of type and graphic design of Soviet time. ParaType became the first privately-owned type foundry in many years. A license agreement with Polygraphmash allows ParaType to manufacture and distribute their typefaces. Most of Polygraphmash staff designers soon moved to ParaType. In the beginning of 1998, ParaType was separated from the parent company and inherited typefaces and font software from ParaGraph. The company was directed by Emil Yakupov until February 2014. After Yakupov's death, Irina Petrova took over the reins.
Products include FastFont, a simple TrueType builder, ParaNoise, a builder for PostScript fonts with random contours, FontLab, a universal font editor and ScanFont, a font editor with scanning module. Random, customized fonts. Multilingual fonts including, Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, Georgian and Hebrew fonts for Macintosh and Windows.
Famous typefaces by Paratype include Academy, Pragmatica, Newton, Courier, Futura, Petersburg, Jakob, Kuenstler 480, ITC Studio Script, ITC Zapf Chancery, Amore CTT (2004, Fridman), Karolla, Inform, Hafiz (Arabic), Kolheti (Georgian), Benzion (Hebrew).
The PT Sans (Open Font Library link), PT Serif and PT Mono families (2009-2012) are free. PT stands for Public Type. Another download site. PT Sans, for example, consists of PTSans-Bold, PTSans-BoldItalic, PTSans-Caption, PTSans-CaptionBold, PTSans-Italic, PTSans-Narrow, PTSans-NarrowBold, PTSans-Regular.
Type designers include Vladimir Yefimov, Tagir Safayev, Lyubov Kuznetsova, Manvel Schmavonyan and Alexander Tarbeev. They give this description of the 370+ library: The Russian constructivist and avant garde movements of the early 20th century inspired many ParaType typefaces, including Rodchenko, Quadrat Grotesk, Ariergard, Unovis, Tauern, Dublon and Stroganov. The ParaType library also includes many excellent book and newspaper typefaces such as Octava, Lazurski, Bannikova, Neva or Petersburg. On the other hand, if you need a pretty typeface to knock your clients dead, meet the ParaType girls: Tatiana, Betina, Hortensia, Irina, Liana, Nataliscript, Nina, Olga and Vesna (also check Zhikharev who is not a girl but still very pretty). ParaType also excels in adding Cyrillic characters to existing Latin typefaces -- if your company is ever going to do business with Eastern Europe, you should make them part of your corporate identity! ParaType created CE and Cyrillic versions of popular typefaces licensed from other foundries, including Bell Gothic, Caslon, English 157, Futura, Original Garamond, Gothic 725, Humanist 531, Kis, Raleigh, and Zapf Elliptical 711.
Finally, ParaType offers a handwriting font service out of its office in Saratoga, CA: 120 dollars a shot.
Paulo Roberto Massa Cereda
Slovakian type designer (b. 1973), who lives in The Netherlands. Bio at FontFont. Designed: FF Atlanta, FF Craft (Kafkaesque), Champollion, Collapse, Didot Sans (unpublished), Decoratica (great display font, unpublished), Desthetica (grunge, but nice!), FF Eureka, FF Eureka Sans (2000), FF Eureka Mono (2001, FontFont), FF Eureka SansCond, FF Eureka Symbols (2002), FF Eureka CE, FF Eureka Sans CE, FF Eureka Sans Office (2011), FF Eureka Mono Office (2011), Fountain Pen (free fountain pen nib dingbat font), FF Masterpiece (wacky), FF Orbital, Fedra Sans (2001, a de-protestantised version of Univers, originally a corporate font for Bayerische Rück, a German insurance company), Fedra Bitmap (2002), Euroface (1996, Typerware, a scribbly font allegedly more legible than Helvetica at 80km/h), HolyCow and The Case. Essays on typography and design. Editor of dot dot dot. He also made AccentKernMaker, a font utility. Peter Bilak now lives in The Hague, The Netherlands, at the same address as Paul van der Laan. Free dingbat font FountainPen (Mac). At ATypI 2004 in Prague, he spoke about white spaces in typography. Speaker at ATypI 2005 in Helsinki. [Google] [More] ⦿
Fontlab's 2006 type format designed for web site use. Fonts are described in the human-readable XML language, and the glyphs are just bitmap pictures, typically in PNG format. The format is non-proprietary. Editing can be done in a standard editor, or via the (proprietary) BitFonter. Web pages using these fonts must have the photofont plug-in installed, but from there, with the appropriate tags, the screen fonts behave like standard fonts in text. Text is searchable, indexable, and so forth. Photofont Start is a free Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter and Macromedia Fireworks plug-in released in 2005. In 2008, Photofont WebReady was released by the FontLab people---with the help of sIFR, text on web pages is replaced by embedded text-searchable Flash.
A new type format described by Theodore E. Harrison, the founder of Fontlab US, at the ATypI in Rome in 2002. From the web site: Photofont is an exciting new technology that allows you to create and use full-color bitmap type with transparency. Photofonts are files with the extension .phf. With our free Photofont Start plugin, they can be used in the most popular bitmap-editing applications: Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Macromedia Fireworks and applications that accept Photoshop plugins, for both Mac OS and Windows. The Photofont file format specification is publicly available. It is based on open standards like XML and PNG. You can create and edit Photofonts using our professional bitmap font editor BitFonter for Mac OS X. Photofonts can also be included on Web pages and viewed with our ActivePHF free plugin for Internet Explorer for Windows. Specs. Free software. I tried installing it on Mac OSX 10.3, but failed, so some work remains to be done. [Google] [More] ⦿
Planet Open Fonts
Blog and open source font news, moderated by Nicolas Spalinger. The community's manifesto: We are members of the wider FLOSS community and we have a special interest in open fonts: appropriate licensing, collaborative typeface design, featureful open font design toolkit, packaging and availability of quality open fonts in the various distributions and OSes to cover the needs of language communities, publishers and artists, etc. We support the Open Font License as the recommended license for libre/open fonts. We are users, contributors and developers of various components of the open font design toolkit. Some components of the Open Font Design toolKit (OFDK) are:
A few small shell, python or perl scripts designed between 2014 and 2018 to help with font-related tasks published at the Planet Open Fonts site:
Slovenian font and font software specialist, who works at the Institute of Biophysics of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Early on, he created type 1 outlines for the Devanagari fonts of Frans Velthuis, which dated back to ca. 1990. But his main project was the Free UCS Outline Fonts project, which was part of the Free Software Foundation. It morphed into the GNU Freefont project that set out to provide three monster fonts, FreeMono, FreeSerif and FreeSans, to cover many Unicode blocks. Primoz himself filled in missing glyphs here and there (e.g., Latin Extended-B and IPA Extensions ranges in the FreeMono family), and created the following UCS blocks:
Koen Lageveen is a photographer and UX Designer at Peppered in Delft. His pages about programming fonts are wonderful. They include an on-line app for comparing them. Github link, where most of the programming fonts in his study can be downloaded. In 2021, these included agave, anka-coder, anonymous-pro, apl2741, apl385, aurulent, average, b612-mono, bedstead, binchotan-sharp, bitstream-vera, borg-sans-mono, bpmono, bront-dejavu, bront-ubuntu, camingocode, cartograph, cascadia-code, code-new-roman, comic-shanns, consolamono, courier-prime, courier-prime-code, cousine, cozette, cutive, d2coding, daddytimemono, dejavu, dm-mono, droid-sans, edlo, effects-eighty, ellograph, envy-code-r, fairfax, fairfax-hd, fairfax-serif, fantasque-sans, fifteen, fira, firacode, fixedsys, fixedsys-ligatures, font3270, generic, gintronic, gnu-freefont, go-mono, hack, hasklig, hermit, ia-writer-mono, inconsolata, inconsolata-g, iosevka, jetbrainsmono, julia-mono, latin-modern, league, lekton, liberation, lilex, luculent, luxi, mensch, meslo, monoflow, monofur, monoid, mononoki, mplus, nanum-gothic-coding, notcouriersans, noto, nova, office-code-pro, opendyslexic, overpass, oxygen, plex-mono, press-start-2p, profont, proggy-clean, proggy-vector, pt, quinze, recursive-mono-linear, roboto, sax, share-tech, sk-modernist, sometype-mono, source-code-pro, space, sudo, terminus, tex-gyre-cursor, ubuntu, unifont, verily, victor-mono, vt323.
Python for designers
Run by Andrew Hunt. Handwriting font service in Somerset, UK, at 16USD a shot. Free sample truetype fonts made in 2003: QEAndySully2, QEAshleySmith-1, QEDawnKing, QEHandSerif, QESteveColes. Other typefaces that can be found on the web include JF_Arc_De_Triomphe, JF_Butterfly_1, JF_Liberty, JF_Playing_Cards, JF_Tower_Of_Westminster, all made in 2004. In 2006, there was a more extensive list of free handwriting fonts, dated 2004-2006: QEAmyDrake, QEAndyHamment, QEAndySully2, QEAshleighLowery, QEAshleySmith-1, QEBenjaminMerritt, QEBobGellatly, QECarlMorris, QECarolRobertson, QECaroleHall, QEChristopherTodd, QECliveCounsell, QEConnorGilmore, QEDSFont, QEDanaJOliver, QEDawnKing, QEDenisWilson, QEDonaldRoss, QEDotWilliams, QEDrewAngell, QEDunk, QEGerryHughes, QEGrahamGrover, QEHandSerif, QEJANMackenzie, QEJGS, QEJerryJohns, QEJessicurl, QEJohnCaplin, QEJohnChivers, QEJohnMoir, QEJonasVasey, QEJonathanTucker, QEJulietteCule, QEKraid1, QELisaHuntPU, QELocalGirlUneven, QELoriWollmann, QEMamasAndPapas, QEMarciaBein, QEMarekHill, QEMarionMitchell, QEMichaelBourne, QENormanMorgan, QEPamelaPeake, QEPattiButche, QEPeteLister, QERicoRomano, QERobFeltner, QERobertaLapointe, QERogerBrown, QERogerKilner, QERogerLaw, QERoseMcCullagh, QESaraWiseman, QESteveColes, QEStuartDurrant, QESusanHunting, QESusanZelie, QEValerieMorris-Cook, QEVernKits, QEWillows, QEgeeKzoid. Jig Font turns any image sent to them into a "jig font" which you can use in a word processor to reconstruct the image as a jigsaw puzzle. A free JF Liberty font, as well as JF Arc de Triomphe, JF Playing Cards, JOF Butterfly and JF Tower of Westminster are freely provided as examples. In 2007, a custom logo font service was added. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typography professor R.K. Joshi's pages. He was born in 1936 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India, and died in San Francisco in 2008. He was a poet, calligrapher, designer, researcher, teacher and type specialist. Above all, he was respected and influential. From 1952 until 1956, he studied at the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai. From 1956 until 1960, he was an artist at D.J. Keymer, and from 1961-1983 he was art director at Ulka Advertising in Mumbai. But his best years were still to come. From 1983 until 1996, he was Professor of visual communications at the Industrial Design Center of IIT, Mumbai, and he was with CDAC, Mumbai, formerly NCST, from 1997 until his death. Radio interview. Obituary at TDC. Pages by Design India on him.
His contributions to the type world:
Ralf S. Engelschall
Type and technology expert and computer scientist presently working for Google in Mountrain View, CA. His blog was totally dedicated to free and open software. Raph Levien is a software engineer and tech lead of Android Text on the Android UI Toolkit team at Google. A well-known software guru, he was a lead developer for Gfonted and Spiro (a font editor), and helped out with Gimp, among many other things. Raph's previous work includes Google Fonts and the open source Ghostscript PostScript/PDF engine. The topic for his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, is on better techniques for interactively designing curves, and he also used these tools to design Inconsolata, one of the fonts available on the font API (see CTAN).
Inconsolata (2005) became an instant hit as a monospaced programming font. It was modified by Raph Levien and Kyrill Tkachev as late as 2011. Further modifications were done by Michael Sharpe. CTAN link. See also Open Font Library for this relative of Franklin Gothic.
Raph is working on a revival of ATF Century Catalogue, and proposes it as a replacement for the skinny Computer Modern fonts used in TeX. Other fonts in the pipeline include Century Catalogue, Bruce Rogers' Centaur types, Museum Caps, LeBe Titling, LeBe Book, ATF Bodoni and ATF Franklin Gothic.
Raph's type page, where one can download his didone fonts ghr10 and ghmi10 (2009) and look at Soncino Italic (2009), a lively informal text font.
Rendering SVG font definitions using dojox.gfx
A program that allows one to build fonts up from multicolored, multilined and concentric circles. Called Responsive Type Alphabet, the software is written in "Processing" (www.processing.org), a language and development environment designed to make visual software development simple and easy to learn. Concept by Hudson-Powell, and implemented by Julien Gachadoat, Michael Chang, Brian Cort and Michael Zancan.
Dustin Lee (RetroSupply Co, Portland, OR, and before that, Palo Alto, CA) sells RetroType, an add-on for Illustrator to make text appear retro. He made the handcrafted poster fonts Roaster (2015) and Wild Fire (2015), the bold octagonal typeface Authority (2015, in standard, rounded and distressed sub-styles; inspired by public transport typefaces from the 1970s; with Scott Fuller), the monoline connected script typeface Palm Canyon Drive (2015: inspired by California in the 1940s and 1950s), the cartoon font Nincompoop (2015; we find this note: Nincompoop was designed by award-winning illustrator, designer, teacher and author Von Glitschka. Until now, this font was part of Von's personal collection of resources. Now you can have this hand crafted typeface for your personal arsenal), the multiline logo font family Solid 70 (2015), and the semi-blackletter typeface Unlucky (2015).
Typefaces from 2016: Night Hawk (art deco), Over Easy (art deco), Leutner (multilined: the text is unclear whether Dustin designed this himself, or whether Aaron Sechrest is the designer), Transistor (super-condensed, retro), Komrade (a layered constructivist font), Firebox (a western typeface co-designed with Scott Fuller).
Typefaces from 2017: Blockprint, Machine Shop.
Typefaces from 2021: Lovestruck (psychedelic).
RMX stands for Font Remix Tools. The Font Remix Tools are a set of plug-ins for FontLab and Glyphs. They allow to harmonize glyph shapes, tune the width, automatically generate small caps, generate superior figures and many more. They were developed by and can be licensed from Just Another Foundry (Tim Ahrens, Shoko Mugikura) in Garching, Germany. [Google] [More] ⦿
Developed by Letterror, RoboFab is a library of code and objects written in python for all Python-supported platforms (MacOS X and 9, Windows, Linux, etc). RoboFab is a toolkit for font and glyph data. It works together with FontTools and FontLab, but it can be used seperately. The basic version is free. " The toolkit offers a new and improved approach to working with type development projects, and it implements a brand new XML-based font data source file format called Unified Font Objects (UFO). This enables easy exchange of font source data between applications, it stores Cubic ("PostScript") as well Quadratic ("TrueType") contour data and it is application and operating system independent. Individual characters from a project can be distributed, checked into databases and manipulated with standard text tools and version control software. The UFO format contains glyphs, Unicode data, metrics, kerning, names, and many forms of data which would not normally be associated with a final font format like TrueType or PosScript. Several new tools based on RoboFab and UFO are in development, MetricsMachine, for example, is a powerful spacing and kerning editor for MacOS X making use of the development tools that ship with Apple's OS." [Google] [More] ⦿
Gone. It used to have these font utilities: 30.07Advancedfontsv, Font Creator, Font Doctor, Font Reserve v2.6, Font Wrangler v2.0j, FontAgent9, FontExpert 2004 v6.0, FontExpert2004, FontRenamer122, Font_Xplorer_Lite, Fontlab Transtype v2, Suitcase, X-Fonter, Fontographer, Safefont. [Google] [More] ⦿
Y&Y's utility to "make font files (PFB) usable with PS interpreters that have bugs and with ATM versions that have bugs. The bugs it deals with relate to the Type 1 command called SEAC (Standard Encoding Accented Character). Some PS interpreters (such as older Adobe PS interpreters) require that the base and accent not only exust in the font (which make sense) but that they are actually in the encoding (which does not). Some recent fonts avoid seac altogether." [Google] [More] ⦿
Palakkad, Kerala-based computer scientist. He is responsible for Autonym Font (2013). He explains: A font that can render all language autonyms. If we want to show a large number of languages written in their own scripts (autonyms), we cannot apply the usual webfonts to it. This is because when each script requires a webfont, we will end up using a large number of webfonts. This can cause large bandwidth usage. An example of this use case is a language selector on a website. Autonym font tries to solve this. The font contains glyphs and opentype rules for rendering the language autonyms. And it contains only those glyphs for a language. The glyphs for the font are taken from a large number of free licensed fonts.
The sources for the glyphs, by language, are:
Yuri Yarmola writes: "Use it to add your signature, company logo or any other symbol (Euro symbol, for example) into any TrueType font installed in your system. SigMaker includes autotracer, so it can accept bitmap images (TIFF or BMP) as well as EPS outlines. This version works for 14 days and allows to export up to 3 fonts. Online register/purchase module comes with the program." The software is part of FontLab. [Google] [More] ⦿
A commercial piece of software by Andrew Gourvelos' company, A Signs, from Carlton, NSW, Australia. It works with CorelDraw, and has about 30 special effects, some of them on fonts (such as making outline fonts, making bold fonts, shading). [Google] [More] ⦿
Reprise is a utility to convert legacy-encoded fonts (e.g., SIL Encore fonts) into Unicode fonts so they can be used in Unicode-based applications. The goal is to produce a Unicode font that renders your Unicode data exactly as the legacy font renders your legacy data. [Google] [More] ⦿
A commercial piece of Mac software by FreeSoft (Limal, Belgium) for converting bitmaps and images into vecor format, and for editing figures and outlines. It exports EPS files. This could be used to make the outlines for glyphs of a font, assuming one has a font editor that imports EPS files. A few free trials when you download. Developers: Jean-Christophe Goddart and Renaud Pattyn. [Google] [More] ⦿
British computer scientist who offers free software and fonts. "mkwinfont" is a small program that generates Windows bitmap fonts from a text description. Also supplied is dewinfont, which generates the text description files from the source fonts. The programs are written in Python. Tektite is a 9x15-pixel bitmap font, in the style of Tekton. Tatham provides PCF, BDF and FON format bitmap fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
SING is an Adobe proposal format for font files that contain glyphlets, single characters that are not in given fonts (also called supplemental characters or gaiji by Adobe), so that they can be used as if they were incorporated in an existing font. For example, this is a useful thing to have for many oriental languages. It can only work, of course, if the application recognizes it. Since 2004, the Japanese version of InDesign does. Jim DeLaHunt of Adobe explains the format: A glyphlet is like a very small OpenType font that contains one glyph. It contains the glyph outline data for one glyph (plus a one or two alternate glyphs for different writing directions, if appropriate). This outline data is in the TrueType or CFF formats supported by OpenType. The glyphlet also contains meta-information, data that describes the character and glyph properties of the glyphlet. It omits several OpenType tables, so that an OpenType system will not accidentally interpret a glyphlet as an OpenType font. The glyphlet is typically 1 to 2k in size and is supposed to travel with a document in which it is used. Glyphlets are either bought or made in editors, and are then managed by a Glyphlet Management Tool. Glyphlets can also be described in XML, and there is a one-to-one correspondence with the binary format. [Google] [More] ⦿
Skateboard for RoboFont
Chris Simpkins (Source Foundry, Baltimore, MD) wrote these free font tools:
In addition, Chris designed the free programming font Hack (2018).
Creator of a font, dubbed CSS Font (2004), entirely achieved by using CSS instructions. His font is based on ideas from Proof of concept to throw off the bots, an article by Eric Smith. [Google] [More] ⦿
SVG, or Scalable Vector Graphics, allows for simple definitions of curves in editable text files. They can be used to define scalable fonts (without kerning and hinting or any other bells and whistles though). It is a a modularized language for describing two-dimensional vector and mixed vector/raster graphics in XML. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Peripheral Systems Laboratory develops new software and hardware technology for advanced displays, printing devices, phototypesetters and information servers. They have several pages relating to smooth font technology. [Google] [More] ⦿
This was bound to happen. We now have a typographic tag cloud portrait generator and server. Admirably, it uses only free fonts, and free color palettes. The blurb: My name is Hardy Leung and I'm the creator of Tagxedo, an online tool that turns words into stunning artworks. Examples: camel, ibis, kiwi. [Google] [More] ⦿
TEX font utilities, including accfonts, adjkerns, afmtopl, ega2mf, fontinst, fontload, freetype, gsftopk, macfont, makefonts, mathinst, mathkit, mf2ps, mf2pt3, mff-29, mkpkfontdir, mm, mmtools, pbmtogf, pf2afm, pfm2afm, pkbbox, ps2afm, ps2mf, ps2pk, ps4mf, psposter, qdtexvpl, t1install, t1tools, t1utils, tfmpk, tfmpktest, ttf2pfb, ttf2pk, ttf2pt1, unadobe, vfinst, vplutils. [Google] [More] ⦿
A free perl utility by Dominique Larchey, Denis Roegel and Christian Rossi at LORIA in Nancy, France, that can be used to generate a TFM file from a metafont file (note: this is useful when one likes toi use mftrace). It can also be used to check PK and TFM files. [Google] [More] ⦿
The Font Wars
The Raster Tragedy
An authoritative look by Microsoft's Beat Stamm at different methods for rendering outline fonts on screens or gridded devices. First written in 1997, it was updated in 2011, and is now available as a useful web-based essay/book. Excerpts from his conclusions:
The Terrible Secret of OpenType Glyph Substitution
Twitter Emoji (Twemoji)
The Twemoji library offered support for +2k emojis in 2018, including skin tone and gender modifiers. The free font one CTAN is maintained by Xiangdong Zeng, and had 9155 glyphs on June 2020, and over 13,000 glyphs in July 2021.
Twitter link. Github link. CTAN link for Twemoji Mozilla (in color). Github link for Twemoji Mozilla (in color). Note that the resulting font will only be useful on systems that support layered color TrueType fonts; this includes Windows 8.1 and later, as well as Mozilla Firefox and other Gecko-based applications running on any platform. [Google] [More] ⦿
TypeCooker is a project by Erik van Blokland, LettError.com, and TypeMedia.org. TypeCooker is a (teaching) tool for generating type-drawing exercises. The system creates a random list of requirements for a typeface, but with relevant criteria. Each exercise will contain different rules. That does not necessarily result in a nice, pretty or useful design, but it will always be possible to design something to fit the problem. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type Design Resources: Justin Penner
Type Generator is a very interesting software project by Dutchman Sibe Kokke. It generates fonts based upon a set of parameters such as contrast, x-height, point positioning and curves, a bit in the style of metafont, and was developed with the help of tools like Drawbot and Robofab. Sibe Kokke is also the designer of experimental typefaces such as The King (pixel family), Mullerpier (grunge), Glue Print (grunge) and Arab (Arab type simulation in Latin handwriting). Sibe obtained a Masters in type design at KABK. [Google] [More] ⦿
Founded in 1989 by Sampo Kaasila. Based in Plaisted, New Hampshire, the contacts of this typography outfit are Ed Edman and Amy Hensiek. They offer font engines and type software. It markets type software, and has fantastic web presentations, such as this page showing Gothic Kanji output in small type. On December 2, 1998 Bitstream bought Type Solutions, Inc. for $600,000 US. There are some occasional fonts by them out in cyberspace, but they stopped making fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
By Xaos Tools: "MacOS&Win95/NT. TypeCaster turns ordinary type into 3D titles with depth, texture, and contours that lift off the page. The only 3D type program that works inside Photoshop, TypeCaster offers 30 built-in project looks you can use to create eye-popping type quickly and easily, even if you've never used a 3D program before. " [Google] [More] ⦿
Free software that takes a picture of a typeface taken with the computer camera, and creates a typeface according to the mood. Announced as a typographic photobooth, Typeface is a software program by Mary Huang that lets users choose an instance of a parametric font depending upon a human face. Software by Mary Huang, a graduate of CIID in Denmark. She is originally from California where she studied Design and Media Arts at UCLA. Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
A web font tool by Mircea Piturca who used to be at the University of Dijon. TypeFolly is probably the first web typography tool that allows designers to easily create beautiful "type follies". The result is a fully html and css3 compliant code. TypeFolly gives designers the freedom to create beautiful type compositions, test new font combinations and fully enjoy the power of css3. At this time we support the following css properties: font-family, font-size, color, letter-spacing, word-spacing, font-style, font-weight, text-decoration, text-align, z-index, line-height, width, height, opacity, moz/webkit-transform, text-shadow and font-face. [Google] [More] ⦿
Frederik Berlaen (TypeMyType) is a Flemish type designer, b. 1981, Ghent, Belgium. He studied graphic design at Sint-Lucas in Gent, Belgium. Then he worked for one year as freelance type designer before moving to The Hague to study TypeMedia at the KABK, where he graduated with a Masters in type design in 2006. Currently, he freelances as a type designer and teaches type design at Sint-Lucas in Ghent, Belgium, and at ECAL in Lausanne. His projects include KalliCulator: a pen and nib simulator for drawing strokes around a skeleton glyph. He also wrote the simple font editor and manipulator Font Constructor (2007). RoundingUFO is a 100 Euro Mac-only application that converts the corners of the glyphs in fonts according to user-defined parameters; it requires a conversion between UFO and SFD formats, which is achievable in FontForge. His typefaces thus far: Comb (2010, OurType: a monospaced sans family designed for filling in forms; Comb Text has text typefaces and Comb Forms has dingbats), Theneut (rounded sans), Nana Broadnib and Nana Pointed. With Christina Bee, he is part of Type Destroyers. Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik: The missing UFO editor. [Google] [More] ⦿
As the result of work done at MassArt, Sebastian Yepes's Typespecimen App allows users to explore similar typefaces and zoom in on a typeface for a specific project.
Sebastian Yepes is a graphic design student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He received his previous college education at the University of Caldas, in Manizales, Colombia, where he is from. Yepes is currently working as a Graphic Artist for the organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Sebastian Yepes: Home page. [Google] [More] ⦿
Typotheque is an initiative of Peter Bilak and ui42 out of Bratislava (Slovakia), and later, The Netherlands: Typotheque is an Internet-based independent type foundry. It offers quality fonts for PC and Macintosh platforms in standard European character set and in CE (central european) character set. All fonts have full (european) character sets, are thoroughly tested and manually kerned.
Typotheque also offers its own type utilities: AccentKernMaker and FontAgent. In 2000, with Stuart Bailey, Peter Bilak co-founded art and design journal Dot Dot Dot. Along with Andrej Kratky he co-founded Fontstand.com, a font rental platform. Peter is teaching at the Type & Media postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague.
Free fonts: Remix Typotheque and RaumSüd.
Commercial fonts: Fedra Sans (2001, 30 weights), Holy Cow (2000), Champollion (2000), Eureka (2000), Eureka Phonetik (2000), Eureka Arrows (2000), Eureka Glyphs (2000), Jigsaw (Light and Stencil, 2000, by Johanna Balusikova), Fedra Mono (2002), Fedra Bitmaps (2002), Fedra Serif (2003, 48 weights, with a characteristic shy female A, toes pointing inwards), Fedra Serif Display (2006) and Fedra Arabic (2006) .
Greta (2006-2007, Greta Text and Greta Display) is a newspaper type family designed initially for the main Slovak newspaper, SME. Greta Text won an award at TDC2 2007. It is also being used by the Sunday Times (along with Sunday Times Modern by Emtype and Flama by M. Feliciano). Greta Symbol (2012) is a 10-style 1200-glyphs-per-style superfamily of symbols commonly used in newspapers, magazines and online publications. Finally, Greta Mono (by Peter Bilak and Nikola Djurek) saw the light in 2015. Codesigner with Daniel Berkovitz of Greta Sans Hebrew (2015), which won an award at TDC 2016 and was released in 2017. Greta Sans supports Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Devanagari, Thai and Hangul. Greta Sans was designed by Peter Bilak, produced together with Nikola Djurek. Irina Smirnova designed the Cyrillic version. The Latin part has been published in 2012, the Cyrillic and Greek in 2015. In 2015, Greta Sans was recognised by the Tokyo TDC. The Arabic version was designed by Kristyan Sarkis and published in 2015. Greta Sans Devanagari was published in 2017, designed by Hitesh Malaviya at ITF under the supervision of Satya Rajpurohit. The Thai version was designed by Smich Smanloh from Cadson Demak, and published in 2019. This Hangul version was designed by Sandoll designers Yejin We and Jinhee Kim, and directed by Chorong Kim.
In 2008, Peter Bilak, Eike Dingler, Ondrej Jób, and Ashfaq Niazi created the 21-style family History at Typotheque: Based on a skeleton of Roman inscriptional capitals, History includes 21 layers inspired by the evolution of typography. These 21 independent typefaces share widths and other metric information so that they can be recombined. Thus History has the potential to generate thousands of different unique styles. History 1, e.g., is a hairline sans; History 2 is Peignotian; History 14 is a multiline face; History 15 is a stapler face, and so forth.
Collection of over 90 articles on type design by by Stuart Bailey, Michael Bierut, Peter Bilak, Andrew Blauvelt, Erik van Blokland, Max Bruinsma, David Casacuberta, Andy Crewdson, Paul Elliman, Peter Hall, Jessica Helfand, Steven Heller, Roxane Jubert, Emily King, Robin Kinross, Rosa Llop, Ellen Lupton, Martin Majoor, Rick Poynor, Michael Rock, Stefan Sagmeister, and Dmitri Siegel.
In 2011, he created Julien, a playful geometric display typeface loosely inspired by the early 20th century avant-garde. It is based on elementary shapes and includes multiple variants of each letter. It feels like a mix of Futura, Bauhaus, and geometric modular design.
Julien (2012) is a playful geometric display typeface loosely inspired by the early 20th century avant-garde.
Karloff (2012, Typotheque: Positive, Negative, Neutral) is a didone family explained this way: Karloff explores the idea how two extremes could be combined into a coherent whole. Karloff connects the high contrast Modern type of Bodoni and Didot with the monstrous Italians. The difference between the attractive and repulsive forms lies in a single design parameter, the contrast between the thick and the thin. Neutral, the offspring, looks like a slab face. They were made by Peter Bilak, Nikola Djurek and Peter van Rosmalen.
Lumin (2013) is a family that includes slab-serif, sans serif, condensed and display typefaces, and no attept is made to make them uniform in style.
Lava (2013) is a magazine typeface originally designed for Works That Work magazine. It was extended to a multilingual workhose typeface family. It as extended in 2021 to Lava 2.0, at which time they added a variable version of Lava that does this size-specific tracking optimization automatically---Typotheque calls it optical spacing. By 2021, Lava covered Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Telugu and Kannada. Typotheque collaborated with type designers Parimal Parmar, who drew the Devanagari; and Ramakrishna Saiteja, who drew Kannada and Telugu companions for Lava Latin, designed by Peter Bilak.
For Musée des Confluences in Lyon, France, Typotheuqe designed the custom sans typeface Confluence (2014).
For Buccellati Jewellery and Watches in Milan, Typotheque made the classy sans typeface Buccellati in 2013.
In 2016, Peter Bilak, Nikola Djurek and Hrvoje Zivcic published the Uni Grotesk typeface family at Typotheque. It is based on Grafotechna's 1951 typeface Universal Grotesk, which in turn is based on 1934 design by Vladimir Balthasar. Noteworthy also is the prismatic style Uni Grotesk Display.
In 2016, Peter Bilak designed the wayfinding sans typeface family November for Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and Hebrew. Its rounded version is October. November, co-designed by Peter Bilak, Irina Smirnova and Kristyan Sarkis, won two awards at Granshan 2017. November Stencil was published in 2018.
The Q Project was conceived in 2016 by Peter Bilak, and published in June 2020. Nikola Djurek produced the Q Shape 01, loosely based on the Edward Catich's basic brush strokes from his book The Origin of the Serif: Brush Writing and Roman Letters. Bilak explains: The Q Project is a game-like [modular] type system that enables users to create a nearly infinite number of variations. Inspired by toys like Lego or Meccano, Q invites you to explore its vast creative space and discover not only new solutions, but also new problems. Q consists of ix uppercase Base fonts and 35 attachments that can be added as individual layers (Q Base and Serifs). It also comes with a variable font with a motion axis (Q Mechanic), as well as three levels of basic shapes that can be combined into new forms (Q Shapes).
History won an award at ProtoType in 2016.
The Unified Font Object (UFO) is a cross-platform, cross-application, human readable, future proof format for storing font data. This XML-based font format was conceived in 2003 by Just van Rossum, Tal Leming and Erik van Blokland. As a text-based format, it is a first step in the right direction. The choice of XML (copyright Apple) and the absence of OpenSource or GNU-like licensing may be an impediment to its popularity. Furthermore the fact that each font consists of hundreds of files (at least one for each glyph, for example) is disappointing. One font, one file, is a better option.
The developers write: Glyphs are stored as .glif files. Other data is stored in XML-based plist files. The plist format is developed by Apple, has a DTD, but is platform independent.The UFO is a new file format for font and type design related data. Glyphs are stored as .glif files. Other data is stored in XML-based plist files. The plist format is developed by Apple, has a DTD, but is platform independent." Glif is Just van Rossum's description of one single letterform (glyph) in XML. UFO enables easy exchange of font source data between applications, it stores Cubic ("PostScript") as well Quadratic ("TrueType") contour data and it is application and operating system independent. Individual characters from a project can be distributed, checked into databases and manipulated with standard text tools and version control software. The UFO format contains glyphs, Unicode data, metrics, kerning, names, and many forms of data which would not normally be associated with a final font format like TrueType or PosScript." In 2004 they write: "RoboFab has a new, standardised object model for font, glyph, contour and friends. RoboFab supports a new, future-proof XML based file format for font source data, the Unified Font Objects or UFO. This allows scripts based on RoboFab to work the same in FontLab as in plain Python environments, cross platform, cross application. This new format is not a contender in the TrueType, Type 1 or OpenType race, it is a format to store **sources**: all data related to type design in an application independent and standardised XML way. UFO files can be used to exchange font and glyph data between applications. RoboFab is free for end users, well documented, and downloadable from http://www.letterror.com.
There are versions: UFO1 (2004), UFO2 (2009), UFO3 (2012). The design philosophy, summarized:
A discussion by yours truly about UPM, or "units per em", a quantity that matters in the design of fonts. I argue of course for larger values of the UPM than are normally used in fonts today. But just to make a point, I designed two fonts that have an UPM of one. [Google] [More] ⦿
A free on-line raster image to vector image tool published in 2007. Input: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF. Output: EPS, SVG, PNG. Based on a Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory research project by James Diebel and Jacob Norda. In principle, one should be able to use it for converting scanned images to fonts by importing the EPS or SVG files into FontForge or other tools. I can see this as a nice free alternative to ScanFont for making glyphs out of complicated scanned images. The only downside for now is that the tool is on-line and a bit slow. But the quality of the generated output is excellent. [Google] [More] ⦿
"Produces two plug-in products that are Mac/Win and allow for easy creation and manipulation of 3D text from TT and PS fonts. Vertigo 3D Words (for Illustrator) and Vertigo 3D Hottext (for Photoshop)." A commercial product. [Google] [More] ⦿
A free tool developed in 2018 by Roel Nieskens that makes it easy for web developers to see which layout features are in the font, to which characters they apply, and what CSS is needed to enable them on the web. [Google] [More] ⦿
Dave Hyatt talks about the WebKit feature of Safari, introduced in 2007: WebKit now supports CSS @font-face rules. With font typeface rules you can specify downloadable custom fonts on your Web pages or alias one font to another. This article on A List Apart describes the feature in detail. All of the examples linked to in that article work in WebKit now. Stephen Coles reacts: For the uninitiated, this means any TrueType font can be called by a style sheet and then downloaded by the web browser. This reopens the legal can of worms that falls off the shelf every time we talk about font embedding. Good fonts cost money. Like most software, each user or CPU must be licensed to use a commercial font. When you start talking about every visitor of a web page downloading the font well you enter very sticky territory indeed. John Gruber: The fonts youre allowed to embed legally aren't worth using; the fonts that are worth using aren't embeddable. [Google] [More] ⦿
Stuart Harrison explains how one can beat the idiotic Windows font limit. In summary, he recommends keeping only the most used fonts installed on the system. The other fonts should be kept in a folder somewhere. If one of these fonts is needed, navigate in Windows Explorer to the font in that folder, right click and select Open. One can view a little sample sheet of any font using this method: the viewing program (Fontview) is part of Windows. Once the sample sheets of the font are open on screen, open the application you wish to use the font in (e.g., Photoshop, Word, Corel Draw). The font will be displayed in the font drop down box. Be careful, you have to open the fontviewer before launching the application. This way, you have an unlimited amount of fonts to use, and you don't even have to have them on your hard-drive. You can use them from CD, or floppy, or even the web! [Google] [More] ⦿
Include C:\windows\fonts (where one finds the system or core fonts). Linux applications on PCs can use the directory .fonts (which, if missing, any user can create) in one's home directory. Place fonts in the latter directory and most standard (Linux on PC) applications will find them. [Google] [More] ⦿
An on-line tool to showcase the fonts installed on one's computer. Description: [...] Wordmark.it detects fonts installed on your system with a small Flash script written by Marko Dugonjic of Type Tester. It also uses Remy Sharp's font detection script. [...] I'm Fahri Özkaramanli (b. Nicosia, 1980), a freelance visual communication designer living in Istanbul. I received my BA in Visual Communication Design at Istanbul Bilgi University in 2005 where I am a candidate in VCDMFA and currently teaching Web Design and Interactive Web Projects courses as a part time instructor. [Google] [More] ⦿
XBfe (X Bitmap Font Editor) allows you to hand-edit a bitmap font--both the shapes (i.e., the pixels) and the metric information (set widths, side bearings, and kerning tables). The input is both a bitmap (GF or PK) font and a corresponding TFM file. Part of the GNU font utilities package. [Google] [More] ⦿
A working group consisting of people from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe will try to set an XML standard for describing fonts. Some of these people created the truetype and opentype monsters, so don't expect anything "simple"--simple is not in their vocabulary. [Google] [More] ⦿
This free package configures TrueType fonts and CID fonts (as well as CMaps) for X. It generates .scale file and .alias file from TrueType and CID fonts registered to Defoma, and calls mkfontdir (and mkcfm). Both xtt and freetype backends which are used to handle TrueType fonts in X are supported. [Google] [More] ⦿
This site compares all font issues (formats, availability, aliasing, etc.) for Mac OSX and Windows XP. It reaches the following conclusion: Mac OS X bests Windows XP in these areas. OS X supports more font formats than XP, and also gives the user more control over when font smoothing should be used. OS X also uses anti-aliasing in conjunction with sub-pixel rendering to reduce color fringing. [Google] [More] ⦿
Metafont/TEX font and font software developer, specializing in non-Latin fonts and their integration in TEX. Ran Atelier Fluxus Virus in Lille, France. Codeveloper of the Omega typesetting system which includes the Omega Font Family (type 1). Since 2001, professor of Computer Science at the École Nationale Supérieure des Telecommunications de Bretagne in Brest. He is the author of the 1000+-page text Fontes et codages (O'Reilly, 2004), which was translated by P. Scott Horne with the English title Fonts & encodings. From Unicode to Advanced Typography and Everything in Between (2007, O'Reilly). See also here. Also author of Keeping Greek Typography Alive, an article presented at the 1st International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication held in Thessaloniki in June 2002.
Yannis Haralambous and John Plaice are the authors of Omega typesetting system, which is an extension of TeX. Its first release, aims primarily at improving TeX's multilingual abilities. In Omega all characters and pointers into data-structures are 16-bit wide, instead of 8-bit, thereby eliminating many of the trivial limitations of TeX. Omega also allows multiple input and output character sets, and uses programmable filters to translate from one encoding to another, to perform contextual analysis, etc. Internally, Omega uses the universal 16-bit Unicode standard character set, based on ISO-10646. These improvements not only make it a lot easier for TeX users to cope with multiple or complex languages, like Arabic, Indic, Khmer, Chinese, Japanese or Korean, in one document, but will also form the basis for future developments in other areas, such as native color support and hypertext features. ... Fonts for UT1 (omlgc family) and UT2 (omah family) are under development: these fonts are in PostScript format and visually close to Times and Helvetica font families.
Author of From Unicode to Typography, a Case Study the Greek Script, an informatice article written in 1999.
Active participant in the GNU Freefont project. With John Plaice, he contributed to these Unicode ranges:
Sebastian Kosch is running a project, financially backed by Google, to develop a letterfitting program which produces satisfactory results. The source code, as it presently exists, is published at Github. Kosch intends to produce a piece of font software which can take an unkerned font file as input and produce good spacing and kerning values for it. On the project's website, Kosch talks about shortcomings of the existing methods, and divulges a bit about his cognitive science based approach. [Google] [More] ⦿
FontLab co-developer (in 1991), and font software guru. He lives and works in St Petersburg, Russia, as Vice President Research&Development of FontLab Ltd. At ATypI 2008 in St. Petersburg, he spoke about letter fitting in FontLab Studio, and about glyph metrics and kerning. He spoke again at ATypI 2009 in Mexico City, as well as at countless type tech meetings all over the world. Pic of Yarmola and Ted Harrison at ATypI 1998. Harrison is currently the President of FontLab, and Yarmola is Vice-President.
Zen or The Art of Hinting