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Old 07-17-2005, 08:07 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Type Casting (NYT Mag July 17)

It is always news when the venerable New York Times runs an article about fonts.

This weekend, the Magazine‘s Consumed columnist Rob Walker writes “Type Casting” about the TypeCon meeting taking place in NYC, and about its sponsors, the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) and Type Directors Club (TDC).

The one-page piece also mentions a gaggle of type designers and foundries (Emigre, Hoefler & Frere-Jones, House, P22, Gary Munch, Mark Simonson, and Underware), gets into some aspects of the contemporary type business and technology, mentions a few historic snippets (semi-historical — back to Trixie, anyway), and more.

It also discusses Bello, the recent TDC display type winner which in its OpenType Pro package offers contextual substitutions (ligatures, character variants) and such charming extras as starting and ending swashes, ornamented word substitutes for certain strings (“the” or “and” for example), linking segments for the script, and more.

The Times article should be available for a week (you may need to register, but that is free).

   
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:13 AM   #2
Gerry Kowarsky
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So far, it seems that script fonts are getting the most out of OpenType -- Caflisch, Bickham Pro, Zapfino, Cezanne, and now Bello. I'm glad to see it.
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gerry Kowarsky
So far, it seems that script fonts are getting the most out of OpenType -- Caflisch, Bickham Pro, Zapfino, Cezanne, and now Bello. I'm glad to see it.
The most use? Or the most attention?

Seems to me that contextual substitution of roman/italic fonts might be more common. For those using susceptible apps, of course it goes without saying.

The scripts do look cool; but I cannot remember the last time I set more than a handful of lines in any script, and hand-fitting was not all that difficult.

Perhaps I am unnaturally dull!

P.S. — Received the pens in two days; they do work, and I am enjoying them. Thank you. Am returning your bubble pack wrapped around a little something, but it hasn’t actually made it to the post office yet. I’ll try today.

   
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:04 PM   #4
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Perhaps the most effort has been put into creating contextual substitutions for script fonts because there are more possibilities to implement. There are certainly a number of nice substitutions in Garamond Premier Pro, too, but not so many as in Bickham. The OpenType script fonts seem to be selling well, so perhaps we will see more use of script when contextual subsitition creates less mechanical-looking output. Maybe I just like scripts because my own handwriting is so bad.

I'm glad the pens are working for you. That's certainly better than their sitting idle in my desk.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:20 PM   #5
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Gerry:

perhaps we will see more use of script when contextual subsitition creates less mechanical-looking output

Why bother? Calligraphers are fairly cheap, and can produce those little inconsistencies (like hand-stitched lapels) that are so valued; mechanical reproduction of hand-produced texts is no problem these days.

   
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Calligraphers are fairly cheap, and can produce those little inconsistencies (like hand-stitched lapels) that are so valued; mechanical reproduction of hand-produced texts is no problem these days.
That would make sense if contemporary designers ever thought of going out for lettering (or illustrating) services. They expect to do it all in-house, using fonts if possible.

That may be the most significant change since my time as a designer: we hired lettering artists, illustrators, cartoonists, and photographers all the time. Today people do not even discuss such things.

   
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:42 PM   #7
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KT:

They expect to do it all in-house

Can't designers do lettering?

   
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Can't designers do lettering?
"Desktop Publishing" was coined about 1985. There are now Senior Designers who have never work anyway but digitally.

Oddly, those "old time" designers—who sent out for calligraphy—were probably better trained to "do it themselves" than the current designers—who don't.

--don

   
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Old 07-22-2005, 05:34 AM   #9
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Oddly, those "old time" designers—who sent out for calligraphy—were probably better trained to "do it themselves" than the current designers—who don't.
Many designers today expect to produce all text, even text that looks (somewhat) like handwriting, to come from a font.

   
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
Many designers today expect to produce all text, even text that looks (somewhat) like handwriting, to come from a font.
And many customers can look at decent hand-lettering and think it looks inferior to the unchanging consistency of a "handwriting" font.

It's kind of like clients thinking that only glossy paper can make pictures pop and look classy or "more professional" when I've seen similar projects that look even classier because they were on a nice dull coated stock. To me, high gloss papers (especially thin ones) say "cheap" now, because they're used everywhere, for every low-budget project wanting to look upscale.

I fondly remember one of my early freelance clients who loved my casual, hand-lettered heads for their newsletter. I presented her the heads hand-lettered with a Sharpie (of all things) and again with all the handwriting-style fonts then available. She immediately chose mine, because, she said, they had more life, they were "organic."

   
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