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Old 03-03-2005, 12:30 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Adobe to end T1 font sales

It has been nearly two years since Adobe released its entire font library in OpenType format.

According to a note from Linotype’s TypoTechnica 2005 conference (held last month at the St Bride Printing Library in London), Adobe will stop distributing fonts in its original PostScript format by the end of this year.

This news came from Adobe’s David Lemon, in his comments after receiving the first Linotype Font Technology Award for his decades of work in the company’s type group. (Congrats, David!)

   
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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How interesting...what does that bode for other font houses do you think?

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Old 03-03-2005, 01:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by terrie
How interesting...what does that bode for other font houses do you think?
I have no idea. Few of them have quite the investment in OpenType development as Adobe, of course. But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.

The interesting news about XPress 7 — that it will have a completely new OpenType-friendly type engine based on Unicode — may be a clue to how the wind is blowing (or not, of course).

   
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:15 PM   #4
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>>kt: But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.

Yeah...writing on the wall sort of thing...

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Old 03-06-2005, 06:56 PM   #5
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It's great to see David getting some public recognition for his immense contribution to type technology in managing first Adobe's font production team during the OpenType transition, and now the entire type department. Perhaps I've been the most public face of Adobe's OpenType development in the last few years, but David is its heart and soul. He is a very smart, highly dedicated and intensely principled man. I was delighted to have him as my manager for 6 1/2 years, and I am even more pleased to be able to call him my friend.

As for discontinuing Type 1 sales, we've been mentioning that it is coming for quite a while, just to get people ready for the idea. We have not yet announced exact timing. However, we have also been very careful to emphasize that we will continue to support Type 1 fonts for quite a few years to come.

That being said, if I were buying new fonts today, I'd buy them in OpenType rather than Type 1, unless I had some very specific and very strong reason to do otherwise.

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T

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Old 03-06-2005, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
I have no idea. Few of them have quite the investment in OpenType development as Adobe, of course. But if it takes off in a serious way, so will they all, at some point.
Urm. it already happened. OpenType took off. There are something like 8000 OpenType fonts available today, only about 30% being from Adobe. Adobe's own font sales are at least 90% OpenType. Every one of the big type foundries agrees that OpenType is where the industry is headed.

As recently as two years ago, it was still something that could be debated. I remember a year ago, when I realized that we had made it, won the war to get a new font format successfully mainstream. That was when I knew about as much as is public now about OpenType support from type foundries and OS and application developers. The events of the past year have only strengthened that conclusion in my mind.

That being said, of course there's a massive installed base of older fonts, and Type 1 is not going to disappear overnight. Service bureaus and printers can be stodgy and slow to adapt to new trends like this, but even there we've seen a real shift over the last year or so.

Cheers,

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Old 03-08-2005, 06:32 PM   #7
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Do OpenType fonts install under Linux? Linux is Unicode aware and many applications can use very large character sets in Unicode fonts. To install a Type 1 font in Linux, you need the PFB file and the AFM file. Linux also handles TrueType fonts. I don't know anything about what comes with an OpenType font.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:43 PM   #8
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I don't know if OpenType is supported at the system level by a basic vanilla Linux installation (not one of the branded distributions). Certainly there are common Linux applications that work with OpenType (most by using FreeType), but that's a different question.

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Old 03-09-2005, 08:14 AM   #9
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Thomas:

'unless I had some very specific and very strong reason to do otherwise'

Wouldn't possession of the 'ordinary' set (roman, italic, bold, and possibly bold italic) be considered a strong reason for getting the additional 'expert' Type 1 fonts? Open Type is splendid, but not always an economic substitute, quite apart from the fact that many layout programs (including Adobe's) do not yet support all Open Type features.

   
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:21 AM   #10
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Probably not a strong reason in my book, but "it depends" is the sensible answer.

In part, I think it depends on which apps and features you need. No application supports "all" OpenType features, but that isn't necessary for glyph access (witness the glyph palette), and there are some features that are going to be present in vanishingly few fonts.

InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop all support a big set of OpenType features that includes all the ones widely used in western-language fonts. Plus, those features are easier to use than expert set and other supplemental fonts, and don't corrupt the underlying document text. So I think anybody who is working in the Creative Suite would be making a major mistake buying Type 1 fonts - even Type 1 Expert Set fonts when they have the base font already.

Of course, FrameMaker and the now-discontinued PageMaker don't support any of OpenType's typographic features. Nor does QuarkXPress, until the future version 7.

In part, it depends on how long the buyer expects the new fonts to continue to work in all their environments and be widely supported. We wouldn't be planning on discontinuing sales of Type 1 if we couldn't see ahead to the end of life for the format. At some point in the foreseeable future, some key player other than Adobe is going to stop supporting Type 1 as well as they do OpenType.

For example, as one hypothetical but high-impact scenario, Apple and Microsoft have never been enthusiastic supporters of Type 1, and OpenType is a much more palatable technology to them. Either one of them could drop system support in some future OS version. At such a time, we would want our customers to feel like we've been advising them well and preparing them for such an eventuality.

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