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Michael Rowley
03-06-2006, 12:50 PM
Microsoft said it had six new fonts for Office 12. Does anyone think they will displace Times New Roman and Arial in Office for Windows (and, I suppose, Times Roman & Helvetica in the Mac version)? I've seen them, but I'm far too bad a judge of typefaces, especially the sans serif faces.

And what about Segoe UI?

Steve Rindsberg
03-06-2006, 01:08 PM
Displace in what sense?

Arial and TNR will continue to ship with Windows and will continue to be the only reliable fonts to use in documents intended for wide distribution, so I imagine they're in for a lot of exercise yet.

Michael Rowley
03-06-2006, 03:01 PM
Steve:

'Displace in what sense?'

In the sense that they won't be the first typefaces that people use when they write a document. I had thought that the reason they have been the most popular faces in use was because for years they have been Microsoft's default fonts in Word; if they are no longer the default in Office 12, they will eventually fall out of use.

'the only reliable fonts to use in documents intended for wide distribution'

I trust you mean 'reliable' in the sense that nearly everyone who possesses Word will have TNR and Arial. But even Word 6 had other fonts (I can't remember as far back as Word 1 or even Word 2), and not many people have anything earlier than Word 8, which has many usable fonts.

But in any case, it would be interesting to hear about the merits (or otherwise) of the new fonts, both for print and, to be in the swim, for on-line viewing.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-07-2006, 09:53 AM
Microsoft said it had six new fonts for Office 12. Does anyone think they will displace Times New Roman and Arial in Office for Windows (and, I suppose, Times Roman & Helvetica in the Mac version)?

Interesting question. According to this review (http://typographi.com/001021.php), one of the new fonts, Cambria, will be the default font in the next version of Word, so it is bound to be widely used. How widely, I suppose, depends on whether the ClearType tuning in the new fonts (http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=47&aid=78683) has obvious benefits for the average user. The ClearType in the forthcoming Windows Vista is said to be even better (http://www.interact-sw.co.uk/iangblog/2004/07/22/longhorncleartype) than the current implementation, so perhaps the new technology will outweigh the familiarity of the current core fonts.

Steve Rindsberg
03-07-2006, 11:03 AM
MS does have a tendency to push "latest/greatest" in your face w/o regard for practicality. Still, despite all the different fonts that have come with various versions of Office, TNR still seems to be the default, so perhaps saner voices will prevail.

As far as "reliable" ... you understood it as I intended it.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-08-2006, 10:04 AM
And what about Segoe UI?

I like the fact that Segoe has true italics. The current user interface font family, Tahoma, doesn't even have oblique members, and it looks much too slanted to me when I see it italicized in Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, as I often do.

Also, I think Microsoft is clever to base the UI on the same font family the company uses for branding. The UI will reinforce the corporate identity established in advertising, packaging, and corporate communications.

Here are some comments on the fonts from Microsoft:

http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2005/11/16/493388.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2005/11/28/497441.aspx
These two pages have differing opinions about Segoe's resemblance to Frutiger.

http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/22491.html
http://www.hardcovermedia.com/lab/articles/fruseg.htm

Michael Rowley
03-08-2006, 02:01 PM
Steve:

'TNR still seems to be the default'

When I wrote the message starting this thread, it was not known which of the new fonts was to be the new default, even among MS's typography group; but I see I'm out of date: now it has been decided apparently (see Gerry K.'s message). Actually, Microsoft do try to get people to use fonts other than Times New Roman, but one font or other needs to be the default font, for Word users in general would be hard pushed to decide it themselves, or know what to if they were asked to decide.

No user is bound to use Microsoft's default font: you can set it for yourself. And as to choosing your own 'default' (in Normal.dot), I've checked what was supplied with Word 8 ('97'), and the variety of 'serious' fonts was pretty large then.

Michael Rowley
03-08-2006, 02:09 PM
Gerry:

'one of the new fonts, Cambria'

According to one of Microsoft's typography group (I didn't not who), Cambria hadn't been selected as the new Word default at a date much more recent than the review you give a link to; but I suppose it is is the most likely candidate of the three seriffed fonts.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-08-2006, 03:30 PM
According to one of Microsoft's typography group (I didn't not who), Cambria hadn't been selected as the new Word default at a date much more recent than the review you give a link to; but I suppose it is is the most likely candidate of the three seriffed fonts.

I wonder when we will finally get accurate information.

I would expect all the default fonts in the Vista environment to be selected from the new six ones to show off the advantages of ClearType. Whichever ones are selected as the defaults in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Explorer are likely to have the deepest penetration. But I don't think Times New Roman and Arial will disappear completely any time soon.

Michael Rowley
03-09-2006, 08:05 AM
Gerry:

'But I don't think Times New Roman and Arial will disappear completely any time soon.'

No, they won't disappear, but the reason TNR is used most often is that it is the default font in Word's Normal.doc, i.e. the font you get if you don't do anything to change it. If TNR ceases to be the default font, it will just be one of the many fonts offered.

The six new fonts consist of one nonproportional font, two sans serif fonts and three seriffed fonts. They are described as all (except the nonproprtional font) as being particularly suitable for viewing in a monitor (with ClearType), but one, Candara, is said to be good for the web or in print. Cambria is said to be particularly good for the web, and might displace Georgia for that purpose. Constantia has a small x-height and relatively long ascenders. Of the two sans serif fonts, Calibri has real italic, real small capitals, and a choice of lining or non-lining numerals, so might be really useful; about Corbel there doesn't seem to be much information.

A number of commentators have remarks about the names all beginning with 'c', followed by 'a' or 'o'; I should say that the purpose was to bring all the names fairly close together on any font list, but separate them into just two groups.

dthomsen8
03-09-2006, 09:30 AM
I like the fact that Segoe has true italics. The current user interface font family, Tahoma, doesn't even have oblique members, and it looks much too slanted to me when I see it italicized in Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, as I often do.

Also, I think Microsoft is clever to use base the UI on the same font family the company uses for branding. The UI will reinforce the corporate identity established in advertising, packaging, and corporate communications.





At one time, Microsoft promoted some of the fonts they created for the web by giving them away free, in addition to supplying them with MS Office and other products. I think Georgia, Tahoma, and Verdana were among them, but I could be wrong.


In any case, why would Microsoft go to yet more fonts, when they already have created quite a few fonts which are well established? I certainly prefer Georgia to Times New Roman or Times Roman for web sites.

Michael Rowley
03-09-2006, 12:17 PM
Dave:

'I certainly prefer Georgia to Times New Roman'

That's undisputed: Times is not at all good for web sites; but Georgia is only one font, and probably MS typography people wan to extend the choice of seriffed fonts (which I think is a good thing). We haven't yet heard of the fonts MS will cease to supply for Office: I can think of lots that we could well do without (Comic Sans for one).

I think the future support by MS of PDF will have an effect too, for PDF has become the established medium for governments etc. to distribute information, and it has become pretty well established for printing too. We can do with fonts that are suited to both.

iamback
03-09-2006, 12:31 PM
We haven't yet heard of the fonts MS will cease to supply for Office: I can think of lots that we could well do without (Comic Sans for one).I've heard that some dylexics like that fond because the letter shapes make it easier to distinguish them; for that reason (if nothing else) it would be a shame to drop it!

Michael Rowley
03-09-2006, 01:11 PM
Marjolein:

'I've heard that some dyslexics like that font because the letter shapes make it easier to distinguish them'

I don't think there's anything peculiar about the letter shapes of Comic Sans, except that it resembles the script that in some countries used to be taught to 5-year olds (and for all I know, still is). But it is surprising that some dyslexics should prefer that to, say, the classic Bauhaus typeface, although that (and Comic Sans) have the pairs of letters (b & d; q & p) that I'm told present difficulties.

iamback
03-09-2006, 03:53 PM
I don't think there's anything peculiar about the letter shapes of Comic Sans, except that it resembles the script that in some countries used to be taught to 5-year olds (and for all I know, still is).It's "peculiar" in that it's not all that "symmetric" - not taken literally, but letter shapes don't so closely resemble their "mirror letter" (p - q) as in most fonts. And it's that quality that makes it easier to handle for some (not all) dyslexics.

But it is surprising that some dyslexics should prefer that to, say, the classic Bauhaus typeface, although that (and Comic Sans) have the pairs of letters (b & d; q & p) that I'm told present difficulties.No, not suprising at all - precisely those classic Bauhaus and similar typefaces have a lot of symmetry and balance that make the letter shapes harder to distinguish. Compare p and q in Comic Sans with p and q in Futura, for instance, or even plain old Arial (though b and d are much closer). The very regularity that makes me love Futura is what makes it difficult for many dylexics.

Michael Rowley
03-09-2006, 04:19 PM
Marjolein:

'It's "peculiar" in that it's not all that "symmetric" '

I'm rather surprised that dyslexics find it so: obviously they have keener vision than I ever had. I find the strokes etc. not 'all that' wobbly; in fact only slightly wobblier than a graphic designer would make letters he was sketching in by hand on a layout.

ktinkel
03-09-2006, 05:04 PM
I like the fact that Segoe has true italics.Have you been following the Linotype/Microsoft dispute as to the originality of Segoe?

From the (EU) Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) vis-a-vis Heidelberger v Microsoft (6 February 2006):The typefaces of both designs have the same stroke thickness. The ratio from cap-height to descender height is equal. The proportion of character height to character pitch is identical. The type face in the specimen text does not show any differences. The minuscule “a,” “c,” “e,” “g,” and “t” have the same proportion in the prior design and the RCD*The height of the crossbeam at the “e” is identical. The height of the bow at the “a” is identical. The “c” shows the same shape and the same loophole. The lowercase “s” and the capital “S” are totally identical in both designs. The numeric characters “3,” “5,” “6,” and “9” do not show any difference.

The RCD does not fulfil lthe requirements of novelty in the meaning of in Art. 5 CDR. The RCD is to be declared invalid according to Art.
I found a link to the English translation of the decision on Typophile (http://typophile.com/node/18257) — all the other links I find are in German only.

What this means for Microsoft, I do not know.


_____
* RCD: Registered Community Design (held by Microsoft).

Gerry Kowarsky
03-09-2006, 08:21 PM
In any case, why would Microsoft go to yet more fonts, when they already have created quite a few fonts which are well established? I certainly prefer Georgia to Times New Roman or Times Roman for web sites.

The reason for creating the new fonts was to take advantage of ClearType, which makes fonts look smoother on LCD monitors. The forthcoming Windows, Vista will have an even better implementation of ClearType than the one in Windows XP, and the new fonts, which will come with Vista, are optimized for the Vista environment.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-09-2006, 08:34 PM
It will be interesting to see which fonts are selected as the new defaults and how long it will be before they take over.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-09-2006, 08:44 PM
Have you been following the Linotype/Microsoft dispute as to the originality of Segoe?

Not so closely as you. Thanks for posting the EU decision. Microsoft could get around the copying issue by going back to Matthew Carter and having him rework the Tahoma/Verdana/Nina family for ClearType. I belive the Japanese fonts for ClearType have roman characters based on Carter's designs.

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 06:00 AM
Microsoft could get around the copying issue …Don’t you think MS is (or ought to be) embarrassed by this decision, though? I have read that Lino offered to license Frutiger for a small royalty (so much a user) but that MS refused and instead essentially asked Monotype to clone it.

I realize it has nothing to do with business, but it also rankles that Frutiger — whose eponymous design may be surpassing Palatino and Helvetica in number of knockoffs, clones, and wannabes — is reportedly very ill.

… by going back to Matthew Carter and having him rework the Tahoma/Verdana/Nina family for ClearType. Well, I don’t know about Cleartype, which I cannot make use of, but I do wish Nina were among the common web fonts. A well-made, good-looking narrow font would be useful if one could count on a majority of web surfers to have it.

Besides, speaking selfishly, I really like that face in particular. Arial Narrow just doesn’t cut it, you know? And Tahoma isn’t quite narrow enough.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 07:41 AM
KT:

'the same proportion in the prior design'

What is the prior design owned by Linotype? (I had never heard of the 'CDR'.)

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 07:59 AM
What is the prior design owned by Linotype? (I had never heard of the 'CDR'.)Frutiger or Frutiger Next; the CDR is Segoe.

Wish I had snagged those URLs to the German sites. Then since you can read German you could tell us exactly what’s going on! I’ll see if I can find them again.

iamback
03-10-2006, 08:57 AM
Wish I had snagged those URLs to the German sites. Then since you can read German you could tell us exactly what’s going on! I’ll see if I can find them again.Here's a few I stumbled over and read - quite interesting:

Nachtrag zum Segoe UI-Frutiger-Streit -- typeFORUM (http://www.typeforum.de/news_339.htm)
Faulhabers Verwandlung der Frutiger -- typeFORUM (http://www.typeforum.de/news_254.htm)
Erik Faulhaber - Wikipedia (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Faulhaber)

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 10:01 AM
KT:

'the CDR is Segoe'

I meant the Community Design Registration; these abbreviations are often baffling, and sometimes ambiguous. The UK Patents Office has this to say about the CDR:

'2.4 It is also possible to register a design as a Community design at the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, Trade Marks and Designs (OHIM) under Council Regulation on Community Designs (EC) No. 6 of 2002 ("the Community Design Regulation"). The registered Community design provides similar rights to a national registered design, except that a Community design is a unitary right covering the whole of the European Community. It has proved to be an attractive proposition for European businesses; between 1st April 2003 (the date of its introduction) and 30 September 2004, a total of 72,015 new Community design applications were filed. Since the advent of the registered Community design, UK national applications for registration have dropped by 60%.

'2.5 The Community system represents a modern and more liberal approach to procedural requirements, many of which the 1949 Act presently forbids. Thus this new system has shown the 1949 Act to be quite dated. It is therefore desirable to modernise the domestic legislation to grant some further flexibility.'

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 10:06 AM
Here's a few I stumbled over and read - quite interestingTwo of those were the ones I found. Since I don’t read a lick of German, I didn’t even make a note.

Thanks.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 10:33 AM
Here is the URL of the full judgement (http://oami.eu.int/PDF/design/invaldec/ICD%20000000743%20decision%20%28EN%29.pdf) (mercifully short):

The 'prior design' is Frutiger Light 45. 'Segoe' is not mentioned, and I'm not sure that 'Segoe UI' is identical; Microsoft admits that the design of Frutiger Light and the one they registered are identical, but tried to prove that Frutiger Light wasn't sold prior to the date of its own registration; it didn't succeed. The decision can be appealed however before next month.

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 10:47 AM
KT:

'Since I don’t read a lick of German'

They're mostly about whether Erik Faulhaber's claim to have developed 'Frutiger Next' is true or not (it seems not to be true). Faulhaber was employed 'by the hour', says Linotype, and his contribution 'was negligible'.

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 11:14 AM
Here is the URL of the full judgement Thank you! That is what I read.

When I first saw the “Decision of the Invalidity Division” I wondered if this was some sort of parody! <g>

There seems to be some confusion whether Segoe matches old Frutiger (the numbered series) or Frutiger Next, but the judgment seems to say that both sets pre-dated the application for the MS font.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-10-2006, 02:18 PM
Don’t you think MS is (or ought to be) embarrassed by this decision, though? I have read that Lino offered to license Frutiger for a small royalty (so much a user) but that MS refused and instead essentially asked Monotype to clone it.

I would not want to speculate on MS's capacity for embarrassment, but I bet they were surprised. The EU has certainly changed the rules since MS included Book Antiqua in its first Font Pack.

I would not expect MS to agree to an open-ended licensing agreement for any font, considering the number of copies Vista is likely to sell. As little as a penny per user would amount to far more than it would cost MS to commission a new, exclusive font. But according to this MS blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh/archive/2005/11/28/497441.aspx), Segoe was based on an existing Monotype design. It doesn't say which one, however. Maybe Andale Sans?

Doesn't this scenario remind you of what happened when MS and Adobe could not reach licensing terms for PostScript and Type 1 in Windows 3.1?

I realize it has nothing to do with business, but it also rankles that Frutiger — whose eponymous design may be surpassing Palatino and Helvetica in number of knockoffs, clones, and wannabes — is reportedly very ill.

Sorry to hear that about Frutiger. What a giant! I think you may be right about the number of Frutiger clones surpassing the number of "Piratinos," as I like to call them. These two designs achieved their position at the top of this dubious heap in such different ways. Palatino is so decorative, while Frutiger seems to have distilled each letter down to its essence.

I do wish Nina were among the common web fonts. A well-made, good-looking narrow font would be useful if one could count on a majority of web surfers to have it. Besides, speaking selfishly, I really like that face in particular. Arial Narrow just doesn’t cut it, you know? And Tahoma isn’t quite narrow enough.

I like Nina, too. It really transcends its origin as a UI font on handheld devices. Now that Ascender is offering the Nina family (http://ascenderfonts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NIN01-70-02-05&Category_Code=Sans_Serif_Fonts), couldn't developers embed it in their sites?

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 02:25 PM
KT:

'There seems to be some confusion whether Segoe matches old Frutiger (the numbered series) or Frutiger Next'

The evidence was all about MS's registered design and its identity with Frutiger Light 45, and it was in terms of the stroke widths etc.; but presumably things like spacing are equally important to Microsoft. After all, it seems to be how the typeface appears on a monitor that mostly concern Microsoft. The letters shown, by the way, don't include any italic letters, which I gather is the main point of Frutiger Next.

I notice that no one mentions Univers!

Michael Rowley
03-10-2006, 03:31 PM
Gerry:

Did you read this in the blog you gave a link to?

'Segoe UI was drawn in the humanist sans-serif style evoking natural, almost hand drawn letter shapes. As a humanist sans design it shares characteristics with Adobe Myriad, Verdana, Corbel, Lucida Sans and the father of the humanist sans movement Frutiger.'

The EU has certainly changed the rules since MS included Book Antiqua in its first Font Pack.

The EU had no rules about design then: the Community Design Regulations were not made until 2002.

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 04:47 PM
I would not want to speculate on MS's capacity for embarrassment …Me neither. Since Robert Norton’s death I have very little insight there.

… Segoe was based on an existing Monotype design. It doesn't say which one, however. Maybe Andale Sans? Hard to believe. But I will give it careful thought!

Sorry to hear that about Frutiger. What a giant! I think you may be right about the number of Frutiger clones surpassing the number of "Piratinos," as I like to call them.I’m sorry too. I saw him at ATypI in Antwerp (1994? — yikes, more than a decade ago!) and he seemed well. But during the past year I have heard that he is very ill.

I like Nina, too. It really transcends its origin as a UI font on handheld devices. Now that Ascender is offering the Nina family (http://ascenderfonts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NIN01-70-02-05&Category_Code=Sans_Serif_Fonts), couldn't developers embed it in their sites?I guess, but Ascender is selling it at a pretty rich price. I wish they had included it in their $20 set (but hope springs eternal).

ktinkel
03-10-2006, 04:51 PM
I notice that no one mentions Univers!I don’t see that Segoe at all resembles Univers. It does look a lot like Frutiger!

iamback
03-10-2006, 10:08 PM
I like Nina, too. It really transcends its origin as a UI font on handheld devices. Now that Ascender is offering the Nina family (http://ascenderfonts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=NIN01-70-02-05&Category_Code=Sans_Serif_Fonts), couldn't developers embed it in their sites?Embed fonts? Now who uses that nowadays after the intial playing around? There are two incompatible technologies, not every browser supports both (to put it mildly) and some browsers offer users a choice whether to download "embedded" fonts or not - since that tends to lead to long download times, users who know how to configure their browser tend to turn it off: it may have some aesthetic value but that's not what most people browse for.

So it's not as though by embedding a font (which technology?) you are going to determine what the visitor sees; there is in fact very little chance of that. So why bother?

ktinkel
03-11-2006, 05:04 AM
IBut according to this MS blog, Segoe was based on an existing Monotype design.But the MS Avant Garde knockoff was based on the existing Monotype design Twentieth Century (its “Futura,” designed by Sol Hess) — which was then modified in x-height and detail to look like the ITC face. (Not sure about the details, but Avant Garde was at least inspired by Futura in the first place.)

Now that Ascender is offering the Nina family, couldn't developers embed it in their sites?Not sure the web is tending that way, and also wonder what it would cost — for users, at $110 for four weights it is priced like a typographic family, not typical web type.

Michael Rowley
03-11-2006, 05:34 AM
KT:

'I don’t see that Segoe at all resembles Univers. It does look a lot like Frutiger!'

I don't myself see that Segoe can look like the one and not the other; but perhaps graphic designers see with different eyes.

ktinkel
03-11-2006, 08:25 AM
I don't myself see that Segoe can look like the one and not the other; but perhaps graphic designers see with different eyes.The differences are subtle, maybe, but they add up to a different look and feel.

Frutiger (and Segoe, from what I have seen) is more modulated. The tapering of curves as they join stems is more obvious. The characters are more open (larger counters, shorter terminating curves). They also tend to be narrower. And Frutiger has a taller x-height.

Michael Rowley
03-11-2006, 02:04 PM
KT:

Yes, I see the differences when they're pointed out, but I think the thing I lack is a good (or even moderately good) visual memory, which makes comparisons diificult.

By the way, I notice that you are referring to 'Segoe' all the time, which has been adopted as Microsoft's font; but Segoe UI is not necessarily identical with Segoe (so Microsoft claim). Probably though, the differences in appearance are minimal.

ktinkel
03-12-2006, 08:18 AM
Not so closely as you. Thanks for posting the EU decision. Turns out that the judgment of Segoe and Frutiger as “identical” is a technical legal decision, and not typographically conclusive.

Read this Legal background of the ‘Segoe Case’ (http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/segoe.txt) for an explanation of how the Invalidity Division works.

In a nutshell, the German Design Law requires that the design be both “new” and have “individuality.” Then it can qualify for up to 25 years of paid protection. Not only Segoe but Myriad and Frutiger Next could not qualify because they were the same as old Frutiger on some specific parameters (which makes them “identical” under this law), and Frutiger was already protected.

Doesn’t seem to bear much on the question of whether Segoe is a “knockoff,” which is a typographic question, not a legal one.

Michael Rowley
03-12-2006, 10:06 AM
KT:

Doesn’t seem to bear much on the question of whether Segoe is a “knockoff,” which is a typographic question, not a legal one

I notice that Stiehl (the German commentatator) is not very impartial, as his final comment refers to Adobe's Myriad as a 'forgery' of Frutiger.

I'm not sure that German design law comes into it (as Stiehl says), because Microsoft registered 'its' design in 2004 under the new Community Design Regulations 2002; and so, I think, did the Heidelberger. But the Regulations also require novelty and individuality of a registered typeface.

Michael Rowley
03-12-2006, 02:21 PM
KT:

and so, I think, did the Heidelberger

No I don't: of course it didn't, that was the basis of Microsoft's defence of its claim. M.'s lawyers didn't claim that M.'s design was unlike Frutiger Light, only that it had priority.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-13-2006, 07:54 AM
Embed fonts? Now who uses that nowadays after the intial playing around? There are two incompatible technologies, not every browser supports both (to put it mildly) and some browsers offer users a choice whether to download "embedded" fonts or not - since that tends to lead to long download times, users who know how to configure their browser tend to turn it off: it may have some aesthetic value but that's not what most people browse for.

So it's not as though by embedding a font (which technology?) you are going to determine what the visitor sees; there is in fact very little chance of that. So why bother?

Sounds reasonable.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-13-2006, 09:01 AM
Gerry:

Did you read this in the blog you gave a link to?

'Segoe UI was drawn in the humanist sans-serif style evoking natural, almost hand drawn letter shapes. As a humanist sans design it shares characteristics with Adobe Myriad, Verdana, Corbel, Lucida Sans and the father of the humanist sans movement Frutiger.'


Yes. I took this to be similar to the point in John D. Berry's creativepro.com article (http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/22491.html),
that a neutral sans serif based on old-style text faces is bound to resemble Frutiger.


The EU has certainly changed the rules since MS included Book Antiqua in its first Font Pack.

The EU had no rules about design then: the Community Design Regulations were not made until 2002.

Right. I was thinking about rules in general, not the EU's rules in particular. As far as I know, there used to be no legal protection to keep one foundry from redrawing another's design. When digital type came along, it became possible to copy a font without redrawing it. The Adobe-SSI decision addressed this possibility by protecting for the computer programs underlying designs, but designs themselves were not protected until the Community Design Regulations went into effect.

But what protection do the regulations actually provide? What will Microsoft have to do because of this decision?

Gerry Kowarsky
03-13-2006, 09:31 AM
But the MS Avant Garde knockoff was based on the existing Monotype design Twentieth Century (its “Futura,” designed by Sol Hess) — which was then modified in x-height and detail to look like the ITC face. (Not sure about the details, but Avant Garde was at least inspired by Futura in the first place.)

I guess what you end up with matters more than what you started with.

Not sure the web is tending that way, and also wonder what it would cost — for users, at $110 for four weights it is priced like a typographic family, not typical web type.

Someone else supplied a number of reasons for not embedding. So if that's out, is there any hope of a nice, narrow sans becoming common enough that a designer can safely use it in a web page?

ktinkel
03-13-2006, 11:28 AM
I guess what you end up with matters more than what you started with.Depending on the details, of course. No fair starting with someone else’s outline data, for example!

… is there any hope of a nice, narrow sans becoming common enough that a designer can safely use it in a web page?I can’t see how. Verdana and Georgia have made great headway over Arial and Times (though I think I see more of the latter nonetheless) — and they were given away to users on both platforms for several years.

Today MS and Apple give away different fonts, so it’s hard to see how we will ever get together.

Unless, of course, there were to be more Open Source fonts (and then they should be optimized for screen reading). Haven’t seen a sans, wide or narrow, so far. For serif, Gentium (http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium) is pretty good, but there is no bold or italic yet. And it is not screen optimized (looks okay above about 14 points, however — certainly much better than Times).

Gerry Kowarsky
03-14-2006, 05:22 AM
Unless, of course, there were to be more Open Source fonts (and then they should be optimized for screen reading). Haven’t seen a sans, wide or narrow, so far.

What about Bitstream Vera (http://www.gnome.org/fonts/)?

ktinkel
03-14-2006, 06:06 AM
What about Bitstream Vera (http://www.gnome.org/fonts/)?I had forgotten about that. I still have the first incarnation of those fonts (by another name). Used to be my favorite screen-reading sans, in fact.

Not sure how widely used they are, which is why I switched to Verdana.

dthomsen8
03-14-2006, 06:27 AM
What about Bitstream Vera (http://www.gnome.org/fonts/)?

The price is right with the free Bitstream Vera fonts from GNOME, but how widely are they used? KT is mentioning the same issue.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-14-2006, 01:33 PM
You're right. Vera isn't widely used, but at least it is available.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-14-2006, 01:46 PM
I had forgotten about that. I still have the first incarnation of those fonts (by another name). Used to be my favorite screen-reading sans, in fact.

Not sure how widely used they are, which is why I switched to Verdana.

I remember your comparison of Prima, Myriad Web, and Verdana on the old forum. Vera does not have Prima's delta hinting, but I have read that delta hinting matters less with ClearType, which I have now.

I have experimented with Vera, Georgia, Palatino Linotype, Ascender's version of Today Sans, Frutitger Linotype, and Berling (the latter two are bundled free with Microsoft's eBook Reader), but I keep coming back to Verdana because of the letter spacing.

Michael Rowley
03-14-2006, 02:58 PM
Gerry:

I keep coming back to Verdana because of the letter spacing

And improved letter spacing appears to be one of the features of at least some of the six new fonts Microsoft is introducing with Vista and Office 12.

ktinkel
03-14-2006, 04:28 PM
I remember your comparison of Prima, Myriad Web, and Verdana on the old forum. Vera does not have Prima's delta hinting, but I have read that delta hinting matters less with ClearType, which I have now. Yeah — Prima; that’s what it started out as.

So, the difference between Prima and Vera is that the latter lacks delta hinting? Hmm.

Gerry Kowarsky
03-14-2006, 06:11 PM
And improved letter spacing appears to be one of the features of at least some of the six new fonts Microsoft is introducing with Vista and Office 12.
That's good to hear!