PDA

View Full Version : New Downer font


ktinkel
07-24-2005, 01:09 PM
Paperback (http://www.houseind.com/index.php?page=showfont&id=171&subpage=viewfontspecimens) by John Downer is an extended family of size-modeled text and display fonts, including sets of small caps and old style figures and a dingbat/ornament font.

The entire collection includes text fonts (in 6, 9, and 12-point models; with roman, small caps, bold, and italic, multiple styles of figures and fractions, historic ligatures, and ornaments); and display (in 24, 48, and 96-point masters in roman and italic). The two sets are also available separately.

Available for Mac OS X, older Macs, and Windows.

From House Industries.

House is also offering a 10th anniversary retrospective book, House (http://www.houseindustries.com/index.php?page=showfont&id=143). Fancy printing (six colors, varnishes, variety of papers), five fonts included.

Norman Hathaway
07-24-2005, 05:18 PM
i took his workshop last wednesday, on speedball lettering, and he just received the specimen booklets during the class.

not wild about the character shapes, but i support obsessive size modeling and shaping for ink traps/flow.

ktinkel
07-25-2005, 08:40 AM
not wild about the character shapes, but i support obsessive size modeling and shaping for ink traps/flow.Me, too. The possibility of size-adjusted type was the great (unrealized) benefit of multiple master fonts. Maybe this approach will find wider favor among users.

I’m not gung-ho for the roman characters in Paperback either (but hasten to say that I have only seen the face in online specimens, which is not a fair showing).

I do like the italic, as it avoids that loose softness so common to many Century-like faces. I like the crispness, the horizontal serifs, the neat fit, and especially the k — the flirty kickup leg is charming (and easy to fit, too).

Stephen Coles
08-01-2005, 09:30 PM
Other post-MM families with size-specific cuts: ITC Founder's Caslon (http://www.itcfonts.com/ulc/article.asp?nCo=AFMT&sec=ulc&issue=25.3.2&art=caslon), ITC Bodoni (http://stonetypefoundry.com/html_pages/BodoniOverview.html), Cycles (http://stonetypefoundry.com/html_pages/CyclesOverview.html), HTF Didot (http://www.typography.com/catalog/didot/features.html).

ktinkel
08-02-2005, 09:46 AM
Other post-MM families with size-specific cuts: ITC Founder's Caslon (http://www.itcfonts.com/ulc/article.asp?nCo=AFMT&sec=ulc&issue=25.3.2&art=caslon), ITC Bodoni (http://stonetypefoundry.com/html_pages/BodoniOverview.html), Cycles (http://stonetypefoundry.com/html_pages/CyclesOverview.html), HTF Didot (http://www.typography.com/catalog/didot/features.html).Actually, all of those were developed and released while multiple master fonts were still being produced at Adobe (and used and supported).

And all, for different reasons, were more effective than any of Adobe’s MM fonts with a size axis.

Monotype used to make size-modeled fonts, both photo and (a few) digital — Times Seven, for example. Typesetters were not particularly receptive, however. It was too much trouble to switch in the middle of a job, especially as clients often failed to notice the difference.

Always seems to work out that way, somehow. :-(

donmcc
08-02-2005, 10:24 AM
> too much trouble to switch in the middle of a job

Or the shop was too cheap to buy two fonts. I remember using a marker to fill in ink traps in Avant Garde, where the company bought only the text size, which meant massive traps when used at 72 point.

Don McCahill

ktinkel
08-02-2005, 11:41 AM
Or the shop was too cheap to buy two fonts. I remember using a marker to fill in ink traps in Avant Garde, where the company bought only the text size, which meant massive traps when used at 72 point.Yeah, that too.

I once produced a quarterly that used ITC Eras Ultra at about 80 point in the nameplate, and the client (running its own Compugraphic system) had only a text font and just blew it up. The traps made it look like a completely different face.

I think I finally redid it with Letraset, and swapped in a stat. Nobody seemed to notice, either way. Yikes.

tphinney
08-06-2005, 12:56 PM
Paperback is a nice piece of work.

You know, I'm starting to think that there may be more people doing quite good text faces now than at any previous point in history.

Cheers,

T

ktinkel
08-06-2005, 01:53 PM
Paperback is a nice piece of work.

You know, I'm starting to think that there may be more people doing quite good text faces now than at any previous point in history.Good thing, too. We need ’em.

Much as I love the classical revivals — Bembo; the Garamonds true and not, including Sabon and Granjon; Janson; etc. — it has been ages since I used any of them. Faces designed recently, even if they don’t sing to me fundamentally, work better for today’s printing qualities and reader (not to mention designer) taste.

So I am happy to see serious development in text types now. Surprised, somewhat, but happy.

Norman Hathaway
08-06-2005, 04:40 PM
i think the craftsmanship on paperback is good- i just find the character shapes a bit quaint.

did you see the photolettering talk ? that was one of the few things i'd have liked to have seen at typecon.

ktinkel
08-06-2005, 05:47 PM
did you see the photolettering talk ? that was one of the few things i'd have liked to have seen at typecon.No. Is it online somewhere?

tphinney
08-07-2005, 12:02 PM
I missed most of it. Damn shame, it was reportedly very cool - nothing like seeing a sprightly 100-year-old guy expounding on stuff....

T

ktinkel
08-07-2005, 12:10 PM
I missed most of it. Damn shame, it was reportedly very cool - nothing like seeing a sprightly 100-year-old guy expounding on stuff....Is Rondthaler 100? It makes sense, given his long history in the business, but I saw him a few years ago and would have easily chopped 20 years off that sort of age.

Do you have his Life with Letters … as they turned photogenic? It is widely available (most of them inscribed by the author — my copy was Tony Stan’s). I see that Alibris (http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?S=R&qisbn=0803843402&qsort=p&siteID=OmE0YUiQlCg-FkZa_tpbe_UUr4zrQ1GP_Q) lists three copies on the linked page, from $20 to an astonishing $80 (mine cost $5 about 8 years ago).

It contains a lot of typographic history from the post-war years through the 1970s. A good read.

fhaber
08-08-2005, 08:34 AM
From a type novice..

To these increasingly superannuated and rheumy eyes, the very mechanical faceting on the smaller "point sizes" almost perfect reproduces the look of handmade and very used loose type on uncalendared paper. I'm a bit amazed. I thought funky was funky, and you had to have a "funk generator" set to "subtle" to get that effect (g).

It's left to the user to use the right "size," in the right circumstances, yes?

How come I never saw optical effects this good in early MM fonts? Not that I looked that hard, but my eyes were better then.

-Frank

ktinkel
08-08-2005, 09:52 AM
To these increasingly superannuated and rheumy eyes, the very mechanical faceting on the smaller "point sizes" almost perfect reproduces the look of handmade and very used loose type on uncalendared paper. I'm a bit amazed. I thought funky was funky, and you had to have a "funk generator" set to "subtle" to get that effect (g).

It's left to the user to use the right "size," in the right circumstances, yes?Yep. If the user only will.

How come I never saw optical effects this good in early MM fonts? Not that I looked that hard, but my eyes were better then.Timidity or market realities. One problem with multiple master fonts as they emerged was that the user had to create (or select) an appropriate instance. It seemed to cause difficulties for many (or seem unimportant, maybe), so users often used the provided instances, appropriate or not.

But it also seemed to me as if the developers also hedged their bets, and made sure any size would tolerate being set at 10 or 12 point as well as display sizes (regardless of instance), which had the effect of minimizing the size-based differences.

And in the end, use of a size axis wasn’t all that common (most of the MM fonts had weight and width). Adobe Jenson was pretty good, though (it had an intermediate master size, not just small and large, which helped). Minion was less successful (IMHO, of course).

I wish multiple master fonts had been more successful, but the approach Downer takes — essentially using something like MM technology to create a bunch of fonts designed for specific sizes — may be more acceptable to users.

Norman Hathaway
08-08-2005, 10:45 AM
I think the problem was simply that 99% of users don't know what a size model IS. So it was too unclear to them, what the advantages of using MM would be. I think most used ot to create squashed and streched variants. If Adobe had explained its usefulness a bit better, perhaps it would have been more successful.

ktinkel
08-08-2005, 11:42 AM
I think the problem was simply that 99% of users don't know what a size model IS. So it was too unclear to them, what the advantages of using MM would be. I think most used ot to create squashed and streched variants.MMs generall allow only for adjustment within the provided axes. Width is a common one, but the benefit was that the characters were not squished (i.e., distorted), but created in different widths of balanced proportion. That axis works pretty well in the MM fonts I’ve seen.

Now the late-lamented FontChameleon would let you squish and stretch (among other things). But it usually seems to me that if people want to do that, they just use the set width adjustment in their layout app to do it, with the likely, oh so graceful “meatloaf-on-a-toothpick” effect.

If Adobe had explained its usefulness a bit better, perhaps it would have been more successful.It is easy to agree with that, but of course we have 20/20 hindsight, a nice luxury. Maybe users were just not all that interested — dunno. It was wonderful stuff for those of us who read Walter Tracy on size-modeling for pleasure, but it sounded like Greek to a lot of others.

If users could rename created instances — so the names made sense and weren’t a bizarre string of letters and numbers — MMs would have caught on better.

If Adobe had forged alliances so that applications handled instance creation, MMs would have been more successful. For sure, Illustrator should have been able to create appropriate instances on the fly.

For one brief and interesting interval, XPress did do something like that. (You could type the spec string in the font selection window and that instance of the font would appear on the screen). But the feature disappeared between two adjacent versions, and so much for that. It almost seemed like an accident.

MMs are water under the bridge now. Alas.

Michael Rowley
08-08-2005, 01:04 PM
KT:

essentially using something like MM technology to create a bunch of fonts designed for specific sizes

I wonder how many sizes are needed in practice: Adobe seems to have adopted four sizes (which it labels 'caption', 'text', 'subheading', & 'display'), but the few faces available in several sizes seem to have five or more regular sizes (plus weight & style variants).

ktinkel
08-08-2005, 01:22 PM
I wonder how many sizes are needed in practice: Adobe seems to have adopted four sizes (which it labels 'caption', 'text', 'subheading', & 'display'), but the few faces available in several sizes seem to have five or more regular sizes (plus weight & style variants).It could logically enough depend on the type design, at least in some cases.

In others, the designer means to provide useful subsets for various types of uses — corporate, book production, magazines, and so on — and the wild variety of sizes and styles aren’t meant to be bought altogether. I believe Erik Spiekermann’s extended Meta family was designed that way.

But there is also raging feature-itis in all marketing enterprises these days, which might also explain some of it.

Not too many years (well, decades) ago one would expect an extended text family to include roman, semibold, and bold. As ITC developed its library, it usually offered four weights. That surely was at least partly marketing, but it probably also reflected the fact that the type was designed with advertising in mind rather than book work.

tphinney
08-08-2005, 04:52 PM
Is Rondthaler 100? It makes sense, given his long history in the business, but I saw him a few years ago and would have easily chopped 20 years off that sort of age.

Yep, Ed Rondthaler is a sprightly 100! I'd be happy to even reach 85 and be functioning that well.

Do you have his Life with Letters … as they turned photogenic?

No, I'll have to look for that. Thanks!

There was a cool little booklet of reminiscences of Ed's at TypeCon, but oddly enough it wasn't typographic, more general. Perhaps there was some typographic stuff futher on and I just didn't read far enough yet....

Regards,

T

Michael Rowley
08-08-2005, 04:59 PM
KT:

It could logically enough depend on the type design

I suppose it should do.

The number of font families supplied in 'optical sizes' supplied by Adobe would indicate that that company does not regard them as a gimmick to attract sales, but some people obviously do.

The now customary links in applications to italic, bold, and bold italic has made weights such as 'medium' and 'semibold' a bit difficult to use: I find the different weights and sizes in one family alone (Minion Pro Opticals) difficult to manage without a crib!

Norman Hathaway
08-09-2005, 05:39 AM
Speaking of Illustrator- I'm still puzzled why they don't offer you the choice to create proper outlines for type (as opposed to stroking). Or a few trad drop shadow effects - dimensional drop shadow, slip line etc.

Call Tom!

ktinkel
08-09-2005, 06:38 AM
Speaking of Illustrator- I'm still puzzled why they don't offer you the choice to create proper outlines for type (as opposed to stroking). Or a few trad drop shadow effects - dimensional drop shadow, slip line etc.Illustrator has long had a (tedious) method for accomplishing outlines (not so very different, actually, than what we used to do in a stat camera). But not, they are not true outlines, I guess, since they are based on stroking various layers. (The process was described in the manual to the very first version of the software.)

As for drop shadows, there are some tools in current versions of AI for some of that stuff. I only do it for fun, so cannot say to be an expert, but look at 3D and Warp in the Effects menu.

Norman Hathaway
08-09-2005, 12:14 PM
i use both and know how to get results.
just lame on adobe's part not to automate it as it's used (and misused) so often.

ktinkel
08-09-2005, 02:00 PM
i use both and know how to get results.
just lame on adobe's part not to automate it as it's used (and misused) so often.It is a bit odd. Are those things easier to do in FreeHand or Corel Draw?

Norman Hathaway
08-09-2005, 02:42 PM
no

but odd you have the choice to stroke 3 ways in photoshop

ktinkel
08-09-2005, 02:49 PM
but odd you have the choice to stroke 3 ways in photoshopIt used to be that Adobe development was done by autonomous teams (logically enough, as only Illustrator was originally built in-house and the other programs all came with baggage, and probably with programmers).

They put a lot of effort into coordinating their software a few years ago (making users very cranky, me among them!), and with CS seem to be going further with that. But there still seem to be odd discordances between some features in the programs.

It is odd that Photoshop would allow for better stroking than Illustrator!

Stephen Owades
08-10-2005, 07:19 AM
Illustrator has long had a (tedious) method for accomplishing outlines (not so very different, actually, than what we used to do in a stat camera). But not, they are not true outlines, I guess, since they are based on stroking various layers. (The process was described in the manual to the very first version of the software.)

As for drop shadows, there are some tools in current versions of AI for some of that stuff. I only do it for fun, so cannot say to be an expert, but look at 3D and Warp in the Effects menu.I don't know what Norman means by "proper outlines," but Illustrator CS2 provides useful flexibility for outlining. The trick is that you have to convert the text to outlines in order to be able to specify "align stroke to center," "align stroke to inside," or "align stroke to outside"--the last of which produces a "true outline."

Norman Hathaway
08-10-2005, 11:02 AM
Now that's EXACTLY what I wanted!
Will look at it today and try it.
Thanks for the heads up Stephen!

N

ktinkel
08-10-2005, 11:11 AM
I don't know what Norman means by "proper outlines," but Illustrator CS2 provides useful flexibility for outlining. The trick is that you have to convert the text to outlines in order to be able to specify "align stroke to center," "align stroke to inside," or "align stroke to outside"--the last of which produces a "true outline."Is that in the Object menu? Not in CS, then — guess I should install CS2.

Thanks.

Stephen Owades
08-10-2005, 03:40 PM
Is that in the Object menu? Not in CS, then — guess I should install CS2.

Thanks.See the list of new features in Illustrator CS2 on Adobe's site. This link will go right to the "expanded stroke options": http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/newfeatures.html#nf7

The stroke options are in the stroke palette, along with stroke weight, miter limit, miter options, cap options, and dash options. They're greyed out when type is selected, but become available when the type has been converted to outlines.

Norman Hathaway
08-10-2005, 09:05 PM
I Love You Stephen

Norman Hathaway
08-10-2005, 09:08 PM
i rely on mediums and semis- when reversing out type, but wanting to retain the same look visually.

i don't mind weeding- i just switch off the ones i don't want in my font mgr