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Residents of the eastern coast of the United States, where Font Bureau is located, are being warned to stay inside today because of a blizzard. I am going out to play. But for those of you still here and looking for typographic fun, here are 2 links.
José Ramón Penela has made a very good spanish translation of my article about the em. Go here to hone your linguistic and typographic knowledge all at once.
Also, there is a new interview by Jan Middendorp with me at myfonts.
For me, making typefaces is usually a tedious process: draw, revise, repeat. I often need to step away for some hours, days, or years, and let them incubate on my desk until I can determine what the next step is.
But once in a while something will hatch, fully formed, from my head. My typeface Eggwhite was like that. I was trying to doodle my way out of an endless meeting when it happened. I could see exactly how the typeface would look. I just had to draw it before I forgot.
Since the year 2000, when Eggwhite was released ...
The em is an important and basic thing in typography, but its definition can be quite tricky. If you ask a type designer, a typographer, and a software engineer to define the em, you will probably get three different answers. The answers will not necessarily contradict each other; they are just from different points of view.
the typographer’s em
Let’s start with probably the most common usage of the term ‘em’, what I will call the typographer’s em. You probably encountered it early on in your typographic education.
The typographer’s em, a horizontal space, is equal ...
“The bas-relief was a rough rectangle less than an inch thick and about five by six inches in area; obviously of modern origin. Its designs, however, were far from modern in atmosphere and suggestion; for although the vagaries of cubism and futurism are many and wild, they do not often reproduce that cryptic regularity which lurks in prehistoric writing. And writing of some kind the bulk of the designs seemed certainly to be; though my memory, despite much familiarity with the papers and collections of my uncle, failed in any way to identify this particular species, or even to hint ...
Creating typefaces isn’t as easy as you might think...
A drawing from a sketchbook, exploring the possibilities of the phonetic alphabet...
One of the things I have struggled with as a type designer is explaining what I do for a living. This was especially true when I was starting out. I might be at a party with my girlfriend, now my wife, and we would be meeting some new people for the first time. At some point, one of these people would ask, “So Cyrus, what is your job?” I lived in particular fear of this question. I knew it would involve a lot of explanation about what a typeface is, how drawing them really is my job, and that it ...
The history of screen fonts is also the history of electronic authoring, design and publishing on computers. For over 30 years, from early electronic publishing, to the Internet of publishing today, screen fonts have proved of growing concern to users and publishers. What’s good? Or more appropriately: What are good options that should be available to users? Or to “Our” users?
Personal computers began with aliased screen fonts, otherwise known as black and white, or just plain bitmaps. In the mid-90’s Adobe introduced a version of Adobe Type Manager which produced anti-aliased type. Then in 1999, as Apple released its tenth operating system, anti-aliased type came to the Mac. Microsoft announced its own anti-aliased type rendering in 1999, then included various anti-aliasing options in Windows starting in 2002, and now, Microsoft’s most recent OS release contains anti-aliased type by default and a collection of fonts made especially for the purpose.