Font Easter Egg

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Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:46 am

An Easter egg is an intentional inside joke or hidden message/ feature.

Almost 20 years ago I discovered one in Times New Roman Regular. Versions 2.00 (Windows 95) and 2.50 (Windows 98) contain a glyph named smiggring as shown below:
smiggring.png
smiggring.png (26.36 KiB) Viewed 2467 times


Version 1.00 supplied with Windows 3.1 didn't include the glyph. The glyph was dropped after version 2.50.

Smigg seems to means something like dope, hot, or swagg.

The font also contains a secret language id (0x0F00) which holds this Trademark naming field:
IanP SusanL GWade MikeDu GregH EliK PPathe & RobNo.

I could identify some of the abbreviated names, Ian Puttergill, Geraldine Wade, Michael Duggan, Greg Hitchcock (who still works at Microsoft), Peter Pathe, and Robert Norton. Can anyone confirm the names are correct, and who are the others?

Since smiggring contains 5 faces and there are 8 names, I wonder who they are.

If you know other font related Easter eggs, let me know!
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:09 am

I don't know if this counts as a proper Easter Egg, but if you select the Keyboard or dice symbols in my fonts, then apply bold and/or italics, you may get a surprise. I reasoned that people don't usually apply attributes to symbols, so it was a way to include more designs without using OpenType features or increasing the number of glyphs.

Keyboards.png
Keyboards.png (12.19 KiB) Viewed 2464 times


Ulrich Stiehl informs us that if you purchase a font at Linotype Library GmbH, they will insert your address and email into the font.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:32 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I don't know if this counts as a proper Easter Egg, but if you select the Keyboard or dice symbols in my fonts, then apply bold and/or italics, you may get a surprise. I reasoned that people don't usually apply attributes to symbols, so it was a way to include more designs without using OpenType features or increasing the number of glyphs.

Keyboards.png

Awesome. That is a typeface Easter egg!

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Ulrich Stiehl informs us that if you purchase a font at Linotype Library GmbH, they will insert your address and email into the font.

They will do that to prevent piracy. We do something similar with our software, although it is not embedded.

Letterhead Fonts have FontGuard.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Alfred » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:20 am

Erwin Denissen wrote:The font also contains a secret language id (0x0F00) which holds this Trademark naming field:
IanP SusanL GWade MikeDu GregH EliK PPathe & RobNo.

I could identify some of the abbreviated names, Ian Puttergill, Geraldine Wade, Michael Duggan, Greg Hitchcock (who still works at Microsoft), Peter Pathe, and Robert Norton. Can anyone confirm the names are correct, and who are the others?

SusanL and EliK will be Sue Lightfoot and Eliyezer Kohen. I think IanP is Ian Patterson.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Alfred » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:28 am

Erwin Denissen wrote:Since smiggring contains 5 faces and there are 8 names, I wonder who they are.

I've just found this.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:43 pm

Alfred thank you!

So from left to right:
Geraldine Wade, Sue Lightfoot, Greg Hitchcock, Ian Patterson, and Michael Duggan
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:07 pm

So who is EliK?
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby MikeW » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Erwin, up a couple posts, bottom of one of Alfred's posts. EliK is identified as Eliyezer Kohen.

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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:45 pm

Erwin Denissen wrote:Letterhead Fonts have FontGuard.

At least they encrypt the data, and clearly state that the data is embedded in the fonts.

I wonder if the data is included in GmbH fonts when they are embedded in documents or PDF files?

There are also legitimate reasons for sharing a copyrighted font, as people sometimes do here, in order to solve problems, and not in order to violate anyone's rights. If the data is not encrypted, there is a privacy issue.

I would say that embedding user's data without their permission is the action one might expect of Spyware, not legitimate use of DRM.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby MikeW » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:16 pm

I believe it was LHF that use to have a much more intrusive scheme. I don't know if I care about it if they are using this method or not. They don't think it can be removed. I don't think Adobe thought it would be less than 24 hours before CC was cracked, either.

Point is that unless the scheme is intrusive, it doesn't bother me. But LHF's scheme has likely been broken into by whomever smart enough to do it.

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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Alfred » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:45 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I wonder if the data is included in GmbH fonts when they are embedded in documents or PDF files?

Just as an FYI, the "GmbH" in "Linotype Library GmbH" is the German equivalent of "Ltd" in the UK or "BV" in the Netherlands; i.e. it indicates that it's a private limited company.
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby MikeW » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:16 am

There are also legitimate reasons for sharing a copyrighted font, as people sometimes do here, in order to solve problems, and not in order to violate anyone's rights.

Not unless the EULA gives explicit permission to do so. Not even to a vendor for which there are issues with a font. Most every type foundry with a EULA that prohibits conveying a font to another party will generally not go after a software vendor when one of their fonts have an issue. But they can and do go after even service bureaus under certain circumstances.

Take Adobe for instance. One cannot legally hand over their fonts to a third-party. Period. There is only a single exception and that is using their packaged file command which creates a document fonts folder where the fonts are not technically installed on the user's computer when the ID/AI/PS file is loaded into its respective software. Adobe applications will load the fonts into memory if they find them in a document fonts folder, basically like the Load function in MT.

But even now with people using CC and Typekit fonts, those do not package. The service bureau or other third-party has to have a subscription to the Typekit service. I think this is Adobe's way of getting around the packaging of fonts and passing it along to others.

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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:04 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Ulrich Stiehl informs us that if you purchase a font at Linotype Library GmbH, they will insert your address and email into the font.

With web fonts you can also expect this to happen, as WOFF files can contain a ExtendedMetadata and/or a PrivateData block that the font designer, foundry, or vendor can use for informal, custom, and private data. For example:

ExtendedMetadata:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<metadata version="1.0">
<uniqueid id="12e45-53535-02ab071h" />
</metadata>

PrivateData:
encryptedcustomerinformation=scrambledinformation (e.g. ClientA is allowed to serve this web font at SpecificDomainB.com)
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Erwin Denissen » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:17 am

Still not 100% (is it Ian Puttergill or Ian Patterson), but so far:

IanP SusanL GWade MikeDu GregH EliK PPathe & RobNo
Ian Puttergill or Ian Patterson, Sue Lightfoot, Geraldine Wade, Michael Duggan, Greg Hitchcock, Eliyezer Kohen, Peter Pathe, and Robert Norton.

And the face from the smiggring from left to right:
Geraldine Wade, Sue Lightfoot, Greg Hitchcock, Ian Patterson, and Michael Duggan
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Re: Font Easter Egg

Postby Alfred » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:44 pm

Erwin Denissen wrote:Still not 100% (is it Ian Puttergill or Ian Patterson), but so far:

IanP SusanL GWade MikeDu GregH EliK PPathe & RobNo
Ian Puttergill or Ian Patterson, Sue Lightfoot, Geraldine Wade, Michael Duggan, Greg Hitchcock, Eliyezer Kohen, Peter Pathe, and Robert Norton.

And the face from the smiggring from left to right:
Geraldine Wade, Sue Lightfoot, Greg Hitchcock, Ian Patterson, and Michael Duggan

Given that the Ian P in the smiggring is Ian Patterson, it seems unlikely that the Ian P in the group of eight would be a different Ian P. If two of them were around at the same time, I would expect the abbreviation to be IanPa or IanPu to distinguish between them (in the same way as Michael Duggan and Robert Norton are MikeDu and RobNo instead of just MikeD and RobN).
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