Food Qality Colour Shapes Font

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Food Qality Colour Shapes Font

Post by William » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:00 am

The FOOD QUALITY COLOUR SHAPES font is a special purpose font.

There is in the United Kingdom discussion about how to label packaged food in relation to fat content, salt content and so on.

A popular method is the traffic light system, where green represents the best for nutrition, such as low fat content.

I thought that it would be a good idea to have different shapes as well as different colours, all on a background that is either white or maybe light blue.

For example, red filled equilateral triangle, yellow (or maybe orange) filled square and green filled circle.

I have suggested the above shapes as they are distinctive each from the others. The edge of the shape gets smoother as the food gets better, going from jagged for red through to smooth for green.

This would mean that people with colour blindness, people with impaired vision and people looking at packages in various lighting situations would have shape information to guide them as well as colour information.

I have this morning made a font and a pdf where it is used.

I also produced some notes as I proceeded and hope that they may be of interest.

The intention is that people using the font may either use the Unicode characters or may simply use r for red, o for orange or g for green to produce the shape: y for yellow also works. The shapes are not coloured in the font and would need colour formatting in an appropriate application package.

Here is the font and the pdf.
(6.82 KiB) Downloaded 407 times
(18.12 KiB) Downloaded 448 times
Some readers might be interested to know that the font used in the text of the pdf is Trebuchet MS, which was discussed in the Fonts in use in Châlons-en-Champagne thread in this forum.


I liked that font and so have used it in this publication.

The transcript of the notes that I made while producing the FOOD QUALITY COLOUR SHAPES font follow.

William Overington

9 November 2009


Monday 9 November 2009

7:13 am

Start a new font using FontCreator 5.6, do not include outlines.

Adjust the metrics to 2048, 0, 0.

Save fonts as Food Quality Colour Shapes in FOODQUAL.TTF.

Use the word "produced" in the description for two platforms.

Tools AutoNaming... and set the date to 9 November 2009 in my preferred format.

Format Naming... and replace copyright message with a "Designed by" message.

Open my Stardisc font and copy the disc glyph into the g cell. Here g stands for green.

Produce in o, here standing for orange, a 2048 font unit by 2048 font unit square.

Copy the square into y, here standing for yellow.

Now try to produce an equilateral triangle of height 2048 font units, with its base along the x axis.

If the base is 1 unit wide, then the height is root 3 upon 2 units high.

So for each unit of height, the base is 2 upon root 3 units wide, which is 2 root 3 upon 3 units wide.

2 root 3 upon 3 is 1.1547005383792515290182975610039 to Microsoft Calculator accuracy.

2048 times 1.1547005383792515290182975610039 is 2364.826702600707131429473404936 to Microsoft Calculator accuracy.

Use 2364 font units, as it is an even number.

Half of 2364 is 1182.

Make all glyphs 2560 font units wide, using the Tools AutoMetrics... facility.

Move each of the three glyphs in g, o, y to the right by 256 font units.

In the r cell, here r standing for red, draw an equilateral triangle, using the following three points.

1280, 2048
2462, 0
98, 0

Change the .notdef glyph to become a space.

Try to add Unicode encoded versions of the shapes. is Geometric Shapes.




Add three glyphs to the font and map one to each of the above code points.

Copy the respective glyphs to those cells.

Add PostScript names.

Calculate the ranges.

Calculate the code pages.

Validate the font.

Install the font and test it.

8:12 am


8:40 am

Edit the font.

In order to be used efficiently with some application programs, the name of the font needs to be displayable using characters in the font.

Change the name of the font to become FOOD QUALITY COLOUR SHAPES using capital letters.

Set the version as version 1.01.

Open the font POP SYMBOLS and copy the capitals A through to Z into the FOOD QUALITY COLOUR SHAPES font.

The POP SYMBOLS font was chosen as all of the glyphs for capitals A through to Z are above the baseline and the font has the same metrics as the FOOD QUALITY COLOUR SHAPES font.


Install and test.

Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed caps lock from title

Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1999
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England


Post by William » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:32 am

Some readers might like to know of the following document. ... beling.pdf

My idea about using shape as well as colour is included on page 29.

The page from which the document is linked is as follows. ... nlabelling

William Overington

28 June 2010

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