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Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:08 am
by Psymon
I present to thee... Ye Alde Font Familie!

This set of fonts is based on the metal type created by the 16th-century London-based printer, John Alde. Below is a single, simple graphic showing the 5 fonts that are in this family, with their having been faithfully-reproduced in digital format from the original Renaissance-era sources, and now enhanced with the full extended character sets, Greek character sets, numerous ligatures and symbols, fractions and alternative fractions, and many other improvements which simply weren’t possible in days of yore, of course — a typographic project half a millennium in the making! ;)

After debating with myself for years now whether or not to try to sell these, I've finally decided to give 'em away, and release them under the SIL Open Font License -- although I would naturally love some feedback on them, if perchance anyone sees anything that I may have done wrong, or which could use a little improvement, before I do release them "officially" and start sharing them around the web and via social media.

You can download all 5 of my fonts here at this link...

...along with the character sets (in PDF format) as well. On that web page, you can see the WOFF files "in action," too, embedded into the web page and used throughout (although I have as yet not embedded the font anywhere else on my site -- totally revising my entire website in a variety of ways is another long-term project of mine)

And if you scroll down below the font info/download links, you'll see that I also used an adaptation of the WOFF test from FontCreator in order for people to preview and play around with them or whatever (I'm deeply grateful to Erwin Denissen for kindly giving me permission to use that script, and for helping me "de-bug" it, etc. for use via my website, with various modifications on both my and his part). In fact, that's probably the best way to preview my fonts, via that pseudo-WOFF test thingie there on the page (scroll down), far better than my posting a pile of sample images here or something. I'm quite sure that over time I'll probably make some edits to the text (descriptions, etc.) that's there, having only just put it all together recently, but I'd naturally be very curious if anyone has any feedback and/or suggestions for improvements that could be done there, too. :)

You'll find quite a few little surprises in my fonts re the ligatures, I'm sure -- for example, hit the question mark twice and you'll get what was actually the original question mark in Alde's 16th-century font, or hit the exclamation mark multiple times and see it jump up and down, or the question + exclamation marks for the unique interrobang, or even just hit your period a few times and watch the ball roll along. And for that "Ye" ligature, just type the thorn character (either upper- or lowercase, depending which you're shooting for) and an "e," and there you go!

All sorts of little goodies in there! Hope ye typophiliac heathens like 'em! :D

alde-og-image.jpg (843.38 KiB) Viewed 5797 times
OFLLogoRectGray.gif (864 Bytes) Viewed 5878 times

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:02 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
I think Night Cappes would be better if you dual-mapped upper and lowercase to each glyph, so A should be mapped to both 65 and 97, B to 66 and 98, etc.

As it is, typing any lowercase character (except for e) has no visible effect.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:07 pm
by Psymon
Interesting.. although I'm too stupid (inexperienced) to know how to do that. :(

Now that you've suggested it, Bhikkhu, can you explain to me how? ;)

Oh, and the reason I left the "e" in (along with the thorn characters, too) was simply to facilitate creating the AE, OE and Ye ligatures that are in there (in case people type in a lowercase "e" instead of the uppercase, or aren't sure what font they might ultimately end up using or something). In that regard, perhaps that might be a reason to NOT do what you were suggesting?

When I first created that decorative initial font, too, I had created smaller versions of those initials for the lowercase -- but then I looked at a whole pile of decorative initial fonts that I have, and pretty much all of them (or certainly the vast majority of them) basically just use the uppercase letters. So I then changed my mind about doing it that way and just decided to go with the flow, with uppercase-only.

So with all that said -- and despite my initial comment in my reply here -- perhaps it's just good enough to leave well enough alone???

Thank you for the feedback, though! :)

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:41 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Just removing the mapping from the "e" glyph, and delete all lowercase glyphs.

Use the glyph properties toolbar to apply two or more code-points (separated with a comma) to any glyph.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:49 pm
by Psymon
But I already have deleted all the lowercase glyphs -- except for the "e," of course, but why would I remove the mapping for that one, when it's needed to make those ligatures?

I think maybe this might be complicating things more than they need to be -- like I said, almost all decorative initial fonts are basically just the uppercase letters and that's it, and my font is already more "complicated" than that, with those ligatures that I have (the only reason I left all the punctuation and stuff in is in case someone with no sense for design decides they want to actually write sentences with that font -- which it shouldn't be used for, and isn't really conducive for, but ya never know). ;)

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:09 pm
by MikeW
Wonderful Psymon! You've had your baby...

RE mapping. Just because some/many/most decorative initials didn't bother to multi-map doesn't mean it isn't good practice. In some cases, font menus can be affected, the icon itself can be, etc.

It's easy to do. Myself I would just delete the lowercase e and multi-map all the lowercase in the uppercase slots. It isn't like copying the outlines from A to a, for instance.

Here's a screen shot for the letter P
capture-002430.png (9.63 KiB) Viewed 5854 times

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:28 pm
by Psymon
Thanks for the congrats on my baby, Mike! Here -- have a cigar! :lol:

Re the mapping thing, although I was initially intrigued -- at least, in the first half of my first response to Bhikkhu's suggestion -- I just don't really see the point of bothering with it. Practically no other decorative initial fonts bother with that, they just have the uppercase slots filled and that's it. After all, that's how people are using decorative initials -- as the first letter of the first word in a paragraph, basically (or in contexts similar to that).

I have decorative initial fonts put out by Adobe and other "big name" font foundries like that, and nobody else bothers with that -- and if someone is trying to use a decorative initial thinking that hitting a lowercase character should be giving them something, well, I think they probably don't know why they're using the decorative initial in the first place (as an uppercase character).

Sorry, I don't mean to pooh-pooh this suggestion, but really, I just don't see the point in complicating things (let alone troubling myself over that) when nobody else in the world seems to be bothered with doing that. If you hit a lowercase key and get nothing, well, if you hit a number you also get nothing, too -- that's not what that particular font is for. :mrgreen:

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:55 pm
by Psymon
Well, crappity-crap. I don't know if it's because I've been up all night long, pounding back the coffees -- a combination of totally tired, and totally wired -- but now I was just looking at the pangrams text sample option in the preview form on my website, using my blackletter font, and all of a sudden it looks like some of my characters are off.

Namely, the lowercase "j," "q," and especially the "z" look like they should be moved down a bit, they're "up" too much in comparison to the other letters.

Am I seeing things? You can try it there, or if you've happened to installed that font (Blacke Magick), try this text here -- I'm not sure, but I'm wondering if my "w" is just a tad too big, too.

Ugh, I don't know any more! Could be the tiredness (and wiredness).

Here's the pangram text, though, if anyone out there can be bothered to try it out, and give me a second opinion on that...

Typophiles weave dreams of quoins, kerning and juggling complex beziers. Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud. Six big devils from Japan quickly forgot how to waltz. Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx. We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize. Grumpy wizards make toxic brew for the evil Queen and Jack. Back in my quaint garden jaunty zinnias vie with flaunting phlox. How razorback jumping frogs can level six piqued gymnasts. Breezily jangling $3,416,857,209 wise advertiser ambles to the bank, his exchequer amplified. Five big quacking zephyrs jolt my wax bed. Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag. Crazy Fredrick bought many very exquisite opal jewels. Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. How quickly daft jumping zebras vex. Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:32 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
The more one looks, the more one sees. It is best to leave it and return to the job later when it's "good enough."
  • There are some odd things happening when typing ii, which changes to ij, and with ij. Better stretch the j down a bit to accommodate the i before j than move the i up.
  • q and j descenders could be stretch downwards to match descender of p
  • Right bowl of w is too heavy rather then the glyph being too big. Match the right of the v to give the right-hand bowl of the w more breathing space.
Just some idea that might help
w on v before.png
w on v before.png (21.34 KiB) Viewed 5838 times
w on v after.png
w on v after.png (21 KiB) Viewed 5838 times
z stretched downwards.png
z stretched downwards.png (41.25 KiB) Viewed 5838 times
q descender stretch downwards.png
q descender stretch downwards.png (50.52 KiB) Viewed 5838 times
j moved down and descender modified.png
j moved down and descender modified.png (38.07 KiB) Viewed 5838 times

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:51 pm
by Psymon
Thank you, Bhikkhu, some good advice in your reply in which letters to compare to get the glyphs sized right.

I'm just waking up now (literally) and I'm not quite awake yet, but let me get some coffee in me and I'll take another look at these glyphs, with your advice in mind. And re ii changing to ij (or iii to iij, or even iiii to iiij), that was intentional, of course, and meant to emulate how many early printers sypeset that.

Stretching the descenders of certain characters to match each other is definitely an interesting idea -- although in some respects it's okay (to me) if there are "weird anomalies" in this font, because that's most definitely how the original font looked. It's not meant to look "perfect," but rather it's the various imperfections in it that give it character -- at least, in my mind that's the case. :D

But for sure, after my coffee, and once I have my noggin working again, I'll definitely take a look at things again with your suggestions in mind.

I find this SO frustrating! So many, many times I've thought that I was "finished" with my fonts, that everything was fine... only to then suddenly start discovering all sorts of little things that need fixing up. It leaves one so hesitant to actually come out with an "official" release of one's font! I don't know if this happens to you, too, but that seems to keep happening to me, over and over again.

Ugh! :roll:

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:00 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
I revised my Pali Font many times since 2008; at least a couple of times last year. It is not finished yet.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:05 pm
by Psymon
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:00 pm I revised my Pali Font many times since 2008; at least a couple of times last year. It is not finished yet.
Where/how do you share your fonts? Do you only do so through your own website?

That's one of my concerns, actually, about putting my fonts out there with an SIL license -- anyone else can grab them, and post them to other font download sites, but then I'll end up with all these old, not-quite-so-well-made versions of my fonts floating around out there.

What can ya do, though, eh? I suppose the only alternative is to just keep my fonts to myself, and never share them with anyone, always worrying that at some point in the future I"ll find something that needs fixing up -- but what's the point in creating fonts at all if you're not going to share them for others to use?

I guess having old, not-as-good versions "out there" is just the nature of this beast, and all one can do is learn to live with it. What else can ya do? :roll:

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:37 pm
by Psymon
I'm curious, Bhikkhu -- where were those screenshots from that you posted earlier? They don't look like they came from FC. Is there another, third-party program that's handy to have for stuff like this? I don't mean what program did you use to take the screenshots (I have FastStone Capture as well), of course, I mean whatever it was that you were comparing the glyphs in like that, side-by-side like that -- doesn't look like FC to me.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:12 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Yes, it is all screen shots from FontCreator 11.5. The background image for v is moved across after scrolling to w to reposition it over the right half. The grid is hidden, which is always the first thing I do on starting a new font. I usually save images with transparency to look better on the forum. This one is without it.
Comparison Toolbar and Background Image.png
Comparison Toolbar and Background Image.png (65.63 KiB) Viewed 5814 times
BTW: I just did a search for Cankama and found a couple of site hosting it without permission. One version was from 2009, and the other was from 2013. The latest version is 2018. People who download free fonts from these crooks get what they deserve — out of date and inferior fonts. My aim is not to make money, so I don't care much. These are the terms on my font page:
  1. Are these fonts copyright? Yes. Although they are free, they are subject to copyright under the GNU License. You may modify the fonts, include glyphs in your own fonts, and even sell your modified versions, but if you do they must also be released under the same GNU License terms. Modified versions must be renamed.
  2. Can I host your fonts on my web site? No. Please do not redistribute my fonts, but post a link to this page to ensure that everyone can get the latest versions and other new fonts. I regularly update and improve my fonts, and I wish to ensure that users always have the latest versions.

Re: Ye Alde Font Familie

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:18 pm
by Psymon
Well, la-di-da -- how cool! I had no idea that feature was even in there in FC, to compare glyphs like that. Awesome! I learn something new about this software every day (way to go, Erwin!). :D

And re people stealing your efforts and posting them elsewhere, sadly that's just the nature of the internet. Although I'm relatively new to font design (compared to you helpful folks out there), I've been doing web/graphic design since the 1990s, and I can't tell you how often people have stolen my graphics, etc. and used them on their own sites, sometimes even taking digital artwork that I've done and erasing my titling, copyright, etc. and slapping their own on instead.

At first, in those early years, I used to complain and try to go after these people, but when they're off in Russia or over in Asia somewhere (with my being in Canada), there's not a heck of a lot you can do if they just ignore you -- that's also the "nature of this beast," I guess.

Like you, Bhikkhu, I'm also seeking peace of mind in this lifetime, and and that's something that's a pretty good lesson in "letting go" and "non-attachment," I suppose. :roll:

EDIT: Going to that first external link you posted, with the site that has your 2009 font, my Malwarbytes gave me a "Website blocked due to trojan" warning -- sure hope you didn't get infected! :shock: