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Standards for a Creditable Efficacious Font

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:12 pm
by Dave Crosby
Question: What are the standards for a creditable efficacious well formed Font?

Answer: ?

Some thoughts:
Let's not consider Symbol or strictly pictorial Fonts here.

The original computer fonts were not scalable and have fallen by the wayside.
Many commercial fonts contain errors of various kinds and lack glyphs needed to fill all possible uses. But they sell.
Initial Fonts (Caps Only) Are extremely useful in the task for which they were designed.
Fonts designed for printers do not need Hinting.
Fonts designed for the Web desperately do need Hinting.
Design criteria is so personal. What one loves, another hates.

A good font must first and foremost be: __________________________
2. _________________________________________________________
3. _________________________________________________________
4. _________________________________________________________

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:37 pm
by Dick Pape
2. Have a consistent design through all drawn characters -- Delete glyphs that aren't like the others!

1st Edit:
3. Delete all empty glyphs (Edit/Select Incompletes/Delete).
4. Make sure the names are all correctly assigned -- Font Name, Your Name, Publish Date and Version number and any thing else you wish to tell about the design/font.
5. Install the font and make sure it works properly.

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:38 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Must have:
  1. A full set of the Recommended Glyphs.
  2. Consistent design
  3. Even stroke weight
  4. Well balanced inter-character spacing
  5. A full set of four type styles (if intended for body text)

Re: Standards for a Creditable Efficacious Font

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:22 am
by William
Dave Crosby wrote:Question: What are the standards for a creditable efficacious well formed Font?

Answer: ?
I feel that it is important for a font to have a licence that is understandable and that also covers the use for which I want to use the font.

For example, I like to produce pdf documents and upload them to the web.

I am not a lawyer.

The licence agreements for many fonts are, in my opinion, unclear as to whether the font can be embedded in a pdf that is to be made available on the web.

Sometimes embedding is mentioned, but the wording often seems to imply that embedding is only allowed if the document is to be sent to a printer (business): that seems to me that embedding either is not, or might not be, allowed in a document which is to be published on the web.

There do seem to be various types of embedding, such as in a Word document or in a pdf document, and there may be different levels of security in such embeddings.

Many of my pdfs are designed to display some use of my own fonts, so I can embed the fonts in the pdf as I choose as I own the copyright of each of my own fonts, so there is no problem for me there. However, if I am trying to produce something using other fonts then I tend to use only fonts from Serif for embedding in a pdf, as Serif supplied the fonts with the PagePlus software which produces the pdfs.

Indeed I would not feel happy to use one of the many quality fonts supplied in the Gallery forum of this webspace for embedding in a pdf unless I first emailed the producer of the font to ask if that would be alright.

I have certainly avoided buying some really nice commercial fonts because I would want to use them to produce pdfs to put on the web and I am unsure that that would be allowed, so the fonts therefore have limited use for me and I have not bought them.

I often think that the chances of a professional design studio using one of my fonts is essentially nil, even if they like my design, simply because there is no formal licence through a business organization.

William Overington

2 April 2008

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:41 pm
by Dave Crosby
After initial spacing (setting Glyph Bearings), on a scale of 0-10, How important is Aspect Ration, Black Space Width, White Space Width, Overshoot, Kerning?
Is it better to keep composites or to make them simple?

More thoughts are available at: ... %20&fsize=

I think the blue factors below also need to be somewhere in the mix: ... id=Gentium
Gentium is a typeface family designed to enable the diverse ethnic groups around the world who use the Latin and Greek scripts to produce readable, high-quality publications. It supports a wide range of Latin-based alphabets and includes glyphs that correspond to all the Latin ranges of Unicode.

Image The design is intended to be highly readable, reasonably compact, and visually attractive. The additional ‘extended’ Latin letters are designed to naturally harmonize with the traditional 26 ones. Diacritics are treated with careful thought and attention to their use. Gentium also supports both polytonic and monotonic Greek, including a number of alternate forms. Expansion of the character set to include more extended Latin glyphs (Unicode 5.1), archaic Greek symbols, and full Cyrillic script support is underway and will be released in 2008.

The full Gentium fonts currently include only regular and italic faces, but two new font families - Gentium Basic and Gentium Book Basic - give a preview of what a whole range of new weights will eventually look like. The 'Basic' fonts only support a limited Latin character set (no Greek or Cyrillic). Gentium Book is a new companion family to Gentium that is altogether slightly heavier, and better suited for some publishing needs. It supports only the Basic character set at present, but will eventually match the full Gentium character set. A beta test version of the new Basic and Book Basic fonts is available, but please understand that these fonts have known problems and are not yet recommended for production environments. More info and download link here

The Gentium font families are freely available and may be used by anyone at no cost. They are released under the SIL Open Font License, a free and open source license that permits modification and redistribution. Our hope is that it will stimulate literature production and elevate extended Latin alphabets to greater parity with the basic Latin alphabet. We also hope it will encourage other type designers to appreciate and support those fascinating and beautiful extra letters.
Most Initial Fonts are poorly readable, so are only used briefly with other fonts. In my opinion taking time to add much else (possibly lower case, punctuation, and numerals) would be a waste of time.

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:01 pm
by Dick Pape
A full-figured text font is not the end-all goal of font making. If it was, we'd have ended after Helvetica was published.

"Highly readable, reasonably compact (whatever that means) and visually attractive" may be right for Gentium, but is very subjective and varies daily. The primary purpose of fonts is to convey or reinforce meaning and communication. You need different fonts for different reasons and different seasons.

Finally, Kerning is more important than Ligatures!