Cantarell: Designing Typefaces Using Only Free Software

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Cantarell: Designing Typefaces Using Only Free Software
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Cantarell Designing Typefaces Using Only Free Software
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This talk presents the techniques and software I used and developed for creating the Cantarell font family, and looks at the future of free software type design. During the last 2 years I undertook the prestigious MA Typeface Design programme at the University of Reading, UK. The course involves two major projects, a theoretical dissertation and a practical type design. I wrote about the nexus of free software and typeface design, and used only free software to design Cantarell.
Keywords Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM)
Web page Laptop Computer program Pixel Context awareness Image resolution Letterpress printing Student's t-test Shape (magazine) Mereology Food energy Wave packet Web 2.0 Mathematics Goodness of fit Bus (computing) Software testing Form (programming) Mobile Web Touchscreen Mapping Projective plane Frame problem Computer animation Integrated development environment Software Video game Cycle (graph theory) Reading (process)
Revision control Mathematics Word Computer animation Multiplication sign Alphabet (computer science) Projective plane Spacetime Adhesion
Scripting language Web page Ocean current Functional (mathematics) Computer file Multiplication sign Water vapor Computer font Metadata Revision control Type theory Computer animation Right angle Software testing Form (programming)
Mathematics Computer animation Directory service Menu (computing) Order of magnitude
Computer animation Computer font Form (programming)
Scripting language Complex (psychology) Addition Parameter (computer programming) Computer font Proper map Revision control Digital rights management Computer animation Energy level Right angle Form (programming) Physical system
Point (geometry) Curve Spline (mathematics) Expandierender Graph Shape (magazine) Endliche Modelltheorie Element (mathematics) Form (programming)
Skeleton (computer programming) Functional (mathematics) Computer animation Inheritance (object-oriented programming) Spline (mathematics) Line (geometry) Form (programming)
Word Computer animation Software testing Form (programming) Adhesion
Word Computer animation Letterpress printing
Context awareness Computer animation Order (biology) Line (geometry) Spacetime
Scripting language Addition Complex (psychology) Computer animation Inheritance (object-oriented programming) Stress (mechanics) Software testing Number
Computer animation
Medical imaging Computer animation Multiplication sign Projective plane
Computer animation
Point (geometry) Context awareness Building Service (economics) Latin square Multiplication sign Execution unit Design by contract Translation (relic) Similarity (geometry) Mereology Formal language Protein folding Mathematics Sign (mathematics) Alphabet (computer science) Software testing Extension (kinesiology) Computing platform Social class Form (programming) Scripting language Touchscreen Information Consistency Chemical equation Planning Line (geometry) Type theory Arithmetic mean Process (computing) Computer animation Blog Network topology Right angle Object (grammar) Cycle (graph theory) Resultant Reading (process)
Point (geometry) Interpolation Functional (mathematics) Theory of relativity Open source Weight Projective plane Variable (mathematics) Rule of inference Category of being Mathematics Arithmetic mean Process (computing) Software Meeting/Interview Synchronization Duality (mathematics) Iteration Family Physical system Library (computing)
all right and this talk instead be about my students
from project Cantrell which I mentioned in the previous talk very briefly and studying at University of
Reading on the masters and typeface design program and this is my student project no when you set out to design a typeface that's the reason why you're going to design it stands the reasons which you uh in a kind of reading context which is readings on mobile phones with the mobile internet the ability to you that you read a lot of stuff I mean the whole Web monument find plenty of sat on a bus or train only way around is is just part of the fabric of the life of me as I have such a fight and this is energy 1 frames running Google Android was the 1st I could go and would handset available in in England and had this web feature so that you could look at web page and if you specified custom form it would use that form and so I thought this was really a good opportunity to you design my typefaces for that specific environment which means the specific screen with the you to rock page rendering software so that was the really the the basic premise of a project designed a text typefaces for reading large amounts of text on a personal pixels screen and so you to do that there was a constant cycle between making some changes and test them out on the screen and also testing out print because it print you can really see the details in let's shapes it's very difficult I think to design a typeface only looking at the laptop screen the way that light works is very different between making something on paper and saying something on screen when militiamen screen the light is is coming at you shining the ends on paper illegal pigment on paper the life of paper to your eyes and it creates a very different kinds of the digital sections and good of the resolution of having something printed is much higher so you can really see shapes properly so those are the 2 places where I was testing the typeface and are prepared some the maps the so you can see
the evolutionary of the project so this is the very 1st version of the word adhesion and this is a word which we use at the University of writing as a kind of word allows you to you in this way allows you to test out ideas for features of the typeface and rapidly cycled through different ideas without having to deal with propagating you're ready to all the letters in the alphabet and so much click-through here you can see the quite solid changes that I was making as a typeface developed so have some space and changes in my changes and then as the typeface it kind of became stable of this was that as the features in this work became stable than I cite developing the other letters which means the changes here became less and so you can see the spacing between let's changed quite a lot even they get to shapes the letters and change and you can see here that I had at the time of tools accents which brings us as and that was the inclusion of of the fact so in terms of
testing on the right a build script using the form water Python scripting and this is
basically it's the under a snapshot functions which would be renamed the fonts metadata to apply a the the current date and time to full name and and save the version of the form based as for approach and as a TrueType font file I could then use does with the build script to also produced a that tech document which specify to use the can be generated to type form and I also produced a picture of page In the same way so that I can use the phone but using the fight I'm having script to do this made working a lot faster than my son often I was doing the stages manually retort and I can show you what this looks like in for for which this is from the can see is that so if I
made some changes this magnitude Tools menu and say next step and then the it would run through and it as a colony welcome lot of it seems but when I was your thing it would run through give me stays out of there and produce the quotes in the directory searches guess what as you can
see the the way that I wanted to say what is up with was
a lot of fonts and yeah so this is all of the forms that
used to generate the preview the solution addition argument again and say this is a very kind of rudimentary version control systems out where it's a kind of right the version control system and it would also be possible to to kind of right to check these into a proper version control system the having in this this kind of non a sophisticated way men be was very easy to deal with like I didn't have to deal with the Beijing trolls systems have been going back reverting to certain provisions again to get to the form from a effusions again use his downfall system named in a sensible way and I think that's going forwards using version control systems for designing fonts that the the level of complexity of intro already has to be about very simple level it's very visible what's happening and just using the regular false systems and generate a fall manager this way I was very comfortable doing but I think that there's a lot of room for improvement with active thank you that was a build script and the of the big thing designing this it
was only used sparse point to do all of the design work and so that the good side that was that the I did when when you're designing a left form them you can see here that you've got this curve on for the inside of the the and this and these together give you a single shape which ought to look like it's been made through a model waiting to sit at the 2 elements together will to look like they belong together and using spiry splines I found it quite difficult to create that allusion to the to use the 2 separate curves belong together and even that even though each have individually is 1st there is now a very good featuring for forge for dealing with that so that if you placed a spotlight down the and then you can also stay is called the expand stroke feature and you can pass stayed pending kind shape this so for example we we can take a flat which is exactly what about a rectangular shape with
do impostor over that's these forest line and say this function gives you face to the outer edges which all by definition related because it's they've been created from that parent and skeleton spline and that's line is is guaranteed sneeze because as far as say this feature I think is something which I would have liked to have like fatteners developing the form said I kids have that as a kind of going to work from and as I continue to develop the form then this is something I'm going to be looking at the so if as say a started developing
a form with the word adhesion and then continued to build out the rest lowercase and increase the capitals and as I got more more complicated then the testing documents generating had to change so he considered typical testing document at the beginning of
at the very beginning was like this and that this is
just a random words can curated with the characters from our 1st would have fusion textbook it's very simple as the typeface developed then on
basic print out the larger letters from the presence of
and a large text uh so this is a spacing
example say in order to space letters then descriptors very useful have for producing lines of text with every letter in the middle like this so he could judge the space so I could judges spacing let's uh in context with the end and the which gave to decode general rhythms all of this is the end of the
so with the capitals and this was a portmanteau test for all the capsules together parent
additions numbers the way was stressful numbers for certain complex again generated using the build script thank you we and say well yeah that's any
questions and that would be thank you very much that I think we have done time time for the 3 questions in this did you use defined for junior at the University of Reading played yesterday I I was using From forged as yet as a that was exactly how I did the project the whole way through and I didn't use any other tools of than for I found it of course images from the the lifestyle of the very 1st thing I tried
was to yeah sketch on paper and then
scanning and tracing of that for that matter in the winter
using Inkscape as you can see this secretariat and
brought 4 folds and the result I didn't think
was very good because the same things happening with the
sketch of the white race and digitized at the wasn't giving a kind of coherence consistency that type this means that I that arguing screen using sketching of paper to the native plant ideas that I do everything so what else can can you hate l my question this system Bulgarian and now we used to cure only collectors and the 0 it's more related problem to your previous talk is we noticed that the you know the friends there's only 1 of the typefaces uh that good support so far I support cure the collectors similar objects that they don't support or a big changes and so on you for sold my question is what do you need to this traffic sign to support more languages more alphabets and are there plans for Google if you have that information of course it dude Google class dazzle plan to support more in half of the building which is more than I am I'm up and I'm working on a very simple reflect contracts to provide my fault you for the services and I've got no idea what people find the work we make like that I have another question that was the that if you if you speak it some impossible to translate it so then you need to come forward so as I'm sorry for the translation and just saying that if you look at the rest of you has posted a blog recently about the plans that Google has for the Google from the tree to move beyond the the Latin 1 set so they're not a huge amount of information but they're looking to it's possible that the question is how can I answer it is mediated answer this question of St. has a what the people need to use an to decide for scripts are not familiar with an not familiar with the heroic example then you need to see have some knowledge about the history of the platforms and that was a big thing which that because I attended really focused on and I really deeply appreciated the time I spend playing into learning history might design forms such as letters of concern about balance between conventional originality and you're trying to make something which is your original at same time something which fits the conventions will be pleased to reading and say if I was going to make a symbolic extension to you might use for it that I would have to try and look at the the history of platforms and feel there whereas when the because it's cycle right what they think historical context the theoretical of this this this is anything like anything that's going for it so the 1st thing that I would say that you like the and the technology stuff and there's not much mistreated but the history and becoming more artistic and this is this is tricky especially because you read the language and the testing documents which are produced the results related to make this because I found that when I was actually able to read text with the following wrong then my mind kind of shifted and I was able to say all this right this is the change this is due to existing like the meaning of what it gives you the reading point is very different to when you're looking at something and so as a non native reader and not having the ability of the unit design process will be more and more difficult you have a clearly some of the best part lines for not landscapes and otherwise you don't read so possible think we have the 1st question you have no I I have a
question about your workflow because it's apparent that there is a lot of iterations involved in creating
the font and and you've decided formed in you know multiple weights and you got you italic style and do you all what have you and just have you will and what would you do it again like designed that 1 weight 1 with 1st have complete coverage and then move on to the others were like what's the trick to keep them in sync like I have only done very stylized on but just wanted to do with the different weights and that was really a nightmare to keep them in sync point when change of property of of a relation dual problem yet that day I'll use to be 3 things that have much experience with the and emission project was very much focused on regular and on what meaning and the essential basics interviews and dealing with the family something which retained toward the end and say the process the workflow I don't didn't take into account the way that process is done interpolation and say you having the preferences the user generated the members of the family through the interpolation system and that the material and useful in systems like with something which I will be looking into and they have a lot of another the lobe of the the the the the Oglethorpe libraries open source library would has led these functions into being used in I think some commercial software but the underlying libraries it is I think open source you say the libraries for interpolation insightful forward rules acquired new about this is the idea that India and there's also of variables and millions of the interference