Monthly Archives: August 2012

Type Quotes #6

“When these giant extended families are further mutated by electronic re-shaping, we end up with typefaces which are to typography what kidney-shaped tables and brass edging were to interior design and architecture during the 1950s.”

Erik Spiekermann, on the Computers’ ability to interpolate. Rhyme & Reason: A Typographic Novel, p. 115.

P. S.: I don’t think he was referring to super families like Thesis, as much as he was attacking automatic creation systems like Metafont? Or should I say Meatafont… Sorry, although couldn’t resist this typographic pun, I detected a faint criticism to the creation of more than eight weights per face. Manually, or automatically. And I have to agree.

In the end it’s much lighter than you think…

Typography library boxed and ready to go…

…but it still does some damage to your back. After yesterday’s estimate, today I finished packing my typography library. The result: 268 books, 5 DVDs, 60 printed research papers and several type specimens and printed materials.

Bookcase items divided into languages (books) and type (specimens, dvds,…). Weight of the individual packed boxes.

It took 01h15m to pack 23 boxes (plus an additional 3 for current research materials) in a total of 189,5 Kg (~418 lbs). Each box has an average weight of 7,3 Kg (12 max., 3 min.), so the books end up weighing an average of 600 g. Typography is still heavy-duty stuff… ;)

Packing my typography bookcase… from Pedro Amado on Vimeo.

Although much less than estimated, and even though the bookcase had an additional 20 Kg in other stuff, it is still pretty impressive. Come to think of it, with 189 Kg, its something like packing and moving your own professional heavyweight sumo wrestler with you… I’ll rename my bookcase to “Yokozuna” from now on. What do you call yours?

How much does your type library weighs?

My personal typography library bookcase

I don’t mean it metaphorically – I mean it in a literal way. I’m preparing to move into a new house and tomorrow will be the turn to pack the typography bookcase. I’m estimating to need around 35 [A4 paper storage] boxes to move near 280 Kg (615 lbs) of books, magazines, papers, posters and specimens.

When I moved into this house, this was a half full bookcase. Three years have passed since, and it has seen an incredible growth… It is still a rather small library if you compare it to some of my teachers’ libraries. Even so, I don’t think I’ll ever read, or own enough typography books – I’d be happy if I had the time to read all the ones I have already. On the meanwhile, I have to keep moving it. It’s only in these times that I’m glad I don’t own any movable type!

Anyway, this time, I think I might have caught a bit of “Nicholas Felton’s fever“, and I started wondering how many books do I have already? How much does it all weight? Do the magazines and specimens weigh the same? So, all bets are on!

I’ve done an estimate based on the current boxes I’ve packed. They weigh an average of 7,5 Kg, so… If you have a question, or suggestion, be it serious or not, let me know. I’ll try to document it and publish the final report. Just for the fun of it.

And you, how much does your type library weighs?


Compiling Fontforge 20120731 without Python

The new version of Fontforge is here. On the last couple of days I’ve been trying to compile and install it on my Mac OSX system, with very little success. Mainly because because MacPorts still doesn’t have it available and I lack the proper knowledge to do it in a clean way…

I though I had everything needed (from previous versions), but, as It turns out, the configure script kept freezing (searching for Freetype libraries) and, even after that, the make script crashed because of Python (?). I got something like this:

python.c:16039: warning: initialization makes integer from pointer without a cast
python.c:16042: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
python.c:16057: warning: initialization makes pointer from integer without a cast
python.c:16058: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
python.c:16067: warning: initialization from incompatible pointer type
make[1]: *** [python.lo] Error 1
make: *** [fontforge] Error 2

I took a little while, but, after reading the instructions and a little digging on Google, I found out this answer by Nicholas Spalinger regarding the Freetype Library timeout error during ./configure:

After a couple of trial-and-error runs (that included installing and uninstalling several versions of Python), I’ve decided to compile Fontforge without Python. In the end, the command I ended up using was:

./configure –with-freetype-src –without-python

I I know this is an easy way out, but I’ve reached the limits of my Unix capabilities… Fontforge is running smoothly for me (so far), and I hope this helps someone also…