Category Archives: Documents

Fontforge binaries…

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with Mario Moura. We started talking about the typography class he teaches at the Editorial Design master at the Fine Arts Faculty of Porto, and soon we were talking about font developing software.

I have this conversation from time to time with different people. It’s about the strategies and tools adopted in the different design learning contexts (this topic of discussion actually started a few years ago with Mario himself).  One thing led to another, and, at a given point, he reported students were having trouble finding the necessary files to install Fontforge in the Mac OSX. They still seem to find it difficult, although George Williams has dedicated a significant amount of effort into documenting all the necessary steps. I’ve also tried to simplify it before.

Even when they can understand the necessary steps, there’s always the need to download X11, or to have XCode and the necessary libraries on the system. Other issues include the need to have MacPorts download the gigabytes of ports and dependencies needed to build Fontforge from the source files…I know from my personal experience that this can be very frustrating.

So, if you need to use it in classes, or you can’t build it on your system, here’s quick-fix solution to it (you still need to have install permissions):

  1. Download and install XQuartz, an alternative open source X window system for the Mac OSX;
  2. Download and install the necessary dependencies;
  3. Download and install the latest Fontforge release (20110222).

That’s all there is to it! Now you only have to start XQuartz, then type “fontforge” into the terminal and start editing your fonts.

I’ve pre-compiled Fontforge and almost all the dependencies on OSX 10.6. Somehow I managed to build and install libjpeg and libtiff from source. I think they’ve been included into this build, but I couldn’t create the .dmgs for them with the port command. Nevertheless, everything should be working except the EPS import. As I have only one Mac OSX system, I can’t really test if everything is working as it should, so I’m making this available “as is”…

As a final note, I urge you to check all the necessary license agreements before using these builds. Here’s Fontforge’s license:

Copyright 2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011 by George Williams. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Dino dos Santos @ UA

Dino dos Santos (portrait image from DSType.com)

If you are in Portugal in the next week, make sure to drop by Aveiro—the Type Designer Dino dos Santos will be presenting a conference on Typography and Type Design at the University of Aveiro. This is a rather rare opportunity to hear a Portuguese Type Designer speaking in public about his projects (at least I hope he will do so). Here is the invitation issued by the class teacher Olinda Martins, roughly translated:

In the scope of the Typography class at the Communication and Art Department of University of Aveiro, we’ve invited the Type Designer Dino dos Santos (http://www.dstype.com) to present a conference about typography and type design:

· 26 of April (tuesday);
· 10h30;
· Room 10.1.3 (DEGEI).

We’re counting with your presence and participation in this unique event!

For those who don’t know it, or are traveling from abroad, the DEGEI is the building nº 10 on the Campus Map. Drop by and have a word with us ;)

DSType was founded in late 1994 by Dino dos Santos and since then designed typefaces for several corporations, magazines and cultural projects. Graduated in Graphic Design by ESAD, Matosinhos and awarded with a Master in Multimedia Arts at FBAUP, Porto, teaches Typographic Studies at ESAD Escola Superior de Artes e Design, Matosinhos. Featured in several magazines like Computer Arts (UK), Creative Review (UK), Page (DE), Publish (PT), Page (PT), Attitude (PT/UK), Zoot (PT/UK) and Direct Arts (PT). Dino dos Santos designed some notable typefaces like Andrade, winner of the Creative Review Type Design Awards, for the Best Revival / Extension Family in 2005 and Ventura, awarded with the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design by the Type Directors Club of New York in 2008, among many other notable releases. Our work was selected for the “Schrift in Form” exhibition at the Klingspor-Museum in Offenbach, Germany. Contributes regularly to conferences, seminars and publications.

DSTYPE specializes in creating custom typefaces including, completely new typefaces for every purposes, improving balance, legibility and fine tunning existent typefaces and/or logotypes.

http://www.dstype.com/profile.php

———

You can find the original Portuguese version of this post on my DesignLab blog: http://pedamado.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/dino-dos-santos-ua/

For more information on the Typography class: http://tipografia.blogs.ua.sapo.pt/15303.html

Typeface Memory Game

This Christmas, I proudly received one of the coolest gifts of the past years: The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog: Typeface Memory Game, by Fabio Prata and Flavia Nalon from Bis Publishers.

After trying to buy it a couple of times from Amazon (they continually postponed its shipping), I forgot about it. Yesterday, on a gift exchange during a traditional Holy Kings dinner (that we celebrate in Portugal, but is mainly celebrated in Spain), I received a small package from Isabel A. To my surprise it was the long awaited Memory Game!

Detail of the Typeface Memory Game, 2010 Bis Publishers

We quickly unwrapped it and browsed all the cards. The game consists in 25 pairs of standard sized, double-faced, one color, but surprisingly thick (built to last?) cards. Each one depicting a specimen and the credits of well-known typefaces. At least the majority of them.

A nice surprise was to find Lucas de Groot’s Thesis (my favorite typeface of all time), followed by Mário Feliciano’s ever popular Flama (at least one Portuguese representative in the slim list of typefaces). In the package we also found lots of famous fonts, like Caroll Twombly’s Trajan, Bruce Rogers’ Centaur and even Sibylle Hagmann’s Cholla (this last one is specially for you Isabel!)

This is the perfect (typophile) gift. Fun to use, great to collect and it has lots of potential use in the classroom. I highly recommend it. I just wish that BIS Publishing would issue a second volume…

P.S.: Buy it from my US Amazon store, or from my UK Amazon store.

Livraison 13 – Language and Typography

Livraison nº13 (from their website)

Just ordered the latest issue of Livraison. I’ve been reading the short summary, and, for an Art Magazine, it sure looks good. May I say it even looks like a Typography Magazine. Lots of interesting pieces from well known designers, like Peter Bil’ak, Lo Celso and Truchet.  At a glance I don’t recognize anyone else, but going through the pieces’ title and description I can’t wait to read it. Get it now (only 16€). Via Le Typographe.

Read more about this issue on Livraison’s website: http://www.revuelivraison.org/Livraison13/Accueil-liv13.html

Livraison, a contemporary arts journal and, on the occasion of this issue, a journal of graphic design, addresses the field of language and typography. Physical matter of writing and of the thought that it materializes, typography is the meeting point of a linguistic content and a visual sign,…

[...] Peter Bil’ak’s History updates these references, and answers to Frutiger with a higher bid…

[...] “History” is also examined in the contributions by Benoît Buquet, Sonia de Puineuf, and Victor Guégan, in the light of avant-garde languages.

[...] Olivier Deloignon addresses the immediacy of signs imposed on onlookers in the time of reading.

[...] Annick Lantenois resumes the study of functionalist radicalism and the will to “negotiate with the negative connotations associated to emptiness and void” in 20th century.

[...] Stéphane Darricau [...] the difficult problem of the choice of type

[...] Lucille Guigon – having recently completed a post-degree program at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Amiens – also explores the field of language with a typographic creation that sculpts text and subtly diverts perception.

[...] Alejandro Lo Celso grounds his own work on the universe of Perec

[...] Roxane Jubert, collaborating with artist M.A. Thébault, delivers a typographic “play” under constraint based on the sonority of letter J;

[...] Titus Nemeth, with his Nassim, reintroduces the issue of relationships between different writing systems.

[...] Caroline Fabès and Sébastien Truchet systematically and mathematically deconstruct the material of text and letter.

[...] Thomas Huot-Marchand tests the habits and the abilities of readers.

[...] Kader Mokaddem presents a series of textual mappings

[...] Fabrice Sabatier addresses short forms, between irony and the derisiveness of the everyday.

By opening new lines of thought and crossing itineraries, this specific issue wishes to explore the relationships that typography maintains with language, a structuring feature of our relationship to the world. Typographically figured, the field of language is reorganized in a transversal way. More than any other visual practice, typography cannot do without the speech that goes through it, nor can it spare its creators bound to update its conditions of existence.