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1184RE: Typeface optimization

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  • Hrant H Papazian
    Jan 28, 2003
      From: "David P. Wall"
      > When typefaces are designed for computer reproduction,
      > do the type designers always create their master
      > patterns for a standard optimal size?

      Not always, but it seems to me that generally the 12 point
      is chosen. Of course it doesn't much matter what you choose:
      things won't really work with less than at least 3 masters.
      That's because there are two cutoffs in "modes of reading",
      resulting in three bands: display, reading, sub-reading.

      From: Gerald Lange
      > Unless you have a multiple masters font with the appropriate axes

      And there is a view that practically none of those really
      work optimally: the smaller sizes especially don't go far
      enough in terms of compensation for optical distortions.

      I in fact have the view that small type has to have a
      certain ugliness about it if it's ever seen large* and
      this leads to the probable reason why the optical axes
      don't go far enough: since it's possible to set large
      type using the small end of the axis, resulting in the
      insensitive user (~75% of them) exclaiming "Hey, that's
      pretty ugly - what a waste of money on that font!", it
      makes more business sense to strike a balance between
      what it *needs* to be versus what most people expect.

      * Look in particular at the work of Walter Tracy.

      From: Peter Fraterdeus
      > I've just opened Zapfino.dfont

      But isn't that a "dumbed down" OT font?

      Plus it's not just a matter of loading it up, it's a
      matter of maintaining all its functionality when you
      re-output it. For example, you can open up all those
      wonderful MS core fonts in Fontographer, and it all
      looks peachy, but when you generate a new font from
      there you lose all the hinting, which is the entire
      point of those fonts!

      I share Gerald's uneasiness to some extent.

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