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Re: .screenfonts

From: Gustavo Ferreira <gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 14:51:47 +0200
Cc: www-font@w3.org
Message-Id: <37611050-EC03-4A66-A220-16C8822685A1@hipertipo.net>
To: "karsten luecke" <list@kltf.de>
On Jul 29, 2009, at 1:05 PM, karsten luecke wrote:

> Hello Gustavo,
>
>>>> I believe the divide will be between "screen text fonts" and
>>>> "other fonts", or "size specific fonts" and "scalable fonts"
>>>>  not TTF vs CFF.
>>>
>>> On what basis do you believe this?
>>
>> On the basis of my own experiments, and on the basis of ideas/
>> protypes shown by David Berlow:
>>
>> http://www.rogerblack.com/blog/screen_fonts_history
>> (http://typophile.com/node/60281)
>> http://www.fontbureau.com/test/franky/
>
> As clever as I think this approach is, I disagree with the  
> philosophy on which it is based. The merit of outline fonts is that  
> they are, at least in principle, ignorant of output devices, their  
> underlying technologies and resolutions. The approach you refer to  
> however centers around technology and resolution.
>
> There are two types of "specific-ness" that should not be mixed up:
> 1. SIZE-SPECIFIC design in the sense that it addresses different  
> type sizes (measured in pt, mm, etc) is a good thing. The "one  
> outline for all sizes" approach that outline fonts brought with them  
> results in a compromise, the design needs to serve both very small  
> and very large sizes.
> 2. Size-specific design in the Berlow-sense is not size-specific but  
> PPEM-SPECIFIC design. This addresses not visual but very specific  
> technical circumstances.
>
> For this reason I cannot fully agree with:
>
>> Size-specific fonts are rasterizer- and technology-independent
>> because they use outlines which are grid-fitted by design. If
>> used in the correct PPEM size they 'just work' -- the proportions
>> match the pixel grid and produce predictable bitmap letter shapes.
>
> This is correct -- but once real-world screen resolutions go up  
> considerably, your typeface for which you served text to headline  
> size fonts, suddenly is useful only for micro sizes.
> Or put differently: If you make fonts for specific hardware devices,  
> offering such ppem-specific designs is a good idea (and why not spec  
> a ppem-flag in such ppem-specific fonts and ask rasterizers to  
> respect this?), but less so if you make general-purpose fonts that  
> may not even be rasterized at all (think of plotters).
>
>> I guess the OpenType 'size' feature is the right place to adress  
>> this issue.
>
> Having made the 1. size-specific vs 2. ppem-specific distinction, I  
> think that the size feature is NOT the appropriate place.
> There should be a ppem-flag for this.


Thanks Karsten,

I think I agree with everything you wrote.

Where can we put such a ppem-flag? :-)
Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 12:52:24 GMT

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