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Re: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

From: Gustavo Ferreira <gustavo.ferreira@hipertipo.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 19:55:07 -0200
Message-Id: <7D89B96C-FDD7-480B-84E0-3754E5C1748F@hipertipo.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Op Nov 11, 2008, om 6:24 PM heeft Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) het volgende  
geschreven:

> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>
>> Well, that's another issue making me reluctant to point any out -  
>> I know that I don't have a critical eye in this subject.  Thus  
>> it's fairly likely that I'll point out something which is merely  
>> "nice" and have my point dismissed out-of-hand.  I simply don't  
>> know what qualities a font must possess to qualify as  
>> "professional", nor am I willing to put in the time to crash- 
>> course myself and then search for fonts that satisfy this.  I *do*  
>> know that there are many which I am glad to use for my own  
>> purposes, and that I'd love to have available for webdesign purposes.
>> I also suspect that there qualities that would mark a font as  
>> "professional" which are largely irrelevant to making a font  
>> "useful" or "nice".  Thus I doubt that an exhaustive search for  
>> "professional" free fonts, even had I the skills to make it, would  
>> actually be useful here.
>
> Yes, I agree with your analysis.  Fonts may well be both
> useful and nice, yet still lack the features that one
> would expect in a font created by a master typographer
> such as Herman Zapf.  In particular, fonts created by
> non-professionals may well lack hints (important when
> rendering on low-resolution devices) and the kerning
> pairs may be either lacking or noticeably sub-optimal.
> Neither of these would prevent the font from being useful
> (in some circumstances), and quite probably it could appear
> nice to many who read text set in it, but there would
> still almost certainly be some aspects which a professional
> type designer could legitimately point out as defects.
>
> Philip TAYLOR

it is interesting that hermann zapf was mentioned, the most pirated  
designer of all times.

did you know that zapf almost stopped designing fonts because of  
piracy(1)? this was in the early days of digital typesetting, in a  
moment in which technology was changing faster than regulation --  
just like now.

going back to my original point before i hide into my cave again (i  
am an independent type-designer):

- it is not true, like tab atkins jr affirmed, that "it's been proven  
that high-quality type can and will be produced in a free-as-in- 
liberty fashion." in fact, i believe he has proven the opposite by  
not being able to cite any examples or defining quality in fonts and  
typefaces (2).

- if the web has to rely on 'free-as-in-liberty' fonts, web- 
typography will continue to suck. high-quality typefaces are made by  
skilled professionals, not by amateurs; if there is no business-model  
for web-fonts, type-designers and digital type foundries will forbid  
web-usage alltogether, as most do now.

- i thought this whole discussion started because we all (software- 
developers, web-designers, content-producers, type-designers) want to  
improve typography on the web and have more fonts available.

- come up with a mechanism to check license permissions in fonts and  
help us to protect against piracy, and we will all see a golden age  
for web-typography! our job is to design high-quality fonts, and  
given the production in recent years, i think we are doing it very  
well(3).

cheers!
- gustavo.


(1) he wrote a touching article about it, but unfortunately i don't  
recall where it was published (i'm sure more experienced type- 
designers like thomas phinney or john hudson would know where to find  
it though). while googling for it, i've found another text attributed  
to zapf about the same topic:

http://paris.blog.lemonde.fr/2007/07/22/le-type-design-en-danger-la- 
demission-de-latypi-de-hermann-zapf/

(2) you might want to read this post in thomas phinney's blog: http:// 
blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2005/12/quality_in_type.html

(3) as this "best of" collection from the previous 4 years shows.
http://typographica.org/001124.php
http://typographica.org/001103.php
http://typographica.org/001045.php
http://typographica.org/000969.php
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 21:55:52 GMT

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