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Re: Re[2]: pixel fonts

From: Tiro TypeWorks <tiro@portal.ca>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 17:35:21 -0700
Message-Id: <199608090028.RAA03342@kefron.portal.ca>
To: glen@met.bitstream.com, evb@knoware.nl, www-font@w3.org
Glen Rippel wrote:

>     There is a market for pixel based fonts within memory constrained 
>     devices, however.....  For collaborative documents the world went with 
>     scalable type already for products like Envoy and Acrobat. The web 
>     already makes use of scalable fonts by referencing the FONT-FACE= tag 
>     like in Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. I is almost 
>     impossible to move towards bitmaps again.  

A move towards bitmaps certainly seems unlikely (although LettError have
certainly made a good showing of the clever, creative things you can do with
pixel fonts that you can't do with scaleable outlines -- I suspect there is
a market for such fonts and associated tools, as they present web and
multimedia designers with a decidedly playful way of dealing with display
text). I, however, fully support Erik's criticism of font embedding
developments to date. As professional type designers, neither Erik nor I are
keen on seeing our fonts being shot around the world in a variety of
insecure document formats (of which Acrobat is definitely an example). The
current FONT-FACE= tag is not a problem, as it relies on the font in
question being present on the end-user's system. Systems which conspire to
put that font on the end-user's system so they can view and print a given
website or electronic document are a problem, and a represent a serious
threat to type designers' livelihoods.

My own idea for a solution is to give designers and foundries greater
control over the ways in which their fonts can be used (i.e. control within
font format technology), and modify existing payment and distribution models
to reflect that control. Designers who intend their fonts to be used
primarily for print media applications should be able to disable the font in
such a way that it cannot be used in electronic documents; they then take
their chances in the traditional graphic design and typography market.
Designers who want to make their typefaces available for web design and
other electronic applications should be subsidised by the software and
Internet developers whose products are made more valuable by the existence
of such fonts. Matthew Carter's Verdana is an excellent example of the
latter: Microsoft paid Matthew to design the typeface and Tom Rickner to
hint it, then give it away free. Obviously they see this as a good
investment, as it increases the value of, among other things, their Internet
Explorer. If software developers want to create tools which make it possible
to send embedded fonts all over the world, they should be the one's paying
for font development.

John Hudson, Type Director

Tiro TypeWorks
Vancouver, BC
tiro@portal.ca
http://www.portal.ca/~tiro
Received on Thursday, 8 August 1996 20:30:37 UTC

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