Re: Public Domain Fonts for the Web

Thus spake Clive Bruton:
> The problem is that it takes *a lot* of work to produce good fonts,
> that's why there aren't many high quality freeware text fonts.

I also think this is the crux of the matter. There's not only the
considerable aesthetic exertion of designing a high-quality original
typeface suitable for copy, there's the format question for online use.
Type 1 fonts cannot be hinted as extensively as required for best results
at screen resolutions, and there is no cross-platform bitmap format. Even
if you were to embrace a little redundancy, Windows bitmaps - FON resources
- lack many very basic facilities like kerning, so no real italics are
possible. This partly explains why even Adobe has released its Web fonts in
TrueType format. So why not just select "TrueType" in Fontographer? Because
the results will not be suitable for screen resolution. The art of TrueType
hinting is, by all accounts, rare, excruciatingly tedious, and poorly
supported in tools. Tom Rickner, are you listening?

Personally I'd be happy to have Type 1 anti-aliased at all sizes, but after
years of harping fruitlessly on how nice this looks, I've accepted the fact
that most people prefer 1-bit rendering at copy sizes on screen.

Maybe when typical screen resolutions get up to around 150 ppi?... Overuse
of resolution-dependent Web design techniques may prevent this from ever
occuring, though, even if the technology becomes cheap. *sigh*

Todd Fahrner

Received on Tuesday, 24 February 1998 13:40:34 UTC