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RE: Origin of Verdana (was RE: Public Domain Fonts for the Web)

From: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:59:31 -0800
Message-Id: <v03102805b11a3d8e7bc6@[206.245.203.103]>
To: Bill Hill <billhill@microsoft.com>, www-font@w3.org
Bill Hill wrote (12:09 PM -0800 2/25/98):

" One of the features people notice first about Verdana, for instance, is that
" it sets very wide. Building additional intercharacter spacing into the font
" was one way we found of achieving better screen readability.

The first thing I noticed were the huge counters, and the problems this can
cause when the face is called at a small size in a Web page, but the face
is not available on the client. I even developed a CSS2 property to address
the problem:

http://www.verso.com/agitprop/fontadjust/

I was a little surprised at the lack of comment on this here. I guess I'm
fishing.

While I'm at it, Tahoma/Verdana fans with WinIE4 might like the work I'm
doing with the "Alacrity" CSS family I'm doing here:
http://www.verso.com/agitprop/corestyle/modulor/ .

" It's a very funny story you tell. Except that it unjustly maligns all the
" people, inside and outside Microsoft, who worked so hard on this project.
" Shame on whoever originally concocted this load of crap, and thanks for
" providing the opportunity to set the record straight.

Thanks for setting it straight. <kid>I'll see if I can get them to stop the
presses</kid>.  It may be, as you suggest, that Matthew really did
repurpose design work he had done for Taligent, and this morphed subtly
into "sold the fonts to Microsoft." It's certainly not my intention to
"malign" anybody who worked on Verdana. FWIW, my favorite rasterization is
the 11-pixel one (11 Mac points). In fact, if you just took all the glyphs
down a notch (so Mac12pt/Win9pt would render in 11 pixels) and built in a
little lead, I'd like it better.

Todd Fahrner
mailto:fahrner@pobox.com
http://www.verso.com/agitprop/

Letters are things, not pictures of things.
	- Eric Gill
Received on Wednesday, 25 February 1998 16:52:57 UTC

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