Digital Typography & Artificial Intelligence

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On Saturday evening 12 October 2013, the diner of the yearly ATypI (Association Typographique Internationale) conference took place at the atmospheric Winter Garden restaurant of Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam. More than 300 attendees enjoyed the excellent buffet. Highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 3rd Dr. Peter Karow Award for Font Technology & Digital Typography to Dr. Donald E. Knuth, world famous for developing TeX and Metafont.

Especially for this occasion a booklet titled Digital Typography & Artificial Intelligence was jointly produced by Adobe and the Dutch Type Library, the latter being the initiator of the Dr. Peter Karow Award. In this publication font-software pioneer Dr. Peter Karow, who is especially renowned for developing the IKARUS program, describes how digital typography influenced type design and text layout. Digital typography has changed font production and text composition in their entirety. Modern text composition was mostly influenced by programs such as WordStar, Word, PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and FrameMaker, which replaced writing, typesetting and printing in both office and at home.

Dr. Peter Karow (1940) studied high energy physics at the University of Hamburg, leading to a dissertation in 1971. With Dr. Gerhard Rubow and Dr. Jürgen Weber he founded the company URW Software & Type GmbH in 1972. Several contacts with type designers, especially Hermann Zapf, had great impact on his development of the IKARUS program. Since 1988, Karow and Zapf worked together on the hz-program in order to use the power of computers to improve the micro-typography of texts.

Dr. Peter Karow gave international presentations at numerous conferences, wrote many articles for journals, got seven patents for DTP-related methods, and wrote several books, among them: Digital Typefaces and Font Technology (both Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 1994), and Typeface Statistics (URW Verlag, Hamburg, 1993).

Digital Typography & Artificial Intelligence is available from the Dutch Type Library and can be ordered at DTL’s online book shop. The texts are in English and the illustrated booklet contains 56 pages printed on 120 and 240 grams Bioset FSC paper (size: 12 × 24.5 cm) by Ando bv in The Hague, The Netherlands. The price is €12.50, exclusive V.A.T. and shipping costs.

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