Need updates/tweaks to our base14 fonts

Brent's picture

We are looking for a designer to update our recently acquired Base14 fonts. The fonts which we acquired were rendered with old software and need to be sized to better match today’s base-14 fonts as well as smoothed.

If you or anyone you know of have the skills to do this and are available for hire please let me know.

Thank you


Si_Daniels's picture

Hi Brent,

Please excuse me while I try to translate this into language easier for people on this list to understand.

The Base-14 fonts are Helvetica (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Times (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Courier (normal, bold, italic, bold italic), Symbol and ZapfDingbats.

You've acquired a set of compatible fonts, but they don't look as good as the original set and you need a type designer to clean up the outlines, adjust metrics etc., to make them render better.

Is that what you're asking?

Cheers, Si

twardoch's picture

For a while, I thought Brent means a version of these:


Si_Daniels's picture

Same here - I had to do some research to try to work out what base 14 meant ;-)

canderson's picture

Brent, are these fonts going to be embedded within Doudesk? Could you elaborate a bit on what you think makes the current fonts inferior? I would guess that the metrics need to stay identical to what people expect. I would also generally think that people would want to use the base fonts that ship with their OS. Is that not accurate?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Heh, didn't even think that people might not know what the "base 14" reference meant. But if you weren't into DTP in the mid-80s, you might not have dealt with that particular set (within a couple of years it was the "base 35" instead).

One reason to have some set of core fonts ship with an application is that the application developer may want to be sure that the users have identical fonts, regardless of platform. That leads the app developer to need to bundle some fonts with the app.

Of course, simply knocking off somebody else's fonts instead of either licensing them or doing something new is rather dubious ethics, but that's another question. I have to concede that Times and Helvetica have been knocked off so many times now that somehow doing still more knockoffs of those two seems a lot less troubling than doing the same to, say, Sabon and Syntax.


Si_Daniels's picture

I don't know what fonts Brent has acquired - but it's certainly possible to make fonts based on existing fonts metrics that would not be considered knock-offs - Monotype's Thorndale and Albany being a case in point. Interestingly we've seen a few recent cases of custom fonts that were designed to match the metrics of Arial - Personally I have nothing but admiration for a type designer who can make a new design work within the constraints of another font's metrics.

Mark Simonson's picture

In one of my first jobs (at a weekly newspaper) we had a Compugraphic Compuwriter Jr. This was one of the most inexpensive typesetting machines of its time. The oddest thing about it was that all of its fonts shared the same set of widths. There were gears which would be used to scale the widths as a group up or down for a particular font and size. Some fonts looked better than others, but none of them looked really good.

(And, talk about primitive: It had an 18-character red LED display and you could only load two fonts of one size at a time. And the two fonts were made in fixed pairs. This meant that you couldn't set a line of type with more than two fonts in it. But, "luckily," you could set the third style separately and paste it over one of the other two, since it had the same character widths. AND I lived in a cardboard box in the middle of the street.)

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