Name a font critique site win a no-prize

Choz Cunningham's picture

On another thread, I was thinking there should be an egalitarian user-moderated free (and not free?) font review site. Any suggestions for a name? There is no prize whatsoever, aside from possible credit on a well-buried about page. Nothing vulgar, please! :)

dezcom's picture

Typophile Critique Forum

ChrisL

Choz Cunningham's picture

That's a very dry pun.

What I am pondering is like a fusion of 1001freefonts and typophile crit forum. Basically, one could see if a font has only a half a character set, or bizarro kerning at the same place they download it.

Typophile crit forum does not have any sort of index where one can flip through fonts, or a digest form of the crits at the top of the page, etc.

Da Kine's picture

berateafont.com

DB~

david h's picture

NothingVulgar.com

Choz Cunningham's picture

Off the top of my head, the rating factors might be, (stylistic) consistency, language support, kerning and tracking, buglessness, freeness, and similar things. Mostly technical, only a little bit of "style", since an image would get that across better.

Just in case anyone thought I was putting out the call only due to a shortage of bad ideas of my own, here's a list, not checked for use, copyright, domain availability, etc.

fontrate.com
fonttalk.something
typefaceoff.whatever
fontfolio.
allstarfontrevue.
fontwards.
departmentofletters.
fontallabotomy.
fontnight.
fontisserie.

fontalcountdown. (with theme music)

or on a slightly more serious note,
thefontshow.
typefacings.
fontdex.

Choz Cunningham
!Exclamachine Type Foundry
The Snark

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

1001freecrits.com

the crippleware font with the least diacritical characters wins!

circehouse's picture

dysfunctionalfontfamily.
tripeface.
fontforesight. (so many puns! font.for.sight, font fore site. font foresight. )
faceforward.

because i'm a rule-breaker at heart, vulgar names:
craperature.
stemsandtails.

all are available in the .com versions.

Alaskan's picture

fontfusion.com ?

muzzer's picture

farkinfonts.com
shitype.com
typefarce.coma
letterpissed.com
typoholic.org

etc

ebensorkin's picture

What purpose is this proposed site meant to serve exactly? Who would it serve? Why?

dan_reynolds's picture

>fontalcountdown. (with theme music)

This one, please.

dezcom's picture

Little Horde Fontaljoy

ChrisL

ebensorkin's picture

These last two are sweet.

cuttlefish's picture

letterboiler.com ?
sofakinggoodfonts.com ?
typespring.org ?

I thought of "ministryofpunctuation" but that would be better for a grammar site.

Naming is fun, and all, but wouldn't it be worth discussing the mechanics of the thing? How are fonts to be selected for evaluation? Who would be eligible to vote? Would everyone's vote count equally, or would specially qualified experts hold greater sway?

Choz Cunningham's picture

fontalcountdown. (with theme music)

This one, please.

That will at least have to be a selectable skin!

What purpose is this proposed site meant to serve exactly? Who would it serve? Why?

To separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of fonts. This would benefit users by letting them find well made ones (and understand why they are well made). It would benefit Type design novices, hobbyists, students and others seeking feedback on the composition. It would benefit Professional designers by exposing the greatness of fonts worthy of it, and (hopefully) decreasing consumer demand for bad fonts. Optimally it would benefit type culture in general, by offering a consensus opinion of what people like/want/respect. Why? Because it is a resource I would love to draw on, and others might as well. Most font sites are shopping centers that say everything is wonderful about every font, or they are just free font archives.

If it was a rounded enough user base, and rankings were fair and the process transparent, the ratings could be very worthwhile. I would love to be able to market a font as a "5 Star" or such, myself.

Naming is fun, and all, but wouldn’t it be worth discussing the mechanics of the thing?

Actually, I just figured that people here would be more into naming ideas than into the mechanics. From some previous work in two other fields, I've got a storm of interesting ideas for implementing a user-friendly reputation economy to "power" the voting/rating process. And I do not have enough to submit a design document on it yet. Seeing if people are even slightly interested lets me consider if this is worthwhile. My programming skills are not enough to code this by hand alone today, and that may limit the core features. Of course, there are lots of interesting FOSS modular web tools out there too...

How are fonts to be selected for evaluation? Who would be eligible to vote? Would everyone’s vote count equally, or would specially qualified experts hold greater sway?

I think that the method for submission should be limited to "controlling" parties, as determined by license. A designer or vendor could submit any of their own work, for sure. A public domain piece could be submitted by any registered user. Those "in-between" would have to be puzzled out. Currently undetermined: the time/scale for adding fonts for review. Probably couldn't be determined until

All methodology would be listed on the site. Full disclosure allows everyone equal chance to understand, and contribute to stopping exploits.

Vote weighting? That's a very tricky issue,and some people get quite riled, "experts count double???!?!OMG WTF" I would rather have a system that weights the votes towards those who contribute short reviews explaining their numeric decisions, and those who don't vote arbitrarily, as determined by their frequency of falling outside a pre-announced truncated mean. All weighting methods would have limits, so that no avenue(s) gives infinite vote-power, will still crediting those most competent.

Another idea is allowing one to specialize their vote. Are you a master of notanic balance, but have no interest or experience with uncial forms? Then you could tailor your own vote power to be greater in one category than the other.... No idea how to code this in to a site, but I've had great results and user satisfaction with this in RL situations.

TBiddy's picture

26

Dan Gayle's picture

Typohiliac

dezcom's picture

Letter Sweater

ChrisL

Choz Cunningham's picture

polytype

ebensorkin's picture

So it would be discusion board in some sense like this one but it would have a Netflix style rating system with all the topics: this fonts or that. Hmmmmm I kinda like the idea. I am not sure though.

This is very ivory tower of me I know, but for me it is almost always a typo-rati's opinions that I find count in the end. So for my part I suggest that you have a two tier rating system with a popular opinion eg 'the great unwashed rabble' if you will. Ok just kidding. You could just call it popular opinion. Good enough.

But then I think it would be good if you also had folks who were authoritative or quasi-authoritative who would go ahead & rate things for you. Then you could have Comic Sans and get two very different ratings. Maybe. But the point is you could read the comments in either track. Frankly I think both kinds of opinions are useful. Very useful in fact. But they are much more useful when they are divided than mixed.

In fact the more separations you could make the more useful the data. The data could be agrigate so nobody is made to answer for loving or not loving Helvetica. But you could know for instance that type designers perhaps love it less than graphic designers or whatever. See where I am going with this? If you can offer the type community good meaningful data that would be really worthwhile.

Dan Gayle's picture

The great washed rabble would of course be registered Typophile users? That would be quite interesting indeed....

ebensorkin's picture

The great washed rabble would of course be registered Typophile users?

Self evidently not. ;-)

circehouse's picture

the tools are there in the wiki platform: why not use that?

Choz Cunningham's picture

But you could know for instance that type designers perhaps love it less than graphic designers or whatever

The great washed rabble filtering system could work. It would require something like a user selecting from a limited set of choices for occupation or interests, but I would certainly put higher granularity in the software and graphic design sectors. Then, one could filter by that, and get a different set of numbers. I would really love to see which faces are "type designer's choice" versus a "management's choice". Likewise, very useful information could come from knowing the popularity in 18-28 year olds, among students, or from Swedes, or any of a wide number of factors.

The data could be agrigate so nobody is made to answer for loving or not loving Helvetica.

I would like it to expose a user's choices as much as they want. And the more they choose to be open, the more they "weigh" in. To a point. To reduce people filling in garbage profiles, I am considering ways of unlocking voting power, or otherwise maturing an account, so that having a detailed identity is more useful to anybody.

paul d hunt's picture

fontornot.com

Hiroshige's picture

fontthis

________
Hiro

cuttlefish's picture

Those who submit designs for review should at least be given a higher voting rank than those who do not. Seems one should not be called a type designer without that minimal proof, at least in the context of this thingy.

But at the same time, one should not be allowed to vote on their own submissions. A rule like that raises the hazard that some might make dummy accounts to pad their votes, so some measure would have to be taken to limit that.

alexfjelldal's picture

familyvalues.com
.........................................................
Bison Design
Spön

Choz Cunningham's picture

But at the same time, one should not be allowed to vote on their own submissions.

Some people will create dummy accounts to pad things, no matter what. Making a fresh account less "worthy" helps eliminate that. A type designer shouldnt vote their own work, but that gets complicated on multiperson project, vendor submission, etc. Better to create a culture where that is just not okay, and let the users "shoot down" that sort of stuff via 'question this vote' type technology. And perhaps give a designer a special status that is outside the voting, but with another power to compensate, like featured status on that page or such.

Dan Gayle's picture

But if every type designer voted for his own submission, in the end things would even out, wouldn't they?

wormwood's picture

As the site would be democratic I think it would be cool to play with a (pseudo?) officious identity...

Department of Type / Dept of Type
(The) Type Department / Type Dept.
(The) Font Department / Font Dept.
(The) Type Bureau
Bureau of Type
Office of Fair Type
Encyclotypedia
Typedia
Demotype / Demofont
Fontastic (written in a French accent)
Quest For The Holy Font

Reed Reibstein's picture

AboutFace?

raph's picture

openfontlibrary.org

The Hrant-coined "despotype" may also be appropriate, but I was kinda thinking of that as the nexus for releasing my Christian Gothic and Zeno revivals.

There is already a fontornot at ning.com, but other than that, it seems like it communicates the idea clearly.

honestfonts.com is available. You could always use 2002 as a third-level domain.

typogogue?

Choz Cunningham's picture

familyvalues.
That is slick, subtle, hip and clever, in its play of the vote=value idea. I haven't even checked to see if it is available, since it is not that obscure. Definitely a right idea.

But if every type designer voted for his own submission, in the end things would even out, wouldn’t they?

Yes. But i don't want it as simple as a +/- vote. I would like to see consensus reviews. If there are enough designers and users, it wont matter. But I'd also rather have a designer not vote, than stress on judging themselves "fairly".

openfontlibrary.org

I really like that tag cloud, better than most. Its value, as planned, as a PD font archive will become a nice resource someday. Not sure if anyone is doing quite what I am talking about yet, but something as similar to rottentomatoes.com as to abstractfonts.com

“despotype” is indeed awesome. Not quite a open, democratic font review webmagazine sounding name, but god is he right someone has to do something with it. Perhaps it should be the name of the DRM "emhanced" OpenType replacement spec.

(pseudo?) officious identity…
Ministry of Type?
or "Minityp" for short: Serif Is Sans.

raph's picture

What about fontrank?

alexfjelldal's picture

or “Minityp” for short: Serif Is Sans.
there's a lot of potential slogans:
- em-dash is en-dash
- screen is print
- truetype is opentype
- 1001freefonts.com is love
- Extended is condensed
- Light is heavy

and so on and so on.
.........................................................
Bison Design
Spön

dezcom's picture

Simon Sez

ChrisL

Da Kine's picture

fullfontalnudity
DB~

dezcom's picture

Now we are getting down to the bare essentials Dennis :-)

ChrisL

circehouse's picture

aboutface is the best submission so far.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

dropitlikeitsfont

wormwood's picture

Baseline (Does the overall standard of a font come above or below the 'baseline' of acceptability.)
Typerack
Fontrack (after raph's fontrank suggestion)
Fontarama / Typerama

I still don't think there have been enough bad puns suggested. How about some based on place names...
Fontario
Fonterey / Fontarray
Sanzibar
Fontainebleau
Fontezuma (Also the great ancient god of fonts. Present them before him and either be sacrificed or spared.)

Choz Cunningham's picture

There are too many to review each above individually, and some are used already. I think that they can all approximately be grouped into 4 (overlapping) categories, or close. There are 'news' style, 'type' industry terms, 'puns' that are lighthearted and lend to a certain visual style, and there are ones that express the 'polling' nature.

The entries show the fontgeist well. I see no harm in people offering more suggestions, but I also think we have enough here to work with. Which category would people prefer? I think we should go for something that looks good when referenced elsewhere, sounds inviting, and not too unclear to the layperson.

Aboutface is rockin', but taken. And to non-experts, it isn't super clear, thought it would probably be fine in context, and made up for by its cleverness.

BTW, if anyone noticed, I'm having some very major issues with my server move (for exactly the reasons I am moving) so things are a bit held up while I sort things, and rebuild some sites. :( My email is down too.

Reed Reibstein's picture

Thanks for all the support for "AboutFace." You're right; it's just about completely taken, but AboutFaces.com is parked, with the owner apparently willing to sell it. Having never created a website myself, I can't say whether this disqualifies the domain or not.

dezcom's picture

FaceUp2it

ChrisL

T Bones's picture

dontlettersdown
Sorry, couldn't resist.

dezcom's picture

Letterip

ChrisL

Choz Cunningham's picture

Well, the going price for a virgin name is about $10. The after market name for anything made of common English words is still quite often 50-200+ times that. Although it would be lovely to have big sponsors bankroll this with marketing, a crack coding team and pro journalists, I think that is unlikely in a fragmented industry moving towards cottage culture. !Exclamachine will bankroll the hosting, but I must be modest until this spreads it's own wings.

Gus Winterbottom's picture

Somebody named "artofcode LLC" in Berkeley, California, registered despotype.com on December 23, 2006.

(Later edit: they seem to be the people responsible for, or who own the copyright to, Ghostscript.)

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