Bezier curves and font design

t1mmy's picture

I was recently told by someone that when designing a glyph a bezier point shouldn't represent a full corner. rather there should be two bezier points defining a curve. i opened an emigre font that i own, and found this to be the case. could someone explain this reasoning to me, i heard it deals with rasterization.

t1mmy's picture

here's the font that i'm working with the points at the enduc s

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

You need the first chapter of "Fontographer: Type by design". It is about postscript drawing. It's a must. There are PDF of it going down internet cause the real book is out of print. If you give me some time, I'll post the pdf for you.

R.

hrant's picture

There was link to it from both Typophile and Typographica, but it no longer contains the stuff.

BTW, there's no way it's going to be legal. Just use an account in Venezuela: they have no extradition treaty with the US. Remember "The Spanish Prisoner"?

hhp

Diner's picture

Look for a book this Summer by Leslie Cabarga that explores the best techniques for glyph drawing and orthagonal points. Better yet, ask him yourself at Typecon!

Bring your glyph into FOG and add points to extema. You'll see that points are added to the furthest areas that define the shape of the glyph.

The key is to create all your glyphs using these points almost exclusively. See ugly drawing below!

Stuart :D

hrant's picture

And don't forget to explicitly define inflection points! Like on the spines of the "S"/"s". It makes editing harder (so you leave it 'till the end), but it can save you rendering bug headaches, as well as occasionally serious fidelity issues if you output to TT from cubic (PS-style) data, as well as for Flash display.

hhp

t1mmy's picture

thanks for your help everyone, it's greatly appreciated.

p.s. I did a massive search for Fontographer: Type by Design. I'm still working on it too.

Nice to see you Stuart!

sean's picture

Oooo... The PDF for Type by Design?
Would it be illegal to email it to someone?

That book is never going to be reprinted with Fontlab around. It is sometimes over $1,000 at Amazon! It can't be worth that much. Come on.

smc

hrant's picture

If you're in the US, or any country with a copyright treaty with the US, it's probably illegal.

But it's not illegal to put it up for download in an "anti-US" country. And some places it might be illegal, but they have bigger fish to fry. Just choose a country that's not about to be bombed, at least not this year.

Also, please don't drive under the speed limit... certainly not immediately in front of me, unless you've always wanted to know what whiplash feels like.

hhp

hrant's picture

Stephen, put it on eBay (with a high reserve), so we can test the waters. If it's good, I'll throw in mine too.

hhp

beejay's picture

Didn't posting the PDFs shoot to hell the notion that someone would pay this much?


Keep us updated.

bj

t1mmy's picture

Alright. I found Fontographer: Type by Design. I was able to download the whole thing, and have it on my hard drive. I don't want to be handing this thing out to anyone because it's illegal, but we can figure something out if you ABSOLUTELY have to have it.

I just checked the same link 5 minutes ago and the page isn't loading or they removed it. I don't know, but here's the link anyways. I hope I didn't open pandora's box.

http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/dtp/papers.html

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

>>"Better yet, find out if we can legally post the Type by Design PDF and we'll add it to the Downloads page."

Jared: I didn't say "I will post the PDF IN TYPOPHILE"... Got it? hehe...

R.

alan's picture

Ok, I just have to chime in about this. I don't know what the appeal of Moye's book is. I bought it way back when I was starting with Fontographer, and I hated the book so much that I took it back to Tower and asked for my money back.

Tutorials on how to make auto-bolded Helvetica Oblique small caps? What the hell? I don't know, it just didn't seem up to snuff. And the book is set in like 24pt Goudy Handtooled or something.

Last year I found a copy for $18, and sold it on Amazon for $150. I should have kept it around to squeeze another $1000 out of it :-)

I have always wanted a good technical reference on this stuff, but out of necessity I have played around so much that it's no longer quite the holy grail I once thought it would be. I thought about writing my own, but I just know it would be like, "Well, then you kinda do this, and then this, and then you just gotta feel it out from there."

Now, to Tim's original inquiry. If you're talking about extrema points, Hrant's right, they make things easier to work with, and they're desirable on the technical side (hinting/rasterization). However, they're not always needed for the little details, as David Lemon explains in this PDF about hinting: http://www.pyrus.com/downloads/hinting.pdf

If you're talking about each curve having two BCPs: the reason this is needed is because pulling out one BCP automatically implies that there is a BCP on the other end of that curve segment. But if the other one is not pulled out, it's considered to be located directly on top of the anchor point, which is a PostScript no-no, or something.

FontLab does a particularly good job of encouraging the designer to construct curves properly, by the way that it displays BCPs and anchor points.

Alan

John Hudson's picture

If you're looking for an introductory book on creating outlines and other aspects of simple type manufacture, Michael Harvey's Creative Lettering Today is quite good. It is also probably the only book ever that will teach you the basics of calligraphy, lettering, using fontographer and cutting letters in stone and wood. Michael's done a number of fonts for Adobe, so he has a good grasp of the technical requirements for clean outlines, nodes at extremes, etc.

saint's picture

Quote: "BTW, there's no way it's going to be legal. Just use an account in Venezuela: they have no extradition treaty with the US. Remember "The Spanish Prisoner?"

PLEASE TELL ME MORE.

hrant's picture

Put the files on a web server in Venezuela: they can't touch you.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

BZZZZZT. Hrant, you are the weakest link.

The point of Venezeula having no extradition treaty with the US (if this is even true) is that if you are living in Venezeula you can't be sent for trial in the US. This does not mean that if you have files living in Venezeula you cannot be prosecuted in your country of residence.

Please, no one take legal advice from blogs, e-mail discussion lists or online forums.

hrant's picture

Well, you're right about the extradition bit of course (unless you're open to the possibility of moving there if the •••• ends up actually hitting the fan :-) so that was a "side-benefit". I was [clumsily] trying to refer to mutual copyright protection treaties. If not Venezuela, maybe Cuba - anyway, there's a number of choices. Which would I recommend? Lebanon. Although Lebanon is signatory to copyright treaties, you really have nothing to worry about, plus Beirut is the rockingest place to visit (and live, depending).

And oh yeah, totally don't use me like a lawyer - that's nuts.

hhp

t1mmy's picture

Thanks for all your help guys, this has been very informative for me.

mk2's picture

Thank you for the the treasure, Mr. Tim Drabandt.

Now I've got the the PDF too, may God bless the site owner.

PS : Is this a sin ? a crime ? who cares, i'm just downloading.

beejay's picture

Anon, the book by Cabarga, I don't see a mention of
it in this thread>\. But anyway, check his site, www.flashfonts.com
or email him.

I suspect the book is "at the printer" and won't be out till later in the Fall.

bj

beejay's picture

Never mind, I see that Stuart mentioned the book upthread.

Leslie previewed some pages from the book at TypeCon.

jay's picture

Recently ran into this:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.07/haven.html

It's a tad dated, but I like the concept.

Jared Benson's picture

Better yet, find out if we can legally post the Type by Design PDF and we'll add it to the Downloads page.

Stephen Coles's picture

$1,000!? Really? That's it. I'm sellin' my copy.

Jared Benson's picture

yeah, geez, I might as well sell mine too - It's a great book but I haven't cracked it open for quite some time...

Stephen Coles's picture

Ahem. If Mr. Moye and/or the publisher saw that
wouldn't they rethink their decision not to reprint?

Joe Pemberton's picture

Ahem. All outlaws to the front desk. Outlaws to the front
desk, please.

Seriously, getting back to beziers here. In a thread from
November 2001 Jared compares the beziers of several
fonts we all know and love. Check it out. (Scroll to
the post on Thursday, November 8th.)

anonymous's picture

what book by Leslie Cabarga? I'm looking for, but I can't find. do you have more info?

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