Legato & points

geraintf's picture

one of the most noteworthy font releases of this year has got to be legato by evert bloemsma. being a curious sort, i had a peek at the outlines. i was surprised that rather a lot of points are being used to describe the curves.

the green i is the legato outlines, the orange i is what i would have *expected* to see (ie minimum number of points)

i wonder if additional points are being added at the 'font development/output stage' (ie. after the glyph has been drawn). if that's the case, why exactly? is it something to do with format conversion?

typophile input welcomed.

cheers

geraint

John Hudson's picture

It would be great though if this wasn't a hypothetical question - let's work on that.

That was my point: I don't think you need to beat chirography down before you can start analysing notan. If chirography were some kind of dominant *explicit* ideology, then perhaps yes, it would need to be systematically critiqued, but I think you will agree that -- excepting Noordzij -- most type designers are only implicitly chirographic: it is an influence that they accept without much critical thought (Noordzij, whether one agrees with him or nor -- and he encourages disagreement -- is at least thoughtful). So it seems to me that you can largely sidestep chirography, and cut to the chase: there is no reason why the questions you want to ask sould be hypothetical.

So, practically, how would you go about analysing notan and trying to improve readability?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Mark's comment about hinting diagonals and curves is true for Type 1 and its relatives (at least in terms of tools and documented capabilities), but not for TrueType. Off-curve points can be hinted in TrueType, as can diagonals.

Regards,

T

Mark Simonson's picture

Thanks for the clarification, Thomas. I kinda knew that but I'm only a novice when it comes to TT hinting.

hrant's picture

> I don't think you need to beat chirography
> down before you can start analysing notan.

- I don't see why I can't do both.
- If I were to choose one I'd choose chirography for sure. Because it's a less recognized issue. Most designers understand notan; they were just missing a good term until I jumped in. :-) Seriously, I think transporting "notan" from the Orient to here might be the only decent contribution I can make to this area. But the fight against chirography is just warming up.

As for the explicit versus implicit: you know, I sort of wish all the pro-chiro people were more explicit, because then things would quickly get worse and then get better! Non-explicit stuff is harder to fight. G Noordzij's formalisms are what most helped clarify my own thoughts in fact.

BTW, you said that only G Noordzij claims he makes "direct" chiro fonts. I don't see this at all. I think: Zapf for example has made much more explicitly chiro fonts - and so has Meier; some things in his fonts are consciously anti-chirographic as far as I can tell, like the top terminal of the "a" in Ruse.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

When I used the term 'direct' it was to indicate the use of writing as a design process: Noordzij, as I understand it, creates his type designs by writing with a pen. Zapf and Meier, while their designs might be stylistically chirographical, draw outlines. Insofar as they might start with pen sketches, their designs are indirectly chirographic. This is, of course, true of many type designers, although you will find that actual practice varies consideraly between typefaces. I think SBL Hebrew is the only typeface I have ever started with broadnib pen sketches. If other designs are 'chirographic', they are only so in idea, not at all in method.

John Hudson's picture

If I were to choose one I'd choose chirography for sure. Because it's a less recognized issue.

If I were to apply the Hrantian 'everything is about personality' approach, I would be inclined to suggest another motive: you like a good fight. Also, analysis of notan and its relationship to readability is something that needs to be done, not talked about on Typophile etc. Indeed, it is difficult to talk about it, since both questions and answers are embedded in the design process: you ask the questions and answer them by designing.

shylodog's picture

Hello Hrant,

I see you like poetry? A little more metre, a little more rythm and you are the "new" Walt Witman of Typography

BTW

you said that only "G"
Noordzij claims he makes
"direct" chiro fonts.
I don't see this at all.
I think:
Zapf for example
has made much more
explicitly
chiro fonts -
and so has Meier;
some things in his fonts
are consciously
anti-chirographic
as far as I can tell,
like the top terminal of the
"a" in Ruse.

Merry Christmas

dezcom's picture

Kalla Xpistouyeva kai to vaporri sou!

Bon Voyage Gerald! This is what you meant when you said to me a while back, "I have plans." :-)

Perhaps now you can relax and be a happy man? You have done good work all your life, now go sail and enjoy!

ChrisL

shylodog's picture

Chris,

Post Cards for all.

Thanks Chris? You were "good for me". Explain it later.

shylodog's picture

Chris,

In otherwords

Stephen Coles's picture

I echo Hrant's joy at discovering Evert has joined the Typophiles.

Would love to see an english version of that chart, Evert.

paul d hunt's picture

i guess it makes sense that Evert Bloemsma's site is not longer online, i tried to glean some of the information there about FF Legato, but apparently none of the file assets (images, pdfs, &c.) are chached by web.archive.org. Any suggestions on getting some of this information back. Does anyone know if FontShop has a copy (or does anyone have a local copy) of the pdf: about_ff_legato.pdf? hrant, do you have this? any help would be appreciated. it would be a tragic loss if this information is not preserved by the best means possible.

hrant's picture

You're right. I have some things he had sent me - I'll have a look.
Do I/we need to get permission from anybody? BTW, the best person
I can think of to get this stuff back is Middendorp.

BTW, am I the only person getting spooked re-reading Evert's posts? :-/

hhp

paul d hunt's picture

Do I/we need to get permission from anybody?

It might be nice to contact his family... I just would like to have the information, including images, to put into the wiki if it is not going to be available anywhere else online. I've already integrated what text i could glean from the web archive, but the text refers to images that are missing. If this is inappropriate, i will roll the entry back to a previous time.

paul d hunt's picture

also, if i can prevail on the good nature of one of our Dutch-speaking members to translate The Dutch Wikipedia article for the English version of Wikipedia. Thanks in advance...

paul d hunt's picture

I got my hands on a copy of the pdf version of the legato page: Thanks Ruben! I've attached it to the FF Legato wiki page and started putting the images back in. Good stuff there...

Antonio Cavedoni's picture

Paul: I too am interested in about_ff_legato.pdf and in Evert’s work in general, it’s a shame that the Internet Archive didn’t save these images.

The wiki page for FF Legato doesn’t list any attached PDFs, though, what happened?

paul d hunt's picture

i think i have the pdf somewhere, if you want me to send it to you, email me at pauldhunt (a) yahoo . com.

Antonio Cavedoni's picture

Found it via Google (evert bloemsma type:pdf): http://typophile.com/files/ff%20-%20legato_about.pdf

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