Sumner Stone's Magma

dan's picture

http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/22430.html

What do you think of the "Halo" weights

charles ellertson's picture

I suspect they might be useful for text-size settings (8-12 point) when printed on an offset press at 2400 to 3200 dpi.

Nick Shinn's picture

The Halo

hrant's picture

> Interpolation is fine for minor tweaking of a
> font's weight. However if you really want to
> do "Haloing" right, you have to "expand stroke"

?
The extremes of a weight axis can be -and often are- generated by expand-stroke, and then cleaned up, and then you can interpolate wonderful Halo-style stuff. If it's good enough for generating a Regular and a Bold it's certainly good enough the generate minor weight differences. That said, if you care about such subtle weight differences you also need to care about trapping:
http://www.themicrofoundry.com/ss_trapping1.html

I think this Halo idea -although not entirely original- is useful for a number of things, although some of them actually would treat the Halo cut as the primary and the "normal" as the alternate. Besides light-on-dark setting, it's useful for balancing color in settings with slightly different point sizes*, fighting gain Poynter-style, and also letterpess printing.

* And this relates to the wonderful "semi-fake" smallcaps approach - it's really quite adequate most of the time.

BTW, one strange thing is how he seems to be using websafe colors, still. Look at the unpleasant pattern in that brick color (on the site).

hhp

jfp's picture

"The extremes of a weight axis can be -and often are- generated by expand-stroke, and then cleaned up, and then you can interpolate wonderful Halo-style stuff."

Really? For some professional type designers I know, including myself its not how we proceed at all. Well, perhaps it work a bit better on Sans, but not for a serif.* Its more fast to design them. Type design is not a game who can be done with tricks such that one, I can assure you.

Only for really minor overall adujstment of weight, sometimes weight functions can be used, but as all functions, the system is too stupid to do correct job. Last, semi fake small caps work mostly for Sans.

* see that, last 2 images who are extreme sizes of a newspaper typeface.

hrant's picture

Just to be clear, I didn't mean using only expand-stroke; for one thing you certainly have to shift the contrast (more for dark weights and less for light) manually afterwards. But my point was that interpolation itself is fine for virtually any design, assuming the extremes are clean. Proof that it works well? De Groot.

hhp

jfp's picture

point taken :-)

Still, adding weight via a function do worst job than doing it manually specially when its extremes. Specially when you do MM or interpolation after, because with adding weight via afunction, you never be sure where you add points and it always destruct most of your forms, like serif structure and so on.

When I say extreme, its really extreme, aka Extra light to Black, not Regular to Demi!!!... with five intermediate weights ;)

dezcom's picture

I have tried using expand stroke as well as Effects>bold in FontLab. I find the results almost useless. I can draw the new weights from scratch faster and better than I can clean up the mess made by the transformations. Once you draw the extremes, making inbetween weights using MM gives you a starting point that can be reasonably cleaned up but there is still old fashioned work involved.

I guess I just don't trust anything "automatic"--I still drive a manual shift car with crank-up windows. Then again, I am just a cranky old man anyway :-)

ChrisL

Nick Shinn's picture

"Expand Stroke" in Fontographer is very smooth. It does have difficulty with some curves, but I've found that if I just "split point" at either end, that fixes it (although I have to delete a few extra points after removing overlap). However, the new outlines are very "parallel" to the original, so it's worth it.

I haven't had any success with Fontlab's "Expand Strokes" (different from Effects > Bold) -- it gives me crooked, non-parallel lines, and new points in peculiar places. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but as I prefer to create my glyphs in Fontographer anyway, I haven't tried to fix the problem.

dezcom's picture

Nick,
Those are my same complaints in FontLab so you are not alone.

ChrisL

dan's picture

My concern about Haloed fonts isn't about design directly. Its about how jobs get created. Lets say a designer uses the haloed font with a knock out in an ad. The ad flows along but when it gets to the production department the client now decides it should be a tint of color and an overprint. The designer by this time is working on 10 other projects and might even be bored with this one. Well it is in production. Another problem could be if a project leaves one agency and goes to another. They might know the typeface but might not have a clue about the haloed aspect. These are just some thoughts.

Miss Tiffany's picture

They show an attention to usage and need of the designer who might use the typefaces. What do you think of them?

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'd be curious to really get in close and compare the differences. I've seen some type that is simply interpolated to get different weights--painfully apparent--and the designer has not done any sort of tweaking. However, I would think it a safe assumption that Mr. Stone has much more respect and care for the subtleties and wouldn't bother with those subtleties if he didn't see reason.

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