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comp.fonts FAQ: General Info (6/6)

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Archive-name: fonts-faq/part6
Version: 2.1.5

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Subject: 1.33. Digital Type Design Tools
  
  This article was constructed from a posting by Charles A. Bigelow in
  Jun 1994 and a posting by Clive Bruton in Jan 1995.
  
  How do the various digital type designing tools compare?
  ========================================================
  
  Charles A. Bigelow contributes:
  
  Kris Holmes and I use Ikarus and IkarusM, on the Macintosh, for most of
  our work. We also use Fontographer from time to time. Both are good
  tools.  We have not tried TypeDesigner.  We have tried FontStudio, but
  don't use it.
  
  IkarusM and Fontographer user interfaces are different (modulo the Mac
  interface). IkarusM displays all "on-curve" points, treating the curves
  as Hermite splines, which it converts to Beziers when making Type1 or
  Type3 fonts, and to quadratic B-splines when making TrueType fonts.
  On-curve points are helpful because they are intuitively more like what
  a naive user would expect--to change a curve, change a point on its
  contour. Fontographer uses bezier on-curve and off-curve control
  points. While these take a little more getting used-to, experienced
  users have no problems manipulating curves by moving around the
  off-curve control points.
  
  Fontographer uses curve fitting of scanned input and/or mouse
  manipulation of points to get started on outlines. IkarusM uses
  graphics tablet input from drawn (or photographed) artwork or mouse
  manipulation to get started.
  
  Both provide auto-hinting capabilities (IkarusM just included this in
  version 3.0), but I haven't compared the quality of hinting between the
  applications.  Both provide automatic kerning capabilities, but again I
  haven't compared the quality carefully. IkarusM itself doesn't do
  kerning, but version 3.0 comes with Kernus, a separate auto-kerning
  system.
  
  Fontographer has more "goodies" in terms of the the different kinds of
  output of fonts and screen fonts for different platforms (indeed, we
  prefer it for making BDF bitmaps for UNIX platforms), and in the "finer
  points" so to speak, of manipulating control points, whereas IkarusM
  has more internal accuracy of resolution and more geometric symmetry
  manipulation tools.
  
  Fontographer has auto-tracing capability, for fitting outlines to
  scanned images, whereas IkarusM needs a separate program, LinusM to do
  that. However, LinusM adds several capabilities that Fontographer does
  not provide.
  
  I have forgotten the current list price for Fontographer (sorry, but
  I'm sure a Fontographer user or someone from Altsys can provide it; is
  it around \$250 - \$300?). IkarusM + Kernus + LinusM is around \$900,
  but one should check with the URW office in Nashua, NH, to be certain
  of that figure and of what is included.
  
  There are many other differences between the programs, and perhaps other
  users will want to point them out.
  
  Which would I choose? Well, I have them both. Kris Holmes and I have
  produced over 75 typefaces with Ikarus, though some of those were with
  Ikarus on VAX or Sun. We are comfortable with Ikarus and feel that it
  provides the highest level of precision and control, which for our
  professional purposes is what we most value. Nevertheless, we find
  Fontographer to be very good tool and continually buy the updates and
  test it and use it for various things when we feel that it is superior
  to Ikarus in particular respects. The best thing would be to test them
  both, but unfortunately, one's preference for one or the other might
  not manifest itself until one has gained more experience.
  
  Disclaimer: We pay the standard prices and purchase our copies of
  IkarusM and Fontographer and their upgrades, figuring that font tool
  developers deserve to be paid for their work, just like font designers.
  Bigelow & Holmes has font licensing arrangements with URW, the
  developers of Ikarus, but we are not paid by them.
  
  What about FontStudio?
  ======================
  
  [Editors note: This seems like valuable information for the FAQ, which
  is why I've included it in a mostly wholesale fashion as Clive posted
  it.  In general, I'm not a big fan of anonymous contributions, but in
  this case I've chosen to look the other way ;-).  In particular, I've
  made no attempt to disambiguate the personal pronouns in this section!]
  
  Clive Bruton contributes the following:
  
  I will now do a mini compendium of all my comments as FontStudio's chief
  promoter, along with all the other people who support my view.
  
  Sorry to those who are not credited, but others wish to remain
  anonymous.
  
  The following snippets are not necessarily in chronological order, names
  have been changed to protect the guilty!
  
  Is FontStudio Still Being Marketed?
  -----------------------------------
  
  Well it's one of those questions isn't it, it is certainly advertised in
  the UK and as far as I know still supported by Letraset UK, but as you
  have probably seen in comp.fonts there has been some debate over the
  relative merits of FontStudio vs Fontographer, my arguement suitably
  backed-up by ...., and there is certainly some doubt over its imediate
  future.
  
  Personally I'd like to see it re-launched, if only because the market
  needs some stimulation in order to produce ground-breaking products, and
  one App/Vendor (Fontographer/Altsys) doesn't make for healthy
  competition, as we've seen with Quark getting fat and lazy over their
  upgrades for XPress with no perceived threat from PageMaker (that should
  change real soon).
  
  However it (FS) retails in the UK for \$195.00 as opposed to
  Fontographers \$295.00, the current version is 2.0, as it has been for
  over two years, but then again there have been no bug fixes for it, no
  need!
  
  I am sure that you could buy it in the US via Letraset directly, if you
  wanted to. As far as marketing goes, I have just received a software
  brochure from Camalot (UK software vendor) that partly showcases the
  full Letraset range, and FontStudio is in there with the rest.
  
  If you can't get it in the States, I'm sure I can arrange for it to be
  shipped to you.
  
  What About Bitmap Generation?
  -----------------------------
  
  FontStudio's advantage is that they call the ATM API to get
  ATM-generated bitmaps.  Fontographer generates their own--and the
  results are much heavier and more messy.
  
  Yes, you're right, I did know, FS has 3 options on this, its own
  generation, which like Fontographers are rather heavy, ATM's which are
  just about perfect, and True Type, which from memory--since I only
  tried it a couple of times--tend to be a bit quirky.
  
  FontStudio is Better [than Fontographer]?
  -----------------------------------------
  
  Could you elaborate on that? Why do you suppose that FontStudio
  disappeared, and Fontographer is still around? Not being belligerent or
  challenging you, since I'm totally unfamiliar with FontStudio--but
  Altsys is not exactly a Goliath compared to Letraset, in terms of the
  size of the company or the depth of its pockets, and I'm curious why
  such a good product from a big font vendor disappeared.
  
  I'll chime in here if that's OK. I'm very glad FontStudio came along;
  Fontographer was resting on its laurels until it got serious
  competition. Many people prefer FontStudio's drawing interface (which is
  like Illustrator's) to Fontographer's (which is, unsurprisingly, like
  Freehand's). There are other parts to the interface debate as well, like
  zoom factors, dialog complexity, and so forth, although much of it may
  be a matter of taste.
  
  XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX was one of FontStudio's beta sites, and they used a lot
  of our advice, so it's not accidental that our designers still tend to
  use it until it's time to move the fonts over to the SPARCs. I use it
  when I'm playing with designs at home.
  
  It looks like Letraset didn't know how to promote what it had. It's
  worth noting that they'yre divesting themselves of their other graphics
  apps, not just FontStudio. At any rate, the biggest hurdle was that
  Fontographer had a four-year head start, capturing the hearts of nearly
  everyone who was serious about making fonts. Nobody wants to relearn an
  app, so the competition has to be darned good to get people to switch.
  It has happened (witness XPress vs PageMaker) but it's not easy.
  Another problem was that Letraset didn't develop FontStudio, they
  bought it. They and the developers (now Ares, the FontMonger people)
  didn't get along well, and that led to a painfully slow upgrade
  process. Altsys got themselves in gear, and started adding features
  right & left, outdoing FontStudio on nearly every count (technically,
  not necessarily in terms of user experience).
  
  I can only agree with what XXX has said above, plus...
  
  Just some more background info on FontStudio/Letraset. Unfortunately
  Letraset never seemed to get the knack of selling software, some
  examples of this are, Letraset were originally the distributors of Adobe
  products in the UK - a job that is now carried out by Principal, they
  also had a full complement of other Mac software - which seems to have
  reverted to its authors or disappeared alltogether, it has recently
  released the first commercially available Plug-In for Illustrator, a
  derivative of LetraStudio, to allow the creation of pespective and
  envelope effects - who knows about this?
  
  Back to the FontStudio/Fontographer debate, I have tried to use
  Fontographer, but as discussed above, the interface is just awful (as an
  aside, does anyone like FreeHand 4.0's interface?), FontStudios use of
  colour, pop-up menus, and general look and feel is completely at home
  alongside XPress and Illustrator, where as Fontographer, well... isn't!
  
  All the buzzers and bells are there in Fontographer, but can you really
  take seriously a program that won't allow you to draught your own
  bitmaps! (Yeah I have heard about ATM, that's not the point).
  
  Also, and I won't lay the blame solely at the door of Altsys, whenever
  I get asked to sort out a problem font, it's always been created with
  Fontographer.  Now whether that is down to Altsys Fontographer (AF)
  trying to things that aren't exactly kosher (like using even/odd rule
  instead of winding), or the skill of the digitisers who did the work
  I've never been able to fathom, but it's usually fixed by importing into
  FontStudio (FS) and re-saving.
  
  I hope that Ares do something with FS, otherwise sooner or later I am
  going to need a new program (I have found a minor screen draw problem
  when used with System 7.5, I've yet to try it on a PowerMac [anyone
  wants me to, I can send you results]), I have already looked around, and
  seem a lot more likely to buy Ikarus M than AF, it's really that bad.
  
  I would also like to comment on XXX's point about XPress/PageMaker, I
  hope that Adobe can make a real killer of PM, and reverse that trend,
  XPress>PM that'll be the way to go!
  
  Just to take Xpress' name in vain again (I don't hate the program, just
  the smug bastards that want to charge me \$190.00 to get a native
  version, and only a native version - Adobe has got the right attitude
  there!) "XPress" is to "Word for Windows", what "FontStudio" is to
  "Fontographer".
  
  QED. Maybe not!
  
  If all those in favour send me a *YAY* (addressed to
  typonaut@d-supp.demon.co.uk) and someone sends me e-addresses for Ares
  and Letraset, then I will forward them your support, who knows Altsys
  may even decide to pack the whole Fontographer game in, and Adobe can
  relaunch FontStudio!
  
Subject: 1.34. Type Design Firms
  
  Although it has been a long time coming, it seems only natural that the
  comp.fonts FAQ should provide a brief summary of what the various type
  design firms are producing.
  
  Carter & Cone Type, Inc.
  ========================
  
  This description was constructed from postings by Don Hosek, Erik-Jan
  Vens, and David Lemon in Sep, 1993.
  
       Carter & Cone Type Inc.
       2155 Massachusetts Avenue
       Cambridge, MA 02140
       617-576-0398 or 800-952-2129
       617-354-4146 FAX
  
  We begin with Carter & Cone not because I think they should be first,
  but because I already have a few articles about them (I probably saved
  the articles more because they were about Galliard, which I have a
  fondness for, than anything else).  Please contribute summaries about
  other foundries (even the foundries themselves are encouraged to
  contribute, althought I'd appreciate it if the advertising overtones
  were kept to a dull roar ;-).
  
  Galliard
  --------
  
  [Editors note: With appologies to C&C, I have the following snippet:
  
       >> the designer. He's in business for himself now as half of Carter &
       >> Cone (800 952 2129 voice), and he's worked Galliard over yet again.
       >> Should be cool. Support your local type designer.
  
  Which half of C&C does this refer to?]
  
  Don Hosek says:
  
  The specimen sheets arrived in the mail today (along with the newest
  Font & Function). Carter & Cone has three faces: ITC Galliard [CC]
  which is a family of 11 fonts. The bad news is that assignments of
  characters into expert sets and basic fonts is non-standard (the basic
  font is missing fi and fl). The good news is that the fonts are quite
  inexpensive. The whole set can be purchased for \$150. The font is a
  single weight only (if bold is strictly necessary, Bitstream Galliard
  Bold is consistent in height and can be mixed. On the other hand,
  designers need to learn to avoid the crutch of bold face on their
  pages). It is possible to purchase just those parts of the package
  which are needed. Those able to mix fonts on their own might be able to
  get a decent selection for less than \$150.
  
  Sophia
  ------
  
  Don continues,
  
  The second font is Sophia which is a kind of quirky all-caps display
  face. It features a number of upper case ligatures [!] and has a kind
  of Greek-Turkish feel to it (not suprising, really: the face is based
  in 6th c. Constantinople letterforms).  When I first saw this, I didn't
  like it, but it does grow on one.  The price on this is \$60.
  
  Mantinia
  --------
  
  Finally, Don concludes,
  
  The third font is Mantinia which is a more traditional display roman
  with some interesting features: e.g., more uppercase ligatures and an
  alphabet with superior caps in place of lower case (the La of LaTeX
  could be typeset without kerns or raises using this alphabet). Again,
  this took some growing on one, but I'm more accepting of this (and can
  even imagine using it for real work). The price on this is \$60.
  
Subject: 1.35. What does `lorem ipsum dolor' mean?
  
  `Lorem ipsum dolor' is the first part of a nonsense paragraph sometimes
  used to demonstrate a font.  It has been well established that if you
  write anything as a sample, people will spend more time reading the
  copy than looking at the font.  The "gibberish" below is sufficiently
  like ordinary text to demonstrate a font but doesn't distract the
  reader.  Hopefully.
  
  Rick Pali submits the following from Before and After Magazine, Volume
  4 Number 2.:
  
  [quote]
  
  After telling everyone that Lorem ipsum, the nonsensical text that
  comes with PageMaker, only looks like Latin but actually says nothing, I
  heard from Richard McClintock, publication director at the
  Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, who had enlightening news:
  
  "Lorem ipsum is latin, slightly jumbled, the remnants of a passage from
  Cicero's _de Finibus_ 1.10.32, which begins 'Neque porro quisquam est
  qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit...'
  [There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to
  have it, simply because it is pain.]. [de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum,
  written in 45 BC, is a treatise on the theory of ethics very popular in
  the Renaisance.]
  
  "What I find remarkable is that this text has been the industry's
  standard dummy text ever since some printed in the 1500s took a galley
  of type and scambled it to make a type specemin book; it has survived
  not only four centuries of letter-by-letter resetting but even the leap
  into electronic typesetting, essentially unchanged except for an
  occational 'ing' or 'y' thrown in. It's ironic that when the
  then-understood Latin was scrambled, it became as incomprehensible as
  Greek; the phrase 'it's Greek to me' and 'greeking' have common semantic
  roots!"
  
  [unquote]
  
  One Example of Lorem Ipsum Dolor
  ================================
  
  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetaur adipisicing elit, sed do
  eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad
  minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip
  ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in
  voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.  Excepteur
  sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia
  deserunt mollit anim id est laborum Et harumd und lookum like Greek to
  me, dereud facilis est er expedit distinct. Nam liber te conscient to
  factor tum poen legum odioque civiuda. Et tam neque pecun modut est
  neque nonor et imper ned libidig met, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed
  ut labore et dolore magna aliquam makes one wonder who would ever read
  this stuff? Bis nostrud exercitation ullam mmodo consequet. Duis aute
  in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. At vver
  eos et accusam dignissum qui blandit est praesent luptatum delenit
  aigue excepteur sint occae.  Et harumd dereud facilis est er expedit
  distinct. Nam libe soluta nobis eligent optio est congue nihil impedit
  doming id Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, set
  eiusmod tempor incidunt et labore et dolore magna aliquam. Ut enim ad
  minim veniam, quis nostrud exerc.  Irure dolor in reprehend incididunt
  ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud
  exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
  Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse
  molestaie cillum.  Tia non ob ea soluad incommod quae egen ium improb
  fugiend.  Officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum Et harumd dereud
  facilis est er expedit distinct. Nam liber te conscient to factor tum
  poen legum odioque civiuda et tam.  Neque pecun modut est neque nonor
  et imper ned libidig met, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed ut labore et
  dolore magna aliquam is nostrud exercitation ullam mmodo consequet.
  Duis aute in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla
  pariatur. At vver eos et accusam dignissum qui blandit est praesent.
  Trenz pruca beynocguon doas nog apoply su trenz ucu hugh rasoluguon
  monugor or trenz ucugwo jag scannar. Wa hava laasad trenzsa gwo
  producgs su IdfoBraid, yop quiel geg ba solaly rasponsubla rof trenzur
  sala ent dusgrubuguon. Offoctivo immoriatoly, hawrgasi pwicos asi
  sirucor.Thas sirutciun applios tyu thuso itoms ghuso pwicos gosi
  sirucor in mixent gosi sirucor ic mixent ples cak ontisi sowios uf Zerm
  hawr rwivos. Unte af phen neige pheings atoot Prexs eis phat eit sakem
  eit vory gast te Plok peish ba useing phen roxas.  Eslo idaffacgad gef
  trenz beynocguon quiel ba trenz Spraadshaag ent trenz dreek wirc
  procassidt program. Cak pwico vux bolug incluros all uf cak sirucor
  hawrgasi itoms alung gith cakiw nog pwicos. Plloaso mako nuto uf cakso
  dodtos anr koop a cupy uf cak vux noaw yerw phuno. Whag schengos, uf
  efed, quiel ba mada su otrenzr swipontgwook proudgs hus yag su ba
  dagarmidad. Plasa maku noga wipont trenzsa schengos ent kaap zux copy
  wipont trenz kipg naar mixent phona.  Cak pwico siructiun ruos nust
  apoply tyu cak UCU sisulutiun munityuw uw cak UCU-TGU jot scannow.
  Trens roxas eis ti Plokeing quert loppe eis yop prexs. Piy opher
  hawers, eit yaggles orn ti sumbloat alohe plok. Su havo loasor cakso
  tgu pwuructs tyu InfuBwain, ghu gill nug bo suloly sispunsiblo fuw
  cakiw salo anr ristwibutiun. Hei muk neme eis loppe. Treas em wankeing
  ont sime ploked peish rof phen sumbloat syug si phat phey gavet peish
  ta paat ein pheeir sumbloats. Aslu unaffoctor gef cak siructiun gill bo
  cak spiarshoot anet cak GurGanglo gur pwucossing pwutwam. Ghat dodtos,
  ig pany, gill bo maro tyu ucakw suftgasi pwuructs hod yot tyubo
  rotowminor.  Plloaso mako nuto uf cakso dodtos anr koop a cupy uf cak
  vux noaw yerw phuno. Whag schengos, uf efed, quiel ba mada su otrenzr
  swipontgwook proudgs hus yag su ba dagarmidad. Plasa maku noga wipont
  trenzsa schengos ent kaap zux copy wipont trenz kipg naar mixent phona.
  Cak pwico siructiun ruos nust apoply tyu cak UCU sisulutiun munityuw
  uw cak UCU-TGU jot scannow.  Trens roxas eis ti Plokeing quert loppe
  eis yop prexs. Piy opher hawers, eit yaggles orn ti sumbloat alohe
  plok. Su havo loasor cakso tgu pwuructs tyu.
  
  [This version was found on CompuServe.  It differs from other versions I
  have seen in print, increasingly so as you go along.  It almost looks
  computer-generated, doesn't it?]
  
  This is Info file compfont.info, produced by Makeinfo-1.55 from the
  input file FAQ.texinfo.
  

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