Casino expansion stokes pokie debate The National PokerStars Federation wants poker reform in Nevada

Casino expansion stokes pokie debate The National PokerStars Federation wants poker reform in Nevada. The expansion’s proponents argue that Nevada has long held an unwritten “law of the house” that prevents companies from starting casinos, yet this hasn’t been the case for major poker promotions.

Poker promoter calls for greater oversight After months of scrutiny from a California gamb예스카지노ling regulator, one New Jersey man is calling o더킹카지노n the Las Vegas casino industry to bring more oversight to its business practices.

Poker gambling in Las Vegas, Nevada is a game of skill and talent

There are no public records of Mr. McCandless’ actions at Casino Live, where the former casino manager claimed to be a licensed poker player. But public records show that Mr. McCandless began playing poker at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday, as a friend of his, David Reitzel of Philadelphia, walked into the casino. Mr. Reitzel had placed some $20 bets with Mr. McCandless on Mr. Reitzel’s PlayStation, where he has played hundreds of millions of dollars of online games in recent years. Mr. McCandless told the friend to go to the casino and play.

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A day later, a friend told Mr. Reitzel that he would not be staying at the hotel. A hotel employee asked Mr. McCandless if he was staying for an extended period of time. He did, eventually returning to the casino.

At about 9:40 p.m. Friday morning, the friend saw Mr. Reitzel walk out into the lobby. As he enteredapronx the lobby he was quickly followed by several casino staffers and security officers, who searched through Mr. McCandless’s pockets, purse and wallet. They seized cash, a gaming device Mr. McCandless had given them, as well as an iPod computer and an iPhone — all evidence that Mr. McCandless was already playing cards online.

Mr. McCandless was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of possession of a firearm under a fictitious name and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a criminal street gang. His attorney, Marc Laszewski, declined to comment Tuesday afternoon about the case. Mr. Reitzel, who said that he had not played poker in several years, said he had hoped to stay in Las Vegas to play poker, but that he was forced out because of Mr. McCandless’s actions.

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“My brother an

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Burma aid delays worrying aust ngos

Burma aid delays worrying aust ngos

MUNICH — The world’s second most populous country in recent years has postponed the delivery of food aid to Afghanistan because of rising tensions between China and its neighbors.

The delay for the March 2014 famine relief package was first reported by the British Associated Press news service late Monday morning. The package, worth $200 million, was to begin next month, but the delay was caused by 카지노 사이트a clash between China and Mongolia, officials said. China has a trade deficit with Mongolia of about $1.7 billion, according to the World Bank.

Somali Foreign Minister Abdul Wahidur Naderuddin said Monday that it was “difficult to believe this will bring the World Food Program back in Afghanistan.”

A UN spokesman said in a statement that “the Afghan government continues to cooperate with the World Food Program to provide essential items with a high level of transparency and quality,” referring to the aid package. “The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Welfare is closely 더킹카지노monitoring how the World Food Program’s work in Afghanistan.”

While the World Food Program’s work in Afghanistan is “very positive,” “the delays in aid will increase the burden on Afghan Government’s res카지노 사이트ources,” said the spokesman.

Aid in February was delayed, at least a year, because of concerns among countries that Taliban militants are attacking food markets.

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Vigil held for baby killed in parkinson stabbing

Vigil held for baby killed in parkinson stabbing

CLOSE Police say a 12-month-old baby and 카지노 사이트two adults were fatally stabbed Tuesday night, June 21, at an aband바카라사이트oned lot on the southwest side in North Miami Beach. (July 6) AP

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Liveblog Notes: Granshan 2015 Day 1

These are live blog notes from the lectures at the Granshan 2015 in Reading

Usual disclaimer for live blogging: These are informal notes taken by me, Dave Crossland, at the event, and may or may not be similar to what was said by the people who spoke on these topics. This is probably FULL of errors. What do you want for free? 🙂 If something here is incorrect it is probably because I mistyped it or misunderstood, and if anyone wants corrections, just should tweet me – @davelab6 – or post a comment. Thanks!

Intro: Boris

15 years of MATD

Gerry

Great to see this happening. Its like a surfer movie, you stand on the board and you dont know if they will make it…. and now we are on the wave and I thin we are in for a nice ride but you dont know how it will go.

Why all of this? Well, there are so many people from around the world here today, and will a room like this, people who are making a living from type. 20 years ago people would not believe it. Global type is a business, and we are at the beginning. We have decades of growth in interest in global typogrpahy, not as a historical study, but a new domain that we – you – is helping to build. That combines understanding of culture, history, and a practical approach to discipline that can make new interesting designs. that treat the language, the script, of everyone with respect that they deserve.

These 3 will days will emphasise this. we are like mature teenagers, we are beginning to get there, and in the next few years the granshan will have a clear iddentity. its a nice thing to see poeple coming back to the university they studied at; if you have a strange feeling, its stranger for me.

its great to start the event with a legend, no better opening speaker; gerard unger.

Gerard Unger: Letterforms from the edge of Europe, 700–1200

Lets go to northern france, here was made in 871-877, a manuscript, the 2nd bible of charles de gaul. This it eh opening phase of the book of genesis. its in the biblioteque nationale, a prized possesoin of france. here is a detail from this page; LIBER. splinded capitals; identified as ture carolingian capitols. Nicolas Gray did this in ‘Lettering as Drawing, Contour as Soliouette’. This is modelled on classical roman caps, but changed enough to call them carolinian.

This is about calligraphy, epigraphy (carving) and digital letters. you see these letters in many manuscripts but few inscriptions. Kind C d G 2 was king of france, westerm roman empire, etc.

Now lets go to the abbey of or vey with a rare inscription with carolingian caps. its badly weathered, copper was inlaid and gone long ago. you see the curves in the G, D, the short serifs, the way the verticals flare; its all different to how the romans do it. this is around 840-844.

Back to this book, the caroligian miniscule, you see the page and the detail. when combined with the caroligian lowercase, there is the cap ‘N’ and an uncial ‘A’ and an uncial ‘q’ and ‘U’ and ‘O’. The franks were a germanic tribe, and charlemagne was a Frank, and CdG was a grandson.

As you go through the manuscript, at page 99, there is “The Book of Kings I”, “Liber Primo”. In the middle between the carolingian caps, there is another world! The letters are worked into a pattern, 1/3rd of them are symbols …

Uncials reached UK through missionaries; in the middle ages, people traveled widely and letters spread far. The uncials may be from greece or africa. A paleographer sugggested roman uncials are the work of a roman calligrapher working from greek uncial letterforms. this is from the coda cina inicas (?) and the uncial ‘a’ of the roman is familiar, the omega is flipped 180′ you have a roman ‘m’, so its supposed a direct lineage.

here are “english uncials” and what was made in the uk from them. this is caterbury from 750 AD, now in the royal library in stockholm. there are differences; the pen angle of roman is 30′ and in UK uncials its flat/horizontal, and a bit more ornate. Roman uncials are a bit more simple.

back to the 2nd bible of Charles de Gaul. … celts had their own art; here’s a celtic helmet from north france, now in the national archelogical museum in paris. its 4thC BC. Swirling lines, spirals, and snail shells, and interfaced cross hatching, and zoomorphic designer (eg snake heads). Here’s a vase, in the british museum, 3thC BC, more flat graphics but still spirals.

Here in the 2nd bible of CdG there are spirals, wheels, and geometric decoration in a famous manuscript. here is a 715-720AD bible from ireland, this is a treaure of the british library. in 563, st columba from ireland, founded a monastary in yeoman in the west coast of scotland. here’s another page of the linus van gospel (?) with this lettering; you see amazing creativity in solving problems that if i suggested them today to my clients they would refuse them.

here you see ‘abraham’ after a greek phi, and its split into 2 lines and fitted in an interwined way. there is a ‘G’ with the arm stem bend backwards. great stuff!

160 years later, this style was interpreted for these caps. in 1868 a hoard was found in ireland that had this chalice; it has text, an angular ‘h’ and a round uncial ‘e’.

Letterforms like an angular ‘s’ and diamond ‘o’ were influenced by runes and the ‘ogam’ (?) script. the o with a stem like a phi.

here is a stone from south east ireland with an ogam inscription; there is little known of this script.

So, this is showing how in the UK there is a mixture of roman square caps, uncials with round forms, and insular letterforms.

today designers also mix forms; when they do multiscript projects, they also look for elemnts scripts share; here is R S’s 2012 Sinhala + Latin. Similarly is 2013 by Bon Min, with Korean + Latin. There is Aaron Bell’s 2011 Latin + Korean. They found similar elements in both scripts, and the 2 have striking similarities, but lots of differences; because the korean script influences them similarly.

Ezcar was designed similarly, the Latin is angular reflecting the angularity of the devanagari.

This is Katari by erin mclaughlin, also very angular. not mixing scripts like mediavals did, but not far off.

ben jones, here today, designed a latin work with several scripts; amenian, gree, arabic, devanagari.

last, the angular ‘u’. something has gone wrong 😉 look at the anuglar ‘u’ in my alvarata. it got gold in the EU design awards and i went to istanbul to pick up the prize. i was happy to see that the angular ‘u’ was known and used there too 😉

Hrant: how do you get clients to use fonts like alvarata, that have a lot of variety? clients are too conservative.

GU: Sure, we educate them. you have to scare them 😉

Vaibhav Singh: Pictures of things: context in the time of global design

Gerry: Vaihbhav’s slides are notable as the images from from the authors collection. his eye for finding patterns when looking at material is great.

VS: Thanks, I’m happy to see so many familiar faces. The markets are growing, we have less and less time to become really interested in what we are doing. you assume a lot of ideas that educational frameowrks provide or professional practice provide. so its an intersting challenge to look at how challenges can be handeld.

I’m glad GU mentioned the movmebt of people. Its map morning! global practice today is not new. we see everything happening in many counties related to prining has been internaional. its never been an insular activity.

Printing press arrives in india in 1556, was meant to go from portugal to ethiopia, and political chagnes there meant they didnt. next was from denmark. danish missionairies had a base in south india, and the story goes they made type from the covers of cheese boxes. lots of innovations in a hands on manner. it became a base in the south east of india, and printed for multiple lanauges. not only for indian subcontentn, but china, tiben, even armenian. then from the UK, and then the french. the first english press was captured from the french. then USA missionaries in early 1800s in mumbai. they made new advances in type; they divded letters into parts to deal with large amounts of text – that was the US press and foundry.

So it was an international thing; it was not just people from the west, paper was from the middle east or china. in the 20th century, these motivations to develop new things changed. early 20th c, there is a surge in mechanical typesetting, faster production, and happened centered in mumbai, a capital crisis pushed newspaper owners to increase producitivity of print press workshops.

In the early 1920s, people in mumbai reached out to monotype uk to devleop something. there are layers of development, MT and LT produced a typeface, but that isn’t totally true, there is a layer of development, and the development process is more interesting than the type itself. a type is not a single thing, it mutates over time.

Similarly in NYC in the 30s, the Mergenthaler Linotype company took an interest to make a devananagri. their worked passed thorugh london to calcutta in 1933.

there was a collaborative effort at MIT, a hi tech company in cmabridge, and a guy in india, made a devanagari type. the commission to matthew carter, came from england, the processing in germany, the testing in india, and sent back to nyc.

the idea is that type is developed not only with formal steps, but as we see the world globally today, we are getting to in the practice of type design, its merely about putting things, making things look like each other; thats a basic idea you could be subject to. but this appraoch shows, what kind of context do we have, is this meaningful to the practice, or is it reinforcing ideas that may or may not be useful.

here is a popular dipiction of indian writing in a french trade card circa 1900. this has hyphens! the boards are huge. but this Jain poetry book from the British Library (‘banarasavilasa’) is totally different. the practice of writing is not serving the same purpose as other writing does; these are religious texts, the writer already knows the text, they know it; so its not really record keepings, it gives you a que when you need it. the text is memorised, so you come to it as a differnet kind of reader or writer.

the landscape format of the book is from the practice of using birch bark in the north and palm leaves in the south of india, and writing was shaped by these subsctrates. you get a metal stylus, you move the subsstrate – here, palm leaves – and when you have different materials/etchnology enter the domain, you see things evolve.

100 years later, you see in 1926, the tools are different; there is paper, a pen, a codex book. the codex form of the book changes according to its use. the things that appear as understanding of technoology, is interssting; there is a diffusion of tech, the more remote the place the longer it takes to get there. “the future is already here, but not evenly distributed.” so look at the actual use to tell you about the tech, the past and future practices.

here is an interesting use of a codex book, a udaipur street banker, 1926. if you have lists, the purpose of the text changes; a landscape book isnt sensible. here’s a late 19th C student manuscript, a long horizontal book, but the text is rotated.

so, an essense of cutlure is polytonic; its not that something works because its traditioanl. we also see this in designing typefacs. putting things into newer forms, or continuing traditions. older and newer ideas come togehter ot make osmething that may be better informed and more beneficial.

here is a diagram from the monotype salfords archive: adrian frutiger + mahendra patel “New Nagari” for the Univers Devanagri project. it has a specific form, looks at a pen sequence, then a low contrast version, a more simplified version… but a more complex letter would have a more radical transformation. you have to see letters in context; a letter out of context means nothing.

I dont say if this is good or bad, i say, does this appraoch take into account the context that this letter is going to be read. can this letter be deciphered? this is radical stuff in the top, there is a modularity to it, like early bauhaus attempts at universal type forms. there are directions here that could be explored further.

but designers say this is good/bad to follow. its not about that, there is possiblity to analyse information and make a more finer evaluaiton.

typefaces often have a political will behind them. there were script reform efforts, here the Sagariya Lipi. Here is Hari Govil with the 2nd Devangari Linotype machine, Mumbai 1933. Here is the LInotype devanagari v2, revised from the original design by him. This is something that people grew up with, so they become programmed to see these as The Way Thing Are, but not thinking if this is a good way or a bad way, given limitations of that time.

So how is type to evolve? A lof of type today, there is good type design happening but typography is not going anywhere. the people to use the type are not there. there is the tradiaional form that looks like this, and there isn’t much typographic exploration.

So, “Trade is a big influence in getting peopele to take an ineterst in one another… but so is the sheer pursuit of human curiosity.” – Amartya Sen (paraphrasing David Hume.)

Thanks!

Veronika Burian and José Scaglione: Curating a type library

Gerry: There is the difference between a type publisher and a foundry; a collection is formed with a vision, with type for specific uses. so i cornered these 2 to talk about this. about the global enviornment, where type designers now find themselves. they will tell us their secrets! 🙂 vik and jose

v: its awkward to be back here 😉 12 years ago it was a different place 🙂 so, an intro: this is the old Dept of Typography sign, that is bashed in, and this is a particular approach to type design, orientated to industrialism and utilitarianism. a focus on process and method. we were serioues, no grey hair and wearing all black (lol)

After that, we had this idea to partner in business, an experiment. we started in a collaborative typeface that became TT Carmina. Vik was in the UK and I was in Rosario Argentina. End of 2005, early 2006, the idea of long distance collaboration in type design wasnt spread like it is now. collaborative design was not widespread like it is now.

we had a shared interested in editorial design, book design.

j: so we made a method. this is an ‘a’ i made in amsterdam in 2004. vik grabbed it and said, it well, but if we do this on the bowl and the terminal. so i said, i love it, better, but it lost an essence, and it can have this terminal. and that led to a typeface.

v: its handy to have this other pair of eyes to bounce off each other. so, we had an idae for an indie foundry, there were a few around, but you cant open a shop with 1 typeface. so we saw to expand the library. we finished Jose’s reading type, Athelas, and mine – Maiola – was at FontShop in a 10 years contract. Ronnia. So we had this first website that was hideous

J: its my design 😉

v: its 10 years ago, its ok 😉 so we made this promo material and started as it goes. we did our own projects too but also realising that we have only 4 hands and 2 brains so we wanted to open up the library. so we asked our colleagues whose work we liked, like Cora by Bart Blubaugh, and the library took shape.

j: so we talk about the type busienss. how do you actually sell your stuff? there is a lot to be done to sell type. the comemrcialising of typeface has ebcome more complex recently. a lot of onts on offer. many media. the pricing structure varies a lot. its a complex scenario.

v: quickly, you see differne tdistribution models. foundries sell to a font rental system that distributes fonts. There is a cloud model too. pricing is key. you price to market standards; being too high means less sales, being too low means its not a good idea as it depreciates the market and conveys your work is lower quality. so pricing should be sustainable, to pay bills and be competitive at the same time.

j: here is a graph, 200 euro at the top. market price is say 100 euro. but a sustainable price, has development time costs, then the insertion costs of bringing it to market. it takes time too. you also must account for growth, so that the library and foundry can grow. and you need extra for a saftey net. as sometimes fonts fail to sell. you dont know exactly why. so how to manage a budget ir something we are not trained on. there are obvious things. rent an office, ;ay vendors, admin time, design time. but les sobvious costs; fianciail, taxes, services and supplies, hardware and software. taxes can add up. then, legal, distribution, support and advertising costs. every 3 or 4 years, someone will come along and say something like ‘you idiot that font is just like mine’ – this is hypothetical! 🙂 – and you may need to consult a lawyer.

v: so you have retail, tailored, and hydrid fonts, going to desktop, web and OEM customers. We have so many licenses; high profile branding, merchandising, embedding (flash, pdf, ms word), broadcasting, server licenses – all for desktop. web: self hosting, rental, or perpetiual, etc etc.

j: so we educate users so they dont get lost.

v: our customers feel really lost, ‘wtf/ what do i need?’.

j: so you need to really clarify your license structure. you need to udnerstand your guide is NOT your EULA.

v: so educating users, you separate the good from the bad quality type (eg, dafont) you have opentype feature guides, and something that worked well for us is type in use showings; you give a customer before htey buy how it looks and can work. also pairing, people ask which fonts go together. not just a business levle, but also teaching the value of type, we do workshops to teach type.

j: 3, structuring your type library is a good idea. indep foundries have a possiblity to have closer contact to clients and strucutre the library properly. we mention some ideas, “a type library should…” which is our point of view but you can extrpaolte and have your ideas too.

j: point 1. collaborate with commercial efforts. the comemrcial world needs constant visual updates. we can sell font to the same company over and over. those editorial users need more expansive families, more challenging designs. they are constnatly updaitng the visual id, but also technology is always changing. and the editorial field requies text fonts, fonts engineered for continuous reading, and that sets the competitoin bar higher.

v: points 2, it should be part of company’s general character. there was an industrial approach inherited from Reading MATD. expanding to bloal markers is a challenge and intersting. it allows us longer periods, to plan projects.

j: this is our lase meeting, 5 people on skyep around the world.

v: you need to know the key players in your field.

j: when you see how is doing good stuff, you can target htem. FCE, is the most important book publisher in mexico; once they started using our type, we could show that, and its amazing that when a well known publisher or designer uses your font, they refer others to you. that helps exposure and media coverage.

v: you must balance personal and commercial interests. we try not to repeat outseles, to learn new technoogies, to do historial research. for me, things i picked up at MATD.

j: so, a library should be coherent. there is many advantages: you need a clear definiton of what the product is.

v: we sell type famlies, not single fonts. whereas say sudtipos sells single fonts targetting packaging so its quite different. that impacts the licensing model. pampatype has a different focus too.

j: the longer you are on the market, the more you can cover the whole area of your focus. planning helps, what you learn today you can reuse. you can set up your standards, even if you are a small foundry. house indistraues. if you have consistent high qulaity you have more loyality, you have customers returning to find more, you can build along term customer relatinoship.

v: how to keep it interesting, avoiding repetition? well, we have editorial design as the overall area. then newspapers, books, reference works, and magazines, are sub categories. if you over all, you can only cover each a little.

j: if you dig into books, there are novels, academics, poetry, comics, manuals; and so on. if you pick and choose, you end up with a library, you dont get a clear focus. if you say, fonts for screen, that can span the top 4 groups with a theme. or, if you design a large family that can have a cross sectional span across the top 4 areas. you dont want fonts in your library to compete, you want them to complement each other.

v: how to deal with trends? some libraries becomes bound to a period’s trends, like emigre in the 90s of the vintage/retro stuff popular lately. but the classics have a much longer period of market insertion. also multiscript work with more glyphs is a longer process.

Creating a library conept, licensing scheme, a pricing model, communciations mode – all key to making a brand.

setting high quality standards, aid education efforts, …. , are key to building a company.

v: Real possibilities in other markets? its a question of econmic viability.

j: we started in 2006, we started with pan euro character sets. this helped us a lot as back then there were very few text fonts that carried these accents. you look at a map, how much of the globe uses latin? there is a LOT, but many areas are not well covered. Where are there foundries? Where are there not?

v: the economic centers are changing. its a matter of time. why expand to foreign scripts? new challaneges. personal, and commercial. typography can make an impact, a positive difference there. there is a lack of text types, with wegihts and styles. there is undersrved needs. so, there are may be 3 areas; self initiatved, semi initiated and fully paid projects. we started adelle cyrillic with this sketch, and we used consutlants to help us with that. there is a new generation of new type designers in these regions. there is demand for new quality. the wild days of copyright infringement are sort of retreating. here is a self initiated devanagari done at TDi, and this is still not done 😉

j: potential problems? its more expensiv.e you hve to leanr stuff, hire people to consult, post production. the key issue is, how do we sell it? we might need help how to sell these properly.

v: sometimes it can work; you need a client starting to initate a project and can continue with the fund from that initial work.

j: work on the edges, its okay to work where you dont know what will happen. this is our bree, designed as a corporate font, they can use it in a new way, like in a newspaper. an arty newspaper sure, but they find a new way to use it. this type was made for luxury printed books, to get away from swuareness of pixels, but it was licensed for apple ibooks as people saw it then worked on retina screens as well. so we can not predict the destination of our fonts. Iskra by Tom Grace (who is here) is thought to be a display type, but it works perfeclty nicely for immersive reading! and Alverata also pushes the limits.

Thanks!

Q: Are you happier to work on client commissioned work where the finance is clear? or self initiated work?

v: its a shot in the dark. and you learn things in commissioned work, but its narrowly scoped by the clients needs. the client can vary; you can have great ones who let you do your thing… if you do your own work, you are more free.

gerry: so vik just said, you can do what you want. Jo was the first MATD graduate to do a PhD, and there is now over a dozen matd gradutes who have or are in the process of completing one. 15 years ago people might think there may not be enough space for such high level research in this aera. these 2 talks go togther in a way, but v + j talk about an established market, people publishging ebook and magazines and so on. But JO is talking about another world. designing type for scripts withotua ny libraries out there. in 10 years there might be a talk about editorial design in the scripts Jo is presenting now. a prophetic talk.

Jo: so, this is a self initiated project following up my PhD on the mongolian script. Sherpa; the writing systems of the himalayas. there are minority scripts. another map! here we are.

Lantsa is a script, when I did my field trips to look at tibetian and mongolian writing systems. it was used by buddhists and went with the culture through india and chian to japan. this lantsa/ranjana writing system has been studied before. earlier academics and lingusists docimented it. explorers in 1828 made plates and documetnation of the script, in their early writings. this is Hodgeson’s “Notices of the languages, literature and religion of the bauddhas of Nepal and Bhot” (sp, Bhutan.)

Ranjana is from Nepal in the same period. The north indian gupta brahmi script is the ancestor script. those writing sstems have not been produced as printing types; the challenege is what aer we looking for, which models are good, and how to translate them into a digital font. it occured not earlier thant he 11th centiry.

in 1834, Csoma de Koross “Grammar of the Tibetan language” has plates 38 and 39 with teh grammar of the langauge and these plates have a complete syllabory. i use the word lantsa for both, as the literature also focuses on it.

in 1888, sarat chandra das argues that the lantsha characters in tibet occured during hte 2nd and 4th period of the grammat reformation of the tibetian script. he also gives a good voerview of the syllabary; the 36 consonants that are combined with vowelrs and each other, so the glyphs set becomes very large.

end of day 1

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What are the most important things the software freedom movement can do for itself?

On 2015-01-10 I responded to the FSF’s call for feedback on their ‘High Priority Projects List’ with an email, which I’ve added a bit more to and posted here.

The call goes like this:

we’re looking for projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users … not every project of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users will be a software development project. If you believe other forms of activism, internal or external (e.g., making free software communities safe for diverse participants, mandating use of free software in the public sector), are most crucial, please make the case and suggest such a project!

I believe the biggest strategic mistake the GNU project has made in its 30 years is to shirk away from supporting and promoting projects that pay full time labor wages for the development of free software, without compromising and also distributing some non-free software.

Just as “the future is here but its not evenly distributed,” there are some people in the software freedom movement who have financial skills to complement their technical skills, but while the software freedom movement is having great success at distributing technical knowledge about how to use and develop free software, it is having great failure at distributing such financial knowledge.

But we can fix this.

At many of the public speaking engagements by RMS that I have attended, and in my own experiences as a public speaker presenting software freedom, the first question from the audience is,

“I understand the ethical issue of software freedom, but how can I earn a living developing free software?”

This is often asked first, and is often asked repeatedly. Both have happened to me when the focus of the presentation was on this topic; I believe many people’s default assumption, their deeply held belief, is that it is not possible.

Demonstrating unequivocally that it is possible, that many people do it, but you just haven’t heard about them, is, I believe, the most important strategic improvement the movement can make.

At RMS’ presentations, his reply will vary by the phrasing of the question and his mood, from a brusque

“This is an irrelevancy, your freedom matters more than your rent check”

to

“Many companies develop free software, take an employee job at one of them”

to

“You can charge for development services, support services, branded goods, or other complementary goods.”

I believe he is shy of this because attempts to develop free software commercially are usually attempts to develop free software for profit, and that often leads to proprietary software.

For example, the first piece of commercially developed free software was GhostScript. The GNU project started in 1983, and in late 1986, following RMS’s suggestion https://web.archive.org/web/20041013082602/http://devlinux.org/deutsch-interview.html L Peter Deutch began developing GhostScript as an evening-and-weekends hobby project while working for proprietary software development company https://www.gnu.org/bulletins/bull3.html; the year of Adobe’s IPO. Len Tower’s announcement of its inital release in the gnu.announce usenet group in 1988 https://groups.google.com/d/msg/gnu.announce/72qocYYvQng/opig0vreliAJ included a ‘doing business as’ alias for Peter, and he soon quit his day job to work on GhostScript full time.

Peter said,

“as the author of GhostScript, has done what very few people have managed to do: he has managed to work on a project of his choosing, to release it as free software, and to do so while generating a sufficiently positive cash flow that he can now consider retirement,” – https://web.archive.org/web/20041013082602/http://devlinux.org/deutsch-interview.html

And he has only done so by maintaining a single-party development organization that sold proprietary licenses to the latest version ‘Aladdin GhostScript’; he had a written agreement with RMS to always release a free version, which became ‘GNU GhostScript’, although the agreement didn’t say when.

This may have been the first time that commercial development of free software would go awry for the software freedom movement, but it would not be last.

Indeed, perhaps the default outcome of attempts to develop free software commercially is to distribute proprietary versions.

But there are some ‘success stories,’ some ‘case studies’ we can make of organizations that only distribute free software, that charge customers fees, and that pay people full-time wages to do so. This doesn’t necessarily mean for-profit companies, and it is something the FSF has done; indeed it seems this was one of the primary purposes of the FSF in the late 80s and early 90s, when all GNU projects were ‘high priority.’

In 1989 Cygnus Solutions was founded with capital saved from proprietary software development at SUN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_Solutions. Some of the early marketing material is available from cofounder-investor John Gilmore http://www.toad.com/gnu/cygnus/ which offers insights into how to sell free software. While Cygnus eventually succumbed to distributing proprietary software, I mention it because of EGCS, the commercial fork of GCC v2 in 1997 https://gcc.gnu.org/news/announcement.html. That was the first time I know of that the multi-party, full-time-funded developers of a GNU program had accelerated development to point that unfunded leadership of GCC by GNU was untenable. While this was reportedly acrimonious at the time, eventually EGCS became the next major version of GCC.

I recommend that any GNU project or other free software project that is developed by multiple parties who pay developers full time wages is a high priority project – not for development support, but for promotion to show that it is possible to make free software full time.

My favorite contemporary example of this is https://guardianproject.info although I have not been in contact with those developers for a couple of years so I’m not sure how they are doing, but a few years ago I heard that they employed a small team of developers in NYC and paid them around US$100,000/year wages – which a starting salary in NYC or the Bay Area in 2015.

Videos like https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/user-liberation-watch-and-share-our-new-video are incomplete without addressing this. I wish that the video will be edited to say that it is possible; that gas has to be put in the vehicles and pay for with money, and its possible to earn money by developing free software, and here’s examples of people who do it today and started back then and here’s a simple memorable slogan for the model.

Some people in the software freedom movement know how to set up their finances and how to set up organizations such that they can work on software freedom issues full time. Many people don’t. That’s what I mean with the “The future is here but its not evenly distributed” stuff.

RMS is naturally the first person to have done this. First, his lifestyle is an early example of the ‘early retirement extreme’ – http://earlyretirementextreme.com/ – model, where you (a) avoid having children and possessions and cut your spending and (b) save a lot of a regular salary until you have enough savings to generate enough interest that you can stop working and live this extremely low-budget lifestyle indefinitely. Second, he set up the FSF (which doesn’t pay him a wage) to raise funds and page wages to developers to develop high priority projects.

There are some active free software projects today which have attracted venture capitalist funding. What’s the diff between what typical proprietary software founders must do and what the founders of these commercially developed free software projects do?

I believe this improvement has direct practical benefits for the movement. The biggest category of ‘missing’ free software I see is end-user applications with pleasant user experiences; this video says something about free software being invisibly ubiquitous, but that is because a lot of free software is developed for computer industry companies and very little free software is developed for end-users.

I believe that many developers grow up loving the principle of software freedom, but after graduating find employment with proprietary software developers because they do not know how to earn a living developing free software.

I believe that it is strategic to spread the understanding of how to earn money developing free software, from the scale of an individual sole proprietorship to that of a multinational corporation.

I propose that what success looks like here is when this knowledge is as widespread as that of how to license software freely, or, indeed, how to write programs that run only on free software. (I remember a time when most developers did not, and I’d like to think that the situation is now flipped and there are not many developers left today who do not know any free systems…)

I wish there was an active free software job market website. There was a project within GNU to make a job site software for this, mentioned at http://lwn.net/Articles/216075/ nearly 10 years ago, but it was abandoned.

There are ‘per issue’ funding sites, like https://freedomsponsors.org/ and https://www.bountysource.com/ – but these (so far) don’t raise a full time wage; also https://gratipay.com is worth mentioning which is the inverse, where you pay someone for nothing in particular except you like what they do and want to send them a tip.

The most well known model for funding projects is now the ‘street performer protocol’, thanks to the http://www.Kickstarter.com business. But this protocol is from a game-theory or economic-math model point of view not ideal for funding projects that create non-rival goods: it suffers an inherent free rider problem… “why not just bookmark the project and have everyone else pledge and come back after its funded and fetch a copy?”

To overcome this, http://www.Fund-io.com seems interesting, although its base format is not FSF-approvable because it involves a period of time where copying is monopolised, it does have a subscription format that might work for uncompromisingly for free culture projects. A similarly motivated response is the http://www.snowdrift.coop model, and that is actually an active project.

However, I’m skeptical of the snowdrift.coop implementation of the model, because I think its core messaging and framing is too stringent, and implicitly and explicitly it requires people to share values other than software freedom. That is itself something that happens often, and I think drives people away. A concrete example is http://libreboot.org/github/, which I read as saying “The opinions expressed by [an open source developer] are incompatible with those of [the FSF]. Users and developers of free software are strongly advised not to use [his #1 worldwide most popular source code hosting service] for any of their projects.” I think this is not a positive attitude and does not help advance the cause of software freedom; I think a better response is to ask, how can we use this source code hosting service using only free software? And then to write what doesn’t exist yet. Also, both snowdrift and libreboot folks will be at libreplanet, so I hope to discuss these ideas there in person : )

I wonder that the FSF could certify projects in a similar way to hardware; certifying that they only publish all their work under an appropriately free license, and additionally certifying that people involved in the project make free software full time. The FSF’s first organization would be the FSF itself, so its clear that it isn’t asking anyone to do anything which it doesn’t do itself. However, I fear that this could risk further diluting the FSF message but implicitly and explicitly requiring people to share values other than software freedom.

I have a memory from a long time ago (2004) that I asked RMS about marketing, and he said something like, the FSF doesn’t do marketing, because marketing is a euphemism for lying, and it is what for-profit companies do, and it harms society, so he won’t have the FSF do it. The FSF now has campaigns managers, and I think they could learn to be more effective if they studied (and the FSF hired people with experience in) for-profit marketing and advertising management for tactics to use for the not-marketing the FSF does.

So, finally, my best practical recommendation is that the FSF put projects on the HPP list that enable anyone to run a small business using only free software. Software to run a business that enables a young hacker and their friends to develop free software full-time. Accounting software like http://gnucash.org and http://sfconservancy.org/npoacct/ seems like a start. Billing software. Direct marketing software. Customer support software. Whatever fits the narrative.

The 2nd big category of questions I am asked about the software freedom movement is about its inherent hypocrisy, when most people are not actually running a 100% free software system despite 30 years of trying. This makes it seem like a impossible utopian project which has already failed and its just crazies hanging on to keep the dream alive. When actually, we have real progress on this front – certainly since the last time I attended Libre Planet in 2011. In 2015 you can say “I run 100% free software on this hardware” by paying a modest fee for a X200 – http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/ – and I have high hopes for https://www.crowdsupply.com/purism/librem-laptop .

I wonder that in the 5-10 year time frame, a similar project to Librem for a phone could be possible. https://hsivonen.fi/phone-freedom/ makes a good case for what practical steps the movement must take to make the software platform for such a phone to be useful in a way compatible with the GNU manifesto’s vision; the current era of ubiquitous high speed internet and hand held computers that can make phonecalls could not be foreseen in 1983, but the ideas are strong and I think will carry through.


Whew. Since then a friend on the FSF’s HPP Review Board mentioned that a handful of other HPP opinion pieces have also been blogged so far, and asked me to post the above publicly, so here we are.

Also a friend who was a GNU contributor in the past wrote of the initial version of the above:

QUOTE STARTS

I still say there is an economic role in waiting for small businesses that serve between 2 and 50,000 customers. These businesses would be the suppliers of trusted installs to their customers. Roughly speaking, these small businesses would replace corporate “app stores”.

There is a natural scarcity of trusted-to-download-and-run software. You don’t run binaries from just anyone, so to speak.

Corporate proprietary software types compete to eliminate the natural scarcity of trusted-to-download-and-run software. For example, Apple competes to make its costs-per-download from their app store close to $0. They want the store — everything from vetting apps for placement in the market to actually delivering and activating an app — to be as automated as possible. To cost nearly nothing. Then when they divide up the $0.99 price of an app, most of it is profit (for them).

They do a bad job. They have to do a bad job. They create a massive single point of failure for society. They also can’t “curate” the collection of software with any real concern for customer needs and interests. Also, they can’t keep that shit safe — it is a series of IT disasters waiting to happen. So they do a bad job.

The small-provider model is more robust. Instead of one mega app store there’s many small ones and so automation is less critical. Single-points-of-failure are at least reduced. There is competition for how to curate the software collection.

Now on the one hand that cottage-industry approach sounds like something the right hustlers could do today, given a little inventory. I’m not sure what the right HW to support would be. I’m not sure what free software to support. But I would guess there are niches that could grow.

Any brave hustlers doing that would probably be drawing off debian or something close to it but that isn’t going to be a generalizable or high quality solution for the long run.

Therefore (I am thinking) if there were some of these small guys starting up anyway and if they are smart and serious about this that this would create an opportunity to begin to think about how to turn them into a kind of syndicate. On one level they compete to dominate “service areas” of 1..50K customers. On another level they collaborate to keep the supply of trustworthy and quality software coming.

This raises the question of what forms that collaboration takes.

One form might be for these small providers to pool revenues to create something akin to royalties.

Schematic example: I have a libre phone (let’s imagine). I have a libre software supplier for that phone — a local small business. I pay some subscription fee and I can download apps from the library. My phone’s software supplier voluntarily pays out some of my subscription fee as “royalties” on stuff in the download library.

Given the potential existence of these “royalties” I hand-wavingly say that there-in lies the answer to software with a high quality user experience. In this system I have described people will, much more than with existing proprietary systems, be able to reward quality with their pocketbooks.

I don’t know how to bootstrap it. I like your mention of GNU Cash as a possible priority, in that regard.

END QUOTE

Later on 2015-02-06 I sent a second email to HPP, and this version is slightly edited:

I just came across http://www.propublica.org/article/the-worlds-email-encryption-software-relies-on-one-guy-who-is-going-broke is a great article that specifically mentions RMS lectures having a material impact on the software freedom movement – and it is his lectures that led me to spend the last 8 years working on libre fonts – and that shows the lectures ought to spread the idea that you can uncompromisingly develop libre software and raise a living wage for yourself by doing so.

In 1997, Koch attended a talk by free software evangelist Richard Stallman, who was visiting Germany. Stallman urged the crowd to write their own version of PGP. “We can’t export it, but if you write it, we can import it,” he said. … [ 2 German government grants funded the work full time ] … But in 2010, the funding ran out.

For almost two years, Koch continued to pay his programmer in the hope that he could find more funding. “But nothing came,” Koch recalled. So, in August 2012, he had to let the programmer go. By summer 2013, Koch was himself ready to quit.

This is as fine an example of the pervasive, general lack of understanding about how to raise salary amounts of money to pay developers to work on free software full time as I could imagine; it proves that it is possible, that our community can do it, but that we don’t understand how to do it reliably.

Fortunately in this case, some ‘Rich Uncles’ have stepped in to fund Werner for the next year, because of the publicity the article raised, it seems — but the problem of funding a usable GnuPG looms:

“Looking forward, however, I think of GPG as a glorious experiment that has run its course. The journalists who depend on it struggle with it and often mess up (“I send you the private key to communicate privately, right?”), the activists who use it do so relatively sparingly (“wait, this thing wants my finger print?”), and no other sane person is willing to use it by default. Even the projects that attempt to use it as a dependency struggle. These are deep structural problems. GPG isn’t the thing that’s going to take us to ubiquitous end to end encryption, and if it were, it’d be kind of a shame to finally get there with 1990’s cryptography. If there’s any good news, it’s that GPG’s minimal install base means we aren’t locked in to this madness, and can start fresh with a different design philosophy. When we do, let’s use GPG as a warning for our new experiments, and remember that “innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1000 things.” – http://www.thoughtcrime.org/blog/gpg-and-me/

“Any solution that isn’t easy to use and easy to understand is a poor solution. And GPG is neither.” – http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/02/26/moxie-marlinspike-gpg

But after the Snowden news broke, Koch decided to launch a fundraising campaign. He set up an appeal at a crowdsourcing website, made t-shirts and stickers to give to donors, and advertised it on his website. In the end, he earned just $21,000.

Perhaps with a better model like http://www.fund-io.com or http://www.snowdrift.coop the results could have been higher, but really the problem is a lack of understanding the craft of the salesperson.

The campaign gave Koch, who has an 8-year-old daughter and a wife who isn’t working, some breathing room. But when I asked him what he will do when the current batch of money runs out, he shrugged and said he prefers not to think about it “I’m very glad that there is money for the next three months,” Koch said. “Really I am better at programming than this business stuff.”

The business stuff isn’t more difficult. Its just more obscure. Here’s a book I enjoyed on the topic:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=The-Secret-of-Selling-Anything.pdf


And finally, since you read all this way to the end, here is a copy of my 2008 MA dissertation on the history of the software freedom movement (I think this is pretty solid), how that relates to typography (I think this part is… okay), and some of the ideas I had about what I intended to do about it after I graduated (I think this part is rushed, and lacks my best thinking at the time, which has since evolved…) Here’s the file: dave_crossland_matd2008_dissertation.pdf

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Liveblog Notes: On minimum quality in typeface design

These are live blog notes from the lecture by Gerry Leonidas at the 5th Encontro de Tipografia, Barcelos, Portugal, November 29, 2014.

Usual disclaimer for live blogging: These are informal notes taken by me, Dave Crossland, at the event, and may or may not be similar to what was said by the people who spoke on these topics. This is probably FULL of errors. What do you want for free? 🙂 If something here is incorrect it is probably because I mistyped it or misunderstood, and if anyone wants corrections, just should tweet me – @davelab6 – or post a comment. Thanks!

[ Slides at https://speakerdeck.com/gerryleonidas/on-minimum-quality-in-typeface-design ]

We were talking about industry yesterday [the usual libre font fight – dc] and we had a good discussion. I thought of the car industry in the 60s and 70s. This Renault was a hatchback. This renault was a joke, badly powered, badly made, and none survive. They did the Citroen na, a rust bucket too. But they also did this, the most interesting car in Europe.

An industry that makes really good and really bad quality things is unfortunate. We all want a minimum level of quality in things. What is the minimum level we can achieve in type? That is something we can all work towards. We can not always makes works of genius, but things that are good enough.

For European cars this has happened… Reviews, magazines that look at things, standardisation, collaboration… You can buy a car now and it will not be terrible. It will be good enough.

Lets consider 3 key ideas and some extensions to them.

  1. Industry and ownership.

  2. Value and visibility of it

  3. Information and quality, to judge it by

Then trends, genres, and creativity, and an intent to act.

We touched on this in the panel discussion. This is the manchester drawing office of Linotype in the 40s. The people there are little cogs in a big gear. This is Joana’s desk; could be anyone, anywhere. There are no longer limits on the supply of type.

The early DTP equipment was expensive by today’s standards. The printer was thousands of euros. The drawings people made were a lot of work, a lot of decisions, and they kept some memory of the process. They were the output of a highly organized process. This contains a lot of value; the company sees this as a product to print books and magazine with, and that is one part of the nature of typeface; what a typeface is.

This is Victorian technology: High Victorian technology that lasted a very long time. It relied on centralised machines. They are glorified lego pieces, they are merely machines and you could understand how they worked and fix them.

In the 20th century, the technology became opaque, first as electronics and then as computers. The machine may not have any connection to the way you use it. Who really understands how my intentions translate into the machine? We have a different world, we operate in abstractions… but the old ways determine the language we use. That drawing from the 40s is an outline contour, and its no coincidence that this drawing in a computer it also an outline contour.

The pace of change in the type industry in the late 80s was astonishing. In old company the board rooms minutes and ATypI records you can see plans for growth, for development in the late 80s of the pre-digital technology, and how it was a total surprise how quickly the industry was disrupted by computers; new kinds of machines that changed how cheaply and quickly things could be done.

What tools like fontographer and pagemaker did was allow people to take forms that were captured in a physical medium and capture them instead in a digital, transferrable medium. PostScript, platform independent technology, severed type from printing.

The browser is a typesetter. Webkit is a typesetting engine, it is the engine behind Chrome, Safari and Opera. A web font service’s server machines somewhere that serve the font files are like the floppy disks with font files for the first platform independent technology.

When industries open up, existing ideas about ownership and contribution change. There is no longer a physical object that you can patent and own and secure.

Next, visibility. You could store drawings, there was a Monotype Collections Room, and when the pre-digital Monotype collapsed as a hot metal company, those drawings were the key thing that was preserved. Machines were saved too, but they were secondary to the type designs captured in the drawings.

Linotype survived the transition to becoming a digital type technology vendor, but in the process everything for the typesetting business was destroyed. Linotype survived as a rightsholder.

Also in Germany at that time, URW’s Ikarus was a digital tool for the previous technology; the original fontographer, and then fontlab, for many years, and today there is glyphs and robofont and fontforge. There are also people working on metafont and similar technologies, and web based versions which are still interfaces to data somewhere.

What is a typeface in the world of data?

What I see when I hit print? Is it what is seen on a web page? What is the typeface? Can you point at it and say, “this is it.” Which is truer to the forms? Is my intention in the font editor’s drawing environment the ‘real’ thing? When I scale it down and color-in the outline contour black, it looks different.

Having a good answer to this is important if you are trying to make a living making typefaces.

The growth of tools has another effect. Font making environments themselves become commodities, and that means their price trends to zero. We are not there yet, but in terms of investment in software, it is negligible for someone to start making fonts. Soon anyone can go to any internet cafe, open a browser, and start designing type. I think in a few years we will have reasonable web-based font editors.

Improving font editors impact the speed of type development. For many Fontlab was annoying and cumbersome, but the move to alternatives like Glyphs and Robofont has not improved the quality of type. What has changed? The speed of production, the speed designers can learn to become type designers. It is a distraction to talk about the tools themselves – what are the typefaces?

The marginal cost of a new font trends to zero, too. (That means, the cost of the next typeface is zero.) If you need to spend x days to make a new type, is that too much hassle for the revenue the type can generate for you? There will be someone somewhere who will design a typeface for a smaller fee, and they will do it. So will typefaces become valueless? But I am talking of typefaces in the most generic sense. A font file. Everyone has the means of production. to manufacture type, to generate font files.

That leaves me to think that if we look at the files we miss the point. The type isn’t to be judged by the files. We must look outside the type to make sense of them. Which are good and which are bad?
Information and quality… How do you evaluate quality? If one thing costs zero, and then another costs thousands of pounds? In the presence of something that is free, how do you justify a market of people charging a lot of money?

I love this font, I love these shapes. I would like them 3d printed so i could touch them!

So what we need to do is look at this separately, to look at it in the content of other things. To look at that font in relation to 8 others.

What was it intended for? There was a brief. It is not a piece of art, it serves a purpose, for a client – imagined or real – and made within a budget of time and money. There are documents intended for it to be used it in, and those inform its decisions. This is a typeface for continuous prose. This is interesting, this is normal, this is not good, and so on. Now I can judge a thing with references outside it, even if in my memory and not in front of me – and if so, even that that is a subjective and hazy process, as we all have different experiences and awareness of what is out there.

A typeface does not have enough information to explain itself. You can say the curves are well formed. It is easy to hit that mark. A typeface can only be evaluated in relation to a context that is external to the typeface.

There is a famous book, “Godel Escher Bach,” a book about A.I. that talks about the meaning of the self. The author Douglas Hofstadter worked with typefaces, and asked, “What are the patterns that people use to recognise letters?”

  1. Ownership and contribution change with the means of making, but our language and ideas span technologies

  2. Value of design is disembodied

  3. Evaluation relies on context

This car, who remembers it? This is Citroen in bed with Mazarati! They made a beautiful car, but it is totally useless. You must take a great deal of care of it, it is temperamental, all the things a car should not be. It is build for one thing: Gazing at it.

So if you want to make a text type, Minion is hard to beat. Then there are types like Cardea which are a bit individual, and then things like Capucine which are outliers. You can graph this in a cloud.

Trends. The dense core of this “context cloud” changes slowly over time. Normality in text type 40 years ago was serifed, but today my kids see sans as the normal. The smart designer tries to second guess this, and capture something that will be desirable in a year or two when their project reaches publication.

Genres. These change, as screen resolution changes and our ideas of what is comfortable to read changes.

Motivators. Things that are in a genre that make you aware there is something different, that motivates you to use it instead of something you already had. That something may not be as unusual as Capucine, but it will be something interesting. Types in this area often win competitions.

We can set objective criteria for well formed shapes, spaces and behaviours. You need to have a fair set of evaluation criteria in a university. I already have a deck on speakerdeck about this; pointers for type reviews.

When I sat at the ATypI Amsterdam Type Crit, reviewing Rui Abreu’s work (http://www.r-typography.com) I found this to be a stressful experience. At the University where I teach, people have weeks to get to know me, but an on-the-spot review with someone for the first time who does not know what I am like, or will think about or say, is a challenge.

This is the list of things in my mind:

  • fit of typeset text within the brief

  • key dimensions within a paragraph body. A poem needs lots of space. A dictionary is compact. So, ‘it depends’, on the context of use. What is regular? What is bold? How to decide? If you superimpose all regular fonts, there are the 2 strokes in an ‘n’ and the thickness of the stroke to its height, or the proportion of stem to counter – these are in a narrow range. The bold has similar constraints.

  • stroke thickness range. So the generation that grew up with super hinted screen fonts, have really heavy bolds, because regular was 1px in stem, and bold had 2px stem. Double! Because you didn’t have the resolution. Verdana bold is really extrabold or black. We had a silent agreement, that its not really bold, its what we need at at that time. And now screens are different and we wish for a semi bold Verdana.

  • stroke modulation

  • in/out stroke recipes

  • alignments in h and v axes. This is something you come back to again and again during the development of a typeface.

  • transitions between letter elements.

  • relating of inner and outer strokes

  • letter shapes within key patterns

  • integration of exceptions. There is one letter that sticks out. The galliard lowercase ‘g’. The f of bembo. You look at it and you think about this. Is this intentional? Done so i would notice it? Does the type say ‘look at me!’? The raygun fonts were doing this a lot. You make the reading process appear to the read, you had to try hard to read raygun. But when is the f arm to get long enough to give identity without catching the eye and distracting a reader. That is something a type designer can spend a lot of time on.

And now everything is global. How do we support this on a global scale?

As the collapse of the industry did away with us and eu centric industry, that have control of means of production, then you get people like kris sowersby who have an international impact from new zealand.

Verdana and Georgia embody Microsoft’s first moves away from print in 1996. They put a lot of money into moving reading from print to screen. They saw dial up modems and early web as being important medium of reading. A lot of effort was spent to make the rendering crisp.

The Cleartype collection in 2003 represented a bet in portable, flat screens. 8 years later, Microsoft put a lot of effort here too. Flat screens were becoming cheaper, we had these massive screens. You had a computer your dad bought, desks, towers, cables around the back. That stuff went away. It became cheaper, flat screens and then laptops led to mobile. The tablet had 3 attempts, and this was one of those failed attempts. Laptops with a screen that flipped and turned back on itself. The idea was portable computers. Microsoft found limits to how much people would read on screen before hitting the print button: If someone sent an article over 1,500 words they would print it. They knew you had to have type you could read on screen for long texts, and the subpixel rendering and the Cleartype collection was an important attempt to do do just that. The fonts were made for Windows Vista in 2003, but only shipped in 2007 – when Windows had a different Cleartype engine.

The idea of type given for free that would be …

Adobe Source Sans and Serif are notable examples in a very long line of fonts that set baselines. You need to enable people that work with texts. Before that there was Vera, Lato, and a lot of fonts made freely available by Google and other large companies or institutions with specific agendas. Brill made a font available freely for all academics, that has all the academic typography glyphs they need for their complex documents.

Businesses that are not type businesses are a critical enabler. People will always put money into new type.

Google is one participant in going global. I hear Google say, I want to make something that sets a base point, not to threaten anyone, and in the same way Verdana and Georgia transformed reading on-screen for the scripts they support, I want people to be able to read on-screen globally.

I’ve talked to people associated with Google about responding and supporting this initiative. I have 2 phases planned for it. I want people to understand the basics, publishing a list of things that people need to keep in mind when designing a typeface. So if they are in the middle of nowhere, in a village in India, and they discover they can make a type for their own script, then they can meet their need to know how to think about type in context.

Some things are general. How to set parameters for a typography brief, is another way of saying, what will this be used in? Here you have a text with levels of hierarchy, so you need type family variants for annotations, main text, captions. You may need different numbers for different contexts.

The web uses CSS to define visual design, and we need to map family styles to their CSS structures. There are 9 weights per family. This is interesting: How many things can you fit in to the 9? Do you really need all 9 weights for text? Is 9 different styles what typographers really need? Or is it 7, or 8, or 5? I don’t know. But CSS is out there and it says you can only reliably address up to 9 styles at a time.

A type designer can draw interpolatable ‘master’ styles, and spit out anything in between them as an ‘instance.’ Should the instances be equally spaced? Should they be based on the same recipe, with point parity?

For a typographer, the very light styles are used sparingly and in very large point sizes. The black may need to have another receipt because it is used for headings, and the regular has again other forms for long-form reading. So I think that the way CSS has 9 weights in a line is not an intelligent way of looking at this stuff.

How do you plan the weights? …

Are newspapers dying in Portugal? A broadsheet spread typically has 8 entry points to reading; 8 things a reader can choose to start reading. So there is a typographic hierarchy to match that. In tabloids or berliners which are smaller, there are 5. When you go to tablet size, you lose the space to have the objects themselves declare the hierarchy. All the articles look more similar. There is an external hierarchy; lists of things to pick from outside the page.

A newspaper on a tablet is using a sidebar for navigation which drives reading order. And on your phone, you can not see the list and the content at the same time. Its either/or. The designers are counting on the short term memory of their audience, and mine is about 3 seconds 😉

So, here are a set of problems. Changing the typographic environment, a changing environment for type making, and some ideas for things to link them. I think this is important because we have communities that do not share our livelihood and our interests, who make decisions that affect us.

There is now very good OpenType support in web browsers, and that will effect Google, Microsoft, Apple and their businesses and other businesses. You can open a web browser anywhere in the world and it will work with your writing system.

Wherever you are, the type you see should not offend you.

We have a simple scripts in the West. You can reliably spell-check all European languages. Typographers have well-established and widely understood rules for typesetting these scripts. But globally this is atypical. Many Eurasian communities have their script, that is connected, with regional variations, and its another world for their typographers.

Early typography machines were made by Europeans, for Europeans, and then later they were adapted to the scripts used by other communities. People wanted to sell things in Thailand, so they wanted Thai typewriters, and how do you fit a script into a typewriter when it has letters you can not fit into the physical restrictions of such a machine? Hot metal also had similar limits – the hot metal would cool before the entire matrix could be created, putting a physical limit on the size of the glyph set.

So what do you do when you have 350 letters and the engineer says that you could only have 250? How many Germans give up the umlaut (diaeresis), or Spanish give up the Ñ (eɲe/énye)? To simplify the script to accommodating the technology, well, maybe you can do it, but it is not ideal, and it would be better to respect the script. Yet the people who make those decisions are not aware of the importance of such issues. We always talk to communities that are not type designers or typographers.

What next?

That’s the easy part for me 😉 I have some suggestions.

Be perpetually curious. We are lucky to be in a world that is changing, with constant innovation. Type designers are actively engaged in making our world better. With better phones, they are making things that enabled someone who buys a smartphone in Africa to do microbanking with a better experience than traditional banking. Someone in this room may make the font that makes that possible. We go from the metal machines to a smartphone in africa doing banking, this is amazing progress. It is amazing to live in such a world. How can we move things along?

‘The next billion’ is a big phrase in business right now. There are about a billion people online today, and that’s a small part of humanity, and the next billion will join us soon. That matters. The young generation will grow up as professionals in this world. This is a privilege and a responsibility. You must be informed, to fight the curse of “design is making things pretty.” That aspect of design is just the top, the cherry on the cake; design is making things work well in context, then making them exciting and fun to use, and then making them look good doing it.

That’s your job to do.

Thank you.

@gerryleonidas

@typefacedesign

http://reading.ac.uk/typography

Homepage

Pedro Amado: thanks for that, was nice. I have 2 questions. Designing with a specific environment in mind. Frutiger made univers for the lumitype system. The drawing was motivated by that tech. Once emigres fonts were outliers …

Gerry: 2 things. Well, telephone directories are cost driven, if a typeface saves a line per a page, on 800 pages book, and then printing 100k books, that’s a valuable typeface. They are designed for a specific image setter. They design the dots the image setter places the ink. Its like verdana, designed by bitmaps, and then drawn to vectors, and then hinted to recreate the pixels. … I think depending on the project, you have type made for a platform, or not. Emigre’s types can be seen as design research and practice integrated. The confluence of the mac, of pagemaker, fontographer, and postscript, that allowed people to make things they could throw away for the first time. Type specimens look a certain way at that time, as they said, lets play. But quickly they released if you wanted people to read, you needed to respect conventions somewhat. They saw you could make type to look at and type to read with. They saw some type was only useful for some display usage. They could have no impact, or impact you could not anticipate. Emigre were questioning conventions. Its like your naughty cousin who does a terrible thing, then what you do wrong is not so bad. So after emigre we saw a wave of new humanist sans serif, and so syntax was odd at the time it came out but it became became very typical.

Pedro: what is next?

Gerry: Anyone can take my list, and I welcome all feedback. The idea that there is a black box in a teachers or a senior designers’ head? This is nonsense. There is a lack of language to express things we have in our head. We need to have words to say why we do certain things. We should not say, Oooo I like it, or Hmmm it is interesting, we should be able to say exactly why and how that is the case. I take part in competition juries, but without giving feedback about why x got a prize and y did not is a missed opportunity. It is a time commitment that is hard to make. Anyway, I want to put what I have so far online, for free, for anyone. I would like to see tools for comparison. Something i do when i go to web design conferences, is to take an on-screen rendering of text and superimpose an old manuscript. Too often web designers are like ‘wow, we changed everything,’ but no, this comparison shows they didn’t, the rhythm and darkness of text is the same as ever. Then, if you are a beginner, and you can upload your font and compare it, that will help. I think I speak from a position of privilege, as I am paid to work for a year with 15 people who are really motivated to learn type. Anyone is lucky if they can spend a year doing what they like. But ought it to be that or nothing? It would be like aristocrats and peasants. No, I want this stuff online so people can do as much as possible. I can not give you all the things, but I can make good pictures of them, and that can be online. That is the plan. The point is to work myself out of a business by the time I retire.

Q: thank you Gerry for a full hour, it was not exhausting, it was very nice. Again, isn’t there a trap for us all designers and people working on this area to take or confuse popularity with quality? Sometimes things are popular and all a sudden the quality standard first determined or granted by experts and expertise, with self publishing means, became more irrelevant with popularity. Ranking on downloads or true designs.

Gerry: Take good fonts, they are notable for attracting attention by people because they are good quality. Say that someone puts online, for free, a good text typeface. Good enough. Not fabulous, just good enough. So, in the communities that use such fonts, those people who do not see typography as core, they see a need that is high enough that say Merriwether is good enough for them. A commercial type designer might say, “ah, there is a need for a typeface like this!” and make something even better. Perhaps the sales or usage data of distributors can show that the world needs type of a certain kind. What is good enough? I will not spend 800 euros on a typeface. I will spend 150, as I will get enough value for it. A type library subscription for 10 euros? This is beer money for me. Where there are collections of type without the friction of cost, I think they can show where the bigs trends and demands will go. The user community of such collections is not restricted by quality concerns, and they may not know how to determine quality. There are more and more ways to learn about it, though. Also, popularity in the type world is not the same as popularity in the graphic design world. So graduates of a course may pat each other’s backs, but the market can be fickle. I can think of popular type which is popular not because of its design features. I bet that any low contrast slab serif that looked okay small and big, could be as popular with the same marketing and positioning. So, there is a shift in what people expect to see, and as people realise they can choose the type they use, they will learn and change their choices. What is quality? Typographica’s list of popular fonts is not the same of what is popular in the real world. What is used in the streets?

Q: Gotham!

Q: Neo Sans was very popular in Portugal.

Dave Crossland: Lobster!

Gerry: Dino is still here? Ah, well. When a political party needs to rebrand, what do they do? Or what about banks. All the banks rebranded in the last few years with softer typefaces. They had serious fonts before, and now its all italics and nice ‘we are friendly, so, give us your money.’ You know, there’s someone at the brand agency who went to school with the type designer, and they say, a new typeface is 80,000 euros, and its 30,000 for a custom version of a retail type, so the bank says, we stole a lot of money but not that much, we’ll take the 30k one thanks, and then it is seen everywhere, and retail sales pick up. Here is a semi fictional example. Who remembers Heathrow airport signage? They did once have a typeface for the signage system. It was Bembo Bold in black on yellow. No one would pass a project at undergraduate level with such a choice! But you surely knew you were in Heathrow when you landed because of that. Then the companies changed, one company came to own all airports, and maybe they looked at a custom typeface to get away from Frutiger that all airports use… but that cost for a custom type had not earlier been made a separate line item in the budget: when the project was imagined, no one thought ahead about the need for a custom typeface. The 100,000 euros that it would cost is peanuts in the cost of an airport. They said, oops we just cant do it, so we’ll just license frutiger, just like everyone else. Now Heathrow uses Frutiger. And was a business decision, not a design decision. Monotype have put on a branding event for london agencies to discuss this recently. The largest problems with any brand roll out are font related. The brand managers know the least about it. They budget the least time for it. They think, ‘fonts just work,’ but then they don’t work. And then they have to go back and fix the fonts expensively. Its common.

Yves Peters: Brussels airport is using a fontfont design for their branding. I will ask them about why they chose that font.

Gerry: yes, what is Brussels? Just another city? Or something meaningful? The Belgians have a dual language requirement in the same script. A country in the middle east got a FIFA championship, they build airports for it. 6 regional airports, 1 international, and all the rail and bus systems. This went to london agencies. Architects, agencies, sign firms. That means signs in English and Arabic, left to right and right to left. How to balance the scripts? How to present the hierarchy, airside and landside? The symbols? All need to localised. If you have a growing sense of pride and joining the international community of nations that host world class events, do you want your signs looking the same of everyone else? Or something that shows the growing maturity and identidy of the region? The brief says,”Not Frutiger!” People arriving need to find their way, the arrows, the symbols must look different too.

Q: Do the people making a new airport really understand that type can make a difference?

Gerry: Any parent who buys books for their kids, you see type with a single story a and g, and you feel better about buying the kid version of the book. It may be in Georgia or Plantin but with a single story a. The people making the decisions are not the kids. They are the parents. We know from research that kids can read both forms just as well; kids know that there are letters for learning to write with and to read with. The kids do not care about the single story form. But the buyers, the parents, do care, because it signifies that they thought about their kids’ needs. Also, typefaces that are made for dyslexics. Its proven not to be the case that these have a lot of impact. But if I stand here and say, I am very smart – which is impossible to verify – and I say it makes a difference, then the onus is on you to disprove me. The book with the a and g makes no difference to the child, and paying attention to the illustrations is much more important – are they nouns, adjectives, or verbs? Verbs are hard to illustrate. Tom has a house. Fine. Tom likes his house. Hard. But that is too much information for an average parent to know.

Q: It is needed for education, to show people that good typefaces are important

Gerry: I think we will find typefaces are not as important as we think. If the language of a blog is not good, you tune out. Even if the typography is great. Or if you apply the Guardian’s typography to The Sun’s content, it will not be more readable. So if we keep close to the …

Posted in Knowledge |

Nina Stössinger on Libre Fonts panel at ATypI

The liveliness with which these duos passed content (and mikes) back and forth deflated in the anemic panel on free/libre fonts comprising six figureheads and no critics. Their scripted-sounding exchange about the quantitative successes of Google Fonts et al seemed rather out of place in a conference so centered on learning from each other to further the craft; it felt a bit like an (uninspired) housewares sales event, and controversy was dodged even in the Q&A: “Yes, we could talk about business models all night. Now, does anyone have a question on … collaboration?” Nobody did, and we rushed off to drown our frustration at the apparent impossibility (or indesirability) of real dialogue between the libre types and the type scene proper in coffee and really good pastries. To me, the low point of the conference (not the pastries).

http://blog.ninastoessinger.com/2013/10/an-atypical-typemedia-week/

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Unicode Conference 2013: Day 2

These are live blog notes from the Unicode 2013 conference in Santa Clara, Day 2.

Usual disclaimer for live blogging: These are informal notes taken by me, Dave Crossland, at the event, and may or may not be similar to what was said by the people who spoke on these topics. Probably if something here is incorrect it is because I mistyped it or misunderstood, and if anyone wants corrections, they should email me (dave@understandingfonts.com) – or post a comment. Thanks!

In fact I didn’t even read this document once before posting it, so its probably FULL of errors. What do you want for free? 🙂

@alolita

(slides are using merriweather)

Wikipedia scale! It started a a microcosm andhas become a macrocosm.There is a lot of activity from users around theworld. 30m articles, 4.3 in enlgish. 287 languages, and more in incubators. 796 production websites,567 incubator.

500M unique monthly visitors. 24b monthly page views. 3.7bn mobile pageviews, that is growing very fast.

30m articles, its the world of content. how much is english? not even 15%. 1m-100k articles in 37 languages; arabic, european ones, cyrillic ones. its a big drop,but the level of activity is different. 99k – 10k, 73 languages. these are vibrant communities, we dont push a language to production unless there is an active global community contributing regularly. these have crossed the bar in terms of maintaining regular contributions and adding content to the web and wikipedia. 10k-1k articles, 102 languages. these are new language communities coming online.

its the power of the web, net, and broadband, fuelled by multilingual support in software, to make this happen.

the engagment by billions of users globally who access the web on a desktop and afford a smart phone or tablet. thats the activity here.

who are our users?

Early adopters: large langauges, europeans.

next genration: those underrepresented on the web and with mobile access, and where the language tech isn’t good. what langauges have 100Ms of users and poor tech? 1.5Bn people in india, 1.5Bn+ in CJK. Arabic, other RTL languages from India to Middle East? Those are the next generation. That’s where the growth of the web is happening.

We see the long tail languages. Native American languages have tiny but passionate communities. Latin America, Venezuala, Brasil, Mexico, there are indigenous langauges that ‘didnt matter’ but now emerge online as they can come together freely and addresss topics they are interested in and share and learn.

wikipedia is seeing the next generation of web users come online. 1Bn is a small number in that.

What are the Factors igniting this growth?

The euro languages were early adoptors. What is missing in the space beyond that? Look at a content world, wikipedia, twitter, facebook, quora – in these contnet communities, do we have growth igniters?

  • 1st class user experience

  • broadband net connection

  • abundance of devices to access net – in japan its common to have 3+ devices, this room averages 2…

  • seamless language support – we take it for granted in English.

  • high quality fonts to read with – you can’t imagine how frustrating it is to have poor quality fonts to read with. we take it for granted.

  • input keyboards to write with – you dont think twice about text entry.

  • search – this drives the web today. all content in engish, we assume that bing or google or yahoo will find things we want.

Where are we headed?

Wikipedia is becoming a teenager. It could become a pleasant person, or a pest.

The level of engagement by users around the world, we could see a content commons for the web emerging, that makes online education uniquitous, and enabled all people to generate high quality content that is rich, and creating a cycle of brining people online, often with mobile computing (Android, iOS, others)

COmmoditization of langauge software is something I want to see – I wanted to see libre and open langauge software. we must facilitate every user of the web and mobile platofrms. there is no room for proprietary software in this space. it must be as seamless as you buying a smart phone for everyone.

We must keep the web open and free. Or we can not see content grow in new languages equally on the web.

Challenges?

It is a world of transitions, things are changing.

Keeping things libre and open licensed. The licenses must allow people to use their own languages on the web.

Supporting 287 languages, we must have high quality langauges assets for web and mobile. ADobe did a good job for the desktop, but we need web fonts and input tools. These are SERIOUSLY LACKING today. The wikipedia langauges under 100k articles strogly correlates with language support out of the box in the most popualr OS.

We lack libre language tools: spellchekers, suggestion engines, content development tools, machine translation tools (terrible), multilingual search (its poor). Overall we have a broken multilingual UX.

The MAIN wikiepdia user base’s experience is TERRIBLY broken. we are so dismayed, syaing for the last 15 years of computing that we can’t take language support for granted. wikiedpai has to go find things to make itself possible, and find libre software.

unifying the language selector. wikiedpai addded a universal lanague selector, so a german reading japanese can happen.

smart handling of scripts. how to type and search my own script?

we have called out for collaborators across the world for libre fonts. we have released libre fonts, you can download and use them for any time. there are 63 languages with 83 styles.

we have 139 input methods for 64 languages contributed by our users. we want onscreen key maps for every mobile device. we need these libre licensed, so any user can easily type any language. i am happy to work with anybody on that 🙂

jsvascript i18n support need to be improved for grammar, plurals, gender. we do this for 287 languages today, but we can do more.

traslation tools, side by side proofreading for software UI and message localiation.

we want transltion tools and language aids.

Industry Collaboration

Google Noto Fonts, Web Fonts

Red Hat Indic Fonts and IME support – the first libre fonts project, since MS and Adobe didnt want to do libre fonts at that time

Adobe and Google’s libre font rendering initiative is great, thanks for that collaobration, its an important project and I hope wikipedia can help with it

I applaud the open standards efforts for non latin langauge support. w3c, unciode consortium, these really matter in this space. The w3c japanese layout specification led by richard isida is a great exmaple. wikipedia and red hat are working on indic layout specs. there is no information for a font designer to build a font for another language from the OT spec alone. we need language specifications that any technical developer or font designer can use to start making lanugages. please contact me about that.

we are working now on better onscreen keymaps, and will welcome collaboration with that.

The multilingual UX must be first class.

www.github.com/wikimedia – collaborate and contribute here.

I understand the need to monetize, I come from industry, but libre software is the way of the web, you need to be with this. if we dont have fundemental building blocks to seed the market, who will use the fonts you are trying to sell? they will pirate them anyway. who cares?

we need to create open dictioanties and glossaries for people to use. we need to make machine transation work for all language pairs.

The BiDi work that unicode consortium has taken is great!

we need to be able to share our knoweldge and contribute togehter to seed the platform that we all see will change the world more and more.

it is important because the energy of the few 100 people working to make multilingual support better will help so many other people come online and contribute.

we need touch input and other features on devices that we take for granted to work worldwife.

we are doing a collaboration summit with redhat, and googel and mozilla, KDE and GNOME, all come to our lngauge summit. every 2 years, we do it at Red Hat at Pune, India. We do one in the valley too.

We do cross platform language assets. fixing bugs, triaging issues,

IMAGINE A WORLD IN WHICH EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING CAN FREELY SHARE IN THE SUM OF ALL KNOWLEDGE.

Q: funding?

A: We raise $40m annually in $10-20 payments from the global public. we are a distributed community supported platform. we never felt the problem was money. it was mindshare, getting the best language engineers to work on our problems.

Q: biggest obscatcle for very small langauge communites? those with 2k articles? these language communties with 100s of mative speakers. we are the main obstacles for them?

A: One language, there are 10 people who are superusers. they make it for their kids to learn from. If there is interest from a community, that is driven and passionate, they can make more content than a much large community that is complacent. the population effects going to 1M articles, but to 10k its something a small group can do. but lack of language assets is a technical issue. it is a real issue.

Q: You mentioned what wikimedia is doing. wiki data effort, to make strucutred information, that can help machine translation.

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ATypI 2013 Day 3

These are live blog notes from the ATypI 2013 conference in Amsterdam Day 3

Usual disclaimer for live blogging: These are informal notes taken by me, Dave Crossland, at the event, and may or may not be similar to what was said by the people who spoke on these topics. Probably if something here is incorrect it is because I mistyped it or misunderstood, and if anyone wants corrections, they should email me (dave@understandingfonts.com) – or post a comment. Thanks!

In fact I didn’t even read this document once before posting it, so its probably FULL of errors. What do you want for free? bahaha

[ 5 mins late ]

We need people who value knowledge more than things. that uncertainty and doubt is valuable in a company.

what do we need?

Education for people to create and solve the problems we face at any level of complexity. what do we educate? how can we teach things that will be relevant in 10 years?

what skills should they have?

how can they educate THEMSELVES in their professional life?

we need design skills with classes for research, and appreciation for the knowledge of making, who ask for more instead of ‘do we really need to know all this?’

we need explorers much more than design students who stay on the beach using Facebook

scripting and programming is a formal way to describe design decisions. better to write a conditional program than do it in your head to create a photoshop image

thinking in algorithms is the only way designers will survive. like lego or pantone colours of typefaces. reduce an infinite amount of choices to a manageable range.

devel the skills and doing research are seen as opposites. skills and research are x and y axes, that together mean making things. you can plot in a 2×2 grid these things.

such a graph is a model, a simplification of thought to understand the unthinkable.

the name of a font is a model to represent the ideas in the type.

the outline of a font is a model.

the programme of this conference is a model, a prediction of time.

the map of amsterdam is a model is a model thatreturs you safely home from the red light district

a model is an amount of relevant details. what is a sketch meant to do?

text as used is commonly understood symbols.

design is the management of details.

a useful definition, popular with students and clients. this simplified communication.

designers create models. many to choose and many ways to choose. models can be abstract. based on insutioin – i feel this is the right way – but some approach with cultivate opportunism. we pretend we can do it in a given amount of time, even thought thats not true.

there are models for making models. i like recursion.

tools are models that understand the task to be done. we need design tools

where is the python powered indesign? why were designers unable to prove adobe that would improve their production of pages? how was it possible to adde python to fontgorpahy many years ago while properiaty page layout tools still didn’t do it.

InD, Ill, PS, SketchUP are not design tools.

RoboFont is. The 150 tickets for RoboThon are sold out in 1 hour. Why not python script all the things?

Designers don’t ask for this.

They think doing repetitive labour work is a great accomplishment, and programming is not design.

we need web tools going beyond HTML/CSS/JS.

Check Bret Victor’s future of programming. I give away the secret, its a recent lecture, he talks like its 1973, and you see how stupid the future has become. CHECK IT OUT!

So we need web tools that are beyond assembler, postscript and css. we need CSS3, SASS, HTMl5 to be better. Watch Bret Victor.

We need designers that know the difference between idea space and tool space. You’ve seen Erik’s drawing, and most designers live on the crowded beach of known tools. Those who escape built their own ideas islands, and can do what they want.

we need tools with a single source. what is that?

replace files with databases. you all work with files. its stupid.

working in the cloud is a good start, but far from adequate.

anyone seen a dropbox file disappear because a friend dragged it to their desktop? dropbox is a stupid program.

we need applications that solve the versioning of design work.

where is the type design eversion of git? programmers solved it for themselves. even working on the same source file. we need programmers to solve the problem for the rest of theowrld.

designers think they are ok copy and pasting. heir little gated immunity, theyr well secured office.

but we need with testers, hinters, programmers and marketers use the same source. to make the same type we need.

this is the landing pattern of type. desirer requirements, then generate all fonts from a central set of sources.

we need designers who can understand ‘kinds of’ not ‘a single one’ – make algorithms that can design.

we need AI. there’s not enough design capacity for human designers to do all the work. how to design programs that design?

few designers know that. where did they learn? what tools do they use?

processing, prolog, python?

the solution is in studying multiple things at the same time. combine things in interesting ways.

this is true for any area. even if they appear too remote at first glance.

is butte rick a lawyer with a knowledge of design, or a designer who knows copyright?

is frederik baerlan a designing programmer or a programming designer? their combinations makes the unique in the world by picking 2 remote specialisms.

take these 6 extremes. concepts for AI, but perfect for designing any process. values in left col are easy to solve.

chess?

fully observable. all pieces can be seen. its deterministic, no dice. its sequential, can’t go back to change past moved. static, rules don’t change. discrete, one meaning. and it has multiple agents.

design a page with no grid?

can see it, no dice, episodic not sequential – designer can go back and recontinue. dynamic, client can call any time to change the rules. no grid so element positions si continuous. and usually a single designer does it.

adding a grid changes it from continuous to diskette. designing a page with a grid is easier.

making a car drive through traffic on its own is hard. all the right hand side col items apply. where did google think about what if a door from a 747 falls down? their car program doesn’t have that explicitly.

we need devices with quality type. we need osx, iphoenn ,i podad, design, android, windows, print.

css is not a design language, because i can’t tell it what i want more or less, i have to be exact. and remember all brewer differences. making websites work well on many platforms is like magic.

we need tools to hide the legacy from view.

think the unthinkable. watch bret victor explain this in his videos.

why isn’t everything an application, interactive?

tap and erik and just made a library of tools that todays type design students use to their advantage. this is all based on open source python, by guido, just’s brother.

txx is used by EVERYONE, the cottage industry and the big corporations. what would the world be like without this tool?

there is vanilla and woof and robofont and the GN cube and superpoatro.

we need more programs like eriks superpoaltor.

we need people who are not satisfied with these tools.

we need people who can jump in and improve the existing code and make it even better.

there are many important areas that we did not talk about.

we didn’t mention print.

setting up accompany. architecture, art.

you must explore yourself.

we need atypic, where this all happens.

its good to see the paper proposals, but the chats between the lectures are very valuable too.

lets go outside the landscape we habit in. what needs to be solved? what can be solved with type?

i wish you an interesting time here.

@petrvanblokland

Q: what do you mean by AI if not computers who think for themselves?

A: there are levels of AI. the problem is that its a loaded idea. 40 years ago they said in 10 years we’d have robots doing housekeeping. it didn’t work out. they found simple stuff is hard to program. making something behave like a person naturally is very complex. otoh, google does a good job selecting adverts. its a learning system. we’d like something that you can train. you can train it by writing it yourself. you can imagine an application and the program says ‘this is the thing you may want to do so lets put that at the top of my suggestions’. the problem is exponential growth. you can not foresee everything that happens. if you go to the 6th or 7th level of chess, its more moves than a computer can calculate. but chess is some 24-30 moves. you can’t say ‘if they do this, you do that’. its fuzzy logic. design is too fuzzy. but you can get somewhere, applying ai tree search techniques to what designers can do.

Q: are you arguing for design to be contingent? i mean, something that is without having to be so. design presented as an ontology?

A: i don’t have a definition… i use for students, the management of details. another is, if you don’t do it it won’t be there, if you do, it probably will, and if you do it again, it will be better. its vague. or, is design everything you do for the first time? second, hmm. 3rd, well. 4th, either hire someone or write a program. then its production, not design. when you give it to a person, they do a lot of design too. even the printer who adjusts the ink to respond to the paper. again, making the choice of what to design is design.

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1335 Don’t Design Web Fonts | Cyrus Highsmith, David Jonathan Ross

[ 10 mins late ]

I use serif for html text and sans for tags.

a coding typeface family for coding typography.

responsive design can change the type based on the window size, e.g. changing the drop cap font with different levels of complexity. we can make the borders change.

cyrus:

I’ve been thinking about the theory of things. you can look at my sketchbook on the slides if you’re bored wit theory. at RISD i saw typography shrink as strategy design and programming and writing classes crowd in. this is good for preparing students for careers as graphic designers.

risd has held on longer than most schools to typography. michael beirut from pentagram said he would take someone who can read over someone who can draw to become a graphic designer.

lexical skills are more important than visual skills to design now. knowing the structure of a text is more important than knowing how to make nice balanced white space.

like many type designers i taught myself at the start. in the lsat 10 years, the type courses at cooper, reading, kabk, and type design electives are now as part of graphic design programs all over the place.

its very popular lately. at RISD i used to do 2 classes, basic type, ‘type 1’, and then in spring, type design elective. i put a lot into the type 1 curriculum, it needed updating. a couple years ago, the dept head said that not enough seats available int he type design elective. so i should teach the class twice, in the fall for another group of students.

i agreed to teach just type design; not basic typography any more. i was happy to do that, but it makes me wonder why. why as general typographic education is in decline is type design so popular?

many reason. one might be the changing relationship between type designer and typography.

David Jonathan Ross:

technical reasons. instead of setting a font at a size, the range of fonts at a range o fsizes for a range of devices.

cyrus:

right. so no one is using less type. yet. typography is more complicated. the thinking skills you need to make typography, the type designer and the typeface has to do more and more.

like open type features. built into a font are dozens of choices about when to use an altnerate. the type design becomes the typography. is this emergent, or started 20 years ago?

the more the graphic designer understands about what type works than by experiencing type design yourself. I’m not suggesting to replace typography classes with type design. but i realised i could teach typography from the type designer’s point of view.

my book sees typography as a collaboration of the typography and type designer. that made the most sense to me. there is a broad potential in this strategy.

what about web fonts?

this past year, the similar trajectory. web developers weren’t used to sophisticated typography.

type design was an extension of typography. this is the heart of type design.

imaging typography and figuring out parts to express it. david and i and others talk about this. we make web fonts and we show them, we push the possibilities we can do with them. we have a hard time imagining type on screen.

type on screen is limited. we practice things. so its hard to make things interesting. when tech is limited, its a funnel which makes things the same.

as much as i’d like to embrace the limitations. i’d like screen typography to be stupidifying.

its had to have perspective on something you’re in the middle of. we are figuring out web fonts.

we are in a tricky time. right now. web fonts are right now.

i found a quote of Elements of Lettering by John Benson: “you can’t expect good work without knowing your materials nature…..”

He talked about wood or stone or bronze, and they aren’t my materials. not paper and ink, now its ixels and electrons. maybe i stretch it too far. i have an abstract interpretation.

a type designer’s material is typography. a willingness to work with it, and type designers must imagine typography. that is our material.

the good news is that the supply is infinite. is this a perfect storm?

is this the end of tyrpophray?

in fact I’m optimistic for th efuture of typography. DO DRAW web fonts. our title was a joke.

we two here will do!

but lets not limit what we can do, lets make smart web fonts.

Q: you taught type design only, did you get type design students who never took a typography class?

A: No, type 1, 2 and 3 are core, and my class is elective. they have a background in typography. i might get a sharp student who didn’t set type who wants to take my class. they don’t get out of my class as much as they should.

Q: what does it mean for typography to be the type designer’s material?

Cyrus A: I’m being poetic. its what we imagine. you make the type to express that idea.

Q: you’re saying thats how all type designers start?

Cyrus A: I’m saying thats where we 2 start, and the best way to start.

Q: Isn’t that like saying alcohol exists to make you drunk?

David A: I don’t understand that. I don’t drink…. 😉

Gerry Q: Commednation, thanks for raising the idea to raise a type use before drawing; people talk about tools but type must be used to have a meaning. correction, please stop talking of matd and kabk as where type is taught, its taught around the world in mexico and argentina, at least 30 places where it is taught, so please lets be less eurocentric. my comment: the way type design used to be made, it was done by expert typographers. it was big industrial stuff with much business risk. with the marginal risk of the next typeface trends to zero, people who have insufficient typographic education comes along. people who know how complex typography works are not the whole room here, even. i was at w3c workshop on ebooks, and it was like web font early days, when type designers met web browsers and there was a big conversation about different interests and finding common interests. there are bigger industries. we must change our attitude to the big business of making books, newspapers and educational materials. we must tell what our quality perspective is. the quality language gets very wooly and imprecise. we need to do more of this as teachers. i worry we are a smaller discipline and more people are making typographically structured content. in the end we are left in our own room complaining to no one but ourselves. sorry i silenced the room.

martin major q: thanks, interesting lecture. when people say they want to be a type designer, i think you must be a graphic designer as well. must i also become a web designer?

daivd; for us it has, yes. i spent as much time drawing as looking at how MSIE renders it compared to Firefox. does a graphic designer expect their typography given to them by specialists?

Roger black q: it sounds like type foundries should do a better job of putting out specimens, showing the typography intended for the best cases for real typography. we are not doing a good job of that.

daivid a: i show the vertical borders to show its not just the font, but the CSS and JS to implemetng the gyproaphy. because the thinking inside and outside the font must be used together.

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