On type & fonts

Font production notes

Type design is the creative part, the joyful play with letter forms. Font production is the technical part, the hard work of casting letter forms and the way they interact into files. Sometimes font production turns out to be as creative as type design itself.
The title of this section is an allusion to B.H. Newdigate's series of articles called Book Production Notes, the compilation of which is one of my favorite items on my book shelves.
Please visit the making fonts page for papers and FLS5 Python scripts.

Kerning assistance II

29 March 2018
One thing that repeatedly strikes me is a rather abstract discussion, and vehement rejection, of automatic spacing. Whether spacing is done manually or automatically is not relevant. It is spacing theories which are relevant because it is them that determine results – regardless of whether these theories are applied manually or automatically. Continue ...

Italics by way of a Stylistic Set feature

22 July 2017
Like with early italic types, Litteratra's as well as Rialto's italic lowercase are accompanied by roman uppercase. This suggested to include italics in the regular font. Continue ...

The KLTF wish list

16 October 2016
Not being on GitHub, I will collect suggestions for, and comments about, font production tools in this note. Feel free to pick up what seems useful. Continue ...

TTF Diet

5 January 2015
TTF Diet, made together with Adam Twardoch, is a Python script that creates slim TTF fonts which are meant for testing applications' support of core OpenType Layout functionality. Continue ...

Installing bundled fonts in OSX

4 December 2011
When applications install bundled fonts in OSX, the Fonts folder easily gets messy. There is a simple solution, though. Continue ...

IE9 and TTF and 'embedding bits'

27 March 2011
The new Internet Explorer 9 ignores TTF webfonts whose 'embedding bits' are not set to 'installable'. Does this mean that foundries need to offer TTF webfonts with 'embedding bits' set to 'installable'? No. Continue ...

Subpixel rendering vs hinting

10 January 2011
A very short note to point out that 'rendering' and 'hinting' do not mean the same. Continue ...

A feature request (while waiting for DirectWrite)

15 December 2010
If it were for OSX and Windows 7 alone, it would not be necessary to spend a thought on hinting. Unfortunately, Windows XP is still the most popular version, and rasterization on Windows XP continues to be problematic. Continue ...

Readable structure, unreadable text

25 May 2010
One advantage of XML, even a design goal according to the specification, is that it is human readable as regards data structure. As a consequence, however, data itself turns out to be less readable. Continue ...

Who needs a glyph palette?

16 April 2010
What does it mean to insert a glyph into a text via a glyph palette like the one InDesign offers? And does Photoshop need a glyph palette too? Continue ...

Mozilla Firefox 3.6 supports WOFF font format

20 October 2009
Mozilla announces that Firefox 3.6 will be the first browser to support the WOFF font format for use with @font-face. Continue ...

The different faces of type

3 August 2009
@font-face will soon make it possible to use any typeface for web site design, rather than relying on a few 'web-safe' standard fonts which are installed on almost every computer. Discourse currently is centered around the ideal web font format. But there is another aspect which @font-face will inevitably draw attention to. Continue ...

DTL OTMaster

10 Feb 2009
The DTL OTMaster makes it easy to edit CFF-based or TT-based OpenType fonts via user interface. Continue ...


14 July 2008
FontLab Studio's 'Anchors' are useful for defining mark attachment points (the 'mark' feature will play a more important role in future fonts), yet the interface to deal with them is more than spartanic. Regard FLS Anchors Feature Request as my personal wishlist. Download ...


10 June 2008
One of the questions for which I have not found a good answer yet is this: Imagine that a typographer/designer inserts a glyph directly via a layout application's glyph palette. Also imagine that this glyph is an unencoded alternate variant – usually this is accessed by typing (which inserts an encoded character) plus applying an OT layout feature. Continue ...

Crossing borders · The best of different worlds

16 September 2007
My TypeTech presentation for ATypI 2007 Conference in Brighton, about connecting different kinds of applications and tools. Continue ...

Thank you Microsoft!

23 July 2007
Admittedly, this is not really a font production note. It's about digital typography: about WPF and 'flow documents'. Continue ...

Kerning assistance I

15 July 2007
Spacing and kerning are essential parts of type design. They are responsible for the rhythm which a typeface's black and white forms creates on the page. Kerning a typeface is hard work, even more so when glyph sets get bigger. Only recently it occurred to me that DTL KernMaster might be a helpful kerning assistant. Continue ...

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Copyright © Karsten Luecke
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