13 Sep 2004 raph   » (Master)


I haven't said much here except for hints, but it now looks like Heather and I are getting divorced. We hadn't talked about it with the kids, but yesterday Alan asked some direct questions, so now he knows. I didn't want him learning about it by someone saying, "hey, I read on your dad's blog that your parents are getting divorced, sorry to hear about it." Stranger things have happened, though, I suppose.

Other than that, things are reasonably good. I was at a post-birthday party for my longtime friend Dan Rice on Saturday, and had a great time.

The spam in my mailbox is rather out of control. I'm experimenting now with a gmail account. If you want to contact me there, use the firstname.lastname@gmail.com convention.


Fonts have been my friend through all the turmoil. I've been active on the typophile discussion board. Also, I was pleased to see some of my previous postings on fonts picked up by typographica and Luc Devroye.

My Century Catalogue is coming along well; I have all alphanumerics and a bunch of punctuation, but have to draw a bunch more fiddly shapes to fill out an AdobeStandard encoding vector. I'm also playing around with Centaur, an astonishingly beautiful font, and have a rough draft of the capitals.

I've also been playing with the Cornu spline (PDF of the curve) as a primitive for curve design, and am now absolutely convinced that it's better than Bezier curves.


And now for something of a dramatic announcement. The secret font rendering project I've been working on can now be discussed publicly. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce FontFocus.

We're primarily looking for commercial licenses of this technology, but also plan to sort out some kind of free software release soon. I personally would love to see this rendering technology integrated into a good web browser.

Scans of font books

The British Library is doing it right: they are making their high quality scans of Shakespeare editions and other rare books available for all. Most other rare book collections are much more proprietary about their holdings.

The Million Books project has scans available of two landmark font books: the ATF 1923 specimen book and the Manual of Linotype Typography. I've had trouble with the DjVu viewer (it seems to hang Safari on my Mac), but these look like good resources. Of course, I have many of my own scans of the ATF 1923 on my own site. I've done the original scans at 2400 dpi, but don't have the big scans up on the server (it's about 5G worth of data right now). Maybe I should contact the archive.org folks to see if they're receptive to hosting my scans.

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