🏛 Stoas near [[@agora/2023 05 24]]
📚 Node [[2023-05-24]]
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- Wednesday, 05/24/2023 ** 18:33 What have I learned about fonts in the past day or so?
- Variable fonts are fascinating and the best tool to use.
- Open-source font culture is brillant, but the design and type community are so far behind software in this regard. Open-source font projects exist - and many of those that do are truly exceptional - but most of the leading type foundries keep their work proprietary (and inaccessibly expensive). The tools to build fonts with free software are still immature, especially if you can't program.
- Bitmap fonts are brilliant in their own way - for their ease of use. I wonder if there are technologies to 'smooth them over' to convert them to TTF fonts if they're specified at a high enough resolution. This also seems impossible, as the decision to 'smooth something over' is entirely aesthetic, and the small details of these details is so important.
- Rendering fonts is a mess.
- Ligatures can be used for so many brilliant things. I love the '99 balloons' look.
- New appreciation for 'Inter'. I'm not happy with some of the parts of the font that have been rounded off - loose ends and such (without a better word) - but the fact that inter is brilliant for legibility in every use case is incredible. I wouldn't choose another free font for a user interface after trying it - it's the best default imaginable.
- Even great type designers miss little details. I keep finding little edges - little cracks - of designs that don't feel as thought-out as the type designer would like to have you believe. Studying type teaches you to appreciate pixel-perfect detail in a way that not many other crafts can.
- I like 'neo-grotesk' fonts with sharp edges.
- Univers might be the best font. All of the principled fonts that I like are variations of Univers.
Tricks for making fonts more readable:
- Fonts must be incredibly legible at their most thin to readability on small screens.
- Perfect the spacing, the punctuation, and particular letters.
- Picking a few letters to make 'flash' can help your font stand out in a competition, but particular letters that are distracting significantly hinder readability.
- Multi-language support is insane. Practically impossible. I'm immensely appreciative of type designers who work across language boundaries - especially when deviating from Latin characters.