Archive for Fonts tag

Older pixel fonts back online

Some of my older bitmap “pixel” font files are now available again, they are:

  • Envy Code A – sizes from 7pt-12pt in both regular and bold weights
    Envy Code A font at 7pt regular
  • Envy Code B – sizes from 9pt-10pt in regular, bold, italic and bold italic. (was the basis for Envy Code R)
    Envy Code B font at 9pt regular
  • PalmOS – a Window port of the PalmOS system font recreated from screenshots.
    PalmOS font at 8pt regular

I also have about 20 pixel fonts from my Spectrum days that I am intending on bringing across to Windows FON format in the near future.

[)amien

Envy Code R preview #6 forthcoming

Envy Code R has been updated since this post.

I have been experimenting with Envy Code R over the last few months – everything from creating a bold version to delta hinting with Visual TrueType with mixed results.

Part of the problem is that at larger sizes the odd shapes and over-emphasized curves that I drew to make the font look great at 10-point with ClearType on makes it look awkward at larger sizes.

Last weekend, I went back to the drawing board, literally, to try and improve on the shapes without impacting too much on the 10-point size ClearType version. The result is as follows;

Envy Code R preview 6

And for comparison, the old version:

Envy Code R preview 5

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, even if it’s just to say your prefer PR6, Consolas or something else. Be sure to mention what size and whether you have ClearType on (or if you are using a Mac).

[)amien

Red Hat releases Liberation fonts

Linux vendor Red Hat have released a font family named Liberation under a GPL licence.

The family consists of three typefaces known as Liberation Serif, Liberation Sans and Liberation Mono each in normal, italic, bold and bold italic variants. The fonts are not hinted in this initial release so may not look too great on-screen at some sizes. Red Hat expect to release better-looking hinted versions in the future. Having attempted hinting Envy Code R font myself they have my sympathy.

These new fonts are designed to be metric-compatible (and therefore interchangeable) with the standard Windows fonts of Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New intending to "Liberate" documents from Microsoft’s fonts. Bearing in mind Office 2007 pushes new typefaces as the default I’m not sure how successful this will be long-term.

Microsoft’s typefaces were designed to be metric-compatible with the classic Times Roman (1931), Helvetica (1957) and Courier (1955) typefaces in the first place so perhaps Red Hat would have been better off licensing or mimicking those instead.

Screen shots follow.

Windows

The Liberation fonts on Windows using ClearType alongside the Windows fonts they intend to replace. The free Bitstream Vera family equivalent is also shown (only Vera Sans Mono is metric-compatible).

Mac

Microsoft’s Windows fonts alongside Apple’s versions of the originals and the Liberation fonts again all rendered with Mac OS X and sub-pixel precision aliasing. Point sizes have been increased by 3pt to compensate for the difference in on-screen DPI.

[)amien

Windows font evolution

Vista and Office 2007 are interesting as they provide major user interface work that also includes new sets of fonts. I thought it would be interesting to show the evolution of the various styles.

Serif

Times New Roman has been the default typeface in Microsoft Word since version 1 and was originally designed for printing newspapers on high speed printing machines whilst still retaining legibility.

Curiously enough whilst Office 2007 provides a couple of new serif typefaces the default has switched to the sans-serif font Calibri although a number of the the themes within Office 2007 utilise these typefaces.

Serif font evolution in Windows

Sans-serif

The infamous Helvetica clone Arial primarily used for on-screen document-type work and even used in some applications user-interfaces throughout the years gives way to two new lighter fonts that like most of the new ‘C’ named typefaces rely on ClearType to look legible at small sizes.

Calibri is now the default font of choice for Word documents and will therefore probably become a familiar typeface in a short space of time.

Sans-serif font evolution in Windows

Monospace

Primarily used for programming and other environments that require it. At least all those programmers too lazy to try something else will enjoy Consolas as standard in Visual Studio 2007.

Monospace font evolution in Windows

User interface

The Windows user-interface switches to a new font once again despite large chunks of the Windows UI never making it past Microsoft Sans Serif (the scalable version of MS Sans Serif pictured below).

Interface font evolution in Windows

[)amien