Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Three revelations about Cynthia

I had three revelations about Cynthia: the 12 pt bitmap matched up with the 11 pt outline (yikes! Good thing it's easy enough to reduce it--the only problem being that I basically threw away 6 hours of hand editing the hints), a few characters needed to be completely redone to be more in line with the bitmap and the font needed to better simulate the quasi-monospaced nature of Sydnie. So here's the new picture:

This is the Cynthia Typeface

I still have a little tweaking do do on the character shapes - making the font quasi-monospaced required stretching some letters and shrinking others. I see that the "f" needs to be a bit longer so that it doesn't produce a big gap; same goes for the "t". I'm thinking I'll put this one on the back burner for a while so that I can work on the TrueType hinting of Nu Sans-Bold (which is about 20% done at the moment). One of the neat things about Nu Sans-Bold is that it will encompass a much larger character set - it will have all the characters that are present in Apple's system fonts (this will be a boon to non-English systems). Unicode makes it all possible.

Friday, May 21, 1999


I noticed an interesting technote on Apple's web site today. It deals with an issue that I've figured out on my own a long time ago :-). Basically, the technote implies that anti-aliasing (or font smoothing, if you prefer) looks best at 18 pt and above.

Well I did it in just one day - I created the basic character outlines for the Cynthia typeface in under 10 hours. Tomorrow I'm moving on to the hinting so that I can release a demo version ASAP. Basically, Cynthia is a TrueType font that emulates the appearance of Apple's Sydnie bitmap font at all different sizes. So what, you as is Sydnie? It's a font that's embedded in Apple's QuickTime Player 4.0. It's the cool little font that appears when you press the copyright button, or connect to a streaming server. Basically, it's what I'd call quasi-monospaced. Most of the characters fit into a 6 pixel width, but some of them (like "i" and "l" as well as most of the punctuation) is proportional - making it only appear to be monospaced. I have no idea why Apple would want to do this, but hey, it's their show, right? Anyway, here's a screenshot:

This is the Cynthia Typeface

Thursday, May 20, 1999

Star Wars: Episode I

I went to the premier of Star Wars: Episode I last night. I won't ruin it for you, but it was very cool - go see it! I also got my internet connection straightened out with @Home. I have a ton of e-mail to sort through - please be patient :-)

Sunday, May 16, 1999

Nu Sans-Bold and internet access woes

Nu Sans-Bold is shaping together nicely. I finally figured out a way to include all the characters that are found in the Mac system fonts (a ton of international characters and special symbols used by the Mac OS to display in menus). A tool called AAT Font Tool adds the proper cmaps so that the system will be able to access the characters it needs. I've also finished up the preliminary hinting (no deltas - just a rough first pass) on A-Z and a-n. I'm using Microsoft's Visual TrueType 4.2 to do this manual hinting. This new version is really a lot faster to work with than the previous one.

In other news: @Home cut off my service on the 12th. A guy came out and put a filter on my cable. It turns out that I wasn't being billed for my internet access. I called tech support 5 times: first they said that the cable wasn't actually disconnected, it was just a soft disconnect done from their office. Then they said that I wasn't disconnected at all - the problem was with my modem - they were able to bill my credit card on the 12th. Finally, I called on Saturday and the tech on the line said that he needed to send out a tech to fix the problem. So far, @Home has admitted no blame (I'm sure that the techs are ordered not to do that). Oh well, I can't really access the internet more than a few minutes a day until Tuesday. What a pain!

Thursday, May 13, 1999

More work on Tiny

I worked a bit more on Tiny. The regular weight is all done; I've polished up the letters A-O so that they will look good when printed. I've also been working on some issues with Nu Sans-Bold. It turns out that the cmap needed a little tweaking. I expect to release an updated version on Monday - hopefully I'll have the font packs ready by then, too (The font packs are groups of fonts released together at a discounted rate).