Saturday, December 30, 2000

First attempt at Essence

Into the wee hours of the morning, I finished off the alphabet characters (and a few punctuation marks) for my newest font: Essence. I've got a pretty good description of what I'm trying to accomplish in the last log entry, so I won't repeat myself. But I thought that a screen shoot might be a good thing to show at this first "milestone" for Essence...

If it looks like Epsy (or Espy, whatever, it's early in the morning, you can't expect me to spel!), that's intentional. I printed out a bunch of text to compare Essence to my Nu Sans. Essence wins hands down as being the most "Espy"ish. It looks good on paper, but my main goal is to have Essence be a great screen font first--it should look good under any circumstances: aliased, anti-aliased, grid fitted, whatever. I'll explain later...

Monday, December 04, 2000

The essence of a good font

Just watched the first part of the new "Dune" on Sci-Fi. It looks pretty good, but I'd like to see the David Lynch version after so that I can compare. I saw it as a kid and didn't understand it too well. Perhaps now that I am older and wiser it will make more sense :-)

Along the same lines as the new Nu Casual, I am creating a new font. This new font is based on Espy Sans, but it goes a different direction than my Nu Sans. Where Nu Sans is a printer-friendly Espy Sans, the new font will try to more closely match the design of the original bitmaps. I have found that basing a font on simply one bitmap size as a model is not optimal.

The process will take quite a bit more time, as each finished font is the average of four fonts. I design an outline to fit the 10, 12, 14 and 16 bitmap fonts of Espy Sans. I know that I have a good outline by performing a simple check: I generate a bitmap font double the size of the font I'm working on. If that looks good, I'm set. After the outlines for the four fonts are good, I combine them into one font (actually a three step process: 10 + 12, 14 + 16 and then combining the results of those two).

I was toying with a name for this new font. When I had to change the name of Epsy Sans, I polled my users and they all voted on Nu Sans. This got Apple off my back. It was a week later when I got an e-mail from one of my users congratulating me on the new name, saying that I was able to thumb my nose at Apple after all. You see, "Nu Sans" is pronounced the same as the English word "nuisance." Indeed, I was a nuisance to Apple :-)

So I thought about basing the name of the font on this chance semblance of syllables. I wanted to keep something of Espy Sans (what inspired the new font) while still respecting the legacy of my work on Nu Sans. So I started thinking about "E" as in Espy. E Sans? No, that won't do--too obvious. Apple would burst a blood vessel. But there is a word that sounds something like it: "Essence." I like the implications of the name. It is the literally the essence of Espy Sans. I am taking the individual characteristics of each bitmap size and merging them into one font. It really works for me.

I should have some pictures up soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2000

Over the handlebars

I went over the handlebars of my bicycle on Tuesday, so I've not been able to do much work on the computer lately. However, I'm starting to feel better. I was able to work sporadically on an update to Nu Casual. I'm creating outlines for each of the three bitmap sizes of the Newton handwriting font and then merging them together. Previously, I just based Nu Casual on the 20 pt. So far, I'm very pleased with the results. Here's the new uppercase:

Wednesday, July 12, 2000

John Steed

OK, here's John Steed:

Little Kitty

And, back to sleep, again...

Sleepy Kitty

Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Welcome to the family

I'm working on an update to Nu Serif that brings two new fonts into the family: SemiBold and SemiBold Italic. I've also discovered a few discrepancies in the design of Nu Serif (even after the 4.0 "harmonization" release a few weeks ago). Just a few minor things, like the regular version of a letter would have one or two more control points than the bold version. There were also a few major things that I changed. I removed the serifs from the italic "r"s and created a new "y" for the bold italic, so that it would look more like the italic "y". The "y" I had before was completely different!

This release will also be the start of a new policy at Scooter Graphics: when a font is released, the font pack will also be released on the same day. This might put back the release by a few days, but I think that in the long run it will be much less confusing for everyone. I'm not going to worry about waiting for info-mac to get my new release, but I will start uploading to them so that users in other countries can have an easier time downloading my software.

Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Everything's up to date in Scooter Graphics City

I'm making a bunch of changes to the web site. My goal is to bring everything up to date with my new font designing software (FontLab) and to update the documentation on some of my older fonts so that it is more professional. I'm also working on a quickie update to Nu Serif that will add Nu Serif-Semi bold and Semi bold Italic to the family. All of this should be final by the first week of next month.

I'm also going to experiment with updating the fonts simultaneously with the font packs. Hopefully, this will mean that more people will opt for the font pack (which is a better deal for them and me). I'm going to go back to using Info-Mac as my backup FTP sites for my individual font packages, so this should offset any bandwidth issues.

I'm very grateful for all the nice things people have been saying about my new Nu Sans Mono-Italic (shown below). It's good to know that my work is appreciated :-)

Code Name: Steph Script is now Nu Sans Mono-Italic

Tuesday, May 09, 2000

Font repair time

Okay, so it wound up being Tuesday... Oh well. I found a small glitch in the Windows version and decided to put off the release a day so I could fix the problem. Flint was having trouble with the TrueType instructions in the Nu Sans Mono-Italic font. So I opened up FontLab and made the necessary repairs. No big deal. Anyway, I am working on some rather minor changes to the font family to be incorporated with the release this Tuesday of the Nu Font Pack as well as Nu Sans Mono 2.1. I'll have a demonstration here of the changes tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2000

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

Nu Sans 9.4

Released Nu Sans 9.4.