Sunday, February 19, 2006

Almost Finished Nu Casual

I saw snow on the mountains for the first time this year! Woo hoo :-)

OK, here's an almost finished Nu Casual:

So basically just a bit of spacing and other testing to do and I'll be able to release it. There will be a bit of a change to the formats available. I'm discontinuing plain PostScript and instead I'll be releasing TrueType and OpenType (PostScript flavored). Since the OpenType version is exactly the same for both platforms, that cuts down on a bit of work for me. That's not the only advantage, of course! Basically, plain PostScript is a dead format, and it has been for years. Adobe doesn't even sell plain PostScript fonts anymore.

So I'm off to watch the third episode of Pretty Cure Splash Star... Hope you had a good weekend, too :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Table + CSS

A Table + CSS combination seems to be the the best way to format pages like this blog. The problem is the sidebar. The current workaround in CSS for a colored sidebar is to put a background image the size of the bar you want and have it repeat all the way down. This has problems, too, though.

So I decided that on non-navigation only pages (basically every page other than the home page, really!), I will use tables and CSS for positioning and formatting. I'll be sure to keep the tables simple and let CSS do most of the heavy lifting. Currently, I'm using just one 3 x 3 table to format an entire page, so I don't think that's too heinous. I think that when you start putting tables in tables, you have to rethink your approach.

I've been working on Nu Casual, too! Probably have something to show on Sunday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nu Casual Splash Star

On my walk this morning, I had a design revelation: the design of each of the three sizes of Nu Casual needs to be the same. So, specifically, if the 20 pt font has a rounded end, the 14 and 16 pt fonts also need a rounded end, even if the bitmap font for those sizes does not allude to one. I don't know why I didn't design with this in mind from the beginning, as I have applied this approach on Essence. I spent a few hours today fixing the 14 and 16 pt fonts to match this new design philosophy and I am pleased with the results of the blend of the three fonts now:

I've also made sure to include overshoot in all of the curved endings, so they will appear to be just as tall as the endings that are not curved. I don't know how relevant this is, however, since the Casual font has a very variable baseline and x-height :-)

In other news, the new season of Pretty Cure has started. This time, it is a whole new cast. They have also changed the name of the show to Pretty Cure Splash Star. Two episodes have broadcast so far, and I think that the show gets away from the "fake Dukes of Hazard" syndrome with Mai and Saki being the stand-ins for Nagisa and Honoka. The scenarios are very similar: cute little creatures from another world recruit two girls to be Pretty Cure and fight against powers that would destroy the little creatures world and probably move on to Earth, too, for good measure.

However, there are already some differences in the setups of the two shows, for one Mai and Saki seem to be willing to take up the mantle of Pretty Cure right away, whereas Nagisa didn't want to (partly because she thought she could never get along with Honoka). Also, it turns out that Mai and Saki met each other (and the magical creatures) before becoming Pretty Cure years ago. So they have a bit of destiny playing out for them in the new show.

The production values for the new show are excellent. There is a greater use of CG (unobtrusively) and the character designs are appealing (Cure Bloom's pineapple hairdo notwithstanding). Basically it looks like they know what worked well in the first show and have expanded on it, rather than reinventing everything. Like Nagisa, Mai is into sports and like Honoka, Saki is the brainy one. It worked as a good contrast before, so there's no reason to change it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Now with cuter tails!

This week was really busy at work. So today was the first time I was able to work on Nu Casual again. This time, I've added overshoot to the upper and lower case characters and changed the tails to be more consistent. Here's the sample:

now with cuter tails

I think that I'm going to go back to the old "4"--since it's more "charming."