Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've got big plans for the new Fontographer...

I finally finished reading the Fontographer manual! It's over 500 pages.

A few things I'd like to try have to do with OpenType. I'd like to standardize my fonts with certain features--like automatic ligatures, fractions, etc. I haven't decided exactly which ones, but I'm excited that it will all be doable in Fontographer. Of course, it's not exactly straightforward--you have to create a text file using Adobe's language to define features. However, once that file is set up, as long as the fonts all have the proper characters, you can reuse that file for other fonts.

I think I'll experiment with a new font and release it as freeware to test out the features. Of course, feedback will be welcome and appreciated. Look forward to it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Fontographer! Release planned for updated Nu Casual

Fontographer has finally been updated to version 5.0! I'm in the process of reading the manual. It's a bit of deja vu, as I'm sure I've read it over a decade ago. However, there are a few new things here and there, so it's worth going through the whole thing again.

My plan is to regenerate all the fonts in OpenType format. Then there will just be one format for all the fonts--no more worrying about whether it's TrueType or PostScript, Mac or PC. I'm sure that it will be much less confusing for customers as well. Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing.

Anyway, we'll take it one font at a time. I'm going to get Nu Casual ready for re-release. As you can see in previous entries, I was in the middle of a small re-design. Unfortunately, I never released the update due to circumstances.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Vampires and cedillias

Working on the extended character set for Nu Casual to match the design work I've done in the main alphabet. Today, I fixed the cedilla characters.

I went to Anime Expo 2006 a couple weeks ago. It was a lot of fun! The highlight was being able to see not only CLAMP in person, but also another of my favorite Manga creators, Koge-Donbo. Koge-Donbo's Pita Ten is one of my favorite manga outside of CLAMP works. I'm currently enjoying her Kamichama Karin series as well.

I also got to see the first two episodes of Moon Phase (coming out 8/29/06--just in time for my birthday!) in the English dub. I've been wanting to see this one for a while, since my favorite american voice actor, Monica Rial, is playing the lead. You may have heard Monica on such shows as RaXephon, Full Metal Panic, Kodocha, Burst Angel or Excel Saga. She's a very flexible voice actor, and not just in the kinds of voices she does (most folks can't recognize her voice in Burst Angel), but also on the type of energy she brings to each character.

Anyway, Monica is wonderful as Hazuki the cute (tsundere) vampire.

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."