Archive for July, 2009

[type] Exploring TypeMyType – Intriguing DIY Font Resources

Posted in type design, typography on July 31, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2180.Via Twitterer Bram Pitoyo, I’ve stumbled on a site that looks like a typographers site for typographers, but if you’re interested in font design, it’s got a little something for everyone.

It’s called TypeMyType.

Truth be told, I’m still in the middle of exploring it. It has an awful lot, but until you get to know it, you may find it a little inscrutable, but the layout is enjoyable and it’s put type up as the star of the presentation, which is good and wonderful.

Some of the highpoints include a free, rather intuitively-interaced type design program that can save your work as a simple OTF file (with very little font metrics) or the so-called UFO format – the Unified Font Object format, which is supposed to be a cross-platform, cross-platform, human-readable format. This is a standalone Mac application, and it’s called Font Constructor. The intuitive feature comes, as opposed to regular font creators which expect that you’ll understand bearings and font metrics and such, you create bits and pieces of your fonts as building blocks which can then be drug-n-dropped into the glyph window. You can also, it’s claimed, copy and paste wholesale from FontLab (I’ve not tried that yet). This is similar to FontStruct (an online editor of which I’m a fan) but Font Constructor uses Beziers and paths.

Another extremely intriguing thing found on the site is TypeCast. TypeCast claims to be two things; one, an online versioning system that supports a UFO workflow, and a light online UFO path editor. It seems to be under development; while the author (Frederik Berlaen) claims you can upload from FontLab directly into TypeCast, there are no obvious instructions on how to do so. Judging by the video on the site, some scripting in FontLab seems to be involved. I’m in the process of researching this now. The online editing does work like a song, though; choose the glyph and the item appears, big, bold and butch, with clearly visible Bezier handles all ready to go.

I suggest it’s at least worth exploring to anyone who likes the idea of online type development.

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[type] Exploring TypeMyType – Intriguing DIY Font Resources

Posted in type design, typography on July 31, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2180.Via Twitterer Bram Pitoyo, I’ve stumbled on a site that looks like a typographers site for typographers, but if you’re interested in font design, it’s got a little something for everyone.

It’s called TypeMyType.

Truth be told, I’m still in the middle of exploring it. It has an awful lot, but until you get to know it, you may find it a little inscrutable, but the layout is enjoyable and it’s put type up as the star of the presentation, which is good and wonderful.

Some of the highpoints include a free, rather intuitively-interaced type design program that can save your work as a simple OTF file (with very little font metrics) or the so-called UFO format – the Unified Font Object format, which is supposed to be a cross-platform, cross-platform, human-readable format. This is a standalone Mac application, and it’s called Font Constructor. The intuitive feature comes, as opposed to regular font creators which expect that you’ll understand bearings and font metrics and such, you create bits and pieces of your fonts as building blocks which can then be drug-n-dropped into the glyph window. You can also, it’s claimed, copy and paste wholesale from FontLab (I’ve not tried that yet). This is similar to FontStruct (an online editor of which I’m a fan) but Font Constructor uses Beziers and paths.

Another extremely intriguing thing found on the site is TypeCast. TypeCast claims to be two things; one, an online versioning system that supports a UFO workflow, and a light online UFO path editor. It seems to be under development; while the author (Frederik Berlaen) claims you can upload from FontLab directly into TypeCast, there are no obvious instructions on how to do so. Judging by the video on the site, some scripting in FontLab seems to be involved. I’m in the process of researching this now. The online editing does work like a song, though; choose the glyph and the item appears, big, bold and butch, with clearly visible Bezier handles all ready to go.

I suggest it’s at least worth exploring to anyone who likes the idea of online type development.

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[signs] No Alien Abductions Allowed Between 9PM and 6AM? Good To Know, Zendak

Posted in design, Funny Signs, Sign Design, Teh Funnay on July 30, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2179.Although it occurs to me than any ET with the chutzpah to actually abduct humans from earth probably don’t bother too much with local Earth laws:


Original from here, a Russian web site about something
somehow, I don’t know, I don’t know any Russian.
via Twitterer http://twitter.com/mynameisorman

Although they might be sporting enough to just obey the local custom, just out of being sporting and being ET mensch and like that. I mean, just how’s the constable supposed to cite the offender? That might be a bit outside our tech level.

So at least the locals can get some sleep at nights, but after 6AM – watch it, Charlie, ‘cos here comes Zendak, and he’s lonely!

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[signs] No Alien Abductions Allowed Between 9PM and 6AM? Good To Know, Zendak

Posted in Funny Signs, Graphic Design, modren times on July 30, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2179.Although it occurs to me than any ET with the chutzpah to actually abduct humans from earth probably don’t bother too much with local Earth laws:


Original from here, a Russian web site about something
somehow, I don’t know, I don’t know any Russian.
via Twitterer http://twitter.com/mynameisorman

Although they might be sporting enough to just obey the local custom, just out of being sporting and being ET mensch and like that. I mean, just how’s the constable supposed to cite the offender? That might be a bit outside our tech level.

So at least the locals can get some sleep at nights, but after 6AM – watch it, Charlie, ‘cos here comes Zendak, and he’s lonely!

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[misc] Fotomat To Go Away Completely

Posted in branding, Miscellany on July 29, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2178.In the last missive, I mentioned Fotomat, the one-day photo finishing service that sprouted like blue-and-yellow weeds throughout America from the 1960s through the 1990s, when one-day photo service was equivalent to the speed of light, commercially.

While data on the ebb and flow of this former consumer photo giant is scanty at best, the trajectory is pretty easy to infer: As one-hour photo services became popular, Fotomat’s one-day service became less and less popular, in the same way that traditional photo finishing of any type is being driven into extinction by digital photography and home-photo printers.

Fotomat didn’t entirely go away, though, they relocated to the Web, offering Kodak-brand photo finishing and photosharing with a toolbar assist. But, as it’s turning out, with services like Flickr and Picasa, even that model isn’t working anymore. So Fotomat is, at last, going away itself:

On September 1st, 2009, Fotomat will be closing its online Fotomat photo printing and sharing service and all current accounts will be closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. All Photo orders placed prior to September 1st, 2009 will be honored. In the coming weeks, we will be sending out email updates about the closing of Fotomat.com to our Fotomat customers.

All Fotomat customers who maintain their photos locally on their PC through the “My Fotomat” feature with the Viewpoint or Fotomat toolbar will be able to continue to maintain their albums as before. However, all features that connect to Fotomat.com such as ordering and sharing photos will be discontinued.

We sincerely appreciate your patronage as a Fotomat member. We’re recommending that all our Fotomat customers start transitioning their photo servicing needs to Kodak Gallery.

Sic transit gloria Fotomat. Another icon of the 20th Century dwindles away. It was a good run, Fotomat.

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[misc] Fotomat To Go Away Completely

Posted in distractions, modren times, Stuff that does't fit anywhere else on July 29, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
2178.In the last missive, I mentioned Fotomat, the one-day photo finishing service that sprouted like blue-and-yellow weeds throughout America from the 1960s through the 1990s, when one-day photo service was equivalent to the speed of light, commercially.

While data on the ebb and flow of this former consumer photo giant is scanty at best, the trajectory is pretty easy to infer: As one-hour photo services became popular, Fotomat’s one-day service became less and less popular, in the same way that traditional photo finishing of any type is being driven into extinction by digital photography and home-photo printers.

Fotomat didn’t entirely go away, though, they relocated to the Web, offering Kodak-brand photo finishing and photosharing with a toolbar assist. But, as it’s turning out, with services like Flickr and Picasa, even that model isn’t working anymore. So Fotomat is, at last, going away itself:

On September 1st, 2009, Fotomat will be closing its online Fotomat photo printing and sharing service and all current accounts will be closed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. All Photo orders placed prior to September 1st, 2009 will be honored. In the coming weeks, we will be sending out email updates about the closing of Fotomat.com to our Fotomat customers.

All Fotomat customers who maintain their photos locally on their PC through the “My Fotomat” feature with the Viewpoint or Fotomat toolbar will be able to continue to maintain their albums as before. However, all features that connect to Fotomat.com such as ordering and sharing photos will be discontinued.

We sincerely appreciate your patronage as a Fotomat member. We’re recommending that all our Fotomat customers start transitioning their photo servicing needs to Kodak Gallery.

Sic transit gloria Fotomat. Another icon of the 20th Century dwindles away. It was a good run, Fotomat.

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[design] One-Hour Photo – The Early Days Of Adobe Photoshop

Posted in design tools, digital design on July 29, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2178.In the beginning (the 1980s), there was Display, which was a neat program developed by Thomas Knoll to display (well, yeah) grayscale images on his Mac SE. His brother, John, who just so happened to be working at ILM at the time, encouraged him to make an editor out of it. And thus was begat ImagePro. After polishing it up and adding some plugins, they matured it into the first available version of the titan … Photoshop. And the icon looked like this:

The icon was inspired by these little things, which used to be in shopping center parking lots across the nation:

(Read more about Fotomats here (where I screen-clipped the illustration from) and here) Fotomats were at their peak around 1980, but dwindled as their one-day photo finishing service (a quantum leap for the 1960s-70s) proved unable to compete with one-hour photo finishing, as contrasted with today when any photo finishing services are seen as quaint – where they exist at all.

I find it amusing that the original authors of Photoshop used a Fotomat-style kiosk (which offered one-day service) with the sign 1HR (which Fotomats never did), but the icon gets the point of fast, powerful photo editing across – once you swapped the blue and the yellow between the roof and the building, of course.

The first Photoshop to carry the iconic eye logo an splash were Photoshop 1.0, released in 1990. Not sure when the last Fotomat kiosk closed. Fotomat still exists on the web (though not for much longer), and Photoshop fondly exists, in many versions, on the hard drives of designers everywhere.

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