Font designed for proofreading OCR'ed text


A page on the Distributed Proofreaders project advises people who are trying to find typos in scanned and OCR'ed texts to try DPCustomMono, a font specifically designed to make it easy to catch common OCR errors. Distributed Proofreaders are volunteers who check out a page or more of scanned text from the Project Gutenberg archives and check it for typos, improving the quality of the text. DPCustomMono's characters are designed to maximize the difference between ones, lower-case ells, and upper-case eyes, as well as other lookalike glyphs.

Proofreading Font Comparison (via Making Light)

Adobe releases open-source coding typeface

Adobe's Paul D. Hunt announces the company's latest open-source typeface. This one's for coders and anyone else who loves legible monospaced figures—and who hates getting confused between l, 1 and I.

To my eye, many existing monospaced font suffer from one of three problems. The first problem that I often notice is that, many monospaced fonts force lowercase letters with a very large x-height into a single width, resulting in overly condensed letter forms which result in words and text with a monotonous rhythm, which quickly becomes tedious for human eyes to process. The second problem is somewhat the opposite of the first: many monospaced fonts have lowercase letters that leave too much space in between letters, causing words and strings to not hold together. Lastly, there is a category of monospaced fonts whose details I find to be too fussy to really work well in coding applications where a programmer doesn’t want to be distracted by such things.

Download the family at SourceForge. Previously.

Scotty Albrecht's typography wood art/prints in N.J. gallery



Designer/woodworker/hand-drawn typographer Scotty Albrecht has several lovely new pieces hanging in a group show at Parlor Gallery in Asbury, New Jersey. We have two of Scotty's pieces in our home, including the wood heart/hands seen here, and they're truly beautiful and inspiring in person. The show, titled "We Find Our Way," runs until October 15 and you can view it online as well. "We Find Our Way"

Advertising supplement from 1880: sweet typography


Advertising supplements were a lot more fun to look at in 1880. Submitted as evidence: this issue of the Philadelphia Grocer.

If you have a thing for typography

Petition to rename font 'Comic Sans' to 'Comic Cerns'

Typography enthusiasts "moved by Dr Fabiola Gianotti's incredibly strange choice of font in announcing the recent results of Cern's ATLAS collaboration" are petitioning Microsoft to rename Comic Sans to "Comic Cerns." Cosmic Sans might work, too!

Hrii Cthulhu, Goka Font Ph'nglui!

Do you love nameless, creeping horrors in the deep? Unnaturally! Do you love fonts? Of course, you do. Thomas Phinney, a veteran type designer, is attempting an unholy union of the two by resurrecting the moldering corpse of three typefaces: Columbus, Columbus Initials, and American Italic. Columbus was used for all the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, in which Phinney played a hand (severed?), designing clues for "Masks of Nyarlathotep."

Back the project on Kickstarter for Phinney to create Cristoforo, modern renditions of these three fonts. Pledges at all but the lowest level come with licenses to use the fonts. Phinney's original work is terrific, and I have no doubt that he'll bring a sensitive hand to re-creating these classic faces.

Illuminated manuscript cookies


Anniina ("Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance") produced these delicious-looking and awfully lovely illuminated initial cookies:

I wanted to share with you some Medieval manuscript cookies I made for my friend and colleague, Risa Bear, creator of Renascence Editions. I chose historiated initials from several manuscripts, printed them on edible paper with edible ink, attached them to square cookies and gave them gold edges. Who says love of literature and art can't fill a belly?!

Medieval Illuminated Initial Cookies (via Making Light)

Beautiful industrial and architectural letterheads from a bygone era


Bibliodyssey has curated a beautiful collection of letterheads from 19th century and early 20th century architectural and industrial firms, doing a lot of cleanup and posting the hi-rez images to Flickr. The originals are from Columbia University's Biggert Collection.

The images in this post all come from Columbia University's very large assortment of commercial stationery (featuring architectural illustrations): the Biggert Collection.

The vast majority of the images below have been cropped, cleaned and variously doctored for display purposes, with an intent towards highlighting the range of letterform/font and design layouts. The underlying documents are invoices (most), letters, postcards, shipping records and related business and advertising letterhead ephemera from the mid-1800s to the 1930s.

Architectural Stationery Vignettes (via Kottke)

Google Chat emoticon Easter egg

In this video, Videocrab demonstrates a very odd typographical Easter-egg embedded in Google Chat. I have no idea if this is real or shooped, but it's cute nevertheless.

2012-04-06_21-10-36_872 (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Typographer's Scrabble turns wordplay into ransom notes


The limited edition "Scrabble Typography Edition" stores away in a handsome set of replica type-drawers and features tiles whose letters appear in a variety of fonts. However, there are no kerning options, nor can you choose which font your tiles will be, which probably makes this game pure torture for type-nerds, but is likely pleasing to people whose reaction to desktop publishing was "Cool! I can make the world's most precisely snipped ransom notes now!"

Scrabble Typography Edition - Winning Solutions, Inc. (via Neatorama)

1977 CB radio ad


This 1977 CB radio ad has it all, from the heavy metal concept album lettering to the lens-flares on every surface -- even a halo for the holy gizmo itself.

1977 CW McCall Midland CB Radio

Avería: an "average" font


Dan Sayers ("I am not a type designer") decided to explore "generative" type-design by seeing what happened when he "averaged out" a large number of fonts. Once he got his teeth into the problem, he realized that "averaging out" is a complicated idea when it comes to shapes, and came up with a pretty elegant way of handling the problem, which, in turn, yielded a rather lovely face: Avería, "the average font."

Then it occurred to me: since my aim was to average a large number of fonts, perhaps it would be best to use a very simple process, and hope the results averaged out well over a large number of fonts. So, how about splitting each letter perimeter into lots of (say, 500) equally-spaced points, and just average between the corresponding positions of each, on each letter? It would be necessary to match up the points so they were about the same location in each letter, and then the process would be fairly simple

Having found a simple process to use, I was ready to start. And after about a month of part-time slaving away (sheer fun! Better than any computer game) – in the process of which I learned lots about bezier curves and font metrics – I had a result. I call it Avería – which is a Spanish word related to the root of the word ‘average’. It actually means mechanical breakdown or damage. This seemed curiously fitting, and I was assured by a Spanish friend-of-a-friend that “Avería is an incredibly beautiful word regardless of its meaning”. So that's nice.

Avería – The Average Font (via Waxy)

Unicode's "Pile of Poo" character

For many years, most of the Internet ran on ASCII, a character set that had a limited number of accents and diacriticals, and which didn't support non-Roman script at all. Unicode, a massive, sprawling replacement, has room for all sorts of characters and alphabets, and can be extended with "private use areas" that include support for Klingon.

But for all that, I never dreamt that Unicode was so vast as to contain a special character for a "pile of poo."

Name: PILE OF POO
Block: Miscellaneous Symbols And Pictographs
Category: Symbol, Other [So]
Index entries: POO, PILE OF
Comments: dog dirt
Version: Unicode 6.0.0 (October 2010)
HTML Entity: 💩

Here is "Pile of Poo" in whatever font your browser renders this page in: 💩

Unicode Character 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9)

Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto

Roboto, the new “house” font for Android 4, was branded a haphazard mash of classic typefaces. The longer you look at it–and the technological constraints that it aims to transcend-the clearer its virtues become.

Read the rest

Font swap in iBooks

Apple is a cipher, and its reasons for making changes often a mystery. A new update to iBooks for iOS devices adds a full-screen mode, a night-time reading color theme, and nicer covers for free, public-domain books. The release notes mention four new fonts, all superb choices, but avoid the fact that three less-loved fonts were removed.

Read the rest