June 10, 2005 at 8:16 am / Fontleech
This week: make up your own damn questions. The good ones will be used in future discussion threads.
Q: why is the fontleech guy so upset lately?
Maybe its because he previously linked to various sites ‘bordering’ the legal site of ‘font distribution’.? :)
Q: Should a blog about fonts have tips on which would be the best font to use with the posted one?
“Do you consider the use of a licensed font within a PDF potentially bordering on copyright issues if the PDF is not ‘protected’ from being edited by other users (thus, possibly gaining access to a font they are not legally licensed to use)?”
Just curious. Sometimes the Internet makes things like this too easy (or is it because the licensing is too strict?).
This an old question. There may not be an answer which satisfies everybody. People still seem to enjoy discussing it. “What’s the best way to manage your fonts?”
Remember ‘300 Essential Fonts for Designers’ or ‘Good Fonts’.?
( Oh, And guess what, Youre still linking / refering to it, soo.. )
re. font management:
i’ve been trying many apps.
just got FontExpert 2004.
it’s not free… you can try it for 30 days.
just $35.00 if you decide to buy.
i like it alot.
ah, behold that hearty endorsement of font piracy.
Q: would we as the font buying/using public be better off with fewer, more quality fonts, or more freeware/less quality fonts?
Maybe Matt didn’t mean to imply all commercial = good & all free = crap. I cringe when that seems to be suggested. Doesn’t just visiting a freeware fonts blog show that most of us believe some free fonts are good quality, worth knowing about? There are both good and crappy commercial fonts, good and crappy free fonts. Anyway, this might be a good topic to explore further. I’d like to see it asked without the possible free = crap implication. One possibile way: “Would we as the font buying/using public be better off with more or fewer commercial fonts, and with more or fewer freeware fonts?”
Right on. There are free fonts that are good, and free fonts that are just wastes of space. The commercial world has this duality, too.
My question would be, what is the relationship of the percentage of free treasures to trash versus the relationship to commercial treasures to trash (i.e., it is certainly not 50/50 and 50/50…)
I WANT NEW FREE FONTS FOR MSN CUZ IT DOESN’T COME WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the support.
I do have this concern: Replies to a straight “number” question could be misleading because several measures which are genuine yardsticks of quality may be either important or irrelevant for particular uses. Some examples …
A clean line along the edge of each character is really important for a book face, less so for a handwriting font, absurd for a grunge font.
Character widths that match expensive fonts used by typesetting machines would be critical for doing page layout for digital commercial publication, irrelevant if your final document is printed on your inkjet or laser printer, or reproduced by photo methods (copier, offset camera) from your paper output.
The number of characters in your font is important for many non-English languages using the Latin alphabet. Ligatures and alternate characters are a mark of quality, too. But if I am writing an ordinary business letter in English, I don’t need thousands of characters. If I am setting a headline, I may not even care if the font lacks numbers and punctuation!
Good hinting was hugely important when most office output was by 300 dpi laser printers. But an unhinted or poorly hinted font which gave crude results back then may be giving excellent results from 800 to 1200 dpi inkjets and lasers today. Quality hinting isn’t unimportant, but it has become less important. Same principle: operating systems now provide font smoothing for unhinted or poorly hinted screen faces. Output technology has reduced the requirements to get good looking documents and screens.
Finally, has a font which looks OK to its intended audience done its job? A largely typeface-ignorant audience liked it. So, does the fact a magazine editor or typeface professional would find the font somewhat improperly spaced or kerned make it unacceptable quality for its purpose?
I apologize if I’ve stepped over the line and begun to try answering the (yet unasked) question. But I thought we need some examples to explain why answers to a straight “number” question might be more misleading than helpful. Lots of freeware would score poorly on some or all of those measures without, IMO, actually being poor quality for the purposes they are designed and used.
That said, most of us probably assume commercial offerings have a much higher proportion of quality offerings. But here’s a funny thought: If you count the huge number of cheap knock-off fonts sold on “5,000 for $5.00″ CDs as “commercial fonts,” which I suppose they are, it might skew straight “number” answers so much that the freeware would earn a higher “quality to crap” ratio than the commercial fonts!
I’m feeling a little verclempt, talk amungst yourselves… I’ll give you a topic
When is there going to be some new links on this site? Discuss.
How many people have or know someone who has used a type testers on a foundry’s site to take a screen shot so that they were able to trace a few characters in Illustrator. I sometimes feel like alot of people take advantage of that feature of the site especially with display fonts. A very dishonest way to obtain a typeface!! Shame if you do!
RSS feed for comments on this post