Fonts!

I like fonts. No, I don't like fonts - I love fonts. I collect them, especially the good ones. I like their shapes - curvy shapes, boxy and rectangular shapes, flowery shapes, and all other odd shapes too. I like their designs - monospaces, proportionals, serif, sans, blackletters, narrows, books, uprights, italics, handwritten, cursive, floral, outlines, dingbats, icons - all of them. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

I have over 300 fonts installed in my system although I don't use them all obviously - but I yearn for the day that I can

I can't really explain why I like them; other than the fact that I like to read and good fonts are really pleasing to the eye: it reduces eyestrain and make materials more readable. But my love for fonts is beyond just practicality - I just like to see the pictures generated by a body of text rendered with a well designed font. Good fonts are works of art - you can see how much effort went into their creation by looking at how tidy, fluent, aesthetic and yet consistent the resulting displays are.

There are many places where you can get good quality fonts (open source or otherwise) in the Internet. Here are some of my favorite places:
• Font Squirrel (http://www.fontsquirrel.com) offers many commercial-use-friendly free fonts.

• Google webfonts (http://www.google.com/webfonts) offers many fonts with direct @font-face embedding for your own websites
(this site uses google webfonts service too).

• Da Font (http://www.dafonts.com) is a font repository with huge collection that has been around for a long time; if you are after an oldish font (from early days of truetype), chances are dafont.com will have it.

Of course, keep an eye on the designers' own websites too.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of those websites. I'm just a satisfied user.

Fatdog64 comes with the complete set of DejaVu fonts: Serif, Sans, Mono, Condensed, all the bold and italic versions. Dejavu is a versatile font that meets needs of many applications. In addition to a large repertoire of letters ("glyphs" to be precise) for many languages, it is pleasing to look at too. Dejavu Sans is the default UI font for Fatdog64 while Sans Mono is the default for text editors such as Geany and Leafpad
as well as the rxvt-unicode terminal emulator.

I have recently switched to Anonymous Pro for my text editor font, but for terminal I stick to Dejavu Sans Mono. This blog uses Kotta One for the body text, and Italianno for headings, and Cookie for categories - all courtesy of Google webfont.

Recently, Adobe and Google contributed a new hinting engine for CFF fonts (aka OTF fonts) to the Freetype project. Freetype is the open-source font rendering engine (ie the piece of software that convert fonts into bitmaps / images that gets rendered to the screen). According to many reports, it is vastly superior than the already excellent existing Freetype hinting engine.

The good news is that this new version of Freetype (2.4.12) will be in the next Fatdog, the bad news is that the new CFF engine only works with CFF fonts (that is, OTF fonts), but not TTF. In my subjective view however, the new Freetype produces clearer and more crisps rendering even of standard TTF fonts.

If, like me, you love your fonts and the pleasing displays they create, this would be something to look forward to.



Posted on 2 Jun 2013, 2:34 - Categories: General
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