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Scanfont Redux

March 31st, 2009 by Noam Berg

I got ScanFont 5 running at home, and took another swipe at digitizing the sample I have of Van Dijck from the Atlas of Typeforms. It went better this time. ScanFont 5 can handle a larger source file than 4, so I was able to capture all my characters, roman and italic, in one fell swoop. That takes care of the scaling issue—I am assured that the upper and lower cases are proportional and to-scale in the imported font. Same applies to the italic, a nice bonus. You may recal last time I tried this, importing the lowercase separately ended up with glyphs that were a little bigger in relation to the caps than they should have been. Trying to scale them down manually is a royal nightmare that I shouldn’t have to deal with, frankly! And behold, now I don’t. And it is good.

All together now:


Things I do like about SC5: global baseline detection is pretty good. It scans across a row of letters and makes an educated guess about where the baseline runs. Most of the time it’s on the money, and even when it’s not, it’s an easy fix (I’d say more about it, but it’s better to show. I think I’ll put together a video demo of working with SC5 later in the week). Spacing is decent off the bat, it even got the side-bearings right on the cap Q.



Here are the not-so-nightly builds, roman and italic. I’m too tired tonight to do any more work on them, but some time during the week I’d like to get OpenType ligatures working and some basic kerning. I’m going to try using kerning classes, which I’ve never messed with before. It’s time to learn something new!

I picked up a specimen of Arno Pro from James Puckett tonight, which has a lenghtly interview with Robert Slimbach. Plenty of good info to sink one’s teeth into.

Posted in Design, Thesis, Typography

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About the Mad Scientist Running this Show

Noam Berg is a graduate Student in the Design and Technology MFA program at Parsons School for Design in New York City. He is also the (debatably) creative force behind Exfish Studio. Noam is obsessed with old vacuum tubes, type design, computers, guitars and comic books. Noam likes Thai sweet chili sauce, hats, suits & ties, Wacom tablets, Japanese green tea (with the toasted rice), nerdy science girls, many varieties of music, SLR cameras, AnarchoJudaism, lithography and pocket watches. Noam's not a big fan of cell phones, the cool kids, ugly and over-used fonts (you know who you are!) and talking about himself in the third person. Seriously, this is really weird. I'm gonna stop doing it now.