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You are here: Home / Conferences / Barcelona 2014 / Presentations programme

Parametric typefaces in a nutshell

When Wed 17 Sep 1655
Where BAU Design College
Who Thomas Maier

With the advent of phototypesetting systems of design-spaces came into the focus not only in the field of mathematics like Donald Knuth and his Metafont 1979. Benjamin Bauermeister and his Panose Typeface Matching System 1987 wanted to put formal aspects in technical categories, his ElseWare Infinifont 1993 reversed to process and synthesized a typeface out of the Panose2 classification number. Peter Karow further developed the idea with Multitype 1992 and put up together with Hermann Zapf the hz-programm for better justification. Ares FontChameleon 1993 offered the opportunity for everyone to control some switches and finetune fonts. Simpler manifestations of a parametric idea just by interpolation were Apple GX axes and Adobe Multiple Master. In type design software the idea of interpolation will stay with us like in Superpolator by Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum. Scripting possibilities of type design software in a way took the ideas of Knuth and others to the present day. Fontstruct by Robert Meek is puzzling us with the combination possibilities and shows that a simple starting set can as well have quite complex visual output.

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