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You are here: Home / Type & typography / Athena Ruby

Athena Ruby

Athena Ruby: when shape has meaning. Presentation by John Hudson to ATypI Letter.2 in Buenos Aires on 4 October 2011

Most of the time, the shapes of letters do not affect their meaning. An A is an A is an A, regardless of whether it is roman or italic, light or heavy, serif or sans serif. For scholars dealing with historical materials involving writing, however, the shape of letters may carry information about where and when an object was made, its relationship to other objects, and, of course, about the development of alphabets over time. Athena Ruby is an OpenType font made for scholars who catalogue and study Byzantine seals and coins, for whom distinguishing between, for example,  twenty-eight different shapes of the Greek letter Alpha is important. John Hudson discusses the genesis and process of this project for the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, and demonstrates the advanced OpenType Layout features and new CSS typography that will make it possible to publish the seals and coins online while preserving both the content and appearance of their texts.

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