Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Something new, something old

Several font families from IngrimayneType have recently been added to myfonts.com.

Bouncer was the first typeface I designed. The original was a bitmapped font done with a shareware or freeware program in 1988 or 1989 and it was later redone as a type 3 PostScript font. It has a simple design: bits of a circle are removed to make the letters of the alphabet. Lower-case letters are smaller versions of the upper-case letters.
As I was reviving this old font, I decided to play with the circle theme a bit more. BouncerTwo is based on interlocking circles with bits cut out to make the letters. It is visually striking but quite hard to read.

When searching for some family history in an 90-year-old college student newspaper, I was struck by the lettering of the title. Examining it closely, I realized it was hand drawn. I thought it was be an interesting challenge to complete the alphabet based on the three upper-case and nine lower-case letters. SJURecord is the result.
In the mid 1990s the makers of Fontographer gave it the capability to blend two typefaces if the points defining it lined up correctly. I played with that capability to produce several hybrid fonts. One was a blend of RoundUp and WyomingSpaghetti. Until this year I had not submitted it to myfonts.com. It there now, RoundWhy, in two weights.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Two more tessellation fonts

The addition of two more fonts of Escher-like tessellations at myfonts.com brings the total of the new tessie series to eleven. Four are of birds, one of other animals, one of bugs,  one of puzzle pieces, and four of everything else.

One of the recent additions is TessieBugs. It contains tessellating butterflies, moths, ants, and other creepy, crawly insects.

The other is TessieOddsNends, a hodgepodge of things that did not make it into any of the other ten faces.
Each contains two styles, a solid style that must be colored in order to see the shapes (after all, a tessellation fills the plane with no gaps or overlaps), and an outline style that can be used alone or layered over the solid style.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

New fonts for Halloween and Christmas

Until recently the InsideLetters family had only one family member, InsideLetters. An upgrade that was added to Myfonts.com at the beginning of January added two more family members, InsideLettersHalloween and InsideLettersXmas. The first puts the letters from InsideLetters on pumpkins and the second puts them on Christmas tree ornaments. Most of the characters in these two additions already existed in remote unicode slots in the typefaces Brrrrr and HeyPumkin but only the most patient would want to dig them out and use them. These new faces make them easily available.
 In addition, by using layers or by using several characters that are zero-width, the lettering can have three colors: the letters themselves, the outline of the pumpkin or ornament, and the color of the pumpkin or ornament. There are files in the gallery that explain how this can be done.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

More upgrades, Dec-Jan 2018-9

I continue to separate outlined and shadowed typefaces into parts so that the parts can be used to create more interesting colored lettering. Several of these have recently been installed at myfonts.com. Below are what the additions can do for AlbertBetenbuch, AndrewAndyCollege, and BeneCryptine.

The last font is shown above is FeggoliteHatched. What is shown above is a new member of the family, the one that should have been the first done but was not. I may still add some additional members to this family. It is monospaced as are typewriter font, but no typewriter ever had lettering like this.

Below are samples showing what layering the inside of a shadowed font on the original can produce for Gothamburg, Ingone, and MuskitosCaps.

I had two shadowed versions of NeuAltisch and the separated parts are layered with the originals in the top two samples below. Fortunately I did very few shadowings in the manner of the second sample because the same effect can be obtained by layering any font. Put down the base layer and color it with the desired shadow. Copy the layer, color it the background color, place it on the base layer and offset it a bit. This layer will create the gap between the letter and the shadow. Copy the second layer, color it the desired color of the top layer, and offset it a bit from the second layer.

The two bottom fonts, Vglee and WyomingStrudel, had interior ornaments. By separating out the ornaments, they can be colored and put back in layers. It would have made more sense to leave the base font plain and but that is not how the typefaces were developed.

A final font family with additions is Grandecort. The one striped style, which was all caps, has been expanded to three: all stripes, bottom stripes, and top stripes. A new all-caps background font has been added to give color to the stripes. Also, the shadowed version of the family has had its interior extracted as a separate font so it can be layered with the original.

Some of these results can be obtained with drawing or publishing software, but
these additions make the effects easy to obtain with any program that allows layers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A symmetrical alphabet

Some letters of the alphabet can easily be formed so that they have symmetry. Letters AMQTUVWY can be formed so that they are symmetrical over a vertical line. The right half of the letter is a mirror image or a reflection of the left half of the letter. If the shape is flipped horizontally, it appears the same.

Letters BCDEK can be formed so that they are symmetrical over a horizontal line. The top half of the letter is a mirror image or a reflection of the bottom half of the letter. If the shape is flipped vertically, it appears the same.

Letters HIOX can be formed so that they are symmetrical over both a horizontal line and a vertical line. (They can be flipped vertically or horizontally and they appear the same.) Shapes that are unaltered by two flips also have what is called rotational symmetry, that is, a copy will be exactly the same as the original if it is rotated, in these case by 180°. This is sometimes referred to as point symmetry because there is a point at which the rotation must take place so that a copy of the original will map back onto itself.

If formed as a circle, the letter O is symmetrical over any line drawn though its center and has infinite rotational symmetry.

 There are three letters of the alphabet that do not have mirror or reflective symmetry but which can be formed so that they have rotational symmetry: NSZ. Notice that the S looks top-heavy. We are accustomed to a larger lower loop, so when the two loops are identical, the letter looks strange.

That leaves letters FGJLPR. Most of them also can be formed with symmetry if one is willing to use lower-case or script versions of the letters. The script L can have rotational symmetry and a script J can have reflective symmetry.  (The line of symmetry for the J is offset a bit from horizontal.) A script version of the lower-case l can be formed with vertical symmetry and many san serif typefaces produce the lower-case l as a vertical line, which has both vertical and horizontal symmetry.

The lower-case g shown below has vertical symmetry.

An f with a descender can have rotational symmetry.

A script r with reflective symmetry looks best if the line of symmetry is offset a bit from vertical.

That leaves the letter P. The best I could come up with is to form it as the letter thorn, which is still used in Icelandic.

Below is a symmetrical alphabet. I can think of no use for it.

Numbers are harder to form symmetrically. Here is one attempt.


The 4, 7, 6, and 9 have mirror symmetry over a diagonal line. There may no good way to form 6, 7, & 9 with symmetry.

Eight can have both horizontal and vertical symmetry, but the result is less appealing than one with only vertical symmetry.