Linotype Library Font Technology Forum 2001 – June 29, 2001

New information platform for font designers /Prospects for the future:
OpenType as a new font technology standard


Bad Homburg, June 29, 2001

The world’s leading suppliers of digital fonts and font technology – Adobe, Agfa Monotype, Apple, Linotype Library and Microsoft – joined Linotype Library’s event to a dialog with leading font designers and helped make the 1st Font Technology Forum a success from the outset. "As font designers we are delighted that developments in font technology and the associated electronic design tools have not stood still and are providing us with new design opportunities. Thanks to cutting-edge computer technology, my high quality requirements have now been met and even exceeded", stated the world renowned typographer and font designer Hermann Zapf in his opening speech for the new forum, on the subject of "Quality in font design".


Zapf and more than 80 of his colleagues from 13 countries took up Linotype Library’s invitation to the futuristic setting of the Print Media Academy of parent company Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. In addition to lectures on technology-related issues, workshops with leading experts also provided font designers with an opportunity to come face to face with new font technologies – in particular OpenType – and tools such as FontLab for digital typeface design.

These dealt with important issues affecting the industry, including copyright and licensing in the fields of online communication and e-book publications. "Our intention with the Font Technology Forum was to create a platform where font designers could gather information on innovations in font formats and the very latest development tools. We are proud that we also succeeded in organizing a global industry event where the tremendous interest shown and the quality of the contributions far exceeded even our wn expectations", summarizes Bruno Steinert, Managing Director of Linotype GmbH.

Bruno Steinert is pleased that, even in times when font and software piracy are widespread, his font library has remained committed to the very highest levels of quality and that many professional customers for their part understand and appreciate quality when it comes to typeface design. His company has built up a massive library that now comprises in excess of 5200 original fonts and licenses these to typeface users and corporate concerns worldwide. Linotype Library has been recently had further successes as OEM supplier to Apple Computer. The company is also particularly proud that Linotype Zapfino™, a popular calligraphic group of typefaces by Hermann Zapf, has been incorporated into the new Mac OS X operating system. But that is not all – around 50% of all fonts distributed with OS X come from Linotype Library.


A meeting place for practical information and exchanging views

Highlights of the 1st Linotype Library Font Technology Forum


The Forum focussed on information transfer, practical training in the very latest development and production trends in font technology, and discussion of quality-related aspects relating to digital fonts.

Hermann Zapf is one of the most famous font designers, creating classics such as Optima™, Palatino™ and the new bestseller Linotype Zapfino™. He gave a high-profile lecture on quality in font design, which was greeted with rapturous applause by those who attended.

Peter Lofting (Apple Computer Inc.,USA) described current developments in digital fonts at Apple and discussed the typeface projects that have just been concluded regarding the release of the company’s new OS X operating system. These included Linotype Zapfino™ in Apple’s own font format AAT.

Harold Grey (Adobe Systems Inc., USA, Product and Market Development Manager) presented the new OpenType font format. Thomas Phinney and David Lemon (both Adobe Systems Inc., USA) discussed the creative and technical opportunities for creating OpenType fonts with the Adobe Font Development Kit (FDK).

Mike Duggan and Greg Hitchcock (both from Microsoft Corp., USA) explained technical and legal aspects of the eBook format and the theory and practical uses of ClearType, whose innovative anti-aliasing functionality has contributed to the greater legibility of fonts on modern flat screens. Meanwhile, ClearType has become a standard component of Microsoft’s own eBook reader.

Yuri Yarmola and Kyrill Murzin (software developers, Fontlab Ltd., Russia) presented the latest developments in their FONTLAB 4.0x beta font development software. The planned release of FontLab 4.0 in the middle of this year will be the first to provide a larger circle of font designers with the means to create OpenType fonts in a convenient development environment.

John Hudson and Ross Mills (both from Tiro Typeworks, Canada) are proven font tool experts with Fontlab 4.0 and Microsoft VOLT and used practical examples to give a wide-ranging verview of OpenType’s technical and creative possibilities.

Professor Lucas de Groot (LucasFonts, Berlin) unveiled his research on simplified, systematic kerning for digital fonts.

Laurence Penney (MyFonts.com, UK) trained designers in methods of optimizing TrueType fonts for the screen. (Technical term = hinting).

Thomas Caldwell, representing Linotype Library, informed participants about Linotype’s future font development strategy and Milo Ivir gave the font designers valuable tips on creating better quality fonts using simple means.

The close of the event, a visit to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz was particularly well received by the verseas participants. The exhibits from the early days of letterpress printing were very popular with the guests.



Glossary

Fonts
Digitized typefaces in a defined format for displaying text and symbols in the digital workflow. Known examples are Times, Helvetica and Courier.

Postscript
Page description language and font format published by Adobe Inc. at the start of the 1980s. It ushered in a fundamental change to an open standard.

TrueType
An alternative font format successfully established to compete with Postscript in the 1980s.

OpenType
A new font format that unites TrueType and Postscript and increases font functionality.

Kerning
Optimizing the space between letters.

Anti-aliasing
Optical smoothing of step effects on the screen.

eBook
Electronic book (format); there are now numerous technical variations for formatting and displaying electronic books on the screen. The best-known come from Adobe and Microsoft.



Further information about the Font Technology Forum is available at www.linotypelibrary.com.

Linotype GmbH – a member of the Heidelberg Group – supplies cutting-edge font technology and can boast one of the world’s largest libraries of original fonts. Its portfolio currently includes more than 4,700 PostScript and TrueType fonts for Mac and PC. Linotype FontExplorer, a browser and navigation system, can be employed for optimum results. Since the beginning of this year, it has been possible to order all fonts both on CD and online for immediate delivery.
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (668,6 kb)
German version (670 kb)