Archive for May, 2013

CSS Orientation Test OpenType Fonts

I am pleased to announce that the new CSS Orientation Test OpenType Fonts open source project was launched on Adobe’s open-source portal, Open@Adobe, today. This open source project consists of two OpenType/CFF fonts that were developed at the request of Koji Ishii (石井宏治), the editor of Unicode’s forthcoming UTR #50 (Unicode Vertical Text Layout). The purpose of these fonts is for developers to be able to more easily test whether glyph orientation in their implementation is correct or not.
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OpenType ‘cmap’ Table Ramblings

OpenType fonts are ‘sfnt’ (scalable font) resources that are comprised of several well-defined tables. One of these tables, which is the topic of today’s article, is the ‘cmap‘ (character map) table. The ‘cmap’ table, put simply, maps characters codes to Glyph IDs (GIDs) that refer to glyphs in the ‘glyf‘ or ‘CFF‘ (Compact Font Format) table, depending on the “flavor” of the OpenType font. What is important about the ‘cmap’ table is that it makes the glyphs usable. Without the ability to map from character codes, which are used by virtually all applications and OSes, the glyphs in a font are useless, and cannot be readily accessed or used.
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Gothic/Myungjo or Dotum/Batang?

The prototypical Serif and Sans Serif typeface style distinction in Korean has traditionally used the names Myeongjo (명조체/明朝體 myeongjoche) and Gothic (고딕체/고딕體 godikche), respectively. But, in 1993, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Ministry of Culture, in an attempt to standardize typographic terms, recommended the use of Batang (바탕 batang) and Dotum (돋움 dotum) as the proper names for these two typeface styles.

At the time the Ministry of Culture recommendation was made, which was a period when printing was the most common use of fonts, Batang was meant for body text, and Dotum was for display or emphasis purposes. Mobile devices have provided a new use for Dotum, because its lack of serifs provided superior readability on mobile devices with smaller screens that necessitated smaller point sizes, and the original rationale for these new names seems to no longer apply.

From what I can tell, Korean type foundries have not embraced the Batang and Dotum names, and have actually resisted their use. What probably didn’t help was the fact that Microsoft released TrueType fonts with these exact names, with no additional qualifiers: Batang and Dotum. In other words, it seems that Microsoft’s use of these names polluted their chance at more widespread use, because they were treated as typeface names, not typeface style names.

In closing this brief article, I am curious about what our blog readership thinks about this particular issue. I welcome any and all comments.


[This (Simplified) Chinese version of the May 1, 2013 Typblography article entitled Adobe contributes font rasterizer technology to FreeType is courtesy of Gu Hua (顾华).]

今天我们很荣幸地宣布Adobe向FreeType提供了CFF字体光栅处理程序。可测试的代码已经包含在最新的FreeType Beta版中。该开源项目是由Adobe,Google和FreeType三方合作,旨在改善使用FreeType的设备和环境上的CFF字体渲染质量。

现代字库有两种字形轮廓格式可供选择—TrueType或者CFF。TrueType是Apple于1990年开发的,而CFF(Compact Font Format)格式是Adobe基于1984年首次发布的Type 1格式(常称为PostScript字库)衍生出的第二代格式。无论是TrueType还是CFF都可被用于OpenType字库中。它们有很多共性,但也有两个主要区别:它们使用不同的数学运算方法描述字形曲线,以及使用不同的hinting技术(Hinting:提供光栅化提示,以确保在有限的像素里尽可能地准确显示每个字形)。TrueType侧重于在字体中构建指令,而Type1和CFF更多地依赖光栅器的智能处理。这使得光栅器质量显得尤为重要,对于这次合作,Adobe期望在使用FreeType环境上能显著改善CFF字体显示效果。
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[This Japanese version of the May 1, 2013 Typblography article entitled Adobe contributes font rasterizer technology to FreeType is courtesy of Hitomi Kudo (工藤仁美).]


近年のフォントは、TrueTypeかCFFどちらかのフォーマットを使用するのが通例です。TrueTypeは1990年にアップルによって開発されたフォーマットですが、CFF(Compact Font Format)は、アドビが1984年にリリースした(PostScriptフォントとして知られている)Type 1フォントフォーマットの第2世代にあたるフォーマットです。OpenTypeフォントでは、TrueTypeとCFFどちらも使用可能となっています。この二つのフォーマットは多くの共通点がありますが、最大の違いは次の2点です。カーブの表現に違う数式が使用されること、そして「ヒント」の形式が違うことです。(「ヒント」とは、限定されたピクセル数の中でも書体が最適の条件で表現されるようラスタライザーに指示を与えること)TrueTypeは殆どのヒント情報をフォント内のデータとして保持していますが、Type 1やCFFフォントの場合は高度なインテリジェンスをもつラスタライザーに多くを依存しています。
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