lundi 24 novembre 2008



this year i will also be writing a bachelor thesis on a graphic design related topic. i chosed to expand my inquiry on how the open source influences a daily practice in graphic design. i have a quite large amount of subjects involved in the research, but basically i will compare alongside "the most beautiful swiss books" and "the most useful book in the world". they both stand for very different practices of graphic design occuring today. "the most beautiful swiss books" stands for an utmost specialised, ambitious, organized and clearly inteligible plan of visual communication and "the most useful book in the world" stands for more social, collaborative, perhaps foggy and vernacular practice of graphic design. i also plan to publish this bachelor thesis on the web, as i think it might be an interesting source of information for people of the open source.

dimanche 23 novembre 2008


i've had a whole variety of computer troubles recently. my linux is being reconfigured. in the meantime i thought i should allow myself working on ******* and ********* and Fontconstructor, not to waste to much time on computer issues.

i redrew a clean version of my bitmap alphabet and i've proceeded to some slight changements using font constructor. the idea is to have basic modules to create a whole alphabet. then when changing the modules, it changes the whole alphabet instantly, which saves a lot of time…

i also brought further the developement of the alphabet regarding to it's screen appearance at various sizes. my basic glyphs are constructed in a 5x9 grid, which corresponds to the screen resolution at 7-9pts. the resolution at 10-14 expands the number of pixels consequently. so i am adapting the shapes to the enlargement of the grid, trying to keep the glyphs properties as intact as possible. the proportions change a bit.

as i've been limited by the means i thought i should get back to a simpler practice based on pen and pencils.

dimanche 16 novembre 2008

c — references

from "We make fonts", ECAL/école cantonnale d'art de Lausanne

these are two typographic projects based on the screen appearance of typefaces. the bitmap drawing were brought back to outlines but they keep a certain "bitmap", squared appearance.

C — pixel/pen

I came across some interesting results with the garalde version of my bitmap alphabet.
During earlier conversations on the OpenFontLibrary forums, i've been redirected to Erik van Blokland's, where he proposes a little "how-to" regarding caligraphy. I applied the pen moves to a pixelated path.


In this case, the pen path dictates the contrast (related to the enlargement of the nib pen).

With the pixelated path, the pen path dictates the glyphs shape. As i had more interesting shapes in the pixel-garald, i applied the exercise to it.

jeudi 13 novembre 2008

B — 2

a few more tests on the connections
does it suggest curves?

B — thoughts

a few observations i'd like to share

as i couldn't get anything printed at school from my linux and couldn't generate a pdf from it either, i worked with the photocopy machine. what i wanted to do this morning is (with the same 7 fonts i've been working with since the beginning):

1—study the glyphs modification in print size ranging from 3 to 14pts
2—do the same with screenshots (on screen)

all typefaces lose their key caracteristics under 8pts. (does it really need for curves in that size in a text editor or in a programming console?)

this is a plain example with andale mono and bitstream vera sans, 4—7pts.
the glyphs are unrecognisable and tend to get squared. notice the "a", "o" and the "g" in bitstream.

something else i observed, is that any attempt at faking curves with pixels at small sizes is very ugly. it doesn't give the expexted smooth effect. And yet the use of plain square pixels isn't giving much more than readability.

so one of the decision i took to move forward with my font is not to get away from squares, rounds and ovals. this is a screen simulation i made with the skeleton of my alphabet.

next step for tomorrow is try to re-re-re-digitize "androgynes" and proceed with print and screen tests.
feel free to comment!


mardi 11 novembre 2008


Here's the basic bitmap drawings.

lundi 10 novembre 2008


I started with a little audit regarding monospace fonts that are used for coding/programming.
I picked up 7 from the most used monospace fonts by UNIX programmers.

Most of the fonts used in coding have relatively similar proportions. It is generally of 4:5, though best results are given by a 5:5 square proportion. The problem i found with a 4:5 proportion is that the glyphs curves become completely obsolete when rasterized. This means that there is no recognition possible between the outline version and the rasterized version. It's like the font was loosing it's identity when displayed under 10pts. Here's a screenshot of the problematic (font displayed at 9 and 14pts).

I started out doing some basic drawing in a 5x9 pixel grid for the basic lettershapes.

Obviously, with the small number of possibilities offered by a 5x9 grid, the letter's ergonomy has a strong minimal, low-tech boring connotation… What i want to do now is test various possible interpretations for the curves. The criterium is that i want to keep a same identity in the outline font and in the bitmaped, rasterized basic version. I did some drawing with Pixen and hum… Gimp (right?) and made tests with an alphabet, to question the sequences of letters as well.This is where i got with the pixel grid. For the next steps, i'd like to be able to get into scripting. I can take advantage of the fact that the basic drawing is made of squares (modules) and try to make tests by changing the modules. As i am completely new to scripting, i just simulated an example of what i'd like to be able to do with scripting; for instance add simple curves where a gap is found between pixel grid.

That's it for today. More to come these days.
(if anyone could help for the scripting—software, i'd appreciate…)

dimanche 9 novembre 2008


For the fine folks @ Open Font Library,

this is a short preview of a typography exercise i made last year at ECAL. The idea was to redraw an early 19th century Venus Grotesk based on it's appearance on screen. I translated the rasterization of the glyphs into modules and reinterpreted the curves. Work in progress…