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BachoTeX 2004

Do-it-yourself OpenType font

Adam Twardoch

In September 1999, Adobe Systems declared their PostScript Type 1 font format "obsolete". Until then, this font format was dominating the professional pre-press and printing business, but now was to be replaced with OpenType - a font format developed by Microsoft and Adobe, with collaboration from Apple. Four and a half years later, OpenType is a fact: both the world's largest font foundries and individual type designer publish new fonts in this format.

OpenType fonts have numerous advantages: they can be used in many operating systems without any conversions (Windows 9x/2000/XP, MacOS 9/X, some Unix environments); they use the universal character encoding standard Unicode; they can include layout features that allow for comfortable use of ligatures, small caps, swash alternates or old-style numerals.

The speech will present most important elements of the OpenType font format. Some existing OpenType fonts will be shown, including one of the world's most extensive fonts available, Zapfino Extra LT Pro, developed by Adam Twardoch for Linotype Library. Finally, the process of creating an OpenType font using the FontLab 4.6 font editor will be shown.

Speaker's Bio:

Adam Twardoch lives in Frankfurt (Oder), where he studies culture sciences and works. Since July 2000, he is typographic consultant at an online font distributor MyFonts.com, and since January 2004, he is scripting products and marketing manager at Fontlab Ltd. In addition, he regularly works as a consultant for font and software vendors (Adobe, Bitstream, Corel, Linotype, Microsoft, Tiro Typeworks, Winsoft), and for type designers worldwide. His consulting work focuses on digital typography, font technology, typographic software tools and design of diacritic characters.

Adam regularly speaks and writes about fonts and typography. For the last four years, he has been a member of GUST, as well as member of the Board and country delegate for Poland in Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI).