OpenType “Com” ?

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Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
OpenType “Com” ?
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I discovered this recently:

http://www.paratype.com/fstore/othelp.html
It is also on LinoTypes website.

Is this a new standard or what?

The funny thing is that some of the languages listed in the “Com” format is even available in a Standard Mac OS Roman. Like swedish, for instance.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Is this a new standard or what?

Well, not across (a lot of) foundries, but it’s certainly a standard for Lino- and Paratype, maybe others too.

The funny thing is that some of the languages listed in the “Com” format is even available in a Standard Mac OS Roman.

Std ⊂ Pro ⊂ Com

Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
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But why write that an OpenType Pro font doesnt support Swedish, Norwegian etc. It doesnt make sense in my humble opinion. And it makes things confusing when these two languages is supported even in A STD font on almost every other foundry.

Karsten Luecke's picture
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Joined: 6 Aug 2005 - 8:41am
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Hello! It's just the presentation which is a bit weird. The text for 'OpenType Pro' says "In addition to the characters supported in the 'Std' version, OpenType Pro fonts contain characters for the following 12 European languages ..." (So it includes the languages mentioned for 'Std'.)

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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But why write that an OpenType Pro font doesnt support Swedish, Norwegian etc.

Nobody wrote that, Göran. The ‘Pro’ description says: In addition to the characters supported in the "Std" version.
You’re right; it’s a little bit confusing that they listed all the languages contained for ‘Std’ and ‘Com’ but chose a abbreviated notation for ‘Pro’.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Jinx! 8°p
(Hi Karsten!)

loremipsum's picture
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Joined: 27 May 2007 - 5:30am
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The not so good thing is that in some cases a Pro version contains some alternate characters not available in Com, while Com version contains certain language characters not available in Pro. So Pro is not always a subset and you need to buy both if you want all available characters for a specific typeface. I think Stempel Garamond is that case (for example).

Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
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I read it too fast I believe. But still, is it really needed for another format? Of course it is a choice of the manufacturerers, but for the average customer I think it will be somwhat confusing with three different formats. Especially when they differ between different foundries. Sometimes a Pro font is a Pro font, sometimes a Com font is what someone else describes as Pro.

Many people still doesnt know what OpenType really is.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Lorem, you’re right: Stempel Garamond OT Pro contains 555 glyphs, while Stempel Garamond OT Com only has 388 (missing small-caps, for example). Hell, even Stempel Garamond OT Std comes with more (in nominal terms), i.e. 408 glyphs.

‘Std ⊂ Pro ⊂ Com’ is only true for language support.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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is it really needed for another format?

Well, there is some logic to it: If you do business reports, internal communication etc. for an international company, a font with wide language support comes in handy – and you possibly don’t have an urgent need for sophisticated typographic features like old-style figures.
On the other hand, if you’re doing aesthetic book design or so, you don’t wanna pay for all those Lithuanian and Swahili diacritics (that is, if you’re not in Southeast African or the Baltic region, of course).

Of course it is a choice of the manufacturerers
In the end, it’s just marketing.

[sorry, edited a typo]

Joe Graham's picture
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003 - 11:56am
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Linotype's OpenType COM fonts are only available in TTF flavour OpenType with some of them hinted to their XSF standard. The end user is quite possibly baffled now with the range of options under the OpenType banner and the lack of industry standardisation; it's now possible to buy OpenType Std, Pro, Com, Com XSF, Pro Plus, Premier Pro....It's also quite possible that a Std font from one source will contain just as many layouts, glyphs, features etc as a Pro font from another source. Or that a content rich font will not have any defining suffix at all and may suffer saleswise because of this.

Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
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In the end, it’s just marketing.

I will then call my fonts ”OpenType Maxi” and say it includes ALL ;-)

Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
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Nicely summarized, joe. The lack of OT standardization is a clusterfu*k.

loremipsum's picture
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Joined: 27 May 2007 - 5:30am
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Plus add the chaotic pricing. I have seen the difference in price for the same one OT style to be $200.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Given the variable amount of glyphs that can be put into an OpenType font--both in language support and typographic features--it becomes necessary for foundries to settle on standards for their own product line.
Of course, it's going to differ from foundry to foundry.
I'm not publishing WGL4 fonts for the Corel crowd.
So some foundries heavy up on the features, others on the language support.
Some combine many encodings in a single font, others offer the different language encodings separately.

Adobe's Pro fonts group Latin, Cyrillic and Greek in one font at one price, but FontFont let you buy them separately at different prices. Some foundries/distributors only sell fonts in family packages, others sell them individually.

The upshot is that there's no use complaining about a lack of standardization -- these days, it pays to be an informed purchaser, and for the producer/seller, the variety of formats on the market expands the market, by offering purchase opportunities at many points on the demand curve.

loremipsum's picture
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Joined: 27 May 2007 - 5:30am
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One can more or less agree with this. But it's just that some foundries/sellers make it sometimes quite difficult to be an informed purchaser.