Bloke that I am, I just put two and two together and realized that Mr. Hudson is the same John Hudson who designed Manticore and Aeneas. I keep samples of Manticore in a special directory along with other bits of my favourite fonts. Neat-o. Paul
Thank you. Glad you like Manticore; I don’t anymore, but that’s true of most of my typefaces from before 1998. I’m probably going to retire them fairly soon, in large part because we don’t want to support Type 1 fonts any longer but don’t have time or much inclination to make OpenType versions of all our retail fonts. So that copy of Manticore may shortly be a rare item. Note that I only designed the digital version of Aeneas: it is based on lettering by the German calligrapher Werner Schneider. Werner and I have discussed making an OT version with an extended Cyrillic and Greek character set, but that’s another project waiting for a few free weeks. I can’t remember when I last had a few free weeks.
why Type 1 represents a “document encoding nightmare waiting to happen”? Let’s say I want to use the full range of standard f-ligatures in a document. With my Type 1 fonts, I’m getting the ligatures either from psuedo-standard Adobe expert set layout or from totally-non standard and widly diveregenbt hacked layouts used by diﬀerent font foundries. Whichever layout I use, I am obliged to change the text strings of the document in order to display ligatures so that, for example the word ‘oﬃce’ ends up being spelled ‘oWce’ (using the Adobe expert set layout). The document can no longer be spell-checked, sorted or published to the web; changing fonts will likely result in corruption even of the display. Eﬀectively, I’ve killed my document by typesetting it. In a couple of years, let’s say the document is going to be revised, or even just looked at. In the meantime, my operating system has stopped supporting Type 1 fonts. That’s okay though, because I’ve updated all my favourite fonts to OpenType. I open the document and what do I get? ‘oWce’ Every day users continue to employ Type 1 fonts is another day on which documents are broken and rendered unusable in the future. Simple documents without traditional quality typographic formatting will survive the transition because accurate semantic characters can be mapped between encodings. Documents with rich typographic formatting will not survive because, e.g. the ligature ﬃ has been encoded as the semantic character W.
> [>No, a Unicode cmap table was part of the original TT speciﬁcation. Apple was one of the ﬁrst companies involved with Unicode, and made the decision to base TrueType around the encoding standard even though it would be several years before applications were handling Unicode text strings. > Sorry, John, my fault, I did not know. Thank you! And, yes, I guessed you were referring to the very smart ligature and contextual alternates handling of Unicode/Opentype when you talked about the problems arising in the continued use of Type1. Anyway, this is a real problem as long as you’re a custom typeface developer such as you with Tiro. If I buy a face from Emigre or ITC today, let’s say, and it’s a Type1, it will be my problem to buy Emigre and ITC Opentype versions of it as long as they will be released, paying for the upgrade. So, as long as we have only MrsEaves at Emigre and, I think, none at ITC, you are simply forced to stick to Type1. If the foundry decides it will drop a face and not upgrade it to Opentype I will necessary have to buy it in Type1. So I agree with you about the need to help things occur, but unfortunately you are unable to predict what foundries will do, and if you need a particular face now, you need to buy it in Type1 and maybe re-encode it in Opentype, if you are able to do so.]
If you put an end to your lengthy Typophile posts ﬁlled with wisdom and useful goodies, you might end up with a few free weeks at the end of the year. But, if I have a vote, I say stick to posting.
Aaaack! Say it isn’t so, John! I was just savin’ up. Hope I make the cutoﬀ! Til then, I’ll have to continue to pacify myself by reading and rereading Serif 6… Jon
Jon, you could also pick up Ruari McLean’s autobiography, which is the only other publication I’ve ever seen set in Manticore. I was rather chuﬀed last year, though, to see Manticore Titling used on the dustjacket of a book by one of my favourite poets, Czeslaw Milosz. The biggest problem I ﬁnd with the face, apart from some technical problems in the outlines and the hideously small counter of the lowercase <I>e</I>, is the excessive weight in the bracketing of the serifs: I was going for the rugged blackness that you see in early printed books, but now I think I overdid it a bit. Ironically, while this feature was too heavy, I now think the overall stem weight was a touch too light. Back in 1997 (probably the last time I had any free time for such things) I started redrawing Manticore, but didn’t get very far with it. Here are the original forms, on the left, contrasted with the revised forms on the right. Seriously, I doubt if I’ll ever ﬁnish this. Perhaps it will be a nice project for my retirement.
>we don’t want to support Type 1 fonts any longer. Why, John? Okay, they’ll wear out but I think it’s not a damage to leave them here. Of course if you no longer like the designs it’s another matter. I insist on keeping Garamond 1530, anyway. Or at least do a basic latin OpenType version, please…
I never liked the Type 1 font format, even when it was still pretty much the only game in town (when there were no decent tools for making TT fonts). Two, three ﬁles to ship, maintain and support for each platform? <256 character limit? No way to use ligatures without breaking text strings? Seriously, Type 1 is one stone-age technology whose demise is long overdue. Every Type 1 font I sell today is a potential customer service nightmare when operating systems and applications stop supporting the format. Every Type 1 font a customer uses today is a document encoding nightmare waiting to happen (and I have no intention of making, shipping or maintaining ‘backwards compatible to 8-bit encodings’ versions of Type 1 fonts). So I disagree that there is no damage in continuing to sell Type 1 fonts. 1530 Garamond is one of our designs that is likely to be revised and made available in OT format (possibly with a set of Latin scribal contraction ligatures).
> [>1530 Garamond is one of our designs that is likely to be revised and made available in OT format (possibly with a set of Latin scribal contraction ligatures). > This is just fantastic, John. And on Type1: the 256 character limit applied even to Truetype. The large layout came with Truetype GX and now Opentype/Unicode. It’s not such a recent and so widespread thing. I understand that for you, producing non-Latin and cutting-edge works in terms of technology also, Type1 may sould so old, but a huge amount of users and foundries will continue to use it. Personally I like the fact of having separate ﬁles for bitmaps, outlines and metric ﬁles. As I like having all in one with Opentype. I never liked so much Truetype for the additional points needed. I know they are way better for hinting, but not being into hinting (for now at least) I was pissed oﬀ when I needed to modify an existing truetype with the excess of points. Here, of course I’m speaking just for Mac. It’s clear that if you need multi-platform faces you are forced to truetype. But it’s amazing there are so many people using PC Type1 fonts. As far as I know Type1 was never a real standard under Windows.I also understand the “potential customer service nightmare Type1 might present as operating systems and applications stop supporting the format, but why Type 1 represents a “document encoding nightmare waiting to happen”? Surely I’m missing a lot here. ]
> I never liked so much Truetype for the additional points needed. TT doesn’t really need all the extra points Fog wlil show/generate — that’s due to retardation on Fog’s part… Mathematically, TT does actually need slightly more points even in native mode, but it’s not that much more; on the other hand, some people feel that the way in which TT’s quadratic beziers behave is less friendly (to a human editor). hhp
And on Type1: the 256 character limit applied even to Truetype. No, a Unicode cmap table was part of the original TT speciﬁcation. Apple was one of the ﬁrst companies involved with Unicode, and made the decision to base TrueType around the encoding standard even though it would be several years before applications were handling Unicode text strings. The limitation you refer to was a limitation of operating systems and applications that could only access discreet 8-bit codepages, but any TT font could contain characters for multiple codepages using Unicode encoding.
Too late to the party, I guess. Is there any way to get a copy of Manticore these days? Granted your dissatisfaction, John, some of us still admire it.
> I started redrawing Manticore
I would instead be quite sure that the things you are/were
intent on changing is exactly what people who liked it liked! :-)
Sorry, Manticore has been officially retired and is no longer being distributed. I may do something with it some day, but in the meantime I'm keeping it close to to home.
> but in the meantime I’m keeping it close to to home.
Interesting. Why is that?
All the reasons stated earlier in this thread: I'm not satisfied with the design; I don't have OpenType versions; I don't have time to make OpenType versions; I refuse to sell Type 1 fonts. Mainly, I'm not satisfied with the design. I consider Manticore 'juvenalia': it was useful to have done, I learned a lot, but I don't think it is representative of my skills or my ideas about type design any more.
"...but I don’t think it is representative of my skills or my ideas about type design any more."
Kinda like Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters"?
> that's true of most of my typefaces from before 1998.
For me it's 2000. (I mean my stuff, not yours. :-)
> Kinda like Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters”?
But that's considered his masterpiece, no?
I remember when I was at the museum where it's at*
and my father quizzed me and my brother & sister to
guess which of his paintings was such, I pointed to
that one. It's really very powerful.
* I was too young (around 10) to
remember which museum that was.
I think beginning work often has a lot more power.
It's like Pascal said. Like if you look at John's proposed
redesign, it certain seems much more serviceable,
but frankly a lot less interesting as well.
It's a paradox though why we tend to not like our early stuff.
"But that’s considered his masterpiece, no?"
Yes! that was precisely my point. It was one of his earliest paintings. It was done before his "Style had matured" but it was still quite good and admired by most (including an Armenian kid whose father was kind enough to take him to the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).
Read the top few paragraphs of the text on this page:http://www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/potatoindex.html
BTW, both my parents deserve the credit - it's just
that my dad is sort of the performance-based one. :-)
In a couple of hundred years type historians will look back on Manticore as the true masterpiece that it is. Until then...
Hmmm. Funny seeing this thread resurface now, as we are starting to talk about phasing out Type 1 for real: http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2005/10/phasing_out_typ.html