Typeface design software

afonseca1974's picture

Hi everyone!

I'm looking for an (good :) ) article or book about Typeface design software throughout History.
When did start, names, dates and so on...
Can anyone help?
Thank you in advance.
António.

gargoyle's picture

While not an article or book, Pedro Amado put together a pretty comprehensive infographic timeline of font software and formats, which could give you a starting point for further research.

hrant's picture

Justin, that link is tantalizing, but broken! :-(

hhp

gargoyle's picture

That link works for me, although the site's title is long string of gibberish (looks like mis-encoded HTML for a 404 page). Anyway, here's a direct link to the image:

http://www.typeforge.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/timeline_format...

hrant's picture

Cool - thanks!

hhp

quadibloc's picture

That is a nice chart.

The first post, though, referred to the subject in a way that I found odd - it seemed as though the OP was looking for a chart that would show the kind of typeface design software in use at the time of, say, the Battle of Hastings. "Throughout history" implies that something is shown over the entire span of time since the invention of writing, as opposed to only throughout its own history.

Jack B. Nimblest Jr.'s picture

Well, from the battle of Hastings to the beginning of this chart is just 11 little blips, then 5 larger ones and then metafont. :)

afonseca1974's picture

Thank you all for the info.
In fact, the infographic timeline of font software and formats from Pedro Amado is great start.
Now, getting some info about some of those software and formats is hard...

Thanks again!
António

Karl Stange's picture

I have found an essay from the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, Letterform Design Systems by Lynn Ruggles, a PDF of which can be downloaded using the link below (this link will trigger a download depending on your browser):

ftp://reports.stanford.edu/pub/cstr/reports/cs/tr/83/971/CS-TR-83-971.pdf

It includes an overview of the InTeractive Synthesizer of LetterForms (ITSLF) designed by H. W. Mergler and Y. M. Vargo in 1967, the first system in Pedro's infographic. I have only just started reading through this but it actually addresses your initial request very nicely.

gargoyle's picture

Awesome find, Karl! The essay goes on to cover CSD, Ikarus, Metafont, plus a few other platforms not on the timeline.

5star's picture

That's a great timeline chart gargoyle!

n.

afonseca1974's picture

Karl
That article is cited (comments area) in the above article from Pedro Amado so I already have it, but thanks anyway!
Now I just need the same for all the other software:)

António

Karl Stange's picture

Sorry, I should have looked beyond the flashy graphics! You may find, if so motivated, that the best way to proceed is compiling that information yourself based on (amongst other things) the incredible range of first hand sources to be found on Typophile and in the wider and very friendly type community.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Is anybody else as surprised as me that there are so many?

afonseca1974's picture

Thanks everyone for the info!

António

oldnick's picture

Ryan,

Few people are as surprised as you are on a great range of subjects...

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