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Nick Shinn

Indices : Designers : Nick Shinn

Nick Shinn was born in London, England, in 1952. He attended school at Leeds Polytechnic where he earned a Dip. AD in Fine Art.

In 1976 he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as an art director and creative director at a number of Toronto advertising agencies from the 1970s into the 1980s. In 1989 he started ShinnDesign, his own digital studio, specializing in publication design. Nick has designed everything from books and magazines to web sites.

Since 1980 he has designed over 20 typeface families, some for respected publishers, including Walburn and Brown for the Canadian daily “The Globe and Mail.” Many of Nick’s early type designs were published by various foundries, most notably the FontFont library. In 1999 he launched ShinnType, which now publishes and markets his fonts worldwide. Nick is a prolific writer and often contributes to “Graphic Exchange” magazine, as well as many other publications. He has also had speaking engagements at conferences such as ATypI and TypeCon and was a member of the board for The Society of Typographic Afficionados.


Indices : Typefaces : Zapfino

Linotype’s Zapfino is a fine, elegant script typeface based on Hermann Zapf’s beautiful calligraphy. What would have on its own been a graceful and beautiful font has, over the years, served as a testbed for advanced typographic technologies, to the point that the most current implementation of Zapfino as of this writing, Zapfino Extra Pro, has achieved what seems to be limited sentience. It has an extensive, pan-European character set (barring Greek and Cyrillic, and with many of the diacritical characters drawn by Akira Kobayashi in close consultation with Zapf), each character form has at least four alternates to make the script flow more naturally, and it has an exceedingly complex set of ligatures and automatic substitutions (implemented by John Hudson for the TrueType version shipped with Mac OS X, and by Adam Twardoch for the Zapfino Extra Pro (Contextual) OpenType version available from Linotype). It is a challenging typeface to set and rewards experimentation.


Wiki Categories: 

Indices : Type Technologies : OpenType

About OpenType
OpenType is a type format designed by Microsoft and Adobe which attempts to resolve the limitations of the two dominant outline font technologies (Adobe’s Type 1 PostScript fonts, and Apple and Microsoft’s TrueType fonts), as well as serving the needs of its two creators. From Microsoft it gets its focus on global language support: OpenType uses as its basis Unicode, and does away the complicated system of code pages found in older digital font formats. Something like OpenType’s advanced typographic features are needed for even basic support of certain languages. From Adobe OpenType gets its emphasis on advanced typographical controls for western and East Asian languages, providing support within a font for such features as alternate character forms, discretionary ligatures, variant figures (tabular and proportional, lining and old style), and small caps.

Type Design

Indices : Terminology : Type Design

The craft of devising new versions of alphabets for use in a Font.

Type designers are sometimes mistakenly called fontographers. Fontographer was the name of a popular computer program for designing type, predominantly used during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Relationship to typography.

Typography is the craft of using pre-made Alphabets in designs, type design is the art of crafting new alphabets. Quite often one person occupies both roles, and specializes to a greater or lesser degree in one or the other.

See also How-To


Wiki Categories: 

Indices : Terminology : Lettering

The craft of drawing or otherwise creating letterforms by hand for one specific use, e.g. for signs, illustration, logos, etc. Related to Type Design but a separate discipline; a good letterer does not necessarily make a good designer of type, and vice versa.

Additonal Articles:
Type and Lettering Styles
Lettering Artists

How Do You Develop Hand Lettering Aesthetics?
Handlettered Sign Examples?

Python How-To

Indices : “How To” Section : Scripting with Python

Before you get started making macro programs for FontLab, you must download and install Python, the programming language that is used by FontLab to write macros. You can download Python from www.python.org.

First you should begin by reading the chapter entitled “Macro Programming” in the FontLab Users’ Manual, which can be downloaded from the following locations:
Windows: US : Europe (.zip)


Indices : Foundries : Characters Font Foundry

Founded by ReneVerkaart in 2004, Characters Font Foundry is an independent Dutch type foundry, designing and selling high quality public- and commisioned typefaces. CFF fonts have been used for corporate identities, websites and packaging.

Besides being a self-taught type designer, René Verkaart is the co-founder of Stoere Binken Design, a renowned Dutch graphic design studio based in Maastricht, The Netherlands.