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Stroke-Fonts — open call for a standard?

Although we are convinced about the portential of stroke-fonts, actually using them, while keeping their flexibility, is challenging. At the moment the best we can do to streamline the usage process is to freeze a version of the stroke at a set thickness, then outline it, building it back for use in current font formats. Especially on the web with it’s dynamic potential this feels like a big loss. We look at the engineering that built DIN, Dr Hershey, Donald Knuth, Adobe Type 3 and SVG3 both with awe and equal frustration.

Could there be a way to integrate a stroke font format into publishing software? A new definition of how lettershapes are described for them to be able to be used easily? Can we imagine a type-setting system that doesn’t precompile glyphs shape, but renders them inline, so themselve glyphs can become responsive? We will take a look at the existing standards, but also the more experimental tools, some of which OSP is working on, both for print and web-publication (and SVG3?).

Gijs de Heij

Gijs de Heij is a designer and programmer, part of OSP. And shares OSP's fascination for typography and it's (hidden) underlying formats & techniques. osp.kitchen, de-heij.com