• Stop Press!: Dr. Peter Karow Award for Thomas Milo
On the 18th of November 2009, the 4th DTL FontMaster Conference will take place at the five star Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague. The title is Type[&]Design 2009 and the conference is targeted on those who work professionally with type, such as graphic designers, typographers, printers, type designers and font producers. The conference will provide insight in many (technical) aspects of type (design) and font production. Especially the focus will be on OpenType and the support of this font format by operating systems such as Mac OS and Windows and by applications from leading companies, like for instance Adobe, Microsoft, Apple and Quark.
Besides the OpenType format also the IKARUS system will have a central place in the conference program, especially because it is now 35 years ago that the era of the digital font production started with this invention by Dr. Peter Karow. Much of the actual font technology, like hinting and kerning, finds its origin in the still actual IKARUS system, on which for instance the DTL FontMaster modules are built.
Dr. Peter Karow will be the guest of honor during the conference and he will also present the second Dr. Peter Karow Award for Font Technology & Digital Typography to Thomas Milo.
Furthermore the new 3.0 edition of DTL FontMaster, which includes the 2.5 version of the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO), and version 2.0 of DTL OTMaster will be presented.
The previous DTL FontMaster Conference took place at Castle Maurick in Vught, nearby ’s-Hertogenbosch in 2003. In the past three years the Dutch Type Library organized so called FM Tracks in Lisbon (2006), Brighton (2007) and St. Petersburg (2008), as part of the ATypI TypeTech Forum sessions. So after six years the FM Conference has returned to the Netherlands.
Speakers at the conference are Dr. Peter Karow (Digital Typography and Artificial Intelligence), Dr. Jürgen Willrodt (OpenType Status 2009), Thomas Milo (DecoType, ACE and Tasmeem), John Hudson (Scholarly Types), Peter Rosenfeld (Re-inventing font technology) and Frank E. Blokland (Automating type design processes). All talks will be held in English.
The admittance fee for the conference is € 75,00 and for registered DTL customers the fee is € 50,00 (prices are exclusive 19% V.A.T.). Included in the fee are a three course lunch in the exclusive Kurzaal Restaurant and all beverages. Each attendee will also receive a copy of the full version of DTL CompareMaster (list price € 50,00), a sophisticated tool for comparing the contours, metrics and hints of PostScript Type1 and OpenType fonts.
Digital Typography and Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Peter Karow (formerly URW Software & Type GmbH, Adobe Systems Inc., and AdFinder GmbH)
Digital Typography transpired in type design and text layout. It has changed font production and text composition in their entirety. Dr. Karow was involved in many of the demands for digital typefaces which came into existence from 1972 through 1997. These issues included formats, variations, interpolation, rasterizing, hinting, autotracing, grayscaling, and element separation. Modern text composition was mostly influenced by programs such as WordStar, Word, PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and FrameMaker, which replaced writing, typesetting and printing in offices on the one hand and at home on the other.
In current times, text is composed much less manually than in the past, but not as digitally generated as its potential. Within modern text composition, digital text is a special part that should proceed without manual assistance and human layout. Up to now, the milestones were these: kerning, optical scaling, paragraph composition (hz-program), chapter composition (chapter fit), and digital ads. As is known, a good deal of engineering endeavors has already been implemented in regards to digital typography. However, distinct challenges still exist such as refinements to autotracing, autohinting, element separation, kerning, optical scaling, chapter fit, and automatic text composition. Many sophisticated tasks are still left to be executed, they belong more to artificial intelligence than to engineering.
Peter Karow was born as a farmer’s son in Stargard, Pomerania, on November 11, 1940. From school and after his civil service he progressed to the University of Hamburg, to study high energy physics leading to a dissertation in 1971. With Rubow and Weber he founded the company URW Software & Type GmbH. Digital type became his life’s work and has continued to be a most enjoyable and exciting task to the present day.
Several contacts with type designers, especially Hermann Zapf, had great impact on his development of the IKARUS program. Since 1988, both worked on the ‘hz-progam’ in order to use the power of computers to improve the micro-typography of texts.
Peter Karow gave international presentations on numerous conferences, wrote many articles for journals, got 14 patents for DTP related methods, and wrote several books, among them: Digital Typefaces and Font Technology (both Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York, 1994), Typeface Statistics (URW Verlag, Hamburg, 1993).
OpenType Status 2009
Dr. Jürgen Willrodt (URW++ Design & Development GmbH)
This presentation will summarize the status of OpenType support in different applications and on different platforms. It will give an overview of the OT Layout features support, the existing bugs, problems and shortcomings related to OpenType fonts.
Dr. Jürgen Willrodt studied Physics and Mathematics and got a PhD in theoretical particle physics in 1976. Jürgen joined URW Software & Type GmbH in 1983 as a software developer. His ﬁrst major development project was the porting of the IKARUS font production system from DEC to Sun Unix. He has been the main developer of the IKARUS system since 1985, developing interpolation, auto-tracing and hinting algorithms as well as special algorithms for Kanji separation. Since 1995 Jürgen is managing director at URW++ Design & Development GmbH and responsible for font production and font tools development, amongst which IKARUS and DTL FontMaster.
John Hudson (Tiro Typeworks)
Individual scholars, scholarly associations and academic publishers regularly deal with texts whose needs, in terms of character set, complex layout and typographic refinement, exceed those of everyday font use and, hence, of most fonts. John Hudson examines some of these needs and the solutions provided by specialised and custom typefaces, using three projects as examples: SBL Hebrew (for the Society of Biblical Literature), Cambria Math (for Microsoft), and the new Brill family of types (for Royal Brill). The Brill project, which is in progress, illustrates the impact of both specialist user needs and a 325 year publishing tradition on design decisions, as well as the latest technical solutions to typesetting complex and unusual texts.
John Hudson is a type designer and co-founder of Tiro Typeworks. Since 1997, he has specialised in the design and development of custom fonts for multilingual computing and publishing. Tiro Typework’s clients include Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, and Linotype, as well as many smaller companies, academic associations and minority language communities. In addition to his type design activities, John writes and lectures on font technology issues.
DecoType, ACE and Tasmeem
Font technology, Layout-engine and Showcase
Thomas Milo (DecoType) 2nd Dr. Peter Karow Award winner
Tasmeem provides a platform for both modern and traditional Arabic, capturing the accumulated expertise of past calligraphers and typographers as a plug-in to applications such as the Middle Eastern version of Adobe InDesign. For typesetting Arabic Tasmeem is far more versatile than what OpenType can offer.
Thomas Milo is the founder of DecoType, the first in the industry to introduce the concept of intelligent fonts (Ruq’ah 1986) and to develop Arabic script solutions based on thorough research into the Islamic calligraphic tradition. Decotype contributes fonts and Arabic Calligraphy applications to Microsoft Office Arabic Edition and to Adobe PageMaker Middle East, and provides a special interface for Calligraphic typesetting; they provide Arabic fonts for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and WinSoft-Adobe InDesign ME. For years DecoType worked closely together in research and development with Tradigital (UK, Germany, Egypt), in the context of which DT produced the typeface in which the complete traditions of the prophet (hadith) have been printed. Together with WinSoft all features of ACE were built into InDesign resulting in Tasmeem.
Re-inventing font technology
Peter Rosenfeld (URW++ Design & Development GmbH)
Much of the actual font technology finds its origin in the IKARUS system, invented by Dr. Peter Karow in the early 1970’s and developed till this day by URW++ Design & Development GmbH under supervision of Dr. Jürgen Willrodt. A historical overview and explanation of more than thirty years of Spitzentechnologie by URW++’s managing director, who was directly engaged in the IKARUS development over the past thirty-five years.
Peter Rosenfeld started, after finishing his business studies in 1980, his first position in the font production department at Dr. Hell in Kiel. It was there where he first got in touch with digital type. Peter joined URW Software & Type GmbH in Hamburg in 1982 and a little later he became the manager of the URW font studio. He worked very closely for and with Dr. Peter Karow, the visioneer and pioneer of the type industry. Roughly ten years after joining URW, Peter became Managing Director of URW++ Design & Development GmbH and the company has established itself in the graphic design industry by continually developing and marketing innovative font products and related software.
Automating type design processes
Frank E. Blokland (Dutch Type Library)
Not only font production processes can be automated (with DTL FontMaster); to a certain extend also the type design process can be done by software itself. Blokland will give an introduction on the (possible) automation of type design processes and a presentation of the most recent version of the DTL LetterModeller application.
This presentation is partly based on the PhD research on Harmonic Systems in the Latin Script, which the speaker is currently doing at Leiden University.
Frank E. Blokland is type designer (of, amongst others, DTL Documenta and DTL Haarlemmer), Senior Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague since 1987 and Professor at the Plantin Society in Antwerp since 1995. Frank founded the Dutch Type Library in 1990. A couple of years later he initiated and supervised the development of DTL FontMaster, a set of tools for the professional font production, developed together with URW++ Design & Development GmbH.
Currently Frank is doing a PhD study at Leiden University, in which harmonic systems in type and music and the automation of type design processes play a central role.
Additional session at the Royal Academy of Art
On the 19th of November 2009 the conference will be repeated in a slightly adapted form in and around the auditorium the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. This session will be exclusively held for the bachelor students of the Graphic Design department and the master students of the Type & Media course. At the KABK also an Acrobat Connect session will be held with Adobe’s David Lemon on his proposal for glyph completeness in OpenType fonts.