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Font management

 
 
Paul Sture
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      07-05-2006, 02:02 PM
Dave Balderstone wrote:

<snip>

> The problem with chooosing Helvetica is that it's a ubiquitous font.
> The Postscript version is preinstalled in most laser printers, for
> instance.
>
> And it's the PS version that is used by the vast majority of
> graphics/prepress/publishing shops. Apple not only chose Helvetica as a
> required font, they shipped their own format, the .dfont, with the
> system.
>
> In our shop, we tear out a bunch of the required fonts and replace them
> with the Postscript version. Not difficult to do, but it should not be
> necessary.


Thanks.
 
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J.J. O'Shea
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      07-05-2006, 03:11 PM
On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 08:53:42 -0400, Paul Sture wrote
(in article <49387$44abb657$50db5015$(E-Mail Removed)>) :

> Dave Balderstone wrote:
>
>> Choosing Helvetica as a required font was
>> a stupid, boneheaded, f'd-up move, especially considering Apples
>> strength in the graphics, publishing and prepress market.

>
> I'm curious as to why you say that decision was stupid. I have little
> knowledge of publishing etc; I'm simply curious.


There are a _lot_ of different Helveticas out there. (Helvetica. Helvetica
Neue. Helvetica Rounded. Helvetica Condensed, Compressed, Light, Heavy,
Black. Plus, of course, Bold. No Italic; that's Oblique. And there are more.)
Worse, there are a half dozen or more font 'foundries' which sell their very
own Helveticas. Apple Helvetica Bold is _not_ Adobe Helvetica Bold. Worse
yet, some of the foundries sell different formats; a TrueType format, a
PostScript Type 1 format, and possibly an OpenType format. There can be, and
often are, differences between format. Finally, there can be different
versions of the font, even if the formats are the same. Things can be added
(the Euro symbol, for example) and/or subtracted. Use the wrong version and
you get something unexpected for a special character.

It doesn't matter that much if Apple changes its own fonts, or if Apple
mandates that its own fonts be used in certain circumstances. (Well, not
usually, though there was at least one game which went belly-up around OS 8.1
'cause Apple changed Monaco from bit-map to TrueType and that game depended
on Monaco being bit-mapped...) Where there's a problem is that Helvetica is a
_very_ commonly used font (far too commonly used, IMHO) and given that
different format and different versions print differently, problems can
happen when you Apple's Helvetica.dfont while what the client wanted was
Adobe Helvetica PS 1 version 1.0.something. A twelve-page document can
suddenly become a 13-page document, with one line on page 13. And the
captions for the pix no longer line up properly with the pix. And you better
pray you catch it before it goes to film, 'cause 40-cm imagesetter film's a
dollar a foot, and you don't wanna know what 46-cm film costs, and if the job
was a four-colour job, you just wasted 52 feet and will have to do it again,
so that's an entire 100-foot roll of film and someone's got to pay for that
and it won't be the client...

That's _why_ pre-press people have so many fonts. You would not believe how
many different Helveticas I have at the office, just so I can match the font
to the print job.

--
email to oshea dot j dot j at gmail dot com.

 
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TaliesinSoft
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      07-05-2006, 04:19 PM
On Wed, 5 Jul 2006 10:11:35 -0500, J.J. O'Shea wrote
(in article <(E-Mail Removed) ia.net>):

[excellent commentary elided]

> That's _why_ pre-press people have so many fonts. You would not believe how
> many different Helveticas I have at the office, just so I can match the font
> to the print job.


It seems that the real problem is what I'll dub "insufficient font
identification." I just now created a test document which contained a line in
each of the variant Helvetica faces I have. I then exported the document as a
..pdf and then opened that file in Acrobat Pro and looked at the font list
within the Document Properties window and noted that the information for the
fonts is insufficient to positively pin down exactly which of a number of
possible versions a font could be.

--
James Leo Ryan ..... Austin, Texas ..... (E-Mail Removed)

 
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Paul Sture
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      07-05-2006, 06:31 PM
Dave Balderstone wrote:
>
> That's a much better explanation than the one I gave. Thanks ,André.


Also my thanks, and to the other contributors.

I'm glad I asked the question, as I've learnt something interesting.
 
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sawney beane
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      07-05-2006, 11:09 PM
Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> sawney beane <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>> You must be a troll. I said I understood it was a list of necessary
>> fonts. You spent one paragraph saying no, they are REQUIRED, and I
>> should look it up in a dictionary. In your next paragraph you used
>> necessary and required as synonyms. That couldn't be true because it
>> would mean we were in perfect agreement.

>
> As I am a disinterested bystander, I can assure you that you did not
> understand what Mr. Balderstone told you in his excellent and free
> tutorial explaining fonts. Please read again what he took some pain to
> explain to you. You are starting to look silly.
>
> leo
>

As a disinterested bystander, what is it that you wish to assure me I
did not understand? Is it that I was unaware that required fonts must
never be called necessary fonts?

I understood Mr. Balderstone to say OS X would not run without each font
on a certain list. Was I wrong?

It occurred to me that I might mistakenly remove a required font.
1. Maybe he overlooked a font when he compiled his list.
2. Maybe our systems aren't identical.
3. Maybe I'd mistake one font for another with a similar name.

Was I wrong to believe that an error would be possible if I carefully
followed his advice? Was I wrong to think I should know what to do in
case an error left my system inoperable?

Do you think my concern proved I intended to ignore Mr. Balderstone's list?

I checked the list against what Apple says. Of the fifteen Mr.
Balderstone listed, two don't seem to matter. Four could disable the
system if removed. There seem to be four he didn't list that could also
disable the system if removed.

Nine on his list could cause trouble for some applications if missing.
Apple warns of seven others whose removal could also cause trouble for
some applications.

There are another nine fonts I don't know about. Their names are in
oriental characters. For all I know, removing them could keep the
system from working.



 
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sawney beane
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      07-06-2006, 12:52 AM
André G. Isaak wrote:
> In article <49387$44abb657$50db5015$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Paul Sture <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Dave Balderstone wrote:
>>
>>> Choosing Helvetica as a required font was
>>> a stupid, boneheaded, f'd-up move, especially considering Apples
>>> strength in the graphics, publishing and prepress market.

>> I'm curious as to why you say that decision was stupid. I have little
>> knowledge of publishing etc; I'm simply curious.

>
> Requiring a font like Chicago, Charcoal, or Lucida Grande isn't too
> problematic since these fonts really are only used for menu items etc.
> and are unlikely to appear in a printed publication.
>
> Helvetica, however, often does appear in print publications, and because
> Helvetica (first issued by the Haas Foundry in 1957) predates digital
> formats like PostScript and TrueType, it has been digitized a number of
> different times by different foundries. There may exist small
> differences in glyphs and metrics (character spacing) between (e.g.) the
> Adobe, Linotype, and Apple versions of the font. If a publisher is given
> a file which was created using Helvetica, its often therefore important
> that they use the same version as the original document was created
> with. Because Helvetica is required by the system, many font management
> programs won't deal with it in the same way as non-required fonts, which
> makes switching between versions more complex than for non-required
> faces of which several different versions exist.
>
> André
>

Thank you! I can relate to that. I used to set up publications like
catalogs. For text, I could get the look I wanted with only a small
selection of fonts. But in cases where a line had to be a precise
length, changing character spacing didn't always look quite right. I
might check every font I had to give the line the right length and the
right look.
 
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sawney beane
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      07-06-2006, 06:26 AM
Dave Balderstone wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, sawney beane
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Thank you! I can relate to that. I used to set up publications like
>> catalogs. For text, I could get the look I wanted with only a small
>> selection of fonts. But in cases where a line had to be a precise
>> length, changing character spacing didn't always look quite right. I
>> might check every font I had to give the line the right length and the
>> right look.

>
> Fascinating.
>
> You said, in Message-ID: <(E-Mail Removed)>
>
>> For the ones that aren't novelties,
>> I see two choices: serif or non-serif and fixed or variable pitch.
>> Within those categories, they all look similar to me.

>
> Were you lying, or trolling?



I was not trying to deceive you. It was my modesty (which I am told is
my only fault) that kept me from calling myself one of the world's
foremost authorities on Macintosh fonts.
 
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