Category Typography

Ten Dollar Fonts.

Some weird, some cool, only three seem to contain Hellenic glyphs (and two of those only seem to have uppercase glyphs). The lack of good, free (or affordable) hellenic typefaces is extremely disappointing.

Ubuntu Mono — The Gamma Travesty

In one of the latest commits, Ubuntu Mono, the monospace variant of the Ubuntu font that has recently been included in the distribution, was added to the repositories. Ubuntu Mono is a relatively nice looking monospace font that borrows quite a lot from Consolas, but adds its own distinctive touches that make it fit better with the Ubuntu font family. I have been a member of the beta testing group and have seen it for a while now, but I never quite found the time to properly look into it. Capital Gamma in Ubuntu MonoSadly, while the roman script looks great already, the Greek script suffers from some poor design decisions. Chief among them is Gamma (the capital gamma) which was clearly designed by someone totally unfamiliar with the Greek language and script. Gamma in Ubuntu Mono features a bottom serif that is totally distorting the perception of the character. It is unlike any other modern font I've ever seen and I feel is doing Ubuntu Mono a disservice (it has certainly rendered the font unusable by me as long as it looks this bad). In an effort to remedy this, I have opened a bug in Launchpad, Ubuntu's bug reporting system. You can find the bug, #867577, here. If you have a Launchpad account, use Ubuntu (and/or the fonts) and would like to see Ubuntu Mono fixed for Greek please subscribe, add your comment and/or contact those responsible to help them realise how their effort is being ruined by a few badly designed characters.

Linotype: The Film

In the same vain as Helvetica, but seemingly more of an 'indie' endeavour, this Kickstarter-funded movie about Linotype, the almost lost art of traditional typesetting and the eponymous machine is almost done. Check out the trailer below, or visit their site. It may be interesting to those loving typography.

Inconsolata Hellenic!

Update: Please check the Software page often as the font has been getting some work after this post was made. Make sure you use the latest version before reporting an issue. Four years ago I stumbled upon Raph Levien’s excellent…

Hellenic in Prelude: Font Design Failure

Prelude is the font bundled with WebOS in HP/Palm’s Palm Pre. I first saw it, and wrote about it, last summer, a bit after the device went on sale. Back then I wrote that the font was fantastic, but didn’t…

Hellenic in the Ubuntu font

Ubuntu 10.10 is just around the corner. In this version some preliminary signs of Ubuntu’s design efforts are slowly showing, although there’s still a vast amount of work to do. One of the ‘new’ things in 10.10 as far as…

Mag+. The Digital Magazine

Just a few weeks (?) before the rumoured availability of the Apple tablet (whatever its name is), here’s a recent demonstration of what the display, miniature electronics and battery technology may lead to in the near future in the context…

Æsthetics, Usability and Determining Who's Boss.

Æsthetics and usability go hand in hand. Because many people are visual beings, they function better when they work in a beautiful environment. And that extends to computing. So those two go together. In typography this is pretty obvious whenever…

Palm Pre's Custom Font 'Prelude'

While the Palm Pre is intriguing in many respects, I am not particularly excited about its User Interface; it's modern and has that 'new' feel that seems to be gone from the iPhone [something Android never had] and it seems sophisticated and well-designed from a usability point of view, but it also seems somewhat busy and over-the-top æsthetically. One of the things that did catch my eye, however, is the new font that the Pre includes. Very similar to Avenir, the font, apparently called Prelude, is a sans-serif design with good readability and a look that makes it distinguishable from many other fonts in use in modern operating systems today. There are various reports online stating that Prelude does not support non-Roman character sets, such as Hellenic, Cyrillic, or East-asian. I'm not even sure how good its support is for Central European languages either. If this is true, it strikes me as very naive on Palm's part: given that this is a font that was custom designed in 2008 (?) for a product that's bound to be internationally sold, proper international character support should've been a high priority. If anything the omission will make the Pre much less attractive to customers outside of North America and Western Europe, something that other companies learnt the hard way over the years. Hopefully Palm won't have to do so too.