Speaker details
Erik van Blockland

LettError | The Netherlands

Dutch type designer. Started the LettError virtual type foundry with Just van Rossum, with whom he worked at MetaDesign. Fame came with the release of Beowolf (co-designed with van Rossum), a font whose ragged edges shift randomly each time you print the font. Another font of his, Kosmik, has a version that flips between three alternates for each character for a more friendly, hand-drawn feel. Most of his fonts are published by FontFont or LettError. With Petr van Blokland and Just van Rossum, he created Robofog, a scriptable font editor based on Fontographer 3.5. Currently, he is key developer of the Robofab project with Just van Rossum and Tal Leming.

Presentation details

Education in type design

Saturday 2 October | 15:30 – 16:15
Location: A-2 (Archa Hall 2)
Panel discussion | Theme: Between Student and Teacher | Duration: 45 minutes

The last few years have seen a revival of interest in typeface design courses. The panellists start with a a very very quick presentation each on their respective course, then open the floor to questions from the audience. We look forward to both the easy questions (like “what do students get out of the course?”) and the tricky ones (“why should we teach typeface design formally?”). Gerry Leonidas, moderator.

The RoboFab toolkit and the UFO format

Sunday 3 October | 09:30 – 10:15
Location: A-2 (Archa Hall 2)
Presentation | Theme: Fonts and Tools | Duration: 45 minutes

Tal Leming, Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland have written a Python toolkit for programming with font related data, RoboFab. It has a new, standardised object model for font, glyph, contour and friends. RoboFab supports a new, future-proof XML based file format for font source data, the Unified Font Objects or UFO. This allows scripts based on RoboFab to work the same in FontLab as in plain Python environments, cross platform, cross application. This new format is not a contender in the TrueType, Type 1 or OpenType race, it is a format to store “sources”: all data related to type design in an application independent and standardised XML way. UFO files can be used to exchange font and glyph data between applications. RoboFab is free for end users, well documented, and downloadable from http://www.letterror.com. The presentation will show an overview of RoboFab, some examples and practical applications of scripting using RoboFab and some applications using the UFO format. Erik will show miracles like UFO fonts in central database systems, glyphs sent by email, remote controlled FontLab, MetricsMachine, UFO Browser.

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