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Guest the_Monkey

"Center-line" Fonts

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Guest the_Monkey

This may be a dumb question but since there many typography experts on the board I suppose this would be the place to find out.

 

Are there any "center-line" fonts? Fonts that would essentially have a path of fixed width so that only the center-line would be needed to define the shape (as opposed to the outline)? It seems like the kind of thing that would be especially useful for sweeped mograph text. Every time I want to do this I essentially draw one from scratch over an existing font.

 

If they don't exist, does anybody have any tricks to collapse the type outlines to a center-line? Offsets work some of the time but are useless on shapes with sharp miters.

 

-m

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Guest SermonOfMockery

im not sure i understand what you mean... do you mean that every letter is the same width? if so, yes, there are tons of those (although most are pretty unsophisticated).

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Guest mikeh64

no - he means a font that has "only" a center line - so if you were to draw/paint/write on the line, it would draw out the character (I was just wondering about this the other day...)

 

think about it...if you use the "outline" of a font as a path, each side has a line.

 

what we need is a font that has only 1 path in the center of it's parts, so it can be used as a path for various functions - these would also be very uesful in 3D (like a sweep nurbs for example)

 

anybody know of fonts like these?

 

Mike

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Guest the_Monkey

im not sure i understand what you mean... do you mean that every letter is the same width? if so, yes, there are tons of those (although most are pretty unsophisticated).

Sorry, I lack proper type vocab... I meant this:

CLFont.jpg

 

You can see how center-line I made myself was a bit wonky. I was wondering if any foundries crafted such center-lines with typographic precision. More elaborate centerline sweeps could be built with a path and a rail, but I thought I'd start simple and work with fonts that had a (mostly) fixed line weight.

 

-m

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Guest SermonOfMockery

oh i see

 

well, they couldn't be printed, since in postscript fonts you can't stroke a path, so they would only be useful for things like this. because it takes so much effort to make a good font, and the applications for these are so limited, i doubt anybody makes them, but you never know.

 

helvetica 25 is similar to this i guess

Edited by SermonOfMockery

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Guest Binky

what you're talking about is a skeleton. and there's not much reason for anyone to publish that.

what you most likely need is a face with unmodulated line weights like... Neutura , where you can fairly easily extract a single line. Almost every good face is going to be modulated, or include light traps or other modifications. Helvetica is no exception. All of this stuff comes from innovation in the print medium, so that's what it's designed for, and as a result, yeah you'll probably have to sweat out trying to modulate with rails if it's important to you to maintain the letterform's integrity.

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Guest the_Monkey

what you're talking about is a skeleton. and there's not much reason for anyone to publish that.

what you most likely need is a face with unmodulated line weights like... Neutura , where you can fairly easily extract a single line. Almost every good face is going to be modulated, or include light traps or other modifications. Helvetica is no exception. All of this stuff comes from innovation in the print medium, so that's what it's designed for, and as a result, yeah you'll probably have to sweat out trying to modulate with rails if it's important to you to maintain the letterform's integrity.

Interesting.

While I'm pursuing it for mograph, I figured print would have adopted it first... if for nothing else the ability to stroke the skeleton of a standard font with a custom brush in illustrator.

 

So... tell me this... if I found a font I liked and took the time to make a skeleton of the whole set... is it possible for me to save that as a new font and have that work ok? Are there font rules/standards that prevent a path from being open-ended? I'm aware that it wouldn't look like anything in preview, but that wouldn't matter as long as it showed up in c4d.

 

I'm just trying to find a way to keep from having to re-raster letters all the time manually.

 

-m

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Guest Binky

with an app like fontlab (the successor to fontographer) you can certainly save a drawing in progress as an open shape, but I doubt you could export it (turn it into a functional typeface) that way because I'd imagine that every app out there that can render type is built to understand closed shapes so that they can define the fill. Illustrator can guess the shape in an unclosed object by drawing between the last point and the first, but I don't know if anything else is even that sophisticated. Regardless, you could try it with fontlab. It's really straightforward. But I'd say you're probably going to have to do your drawing in illustrator, save it, and arrange it into words every time you want to use it for that purpose. I can tell you where to get that app if you want it.

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Guest igorschmigor

It will automatically close the paths upon export. It seems that creating open-pathed fonts is not possible.

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Guest SermonOfMockery

yep, not possible... like i said, postscript requires all paths to be closed and they cannot be stroked.

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