“All of the fonts are Open Source.” Really? The omission suggests that Google might have doubts whether these fonts qualify as open source.
I’m convinced that they don’t. To make the case, I’ll step through my seven essential qualities of open source […]. I’ll explain how Google Web Fonts falls short, and what Google could do to improve the program.
Essential quality #1
Dilution: Open source arises from a spirit of freedom and cooperation.
Reality: Open source arises from a spirit of capitalist competition.
Essential quality #2
Dilution: Open-source developers work for free.
Reality: Open-source developers are paid.
Essential quality #3
Dilution: Open source makes things free.
Reality: Open source redefines what is valuable.
Essential quality #4
Dilution: Open source has no barriers to participation.
Reality: Open source relies on meritocracies.
Essential quality #5
Dilution: Open source is democratic.
Reality: Open source relies on benevolent dictators.
Essential quality #6
Dilution: An open-source project can have one developer.
Reality: An open-source project requires multiple developers.
Essential quality #7
Dilution: A software project can be open-sourced at any time.
Reality: Open source is part of the project’s DNA or it’s not.
Sorkin Type was incorporated in 2011. Since then, we have made 60 open source fonts for Google Fonts.In late 2013, commercial versions of the most popular fonts will be available. The fonts will be expanded to include design refinements, more styles and OpenType features. Eben Sorkin is pround to serve on its board of ATypI.
Sorkin Type has been proud to work as a tester of a new Autohinter called True Type Autohint or TTFA. We believe this tool will become invaluable for type foundries both large and small.
Studying the relationship between fonts and reading performance, including the case of Learning Disabilities, we have identified the need for a font that would allow to check some of the typographical features relevant to the reading process.
Luciano Perondi therefore has reworked Titilium, and released a font with Open Font license. We called the result TestMe.
Isotype revisited’ has been a three-and-a-half year research project (1 October 2007 to 31 March 2011) based in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading. The project was funded by a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, and drew on the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection housed in the Department.
The Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection is the most comprehensive archive of Isotype materials. It documents methods of designing and disseminating data that have played a major role in twentieth-century graphic design thinking. Given to the University of Reading by Marie Neurath in 1971, the collection includes documents, correspondence, published works, and artefacts relating to the history, principles, working methods, and products of Isotype, from its beginnings in 1920s Vienna through to its later incarnations in The Hague, Oxford, and London.
Holdings of particular interest include correspondence and business papers of the Isotype Institute covering the period 1941-67; an extensive collection of books, periodicals, and pamphlets containing Isotype work published in Austria, Britain, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, the United States, and West Africa; collections of writings and bibliographies of Otto and Marie Neurath, and other commentators on Isotype; original large-format exhibition charts from the 1930s; copies of the Isotype’s most important publication Gesellschaft und Wirtshaft (1930); several versions of the Isotype ‘Picture dictionary’; extensive photographic records of early charts, beginning in the 1920s; Isotype films and filmstrips; working materials including sketches, printing blocks, proofs, and types; children’s books produced by Marie Neurath for the publisher Max Parrish; a collection of early maps, plans, prints, books, and other graphic matter that served as source material for Isotype work; and prints by contemporary modernist artists including Gerd Arntz, Frans Masereel, and Georg Grosz.
The Isotype Collection offers excellent opportunities for scholars interested in European social history between the World Wars, inter-War modernism, the history of information design, and campaigns and initiatives that address social and economic planning, public health, housing, and other dimensions of life. The collection will be equally valuable to anyone involved in the graphic design of data, museum design, or the communication of complex issues to children, particularly in history, and in the natural and physical sciences.
While the funded phase of the project has now ended, work will continue on associated publications and initiatives. This website will also remain on-line, and will be updated periodically.