Glad to have found these two film frames I secretly took at Museum Plantin Moretus in Antwerpen back in December ’99 — showing the room upstairs where they keep a collection of metal type casts, like that of the original Garamond (2nd picture). I should really visit this place again.
Accessing OpenType features in Apple’s own applications
Some have emailed me with the question “How to access OpenType features in Pages or TextEdit?”. While this is obvious to many, others are not quite familiar with Apple’s (rather good) solution for handling OpenType features.
All Apple’s own applications like Pages, Keynote, Text edit and even Final Cut Pro etc. make use of Apple’s Typography pallet to access the OpenType features in each font. You can access this pallet by clicking Cmd + T (or Format > Font > Show Fonts) to open the Font list dialogue. At the bottom of that dialogue you click on the Options drop-down menu (the little wheel icon) and select “Typography” to open the Typography pallet.
When selecting text in an OT font in your document you’ll see the Typography pallet showing the full list of OpenType features available in for that font.
Using Pages and ARS Maquette Pro for this example, the alternate characters are located under Alternative Stylistic Sets > Stylistic Set 1. The same way is true to all applications made by Apple.
Recent thoughts about typography
Indeed. Technology and quality of typefaces have improved immensely, certainly since Gutenberg. The possibilities now are almost endless when it comes to producing good typefaces to a variety of needs and demands. I also like and strongly support the still existing practice of designing optical sizes and the quality has improved in that field as well.
- Caslon Pica No. 2 from William Caslon, Specimen of Printing Types, London, 1766
- Bembo Six © Angus R. Shamal 1997
You could argue about the actual *need* for all this improvement when you think about the world getting more and more digital and the *value* for the craftsmanship and the amount of work put into certain typefaces getting lower by the year.
Not to mention that print quality has improved quite a bit since then, and it’s really more the extreme ends of point sizes that need addressing when it comes to optical sizes.
- Serif Beta © Christian Robertson - From Betatype
All this must effect the type of education students get in schools when it comes to typography. Plus, students are not entirely clueless, they see what’s going on around them, the vast majority of things to look up to and be inspired by are digital or in some digital form or other.. so how do we suppose they’ll be interested in this rather old-fashioned practice in legibility and optical sizes and even good typography. Let alone appreciate the (price) value of it.
There are several magazines and publications out there that seem to benefit from this available practice in type-design and use it quite well in most parts (look at the recent redesign of Interview, or The New York Times magazine). They both have an art-direction that is typography-aware. But is it really from “Need” or “Necessity”, or rather the Classical or Sentimental quality they are after.
- Spreads from Interview magazine and The New York Times magazine
I hate to use the word Novelty in this context, but I can’t help but thinking this is more what’s on the minds of the designer/art director these days, or the aspiring designers/art directors out there.
There are new and harder challenges ahead (and present) when it comes to typography and technology, and considering the available “solutions”, although some being quite exciting, we still have a long way to go.
And go put a price tag on that. Yikes!
What about the concept of Optical sizes and legibility for Screen (vs Print)?