Friday, January 12, 2007

Adventures in typography

I've been making DVDs from AVIs folkshave lent me. And with DVDs, you need menus.

To create these menus Iam using the Gimp. Menus naturally have text for progam titles and such, which up until now I have been rendering in a nice sans serif font I already had installed. For my current project I wanted something a little different. This is turning out to be MUCH more work than I anticipated.

First problem: I am using Gimp 1 (could have sworn I had upgraded, but no). For text in this app I need Type1 fonts. The majority of fonts I have are TrueType. The Type 1 fonts I have don't fit what I envision.

Second problem: the net is littered with free TrueType fonts. Type 1 are proving much harder to find.

Solution: found a little app to convert TrueType to Type 1. If this works it solves most of my problem

Anf then I have to install the font. There are programs out there to minimize the fiddling around required to generate the definition files needed by the system, but I'm doing much of that manually. Pushing a button that says "do it" just doesn't provide the depth of understanding that doing it by hand does.

Which is a big part of my philosophy towards stuff like this. DIY. Do It Yourself. DIY has practical aspects, too. Say you're making CDs from source material on vinyl. If you can 'clean' things yourself in an audio editor - reduce pops, that sort of thing - that level of knowledge and skill will get you better results than using a one-button 'remove pop' program.

The first requires artstry, the second requires far less than that. Results are proportional.

No comments: