font vs. typeface
Posted: 29 June 2018 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The final job I held during my working days was in the art department of a large label printing company. I retired from that job after 35 years. Previous to that I worked for a sign company, weekly newspaper, and an art agency. All of these jobs dealt with type.

My background should explain why I have such a hard time accepting that the word “font” is taking over the word “typeface”. I worked mostly during the hand-set era, but converted to computers for my last decade of employment. The conversion is definitely for the better in many ways, but it has also changed the way people speak of type. I hear people saying “font” instead of “typeface” all the time now. It hurts these old ears.

Computers have changed all of this. There is really no good reason to pine for the old ways, but I shall just the same. Here are the short definitions I will stick to ’til the end:

typeface: a set of one or more “fonts” composed of glyphs that share common design features
font: a particular size, weight, and style of a “typeface”

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Posted: 29 June 2018 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You are right to be annoyed, but the battle has already been fought and lost.  I began setting type about sixty years ago, when a font was an entire set of characters and symbols in a given face.  I remember taking a train to New York City to buy type from Damon and Peets, near the tannery district.  Each font was carefully tied with string, wrapped in heavy brown paper, and tied again.
Goudy Old Style with Swash Italic initials in 12pt, a display face, Broadway, in 18Pt.  The greatest automation was a Linotype machine. 

With the advent of computers, the terminology changed.  Now a font is most frequently synonymous with what we used to call a typeface.  Common usage has legitimized the new meaning.  Old fonts included ligatures such as ffl and ffi.  New ones are cheaper.
Life’s full of trade-offs.

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Posted: 29 June 2018 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It was a different time, wasn’t it. I still work with type today, but in a different way. I spend a lot of time on a forum that identifies typefaces for amateurs and pros alike who need to get type for projects. It’s called MyFonts.com. You should drop in sometime:

https://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/forum/

[ Edited: 29 June 2018 08:11 PM by Eyehawk ]
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