Planet Open Fonts

Pravin SatputeLohit Tamil in Unicode charts

This is news to me as well :)

 Just came to know from comment that Lohit Tamil is used in Unicode charts from 7.0 onwards.  I did quick comparison with old Tamil chart and 7.0 and yes that is Lohit !!

Kudos to Shriramana for making this happen with proposal. I remember we were talking about this last year and due to OFL license of Lohit it is easy to use it in Unicode charts without any permission.

This add more responsibility to make sure Lohit Tamil follows and keep glyphs consistent in future version. I am sure with strong community we can achieve it.

 I have been always proposing Unicode for using opensource fonts in there charts. Unicode definitely spending some money to make fonts for these charts, so why not to release these charts under opensource license?

 Presently charts only serve the purpose of reference and even after release of particular version even for single character users need to wait for other fonts to sync with latest Unicode version. If Unicode release latest version of charts with fonts as well, one can just quickly install those fonts. These fonts can be used in all OS due to liberal license, many things can happen...

  Second part that is faced specifically in complex script, is reference for rendering rules. Yeah, this can add additional overhead to Unicode but i strongly feel it can help further to have standardization in complex script rendering.

  Anyway we are already trying for this with Lohit2 project, hopefully  other script fonts project will also start this kind of initiative and in long term font designers will be free from worry of rules for complex script rendering.

  Again glad to see this is happening !!

Nicolas Spalinger (advogato diary)12 Sep 2014

Update to the OFL FAQ published: version 1.1-update4

Check out the newly updated FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the Open Font License: version 1.1-update4.

It probably has many answers you're looking for on the - rather complicated and subtle - topics of using, distributing, creating and modifying open fonts.

This (small) update takes into account feedback from existing users of the license and clarifies some (small) aspects of the intent and the well-established working model.

The OFL FAQ is getting rather long but then again, it's not the easiest set of related subjects to cover... I hope this continues to be a good and useful resource for the many open font designers out there. If you haven't read it yet, now is probably a good time, otherwise search for your topic in the various sections :-)

IMHO, nobody should have to become a copyright or trademark lawyer - or pay massive legal fees - just to maximise access to some of their creation but still maintain over control the corresponding canonical version. Type designers mostly want to focus on creating and all the rest just seems like a distraction at best or a big headache at worst... but getting a better understanding of the ins and outs of the legal environment of collaborative font design and how the OFL model works practically is always helpful and should spare people some unnecessary surprises.

Pravin Satpute"Devanagari script behaviour for Hindi" standardization meeting AT Delhi on 10th Sep2014

    DIT is working on this project with CDAC and other stakeholder almost from 2+ years. I am one of the committee member of this working group and making sure it will actually benefit target audience.
We have invested earlier time on what should be the structure of this document and what things must be included in this documents.
    Also we had excellent debate with language scholars on what is valid combination in Hindi language and what is not. How particular combination should get displayed. We made one significant decision saying we will not say anything is invalid, since there is possibility of inclusion of words from other language to Hindi and end use must be able to type it.
    Number of things happened over the time from 1.3.1 version to latest 1.4.4 and finally we are very closer to have final release of this document.

    Highlights of this Draft:
    1. Target audience is ICT stakeholders.
    2. Platform owner interested in supporting particular language in his product will get complete information from locale, sorting, backspace, delete, rendering etc from single document. One can also say this document is simply including standards around Hindi language at one place. Those are Unicode, CLDR and language related standards.
    3. For Hindi draft reference is used from book "देवनागरी लिपि तथा हिंदी वर्तनी का मानकीकरण"  Central Hindi Directorate"

    Yesterday we quickly gone through draft to make sure conjuncts are represented properly in document. Hindi mostly uses half form of base characters unlike complete conjuncts get form in Marathi language.

    Draft is still open [1] for comments and feedback. Once Hindi will get finalized same process will be repeated for other language and all these Draft will get authenticated from BIS as a standards.  For other languages DIT will first prepare draft and in later stage talk with state governments for Feedback. Next one will be Marathi since most of the things are already ready for Marathi languages.

    I hope this will help to community over the time.


Nathan WillisYour Mileage May Vary

In the last six weeks or so, I’ve given three talks about open source / free software in automotive.  [That means "cars."]

It’s sort of a new thread for me to play out on the conference circuit, at least as a speaker, but it is actually an area that I have found personally interesting for ages, and in which I’ve been a secret hobbyist for a while—at a very amateur, “enthusiast” level.  But after having followed the topic and having read up on it, last fall (i.e., November 2013) I decided to dive in and start experimenting with a Linux-based automotive computer build in my car.

That’s one of the talks I spoke about earlier: I gave a “build talk” about the project at the Automotive Linux Summit in Tokyo in early July.  The goal was to relate my real-world experience (surprises, pitfalls, etc.) to the developers and strategists at ALS in the hope that it would be beneficial to them. I gave another talk at ALS about automotive security, but it consisted of “research” rounding up other people’s research and published studies about software security problems in car computers.  I highly recommend the “just talk about other people’s hard work” methodology as a talk-development approach; it’s far less time-consuming than doing all the tests and paper writing oneself, and you also don’t have to apply for grants.

The third talk was at GUADEC, the annual GNOME project conference. It started out, in theory, as another “my build and what you can learn from it” talk idea, but it quickly became clear to me that I needed to do more: provide some context for the audience that didn’t already pay attention to the automotive corner, and offer some reasons why they should look into it and maybe even get involved.  The GUADEC team ended up asking me to make that talk a keynote, which was definitely a surprise, but obviously lots of fun, too.

I tried to include some words on where I thought GNOME developers could get involved in automotive projects (especially since many of those projects already use GNOME libraries, even if they aren’t interacting too much with GNOME-proper upstream), and some ideas on how GNOME could be more “garage friendly.”  More on that later. Nobody threw any vegetables, and a lot of people asked questions afterward, so I think it went well on the whole.

Interestingly enough, while working on the GNOME talk I kept running into the realization that a lot of full-time Linux folks weren’t really up to speed on the scope and makeup of the automotive Linux space.  It’s understandable—most of the work now is pre-production and it may be a while before products hit the showroom floor. But that also makes it the best possible time for free-software people to get involved. The better you make it right now, the better it’ll be when it arrives at the dealer.

The other big take away, for me, was that evidently I’m a shamefully bad example of a tech hobbyist because I haven’t done a running “build log” on some personal blog site or on Instructables, detailing the ups and downs of shoehorning a homemade IVI system into a recent Mustang.  So I’m vowing to do better on that front.  But I can tell you this much: a lot of what goes into posts like that won’t make a lot of sense unless I dole out some background info, like I did at GUADEC.  I apologize if you happen to catch this blog via Graphics Planet and you don’t care about the topic at all — but there is some interest UI/UX work a little later on in the process, I promise.

ALS and the landscape

Anyway, here are the broad strokes if you’re just hearing about automotive Linux for the first time.  The Linux Foundation has done this “ALS” conference for three(ish?) years now.  ALS attendees tend to be drawn from three major projects: GENIVI, which is a multi-company consortium founded by folks in the automotive industry, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), which is a working group coordinated by the Linux Foundation, and Tizen IVI, which is a distribution project run mainly by Intel and Samsung people.  And there are, of course, plenty of other participants.

These projects overlap a lot in their areas of concern, naturally, but there are also big differences in what they want to accomplish, which makes a difference if you’re picking and choosing as an outsider.

GENIVI is focused on defining a platform-level Linux system that the participating companies can use as a specification to build their automotive products against. GENIVI defines components needed for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI; that’s the head-unit computer that the driver and passenger fight over while they’re barreling down the road) systems, so that car makers and suppliers don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time or argue endlessly about design specs. I.e., everybody uses GENIVI, so It Works.  Naturally, the alliance has to write components that don’t already exist, so they do that: they have open source code at

But GENIVI is not defining the entire system; they are stopping right below the application API layer.  Apparently that’s something that different members want to head in their own direction on, and potentially compete on. So GENIVI’s Linux builds tend to be more like “starting points for a company making a product in house.”  They even use Yocto.

Tizen IVI, on the other hand, is designed to be a fully functional Linux distribution. It’s supposed to be something an OEM can grab and mold a product out of.

In that sense, it competes with GENIVI, I guess, but Tizen also has this interesting “cross-device-profile” concern.  The larger Tizen project wants to make a Linux stack for consumer electronics products of all types (phone, smartwatch, TV, smartfridge, smartcoffepodmachine, etc) that can offer the same app-level API to third-party app developers. That is, you write yer Angry Flapbird game once, and it runs on all the devices.  So Tizen IVI is very much concerned with that app layer that GENIVI isn’t.  Tizen IVI may differ a lot under the hood from Tizen Mobile, but it’s the same on top. The app-level API is based on HTML5 and a lot of W3C standards.

Last but certainly not least is AGL. AGL is technically a “workgroup,” which means that it’s a bunch of companies that want to get together for some common purpose; they can work on whatever they decide to.  At the moment, their most visible effort is the AGL Reference Linux distro, which is a fully installable Linux distribution that you can put in a car. It’s probably not quite the same as you will see in production vehicles, but it’s the closest thing to fully realized IVI of the existing projects.  It’s based on Tizen IVI with a lot of additions.  The additions include a suite of actual IVI apps (music player, navigation, vehicle status, phone hands-free tethering, etc).

Developing more such applications is another one of AGL’s focus areas; right now they’re putting feelers out for people to write apps; it’s actually a good opportunity if you want to do development.  The other thing to remember, though, is that AGL may have broader interests than just IVI: they could decide to delve right into engine-control stuff as well, which is an entirely different space. Fuel injection, timing, traction control, etc.—all that stuff is computerized, and I hear interest from the hallway track in using Linux to virtualize, containerize, and improve these systems. It’ll be interesting to see.

The garage

All that background aside, I did actually talk about my personal “shadetree mechanic” project at both ALS and GUADEC.  What I have is something on a very PC-like microITX motherboard, stuffed into the trunk space of a 2005 Mustang GT.  How well does it work?  Well, that depends on what your criteria are.  I’ll give this one teaser thought, as I contemplate writing up a Proper Build Log like the wise & benevolent Makers Of Olde tell us we have to do:

If you make careful hardware choices, you can put together a functional Linux-based IVI system in your own car.  If, that is, you have a reasonably modern car, sufficient time (or, alternatively, money) to put into the build from both the hardware and software sides, and if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. Literally dirty. And figuratively.

BUT. The first thing you’ll learn is that there is no such thing as a generic car or a generic car computer.  The PC may be pretty standardized, but it also makes a lot of assumptions—like having a flat surface, with decent airflow, and a normal AC-DC power supply, and room to put stuff where you want it.  None of those things hold true in a car, and every single choice you make, starting from where you think you’ll put the actual computer part physically in your vehicle, radically alters all of your decisions further down the line.

So it’s one individual builder’s story, and everyone else’s will differ greatly.  But I also think the experience is useful for other FOSS developers to hear about, since whether you know it or not, automotive computer products are making their way to the mass market. And we don’t want Linux to be late to the party, having not thought about what it will look like when there’s a full-on computer in the car parked outside the house.  How do we expect that computer to relate to our other computers? To connect to the network at our house? To interact with the portable devices we own and might bring with us?  To the documents we ferry around?

It’d be good to have answers to those questions when the tidal wave of car PCs hits. Estimates are it’s less than a year and a half from now before the first official GENIVI systems hit showrooms.  Proprietary software will take several iterations to get all this stuff right, and it will compete within itself, pretty fiercely.  But I hope we won’t let them have the open road all to themselves.

Ana Carvalho & Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente)Looking at the last months

While we’re figuring out our routines to come back to writing after an August of holidays, here’s a quick write up our ventures since February this year.

MiniDebConf Barcelona

In March, Ana participated in the MiniDeb Conf Barcelona. She presented the Libre Graphics magazine in a talk about libre methodologies in design and in the production of physical objects. The slides of the presentation are here and there is also a video of the full presentation.

Kit Gráfica Livre

In April, we assembled and made public the first instance of the Kit Gráfica Livre (Libre Graphics Kit). It’s a portable safebox with a USB cable, containing a read-only SD card reader.
Placed in the bar of the Porto Fine Arts Faculty, it makes available a set of libre software for graphics and audio production. Besides software, people can find a collection of libre assets, such as typefaces, publications, typography books and a selection of F/LOSS manuals. All for free copying — while at the bar, anyone can pick up the box and use the USB cable to copy everything to their computer.

Our plan is to bring free culture and free software closer to students with this kit. There is an ample amount of open and free materials, tools and assets, but they are very often disregarded in the teaching of arts and design. We would like to see more kits in other arts&design schools, so get in touch if you would like to run one in your school. There’s also a plan for regular updates with new assets and tools.

We’ll keep posting about this mutating kit. In the meantime, there is a mini site for this project here.

Libre Graphics Meeting 2014

LGM 2014: Creative Suites

In May we were at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2014 in Leipzig. Our talk, titled “Dear designer, have these cool tools”, was a about our desire to make distro that could introduce designers to libre tools and mindset. And help designers already using libre tools to persevere in this still arid land. We showed the Kit Gráfica Livre as one of the steps building up to this ambitious plan.

The slides were done using, a simple (and imensly fun) collaborative sketch tool that Raphäel Bastide announced at this LGM. You can find the set here, and watch the video courtesy of the Gimp team.

Open Legislative Data Conference II

The Open Legislative Data Conference in Paris II took place in the end of May. Having been involved in the early stages of the Fabrique de la Loi, a visualization tool for the French law, we attend to present our latest open data project, Data Central. You can read more about in this OKFN Labs post. Videos and slides from the presentations are available here.

Interview on the practice of “open design”

In June, we gave an interview in the portuguese podcast DAR em Conversa Aberta.
Design Advanced Resources (DAR) is an association that is dedicated to the promotion of Open Design, based in Caldas da Rainha. From what we got it was the first time they talked to practioners about the field of graphic design. We talked about our work with the Libre Graphics magazine, the Kit Gráfica Livre, the From Stone to Spaceship workshop and why free software is about much more than saving money.

Pravin SatputeLohit2: Improvement plans for Lohit-Tamil

   In last phase we did excellent improvements in Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurumukhi and Malayalam with Lohit2 projects. Bengali is already done i need to test it for completeness then i can do the release of same soon.

  Now remaining are Kannada, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. We are moving ahead and started working on Tamil development now.

  Improvements we are planning to do are as follows:
  • Renaming glyphs as per AGL.
  • Rewriting Open type rules following 'taml' and "tml2" [1]
  • Create testing file which covers most of the combinations.
  • Testing with Harfbuzz and Uniscribe.
  • Auto testing module.
  • Feature file compiled with AFDKO. (Adobe fonts development kit for Open Type) [2]
  • Follow Tamil script standards. Unicode.
   We have already started development on lohit2 git [3]

   I need help specifically for following items.
  • Creating test file with adding important combinations.
  • Identifying standards around Tamil script, i did not found other than Unicode yet.
   If one dont know about lohit2 project, do read blog [4]


Jakub SteinerOpen Flight Controllers

In my last multirotor themed entry I gave an insight into the magical world of flying cameras. I also gave a bit of a promise to write about the open source flight controllers that are out there. Here’s a few that I had the luck laying my hands on. We’ll start with some acro FCs, with a very differt purpose to the proprietary NAZA I started on. These are meant for fast and acrobatic flying, not for flying your expensive cameras on a stabilized gimbal. Keep in mind, I’m still fairly inexperienced so I don’t want to go into specifics and provide my settings just yet.

<iframe frameborder="0" height="500" src="" width="100%"> Blackout: Potsdam from jimmac on Vimeo. </iframe>


The best thing to be said about CC3D is that while being aimed at acro pilots, it’s relatively newbie friendly. The software is fairly straight forward. Getting the QT app built, set up the radio, tune motors and tweak gains is not going to make your eyes roll in the same way APM’s ground station would (more on that in a future post, maybe). The defaults are reasonable and help you achieve a maiden flight rather than a maiden crash. Updating to the latest firmware over the air is seamless.

Large number of receivers and connection methods is supported. Not only the classic PWM, or the more reasonable “one cable” CPPM method, but even Futaba proprietary SBUS can be used with CC3D. I’ve flown it with Futaba 8J, 14SG and even the Phantom radio (I actually quite like the compact receiver and the sticks on the TX feel good. Maybe it’s just that it’s something I’ve started on). As you’re gonna be flying proximity mostly, the range is not an issue, unless you’re dealing with external interference where a more robust frequency hopping radio would be safer. Without a GPS “break” or even a barometer, losing signal for even a second is fatal. It’s extremely nasty to get a perfect 5.8 video of your unresponsive quad plumetting to the ground :)

Overall a great board and software, and with so much competition, the board price has come down considerably recently. You can get non-genuine boards for around EUR20-25 on ebay. You can learn more about CC3D on openpilot website


Sounding very similar to the popular DJI flight controller, this open board is built around the 32-bit STM32 processor. Theoretically it could be used to fly a bit larger kites with features like GPS hold. You’re not limited to the popular quad or hexa setups with it either, you can go really custom with defining your own motor mix. But you’d be stepping in the realm of only a few and I don’t think I’d trust my camera equipment to a platform that hasn’t been so extensively tested.

Initially I didn’t manage to get the cheap acro variant ideal for the minis, so I got the ‘bells & whistles’ edition, only missing the GPS module. The mag compass and air pressure barometer is already on the board, even though I found no use for altitude hold (BARO). You’ll still going to worry about momentum and wind so reaching for those goggles mid flight is still not going to be any less difficult than just having it stabilized.

If you don’t count some youtube videos, there’s not a lot of handholding for the naze32. People assume you have prior experience with similar FCs. There are multiple choices of configuration tools, but I went for the most straight forward one — a Google Chrome/Chromium Baseflight app. No compiling necessary. It’s quite bare bones, which I liked a lot. Reasonably styled few aligned boxes and CLI is way easier to navigate than the non-searchable table with bubblegum styling than what APM provides for example.

One advanced technique that caught my eye, as the typical process is super flimsy and tedious, is ESC calibration. To set the full range of speeds based on your radio, you usually need to make sure to provide power to the RX, and setting the top and bottom throttle leves to each esc. With this FC, you can actually set the throttle levels from the CLI, calibrating all ESCs at the same time. Very clever and super useful.

Another great feature is that you can have up to three setting profiles, depending on the load, wind conditions and the style you’re going for. Typically when flying proximity, between trees and under park benches, you want very responsive controls at the expense of fluid movement. On the other hand if you plan on going up and fast and pretend to be a plane (or a bird), you really need to have that fluid non-jittery movement. It’s not a setting you change mid-flight, using up a channel, but rather something you choose before arming.

To do it, you hold throttle down and yaw to the left and with the elevator/aileron stick you choose the mode. Left is for preset1, up is for preset 2 and right is for preset 3. Going down with the pitch will recalibrate the IMU. It’s good to solder on a buzzer that will help you find a lost craft when you trigger it with a spare channel (it can beep on low voltage too). The same buzzer will beep for selecting profiles as well.

As for actual flying characteristics, the raw rate mode, which is a little tricky to master (and I still have trouble flying 3rd person with it), is very solid. It feels like a lot larger craft, very stable. There’s also quite a feat in the form of HORI mode, where you get a stabilized flight (kite levels itself when you don’t provide controls), but no limit on the angle, so you’re still free to do flips. I can’t say I’ve masted PID tuning to really get the kind of control over the aircraft I would want. Regardless of tweaking the control characteristics, you won’t get a nice fluid video flying HORI or ANGLE mode, as the self leveling will always do a little jitter to compensate for wind or inaccurate gyro readings which seems to not be there when flying rate. Stabilizing the footage in post gets rid of it mostly, but not perfectly:

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="500" src="" width="100%"> Minihquad in Deutschland</iframe>

You can get the plain acro version for about EUR30 which is an incredible value for a solid FC like this. I have a lot of practice ahead to truly get to that fluid fast plane-like flight that drew me into these miniquads. Check some of these masters below:

APM and Sparky next time. Or perhaps you’d be more interested in the video link instead first? Let me know in the comments.

Update: Turns out NAZE32 supports many serial protocols apart form CPPM, such as Futaba SBUS and Graupner SUMD.

CraftingType workshopsClassic video of CT instructor Thomas Phinney discussing the...

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="299" src="" width="400"></iframe>

Classic video of CT instructor Thomas Phinney discussing the design of pan-european OpenType Fonts

CraftingType workshops[link[ Bruno Maag Interviewed

[link[ Bruno Maag Interviewed:

CraftingType workshopsVideo! Cooper-Hewitt: Wicked Problems in Type Design

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="224" src="" width="400"></iframe>

Video! Cooper-Hewitt: Wicked Problems in Type Design

Pravin Satpute#flocktofedora 7th and 8th August AT Prague, Czech Republic and me !!

   If you missed my earlier blog, read it here

    First talk of the 7th morning for me was "From Schedule to (awesome)". The important thing we should note is EOL bug closing. Almost 4 to 5 thousands bugs get auto closed during EOL. Yes, Reporter'ss do get notifications regarding closing of bugs but i think developers should take active involvement and make sure any relevant bug should not get closed without fix.

    Next talk from "Tuan Anh Truong" on "Improving Ambassadors Mentor Program", he mentioned number of issues from Ambassadors program including he does not get replys from some of his ideas and again APAC budget was not used fully and this time it get reduced. He specifically said almost 30 Ambassadors from India but no one is active. I had discussion with him later on and promised that at least i will do some contribution.

    Keynote was nice, it is recorded and available on [1]

    During break i had nice conversation with Mattias and Christian about improving language support in Fedora and happy with there positive response, if time permits will definitely start drafting plan for this.

    After that we had some offline meeting on planning for Fedora 22.

    Attended last session of the day that is " Planning for Fedora 22". This session where we had open house type discussion and taken mostly inputs from most of the attendees. We noted down positive, negative things in Fedora. what we can do for Fedora 22. It was long session but very fruitful session.

    Later we had boat party. It was nice party, i specifically loved the food :)

    3rd day we had talk from Jens on "Fedora i18n: Past, Present and Future". I really liked the way he covered i18n changes over the last almost 10 years. One of the most informative talk on i18n after long time. Video for it available on [2]

    After this session we had big discussion with Carlos of glibc. We specifically talked glibc Unicode support, Sorting issues and synchronising data with CLDR. We did some rough planning for future development. Most probably it will be proposed as a feature for next releases of glibc. Me, Mike, Anish and Jens were involved in this discussion.

    Lunch was very good on 3rd day, it was bit spicy. I liked it :) Not even used spices, i specifically brought from India.

    Fedmsg workshop was very informative for people interesting in building app on Fedora messaging stuff. Ralph Bead given nice tips for doing it. If you still not there join #fedora-fedmsg on Freenode and see how it tracks each change in Fedora.

    Last workshop i attended was from Parag and Haikel. The workshop is specifically memorable since 2 FPC, 9 package sponsors were present there. !!

    Third day we got some time in the evening and done some shopping. Its awesome to walk on Prague's road. Did not attended Dance party planned on 3rd day.

    As i written in earlier blog as well, so many things happen so do check #flocktofedora for more information.

    Ohh i missed to write, we took GROUP PHOTO on 3rd day. Jared Smith Rocks !!!  Original photo available AT [3]

    My earlier blog on First day is available AT [4]

    Will add photos in my FB and tagged it with Fedora


Pravin SatputeMy first day of FLOCK 2014 at Prague, Czech Republic

    Actually i dont like international travel due to involvement of troublesome VISA process, long travel time and all immigration kind of stuff. This time i decided to attend Fedora conference since it almost 7+ years with Fedora and only one conference that was FudCon in Pune 2011. On the other hand number of things are changing in Fedora specifically with Fedora.Next and wanted to meet most of Fedora star contributor face to face. :)

    Arrived on 5th morning to Prague so it gave me good time to get rest and get ready for the first day of flock.

    This flock is organized very nicely with the understanding of number of contributors those are not able to make to conference and we have provided live stream facility and also recording off all the talks. Live stream is available on youtube at [1]

    Keynote was excellent, it was very motivating for contributors with the information about how EU government understand the importance of open source and using it in most of the government places and also contributing to open source. Its recording available at [2]

    After keynote immediately my presentation was scheduled [3], got a nice audience. Recording for my presentation is available at [4].

    Basically i talked on four things, why fons are important, not much happening in Fedora for fonts. I proposed one fonts portal named open source fonts world for gathering all opensource fonts available in different distros. Presenting fonts in better way, more categorized way and prepare some analysis of what is present and what is not. I have done some work earlier and alpha is available at [5]. Feel free to ping me if you are interested in contributing to it. Or if any more ideas..

    I must say there are lots of interesting talk in flock and some are happening parallel, so missed some good talks.

    I attended "Where's Wayland" from Matthias Clasen and yes wayland in Gnome 3.12 :)

    Lunch was nice, though place is 5min walk from conference venue but that is good, Prague is best city for walking. !! Lunch time was bit more than what i expected that is 2 hrs but i think it is good from contributors networking consideration.

    After lunch i attended "Fedora workstation" talk from Christian F.K Schaller and really impressed with the plans for Fedora workstation. One of the point which he mentioned which i hope i understood correctly is taking good input from Fedora marketing team and proceeding as per strategy. With my marketing specialization i am sure this is right strategy as far as we do not understand our target market properly adding new feature will not help much to us. Though its always difficult to get open source community work as per marketing strategy ;)

    Workstation talk recorded available at [6], must watch !!

    Then next was Anish and Mike talked on Predictive text input method (ibus-typing-booster), one nice point came up during question and answer is how can we have prediction during anaconda processing. Yeah that is important for speedy installation. Most of the information for ibus-typing-booster is available AT [7]

    for 4pm to 4.45pm session i took break since i was very tired and had some offline conversations with attendees.

    I attended "Fedora Ambassadors: State of the Union" [8] session from Jiří Eischmann. Understood two topic regarding number of Ambassadors are inactive from long time. APAC did not able to use there whole budget so budget got less in current FY. I do not remember any Fedora 20 release party in India this time. So yeah, people interested in Fedora and want to celebrate Fedora success, want to spread word do come up, we need you. I will definitely do some contribution to Ambassador program this year. We have only one mentor from India that is Kushal. I really like Fedora student University representative program idea, hoping that plan will get into production soon.

    Last talk from Christoph Wickert on "Advocating" was one of the excellent talk and it was housefull. If anyone still not understood Fedora.Next and want some more food for Advocating must watch this talk at [9]

    So had nice and fruitful first day @ flock 2014.

    We had pub party at the end of day and contributors enjoyed lot in it. Competition of tables for consuming highest beer was interesting and Praha-1 rockes with over 56ltr of beer. :-o

    I am sure there are many more things happened than my blog, so do go through other blogs and tweets tagged with #flocktofedora for getting glimpse of it. 

       Cheers !!   

    Note: I started writing this blog on first day but due to packed day, not able to complete it and publishing it on Day 3 :)


Jakub SteinerGUADEC

This blog post is mostly about showing some photos I took, but I may as well give a brief summary from my point of view.

Had a good time in Strasbourg this week. Hacked a bit on Adwaita with Lapo, who has fearlessly been sanding the rough parts after the major refactoring. Jim Hall uncovered the details of his recent usability testing of GNOME, so while we video chatted before, it was nice to meet him in person. Watched Christian uncover his bold plans to focus on Builder full time which is both awesome and sad. Watched Jasper come out with the truth about his love for Windows and Federico’s secret to getting around fast. Uncovered how Benjamin is not getting more aerodynamic (ie fat) like me. Enjoyed a lot of great food (surprisingly had crêpes only once).

In a classic move I ran out of time in my lightning talk on multirotors, so I’ll have to cover the topic of free software flight controllers in a future blog post. I managed to miss a good number of talks I intended to see, which is quite a feat, considering the average price of beer in the old town. Had a good time hanging out with folks which is so rare to me.

During the BOFs on Wednesday I sat down with the Boxes folks, discussing some new designs. Sad that it was only few brief moments I managed to talk to Bastian about our Blender workflows. Unfortunately the Brno folks from whom I stole a spot in the car had to get back on Thursday so I missed the Thursday and Friday BOFs as well.

Despite the weather I enjoyed the second last GUADEC. Thanks for making it awesome again. See you in the next last one in Gothenburg.

Pravin SatputeAll is set for attending Flock 2014 conference !!

    Almost 2 months, when i started planning to attend flock-2014 [1] conference. Had number of hurdle including talk selection, sponsorship for Travel, then VISA issues. Now just 3 days to go for flock and happy that everything is perfectly set for attending conference. I will start my journey tomorrow from India.

    Thanks to Fedora for providing sponsorship for Travel and Accommodation. Specially thanks to Ruth for helping in booking flight tickets. I am going to talk on "Better presentation of Fonts in Fedora". [2] Excited to talk on this interesting topic and have get together with numerous Fedora contributors.

    Schedule of Flock is excellent with added some Fun items.

    Looking forward to meet all attendees in Prague :)


CraftingType workshopsPython for Typographic Designers: Berlin

CraftingType workshopstypedesignersatwork: Carol Twombly checking stuff


Carol Twombly checking stuff

CraftingType workshopsWhole-Brain Typography Class, Seattle USA

Whole-Brain Typography Class, Seattle USA:

CT alumni and typography expert Jeff Barlow is holding a 1-day typography workshop in Seattle in a couple of week, on Thursday 10th July:

Check it out!

CraftingType workshopsNew tumblr, typedesignersatwork, is very good. Franck Jalleau...

New tumblr, typedesignersatwork, is very good.

Franck Jalleau checking stuff

Pooja SaxenaGoa street lettering

Street lettering images from a walk near Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church and Archbishop’s House in Panjim, Goa. See all at Flickr.

Telephone KendraWaxMerchants_small

Ana Carvalho & Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente)Viagens com Alma


We’ve been frequent collaborators of Visões Úteis, a theatre company based in Porto. Viagens Com Alma was a long-duration project spanning several months and many artists reflecting on religious imagery and subjective geography. We designed some of the printed materials for Visões Úteis’ various steps through this project.

Nicolas Spalinger (advogato diary)15 Jun 2014

Brötli compression and aggressive default subsetting

Working drafts of the Brötli compression spec and the WOFF2 format have been published. For those among you who don't know any Swiss-German, -li is the diminutive form and Brot is bread, so brötli = small bread. Interestingly, it's based on previous optimization work released as zöpfli: Zopf being another kind of bread. Notice a pattern? I wonder if the cantine's menu or local pastry shop had an influence (but it looks like the Umlaut has been lost in translation, oh well).

These small breads come in wide ranges, textures and flavours but it strikes me that the whole point is that, while good bread on its own can sometimes be tasty, it's really the variety of toppings and fillings in these "mini-sandwiches" that create something everyone can choose from and enjoy.

So, while I sincerely applaud all the amazing work done on compression and improving the common webfonts format, I think it's also worth pointing out that many webfont hosting services still strongly push towards a bland taste by default, i.e. without the varied ingredients as filling, i.e. serving a limited subset of the bigger fonts designed for more than one language. They tend to make it harder to use the original wider non-roman Unicode coverage and smart features but instead serve only the basic Latin, especially if you are interested in a lesser-known language and a more complex script. Ugh. Could taste a lot nicer.

For example in Google Fonts, various users keep complaining about how many fonts have been "optimized" to the point where they are broken and useless in various languages. You have to dig deep in the documentation to learn that to restore original functionality, you need to explicitly turn off the subsetting via &subset=all. Some people are less concerned with shaving off a few milliseconds and more with "will this actually work in my target language?".

Hopefully, smaller breads will not mean even less tasty filling IOW the compression gains will also allow fonts and web content in other languages beyond the Latin boundary to become more prominent and accessible. Making the subsetting less aggressive and limiting will result in a much tastier multilingual web.

Jakub SteinerAdwaita 3.14

Now that the controversial 3.12 tab design has been validated by Apple, we’re ready to tackle new challenges with the widgetry™.

Adwaita has grown into a fairly complex theme. We make sure unfocused windows are less eye-grabbing (flat). We provide a less light-polluting variant for visually-heavy content apps (Adwaita:dark). And last but not least we provide a specific wigdet style for overlay controls (OSD). All this complexity has made Adwaita quite a challenge to maintain and evolve. Since we were to relocate Adwaita directly into gtk+, we had to bite the bullet and perform quite a surgery on it.

There’s a number of improvements we aimed to achieve. Limiting the number of distinct colors and making most colors derived makes it easier to adjust the overall feel of the theme and I’m sure 3rd party themers will enjoy this too. Not relying on image assets for majority of the drawing makes the workflow much more flexible as well. Many of the small graphical elements now make use of the icon theme assets so these remain recolorable based on the context, similar to how text is treated.

Benjamin has been working hard to move the theme closer to the familiar CSS box model, further minimizing the reliance on odd property hacks and engines (Adwaita no longer makes use of any engine drawing).

We still rely on some image assets, but even that is much more manageable with SASS.

Anything gtk related never happens without the giant help from Matthias, Cosimo and Benjamin, but I have to give extra credits to Lapo Calamandrei, without whom these dark caverns would be impossible for me to enter. Another major piece that I’m grateful for living right inside the toolkit, ready to be brought up any time, is the awesome inspector. Really happy to see it mature and evolve.

Jakub SteinerJestedska Odysea Longboard

Some shots with the gopro from last weekend. Music by LuQuS.

<iframe class="image full" frameborder="0" height="500" src="" width="500"> Jestedska Odysea Longboard from jimmac on Vimeo. </iframe>

Pravin SatputeInteresting dilemma of Devanagari script fonts

I am sure after reading this post all font developers of well know Devanagari script fonts will start looking at there fonts again and start thinking there font is for which language?

Either they have developed font for Devanagari script or is it font for some specific language or it is simply a mess ?

As most of you know Devanagari script is widely used for number of languages. Major languages in this list are Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, Konkani, Sanskrit, Maithili, Kashmiri and Sindhi and some more languages.

Each language has some specific requirements from Devanagari script as follows.

    Characters requirement from Devanagari script block:
        Kashmiri, Marathi, Sindhi and Sanskrit has specific characters defined in Unicode Devanagari code page[1]. This is bit easy to identify, since Unicode has mentioned  it clearly for codepoints.

    Ligatures/Conjuncts requirement from Devanagari script:
        This one is bit tricky and one must go through each language standard documents from Governments or standardization organizations. I would like to mention some important differences here.

        1. Locale specific shapes for Unicode characters

Different shapes of same characters required in particular language.  Few examples of these are in Marathi "ल" (U+0932) and "श" (U+0936) are different than Unicode code block characters, same way Nepali language also has few different shapes for numerals. (Refer Lohit fonts for more information [2])

       2. Different behaviour of conjuncts across language. 

      This one is really painful, since there are not 3-4 but lots of conjuncts characters are different in widely used languages like Hindi and Marathi. Hindi language mostly prefers horizontal ligature (i.e. simply half form of characters) while language like Marathi, Sanskrit requires ligature form of conjunct which is used to be stacked.

After considering above points:
when you see, download or use any Devanagari font, you will definitely start thinking this font is for which language exactly?
Font for Hindi language with horizontal ligatures?
Font for Marathi language with Stacked ligature?
Pan Devanagari fonts supporting all language?
Even though its pan devanagari fonts, what it renders in en_US/en_IN locale?

       Lohit2 is one of the best example of how to handle this effectively. Still it needs some fixes for default behaviour of Lohit Devanagari font. Since Devanagari is widely used for Hindi language, i am in fever of making default behaviour of Lohit Devanagari to match with Hindi language and for other languages one should either download Lohit fonts for specific language (lohit-marathi, lohit-nepali)  or select appropriate locale while using Lohit Devanagari.

      Still question arises if default behaviour matches Hindi then, why it is called Devanagari, but i think answer is since it supporting other languages as well it is called Lohit Devanagari.


Jakub SteinerOPW

Wow, Philip. OPW is a detriment to GNOME development in the same way an espresso or electronic music is. You may not appreciate its catalyst effect to great contributions, but blaming it for being one of the reasons why our developer story is sub optimal is very disrespecting to the people responsible for the program.

I am amused when poor developer workflow immediately becomes “gnome terminal lacks transparency” (and it being the design team’s decision), but reading this sort of lunacy on Planet GNOME is sad.

Nicolas Spalinger (advogato diary)25 May 2014

Recent significant open font releases: Fira Sans, Fira Mono and Source Serif Pro

Don't miss the newest version of Fira [Sans|Mono] (3.1 or 3.106 currently) commissioned by Mozilla from the Spiekermann and Carrois foundries. It should soon appear on and (FirefoxOS-specific).

And check out Adobe's Source Serif Pro now also available on

There are lots of interesting questions ahead in terms of how best practises will be defined and applied to open format workflows with multiple tools, DVCS tree structures and ongoing maintainership and release engineering of open fonts such as these...

Karl Berry (advogato diary)25 May 2014

A not-so-technical friend asked me, "What is a browser?"
My reply was, how about: software providing an interface for navigating information.

Here is my reasoning:

1) "interface" - there are the usual graphical browsers like firefox.
There are also textual-only browsers (such as lynx).
Also, non-interactive programs that simply download a file from the web
can be construed as browsers of a sort. "Interface" can encompass all
of that.

2) "navigating" - because an important component of the whole thing is
going from one piece of information to related, or maybe not related,
information. That is, "hyperlinks", although nowadays people rarely
bother with the "hyper". (I'm ignoring the fact that one can also edit
web pages in browsers, debug javascript programs, and do all kinds of
other unrelated things.)

3) "information" - instead of "web page", because browsers can work with
all kinds of things besides web pages, although of course they are the
most prevalent.

My definition says nothing about the www or even the Internet. This is
because browsers are quite useful for looking at stuff on one's own
computer. In fact, as you may remember or have come across, there was a
huge brouhaha and accompanying lawsuit about this in the late 90s, wrt
people replacing Internet Explorer with Netscape. MS's response was to
make Explorer be "part of" the operating system, specifically not
restricted to poking around the web. (I'll spare you the details, but
if you want them, here is the basic story:

I wrote the above before checking to see what kind of answers came up on
the net. Let's see ...

At least my friend didn't think a browser *is* Google.
(The first 30 seconds are enough to get the flavor.)

Here's wikipedia's take on it (first paragraph is enough):
They're specifically addressing "web browser", not "browser". Few
people would make that kind of pedantic distinction, as I do above.

So it goes ...

Vernon AdamsUntitled Font

CraftingType workshopsResult from recent Crafting Type Toronto

Result from recent Crafting Type Toronto:

Tom Creighton attended the recent Crafting Type Toronto and posted his result up on Dribbble:

started a legit typeface this past weekend after getting knowledge-bombed at a Crafting Type workshop. Pretty happy with how it’s coming together.

Great work Tom!

Ana Carvalho & Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente)Libre Graphics magazine

We had yearned for a publication that could combine the critical perspective of an art and design magazine with a clear free-culture angle. Together with ginger coons, we set out to make just that.

Active since 2010, the Libre Graphics magazine project has already released 6 issues, covering subjects like collaboration, internationalization and gender through a set of columns, showcases and reports.

Nicolas Spalinger (advogato diary)10 May 2014

open fonts vs. DRM-ized online services and desktop distribution channels

The various online webfonts services which now also include open fonts (like fonts under OFL) to bring added value to their existing libraries have a strong tendency to hide the authorship and licensing information as well as put up some DRM walls to make it harder to actually exercize your freedoms or using, distributing, modifying and redistributing these fonts.

The reality is that they have simply dropped open fonts into their proprietary DRM-ized workflows and not done enough due diligence or given enough respect to these authors' copyright, despite all the fancy PR and promises.

If font authors have released their work under a FSF/OSI/community-recognized copyright license then no overarching EULA or subscription agreement can prevent users (and fellow designers) from extracting these open fonts and using them accordingly. And when these online webfont hosting services start providing rich clients to connect into their libraries directly from desktops apps, the DRM scenarios are even worse: they tend not to install them in your font folder directly but into an intermediary hidden folder that you are not supposed to know about or have much control over so they can turn access to the fonts on and off as they wish.

You can understand their desire to lock up the proprietary fonts but they can't do that to the open fonts available through the same channels: in the owning versus renting dichotomy, open fonts are firmly in the camp of owning and even better being able to make it your own and redistribute the modified version. The rights granted to you by any author releasing their creation under an open license doesn't disappear when the software channel is turned off or your subscription is invalid. The whole point of releasing a font under an open license is that it's not under exclusive control any longer and the relationship between the font author(s) and the font user(s) is more direct.

The OFL FAQ is quite clear on this:

1.17 Can Font Software released under the OFL be subject to URL-based access restrictions methods or DRM (Digital Rights Management) mechanisms?

Yes, but these issues are out-of-scope for the OFL. The license itself neither encourages their use nor prohibits them since such mechanisms are not implemented in the components of the Font Software but through external software. Such restrictions are put in place for many different purposes corresponding to various usage scenarios. One common example is to limit potentially dangerous cross-site scripting attacks. However, in the spirit of libre/open fonts and unrestricted writing systems, we strongly encourage open sharing and reuse of OFL fonts, and the establishment of an environment where such restrictions are unnecessary. Note that whether you wish to use such mechanisms or you prefer not to, you must still abide by the rules set forth by the OFL when using fonts released by their authors under this license. Derivative fonts must be licensed under the OFL, even if they are part of a service for which you charge fees and/or for which access to source code is restricted. You may not sell the fonts on their own - they must be part of a larger software package, bundle or subscription plan. For example, even if the OFL font is distributed in a software package or via an online service using a DRM mechanism, the user would still have the right to extract that font, use, study, modify and redistribute it under the OFL.

1.23 Can OFL fonts be included in services that deliver fonts to the desktop from remote repositories? Even if they contain both OFL and non-OFL fonts?

Yes. Some foundries have set up services to deliver fonts to subscribers directly to desktops from their online repositories; similarly, plugins are available to preview and use fonts directly in your design tool or publishing suite. These services may mix open and restricted fonts in the same channel, however they should make a clear distinction between them to users. These services should also not hinder users (such as through DRM or obfuscation mechanisms) from extracting and using the OFL fonts in other environments, or continuing to use OFL fonts after subscription terms have ended, as those uses are specifically allowed by the OFL.

1.24 Can services that provide or distribute OFL fonts restrict my use of them?

No. The terms of use of such services cannot replace or restrict the terms of the OFL, as that would be the same as distributing the fonts under a different license, which is not allowed. You are still entitled to use, modify and redistribute them as the original authors have intended outside of the sole control of that particular distribution channel. Note, however, that the fonts provided by these services may differ from the Original Versions.

Practically, users of Skyfonts with the Google fonts service can simply go to ~/Library/Application Support/skyfonts-google/ on OSX (or C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\skyfont-google\ on Windows) and retrieve the open fonts they have synchronised.

Similarly users of Creative Cloud with Typekit desktop can go to ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CoreSync/plugins/livetype/.r/ on OSX (or C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\CoreSync\plugins\livetype\r on Windows) and retrieve the open fonts they have synchronised. Note the .r hidden folder and the . in front of the various fonts to hide them. You have to reveal hidden files to be able to see them.

Notice the difference between the two: Skyfonts isn't hiding their dedicated folder any longer and newer versions of the desktop client even provide a menu entry "Reveal in Finder", Typekit Desktop still hides fonts and gives them an arbitrary numerical filename.

Of course, users should always double-check the metadata inside a font to make sure they are not retrieving a restricted proprietary font by mistake but an open font. Various tools are available to expose the font properties. Or just open them in FontForge and go to Element -> Font Info.

Surely it would be simple for them not to apply these DRM measures to any open fonts in their catalogues and keep them in a dedicated separate folder which has no need to be hidden and could just be in the normal user font folder? Or is it because, despite all the noise about open fonts being so horribly dreadful, lots of people are finding them good and useful and they actually continue to draw in subscribers for the proprietary fonts?

Sorry but you can't have the flexibility of taking advantage of open fonts without properly propagating the rights attached to them by their original authors. OK, it's a pretty weak DRM that can be worked around but it's still something that goes against the wishes of original authors and the general spirit of open fonts. If you want complete control and exclusivity then pay the authors the corresponding price and don't just leech off their open fonts without keeping them open. So, please drop that obfuscation trick and give these fonts the place they deserve in your font catalogues. Everybody will benefit.

Jakub SteinerBerlin DX Hackfest


As regular planet GNOME readers have noticed, Berlin had the priviledge of hosting a couple of great GNOME developers and deisgners (and me ;). Berlin is where my first involvment with Free software people took place (at Gimpcon) and despite rather chilly weather it’s a great city to hang around, especially the east central part around Friedrichshain. Big thanks to Allan for organizing the event and extra thanks to Chris Kühl for hosting us at Endocode. Lovely office and great location. Free cappucino with your foursquare first checkin at the Espresso Ambulanz around the corner btw, great coffee.

After the hackfest that’s been centered around API docs and the toolkit we spent some extra days with Jon and Allan on some designs such as the selection mode, sharing, touch aspects of some widgets and started going through bugs and maintenance obstacles that stand in the way of making Adwaita the default gtk+ style. Sadly some refactoring is going to need to happen in the next couple of days/weeks, but it looks like Lapo is onboard for the challenge, so it’s going to be great having a wingman for this unrewarding chore.

It was a great kickstart, pretty pumped about 3.14 :)

CraftingType workshopsHow to check the quality of a Cyrillic typeface

How to check the quality of a Cyrillic typeface:

Alexandra Korolkova offers an English translation of an article about how to spot quality Cyrillic typefaces.

"The first thing I should say is that it is not a manual for designing Cyrillic from scratch. It is a sort of generalizing of the issues which we can face in Cyrillic; so you can compare some Cyrillic to these pictures and make a decision if…"

Happy shopping!

CraftingType workshopsAt Crafting Type workshop at the Hyper Island design college in...

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="224" src="" width="400"></iframe>

At Crafting Type workshop at the Hyper Island design college in Sweden, Dave Crossland delivers a quick 10 minute introduction to FontForge and the essential windows and functions of any font editor.

Crafting Type workshops are held around the world and reveal the secrets of type design to designers of all kinds.

CraftingType workshopsISIA Urbino Typeweek registration is open!

ISIA Urbino Typeweek registration is open!:

ISIA Urbino Typeweek registration is open!

A week-long €500 type design intensive, in beautiful Italy in the summer.

Its not Crafting Type, but it will be just as amazing and you should apply!

CraftingType workshopsCT Toronto has sold out!

We have sold out of spaces at the upcoming Toronto workshop with Octavio and Aoife!

If you would like a beginner’s type design workshop in your city, drop our crew a line at and we’ll try to figure something out

Pooja SaxenaStreet lettering from India and its neighbours


Lots of blogs about street lettering in India have been catching my eye since I started my own last year. Whether it is a case of suddenly being more aware of them because of my little endeavour, or of lots of people making the effort of documenting street lettering in the country around the same time; I think it is a very good thing. I thought it would be useful to make a public list of all such blogs I have come across. This list has my favourite blogs and blog posts that document lettering from the Indian subcontinent. Of course, the list is nowhere close to exhaustive. I’m sure I have forgotten about some blogs that I didn’t bookmark and there must be others I simply haven’t encountered yet. I’ve also not included any Flickr photosets or groups yet. If you think I have missed an interesting collection, please leave a comment here or tell me on Twitter and I’ll try to add it.


By major cities

Lettering from the Archive and Streets of Delhi by Aakanksha Gaur
Delhi: Chandni Chowk on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller

Photo essay: Bombay Type on Mumbai Boss by Gopal MS
Photo essay: Bombay Type Part II on Mumbai Boss by Gopal MS
Bombay on Mumbai Paused by Gopal MS
CST/VT on Mumbai Paused by Gopal MS
Dadar Textile Shop Signs on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller
Mumbai Tempo Service Trucks on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller
Miami of India: the Forgotten Capital of Art Deco on MessyNessy Chic by Nessy and Alex

Kolkata Buses’ Pilot Signs on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller

Lettering from the Streets of Bangalore by me

Street signs of Chennai on Open Practice by Nia Murphy and Selvan Thandipani

Lucknow gun shop signs on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller
Everything’s a blur from a bus in UP on You Should Like Type Too by Rob Keller

By script

Inscrutable generalities (lettering from Illanbazar) on Rarh Studio Magazine
The memories of shape (lettering from Chandannagar) on Rarh Studio Magazine
The minstrels of letters (lettering from Bolpur) on Rarh Studio Magazine

Painters’ advertisements, and other lettering from Hand Painted Type—Gujarati by Akash Raj Halankar
Handpainted Type Gallery (also has some Devanagari and Latin lettering) by Hanif Kureshi

Keratype by Muneef Hameed

Tamil Typography by Tharique Azeez

Letters from Bangladesh on Rarh Studio Magazine

Found Type Lanka, initiated by the la-ulu Collective

Jakub SteinerKill the Hackergotchi

I’m quite often mis-attributed for creating hackergotchis. Generally not being a big fan of dropshadows and guillotines, I’d actually prefer to keep the horrible aesthetic of hackergotchis in the past.

There’s probably less clumsy ways to do this, but to help the matter I’ve created a simple script + svg template that renders a round pill from a square photo. You need to have inkscape installed and provide it with a square photo.

$ ./render-avatar.rb jimmac.jpg 
Bitmap saved as: avatar.png

Please reattach your heads to your bodies, they look better as a unit.

Jakub SteinerLGM Leipzig

Another great Libre Graphics Meeting is behind us and I’m greatful for being able to take part in it. Big thanks to everyone making it happen, particularly the GIMP folks for allowing an old affiliate to share the Wilberspace.

There’s been some great talks, quite a few relating to Blender this year which I hope will become a trend :) Peter Sikking demonstrated how to present (yet again). Even though I’ve been fully aware of the direction GEGL based non destructive editing GIMP is taking, the way Peter showed the difference between designing for a given context versus mimicking was fun to watch. Chris Lilley showed us the way forward for the gnome-emoji project with SVG support in OpenType. So much going on beside the main talks that I managed to miss many, including Pitivi and Daniel’s on Entangle.

Allan and I presented what we do within the GNOME project and how to get involved. Kind of ran out of time though, guess who’s to blame. The GIMP folks set up a camera, so hopefully there will be footage of the talks available. Really enjoyed my time, always like coming back with the need to create more things.

Martin Owens deserves a shoutout for being an awesome Inkscape developer trying to address some rough spots we’ve bumped into over the years. Almost made me want to follow the Inkscape mailing list again :) Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to ditch the window opening verb madness we use for gnome-icon-theme-symbolic export.

<iframe class="image full" frameborder="0" height="500" src=""> Watch on Youtube </iframe>

CraftingType workshopsHow much does a professional type designer earn?

How much does a professional type designer earn?:

If you’ve been wondering about this, industry titans Stephen Coles and Thomas Phinney (CT Instructor) weigh in with their views on Quora.

If you want to get into this line of work as a complement to your existing professional design practice - in graphic design, UX or even architecture - you’ll find our intense 3 days workshops a great place to start from.

CraftingType workshopsHow much does it cost to custom design a typeface?

How much does it cost to custom design a typeface? :

CT Instructor Thomas Phinney answers this perennial question on Quora.

Check out our upcoming events in Toronto and France - our early bird discounts are ending soon!

CraftingType workshopsTechnical Tip: Overlapping Paths in Type Design

Technical Tip: Overlapping Paths in Type Design:

CT Instructor Thomas Phinney blogged earlier this year on a technical topic:


Pablo ImpallariDel Camino A La Vereda

Del Camino A La Vereda

Oigame compay, no deje el camino por cojer la verda!

Ana Carvalho & Ricardo Lafuente (Manufactura Independente)Demo.cratica

From our work as part of the Transparência Hackday Portugal collective, we created the parliamentary monitoring website Demo.cratica. It is a carefully designed interface to the information released by the Portuguese Parliament on MP’s and session transcripts.
The official Parliament website hides most useful information behind many layers of obscure interfaces and terminology. With this project, we wanted to make a point on how information being available does not mean that it is accessible; and as part of that point, we tried our hand at building something better.

OSP (Open Source Publishing)Relearn Variable summerschool 2014

Good news! Considering how well last years OSP Relearn Summer School went, we’re reiterating and extending the school with all of the people and labs that make up Variable. We’re really exited to be able to make this happen again, especially considering all the extra people that will be joining in this year. Relearn starts on July 6th (Sunday) and […]

CraftingType workshopskickstarter: Octavio Pardo is a type designer from Spain. He...


Octavio Pardo is a type designer from Spain. He created a set of five typefaces intended for protest signs, pictured above, and is now running a project to help make them universally available. The specificity and design-oriented approach piqued our interest, so we asked Octavio some questions.

Could you talk a bit about your design background in general?

I started as a graphic designer working in different studios in Barcelona. One day, one of my Art Directors told me: “You are a badass graphic designer, but you have no idea about type.” Since I am very stubborn, that day I decided I would learn as much as I could about typography. I ended up studying type design in England and then working for some of the most talented type designers in the world. Nowadays I freelance as a graphic designer and do type design projects as I seek true happiness :)

What are the characteristics of a good typeface?

There are two levels to judging a typeface. First, how interesting is the design? Second, how well is that design implemented throughout the entire piece of work? Since everything that matters in typography is quite subtle, it’s hard to tell if a typeface is well done if you don’t know where and how to look. But in the end, when you are looking at it, reading it, or using it in the right way, a good typeface makes things look great!

What attracted you to protest signage in particular?

Since I was very young, I was always amazed by protest images, both amateur ones and ones made by designers. They are pieces of communication that most of time seek to make an impact through the message, not through spectacular visual compositions. The concept goes straight to the mind. The work done by Adbusters, Jonathan Barnbrook… those are the reasons why I became a type designer.

Do you have personal history with protests?

During the first two years of the spanish recession, I was seeing my friends losing their jobs, my brother and sister having a very bad time, cases of corruption in the government every week on the news. Almost every time you turned on the TV you could see people striking and protesting, all over the country. I feel like doing something, but didn’t know what to do. That weight in my chest turned into a trigger for my creativity. I guess that is the feeling behind any emotional piece of art, but I’m not an artist, I am a graphic designer and a type designer. 

I am cautious about joining protests in general. The reason is that most of the information that the citizens get to establish their criteria comes from the media, and I simply do not trust the media anymore. They are aligned with political parties, not with the people. Without reliable information I hate to take positions on any idea. The people, I trust them.        

What are your future plans for this project?

First of all, I will finish it the way I want it to be. That still means a lot of work, especially [the typeface] “Revolution.” I am also negotiating with a big company to create companions for the fonts in different scripts; that would make it a really universal tool. And once the project is launched and finished, I want to add two more fonts to it. These are different but related ideas within the Tiananmen concept.

CraftingType workshopskickstarter: Octavio Pardo is a type designer from Spain. He...


Octavio Pardo is a type designer from Spain. He created a set of five typefaces intended for protest signs, pictured above, and is now running a project to help make them universally available. The specificity and design-oriented approach piqued our interest, so we asked Octavio some questions.

Could you talk a bit about your design background in general?

I started as a graphic designer working in different studios in Barcelona. One day, one of my Art Directors told me: “You are a badass graphic designer, but you have no idea about type.” Since I am very stubborn, that day I decided I would learn as much as I could about typography. I ended up studying type design in England and then working for some of the most talented type designers in the world. Nowadays I freelance as a graphic designer and do type design projects as I seek true happiness :)

What are the characteristics of a good typeface?

There are two levels to judging a typeface. First, how interesting is the design? Second, how well is that design implemented throughout the entire piece of work? Since everything that matters in typography is quite subtle, it’s hard to tell if a typeface is well done if you don’t know where and how to look. But in the end, when you are looking at it, reading it, or using it in the right way, a good typeface makes things look great!

What attracted you to protest signage in particular?

Since I was very young, I was always amazed by protest images, both amateur ones and ones made by designers. They are pieces of communication that most of time seek to make an impact through the message, not through spectacular visual compositions. The concept goes straight to the mind. The work done by Adbusters, Jonathan Barnbrook… those are the reasons why I became a type designer.

Do you have personal history with protests?

During the first two years of the spanish recession, I was seeing my friends losing their jobs, my brother and sister having a very bad time, cases of corruption in the government every week on the news. Almost every time you turned on the TV you could see people striking and protesting, all over the country. I feel like doing something, but didn’t know what to do. That weight in my chest turned into a trigger for my creativity. I guess that is the feeling behind any emotional piece of art, but I’m not an artist, I am a graphic designer and a type designer. 

I am cautious about joining protests in general. The reason is that most of the information that the citizens get to establish their criteria comes from the media, and I simply do not trust the media anymore. They are aligned with political parties, not with the people. Without reliable information I hate to take positions on any idea. The people, I trust them.        

What are your future plans for this project?

First of all, I will finish it the way I want it to be. That still means a lot of work, especially [the typeface] “Revolution.” I am also negotiating with a big company to create companions for the fonts in different scripts; that would make it a really universal tool. And once the project is launched and finished, I want to add two more fonts to it. These are different but related ideas within the Tiananmen concept.

CraftingType workshopsHow to Tell If a Font Sucks

How to Tell If a Font Sucks:

Are you a user of fonts who needs to tell if a font is well made, or an aspiring novice type designer?

Crafting Type instructor Thomas Phinney explains how!

CraftingType workshopsFont Kickstarter: Octavio's Tiananmen Font is Go!

Font Kickstarter: Octavio's Tiananmen Font is Go!:

The Tiananmen Font Project is a set of five typefaces intended for protest signs.

Help Octavio make it universally available!

CraftingType workshopsAwesome Event: Automatic Type Design, Nancy (FR) May 6-7

Following our workshop in Aix-en-Provence, Dave Crossland and other Crafting Type folks will join Simon Egli at the Automatic Type Design event in Nancy, France, May 6-7. Its a gratis event, sign up to get your place at this historic meeting :)

CraftingType workshopsAnnouncing Crafting Type: Aix-en-Provence! May 2-3-4

We are super excited to announce a new Crafting Type workshop in Europe - Aix-en-Provence, at the amazing intuit.lab design school

This workshop has been set in motion by our latest instructor, Blondina Elms Pastel!

May 2-3-4

Sign up today!

CraftingType workshopsMartin Majoor: His Type Design Philosophy

Martin Majoor: His Type Design Philosophy:

Martin Majoor is an important designers, and his Type Design Philosophy page is an excellent distraction for any weekend

Pablo ImpallariEncode Sans 45 Free Fonts

Encode Sans 45 Free Fonts

Encode Sans
45 Styles
By Pablo Impallari & Andres Torresi

Download Free

Coming soon to Google Fonts!

CraftingType workshopsInterview with Gerry Leonidas

Interview with Gerry Leonidas:

Crafting Type Instructor Alexei Vanyashin Interviewed Gerry Leonidas, and its a great read!

CraftingType workshopsAnnouncing a special Crafting Type as part of the Portuguese...

Announcing a special Crafting Type as part of the Portuguese Typography Meeting in Barcelos, 26-29, November, 2014

Dave will be joined by Portuguese designers Joana and Natanael to conduct a workshop in English and Portuguese. This is one of the most affordable CT events ever!


The 5th Meeting of Typography is organized by the Design Department of the Superior School of Technology (EST) of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA) and is being held in Barcelos, Portugal. This year’s meeting takes it’s theme – UBIQUITOUS – from the typography’s quality of existing everywhere, or almost everywhere, in it’s diferent contexts and applications.

The main objective is to stimulate the dissemination, reflection and discussion about typographic research and development on a national and international scale. To do so, we will have a program that includes the participation of researchers, practitioners, teachers and students and their investigations or professional experiences dedicated to typography.

Parallel to the presentations program, there will be invited keynote speakers with an excellence path in the constantly evolving world of typography, as well as a discussion panel, an exhibitions, workshops and social events.

We aim to combine investigation, education, and professional activity, as well as contribute to a rich cooperation and sharing of creative ideas within the typographic community.


The organization of the 5th Meeting of Typography, with the subject ubiquitous, calls for submission and presentation of originals short papers or posters, academic contributions and/or professional in various application of typographic contexts:

  • Typeface design
  • Typography and Identity
  • Typography and media technologies
  • Education, history and critical studies on typography
  • Typography and its contexts

More information in our website:

The accepted papers and posters will be published in electronic format online, with ISBN.

IMPORTANT DATES * Until 10th of June > Call for papers and/or posters. Deadline for submission of proposals for short papers and/or poster * Until 31th of July > Notifications of acceptance. Communication of acceptance of proposals with or without recommendations for improvement * Until 22nd of August > Final versions. Delivery of the final versions of papers and/or posters * Until 15th of August > Early bird egistration. Registration in workshops and conferences * 26th to 29th of November > 5thET, Barcelos, Portugal

More informations:


PROGRAM (PROVISIONAL) Keynote speakers Peter Bil’ak Gerry Leonidas Dave Crossland Workshops, 26th 27th, November a) Letterpress & bookbinding* b) Collaborative Type* c) Crafting type (Dave Crossland, Natanael Gama, Joana Correia) Meeting of Typography, 28th 29th, November Keynote speakers Discussion panel Communications Poster exhibition Typewalk Barcelos Exhibitions Social program Closing Dinner

*To be confirmed

CraftingType workshopstypeworship: Time Stamped To achieve a perfectly packaged...


Time Stamped

To achieve a perfectly packaged book, Finnish authors, Christoffer & Kaisa Leka, wanted to take their presentation to a new level by having the stamps designed as well.

Thier latest book, Time After Time comes enveloped in its own wrapping paper, custom printed to match the book’s colorful end papers and is meticulously wrapped and lettered by Christoffer himself.

The beautiful set of characters above have been designed by a host of typographers from all over the world, many well-known in the industry: Erik van Blokland, Maria Doreuli, Dave Foster, Kimya Gandhi, Cyrus Highsmith, Robert Keller, Ben Kiel, Indra Kupferschmidt, David Ross, Nick Sherman, Florian Schick, Nina Stössinger, Lauri Toikka, Wout Trippas, Teo Tuominen & Bernd Volmer.

I love this obsession to perfect every last detail; Ensuring that the book, which has obviously been lovingly crafted, is placed in the hands of the reader so carefully.

Each letters has been reproduced with gouache paint by designer Markku Mujunen on 6 millimeter thick plywood and each piece measures approximately 180 x 180 millimeters. To cover the costs, the originals paintings are being sold for €50. First come first served.

CraftingType workshopsThe Voices of Type

The Voices of Type:

Crafting Type instructor Eben Sorkin just published this excellent article about The Voices of Type on the Typecast blog!