The last Berlin Waltz, on the iPad.
three weeks ago I visited Mister Keller in his Berlin based Type foundry, gallery and bookstore. In the first half I helped him with setting up the exhibition that is on display now and in the second half he helped me with computing some complicate OpenType features.
Unfortunately Mr. Keller decided that this would be the last exhibition and the closing of the Mota Italic gallery and typographic bookstore. Which is sad because over the years it became a social meeting point for typographers from all over the world. Yes, while sitting and working there for a couple of days it was easy to notice that it is not only typography obsessed Berliners but Type-fans from all over the world that visit the store. It was impossible to work here because I had to chat with every visitor for at least an hour. This is also the reason why Rob is closing, he likes to focus on his foundry work and publish more fonts. Which is great, so there will be more fonts!
So if you are around Berlin until September 21, go and see the last show at Mota italic about indian typography. (I heard there is great closing party with free drinks!) http://www.motaitalic.com/gallery/exhibitions/typographic-thali
Is it a drum or a waltz?
After the opening of the show Mister Keller introduced me to a method of coding that I did not know before. Also a piece of code that I have not heard of ever being used in a commercial production. It can be very complicated to explain what a code does. The structure of the program is divided in three blocks. The program is activated by typing a letter in the Sigmund Freud Typeface. Each block of the program looks back to the letters typed before and has a different way to ensure that no letter that has been typed before is being used twice. Each block uses a different technique to ensure that and exchanges glyphs with alternates. My task at the moment is to think about what would be the best way to interlock these blocks to get the best possible result.
What is the best possible result?
I started this project with the aim to create a beautiful typeface that captures the amazingness that I found in looking at Sigmund Freud's handwriting. One of the tools that I planned to use was to create a vast amount of ligatures and alternates. In the video of the project and description I give the example of writing the word 'look', in handwriting every o looks different whereas in typing every letter looks the same. Here the ligatures kick in: every letter combination that is drawn into the font will be replaced by an alternate version, which gives the overall look a more natural appearance. The limit of ligatures: all ligatures look the same.
Back to the question what is the best possible result and what does this have to do with this berlin code? On one hand the code can work like an Enigma encryption machine. The Enigma became (in-)famous in the second world war because it was used by the Germans military to encrypt their communication. A group around the mathematician Alan Touring was able to build one of the first computers to decrypt a small amount of the messages send by German military.
What this machine does it replaces every typed letter with another one. This is processed by rotating drums (German: Walze) that carry the alphabet - by adding more and more drums the encryption gets stronger and stronger.
Surprisingly the encryption was so strong that only a few years ago (ca. 2008) it was possible to decrypt the last message remaining unread.
Instead of replacing two letters by one glyph (ligature) my suggestion is to generate four (or more) versions of each letter. As one types these letters get constantly exchanged, like the letters on the drums of the Enigma machine. The upside of this polyalphabetic substitution is that instead of one possible form for two letters up to 16 possible combination can be displayed.
I know this sounds very technical - and thank you for following me till here.
Want to dance?
On the the other hand one can think of what the code 'does' or what a program is as a dance.
In order to dance we imagine ourselves in context. One step forward, slide and close. To alter the appearance we sprinkle 'improvisations' and 'alternatives' into the movement program.
To dance means to move to a model in your head.
There is a definition made by scientist for dance: to move to a model in your head.
Back to the code: In order to understand what a program does one needs a model of what the program should do, in order to get a 'grip' on it. In German 'to understand' can be translated to 'be-greifen' which literally translated means '(in)-touch' or '(in)-grip'. At the moment I am not sure in which direction my model, vision or grab should go or reach out for. A Dance or a Enigma - this is what I am working on.
The outcome to me so far looks promising. The actual version renders two lowercase alphabets. I would like to implement four. While typing you can see how the code alters the appearance of the written type. Type that seems as vivid as handwriting.
The downside of this is that there will be no more need for ligatures as they would destroy the appearance of improvisation in the dance or encryption in the machine. The upside of this is that for every possible combination of letters (incl. the ordered two or three letter ligatures) there will be multiple individual renderings depending on the text before and after.
And finally Yes! you can download the font immediately. The links are published in a separate update (#13) for backers only.
The Waltz code will not work in the Mail program of MacOS 10.8. It seems Mail by default turns off 'contextual alternates' feature in fonts.
About using the Font on an iPad.
Gerneral Situation: The operating system iOS does allow developers to embed fonts to their apps. But at the moment iOS does not allow users to install fonts to the system. This will probably change in future updates of iOS.
Workaround: Since the iPad supports OpenType fonts but not the direct installation of fonts, you will need to install an app that allows the installation and usage of external fonts like the Sigmund Freud Typeface. Apps that claim to support external fonts are i.e. iDraw and Inkpad - both apps can be purchased through the Apple Appstore on your device. I have neither tried Inkpad nor iDraw, but I found these articles that explain the installation process of fonts in these apps. iDraw: http://applyd.com/?p=84 Inkpad http://workingipad.net/tutorial/2012/2/20/install-and-use-typefaces-fonts-on-your-ipad.html
Please, let me know how this works for you. Also I like to encourage you to share your experience with other Backers in the comments of the project, there are a few iPad and iPhone users among them that would like to hear about this - including me.
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SIGMUND FREUD JOURNAL You will receive a digital Journal of the complete work process from beginning to end. Including sketches, daily design notes, studio photos and videos, drafts with corrections, photos of Vienna (Bergstraße Freud Museum, coffee bars), all research material that I'm using and more…Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD @HOME • Congrats! You will get the Sigmund Freud font, ready to use on your computer at home! +the digital JOURNALEstimated delivery:
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A LETTER FROM VIENNA • All of the above!! +You will receive a letter send from Vienna! Typeset in Sigmund Freud, signed by me. (WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED)Estimated delivery:
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A GIFT FROM VIENNA • I will send to a person of your choice a letter from Vienna! With a message from you typeset in Sigmund Freud AND a secret code to download the font. WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED [Add multiples for each additional presentee.]Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD @ WORK • You will get the Sigmund Freud font! Ready to use COMMERCIALLY on your computer at work! +JOURNAL (please add $20 for every additional computer that you are planing to use Sigmund Freud on)Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD LIGATURE • You are making this Font better and choose a LIGATURE (a combination of two glyphs) that I will draw for the official font file. [Add multiples for multiple Ligatures] I will recognize and thank you in the CREDITS of the Journal and Font! You get the Font and the Journal.Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD WORDS • You are making this Font even better and choose a Ligature AND a WORD (up to 15 letters, can be a name) that I will draw and embed as a ligature in the official font file. [Add multiples for multiple Words and Ligatures] I will also SEND YOU a personal and individually handwritten "Thank you" (half letter size), as shown in the video and recognize and thank you in the CREDITS of the Documentation and Font! Plus Font and Journal. (WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED)Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD SIGNATURE • Ligature + Word + your SIGNATURE (first, middle and surname - can also be three individual names) will be embedded as ligatures to the font file. [Add multiples for multiple Names, Words and Ligatures] You will receive a personal and individually handwritten "Thank you" (letter size!), as shown in the video. I will recognize and thank you in the CREDITS of the Journal and Font! Plus Font and Journal. (WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED)Estimated delivery:
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SIGMUND FREUD TYPEFACE POSTER • Letter sized "Thank you" and a beautiful signed poster (A2 size 59,4 cm x 42 cm) showing the typeface. Exclusively available here on Kickstarter! I will recognize and thank you in the CREDITS of the Journal and Font! Plus Font and Journal. (WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED)Estimated delivery:
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THE REWARD IS CAKE • You really want to see this project happening - Thank you! You will get the Letter sized "Thank you" + signed Poster + Ligature + Word + Signature + mentioning in the credits as cake level backer + Font + Journal AND I will personally invite you to as much cake and coffee as you can eat & drink. We can talk about Typography and Freud! Either in a wonderful coffee bar in Vienna or in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).Estimated delivery:
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THE REWARD IS A CAKE FROM VIENNA!! • You really want to see this project happening - Thank you! You will get the Letter sized "Thank you" + signed Poster + Ligature + Word + Signature + mentioning in the credits as cake level backer + Font + Journal AND I will personally send you an orignal SACHER LILIPUT CAKE!! from Vienna to anywhere in the world! (WORLD WIDE SHIPPING INCLUDED)Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)