Fedora 7 CD Labels & Covers

Máirí­n Duffy duffy at redhat.com
Sun May 27 04:12:57 UTC 2007

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
[... snip ...]

> A very crude way to assess a font is to upload it on
> http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/font/custom.htm read the glyph
> count and look at the glyph matrix. A much better indicator would be the
> language support coverage matrix DejaVu publishes with every release but
> its generator needs fontconfig sources and fonts in sfd format (IIRC) so
> it's not useful for the average artists. We really need a tester tool
> that would do the same on any on-disk ttf/otf font.

Sweet, this is all very useful info, thank you!

> Anyway, some result for F7 common FLOSS fonts:
> - DejaVu Sans/Serif: 4538/1939
> - DejaVU LGC Sans/Serif: 3532/1881
> - Linux Libertine: 2274
> - Gentium: 1699
> - Liberation Sans/Serif: 668/661
> - Vera Sans/Serif: 268

Cool I haven't heard of a couple of those actually (Libertine and 
Gentium) so I will check them out.

Are the Luxi and Nimbus fonts FLOSS at all?
> And another we should really get into Fedora, but has a build system
> from hell (and what's the point of FLOSS if you can't work from sources)
> and is in opentype OTF format all out tools can not handle yet: Computer
> Modern Unicode
> ( http://canopus.iacp.dvo.ru/%7Epanov/cm-unicode/ )
>> (As an aside, how is URW U001 [1] in terms of glyph coverage? Is that 
>> another option?)
> IIRC URW U001 is free-to-use but not especially FLOSS, limited to latin
> (and even basic latin), and in legacy type one format people are moving
> away from.
> […]
>> I could have used DejaVu Sans, but to be honest I'm really sick of Deja 
>> Vu's look since it's one of the only good free & open fonts out there 
>> and I've seriously used it to death! :)
> You have to compromise.
> Entities with an international reach (like Fedora) almost never use the
> very distinctive fonts you way be used to as a designer, for the
> following reasons:
> - it's very hard and costly to create international fonts
> - it's even harder to decline an original font
> - any substitution for coverage reasons is going to stand out. And
> projecting a common worldwide style is more valuable than being cool in
> a few countries
> - very distinctive fonts are distinctive because they're different from
> the ones people are used to read, ie harder to read.

FWIW, by stylish/distinctive I don't mean you know, something tacky like 
Comic Sans or Papyrus or Vivaldi, I mean more readable fonts like Gill 
Sans or Myriad.

> - Title fonts in particular are useless for plain text, which is another
> reason people don't bother extending their coverage
> - very distinctive fonts often do not age gracefully (trends change, a
> style may be great one year and laughable 5 years later)
> - periodic re-styling is no option, it's overly costly and hurts the
> common unified persona you want to project'
> It's probably OK to use Liberation for titles. The benefits of
> showcasing it may outweight the fact it won't be a choice for many
> languages. Using it for text where the glyphs are too small for most
> people to see the difference OTOH is stupid IMHO.

I was proposing to use it for titles - eg the name of the CD/DVD.

> Also only using Liberation fonts (as I've seen proposed, including in
> the message I reacted to) is sending a message I don't agree with (as
> already explained)

I never proposed this, sorry, and I just re-read my mail to make sure it 
couldn't have been misconstrued that way either. I said *all* the fonts 
I used in my very first draft were Liberation, yes (because of sheer 
laziness on my part actually.) I never proposed that we *only* use 
Liberation Sans, though, (and I was especially not proposing using only 
Liberation Sans beyond the scope of this CD/DVD label design). Seriously.
>> How are non-technical Fedora groups making Liberation a Fedora emblem? 
> The original RH PR release wrote about FLOSS fonts intended to replace
> [a lot of things] (when it will be finished), and many people have taken
> it as "Fedora intent is to use Liberation in all its documents *now*
> because it's the only realistic FLOSS font"

I just re-read the Red Hat press release and I think that's a bit of a 
leap you've made there. If you can point to some specific quote... but 
I'm not seeing any in this. Maybe the word "substitution" in order to 
explain the differences between and provide examples each of serif, sans 
serif, and monotype fonts was a poor choice? But I only saw that as 
explaining the types of fonts they were (especially in the absence of a 
sorely-needed type sample on that page!)

>> But Bitstream is a professional foundry that has closed fonts as well, 
>> no?
> Current default is DejaVu LGC which is not produced by Bitstream but by
> a FLOSS project. 

DejaVu is a fork of Bitstream, is it not? Or I have completely 

> Also there's no possible comparison between the
> handling by GNOME of the Bitstream fonts and the handling by Red Hat of
> Liberation. 

>> Or did Bitstream do the work and then license it openly? 
>> (It's a real question, I actually honestly don't know; I was pretty
>> sure the latter was the case though.)
> Bitstream did most of the work but the final stage saw a dialog between
> the designer and the FLOSS community (feedback, change demands, etc.).
> Vera was not just a PR release with some files to download.
> http://www.gnome.org/fonts/ has archived all of it.

Have you tried to work with Red Hat on Liberation in its final stages 
(as it's not complete yet) and not heard back or something?


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