shadows and light

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“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

Jaisalmer, India, 2009

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saturday, 4 march 2023

it’s rare to have an entry here. But 2023 appears to be a year of changes.

This all started innocently in 2022 with the acquisition of a Supernote A5X.. the intent, to delve deeper into digital journaling—eink reading being a primary driver for that thought. After a lifetime in technology i find myself gravitating towards the analogue despite my involvement with keyboards and optimizing their layouts for typing. And strangely, digital handwriting has rekindled my love of using fountain pens—i’ve never strayed from them for note taking, but journaling feels more complete with a “real” pen and paper or note book (as amazing as the eink technology of the Supernote represents—more on that later and how it will integrate into this site’s workflow.)

Recent software updates reminded me of the need to upgrade the VPS this site rests on.. an so a migration from a long unsupported Debian Linux release to Alpine Linux—here as well as the home base where Void Linux had previously served me well. Finally one distro to rule them all—the computers i dally with. More on that radical switch later.

Then there is the reorganization of a lot of the material posted that originally resided in colophon—it must have been strange for people perusing this site for information on keyboards and typography to be situated in that corner of the site normally reserved for a basic description of a site’s construction (even if fonts have played an important role in this site’s evolution). But honestly, the road traveled was never planned—these interests just morphed into deeper explorations at the time.

colophon articles were becoming a substantial portion of the site and with the slow personal transition to all things analogue, it feels appropriate to move the interest in eink usage of which the past years have been focused on dyslexic fonts to this corner of the site. So colophon will remain more hardware and technically oriented.

The changes are exciting.. though, in all honesty, they may result in even more diminished activity on this site! Reading and writing are satisfyingly complete activities. A sign perhaps of my age..

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adrift font

sunday, 25 february 2024

following hot on the recent cell width tunings for the serifless capital I and lower case l, comes the adrift font with cell width adjustments for the lower case hooked glyphs..

adrift font

adrift is essentially the drift font with the descending capital I unique to the typefaces produced on this site—its name at six characters to differentiate it from the regular I cap height of the other fonts in my rotation.

The descending capital I adds an anchor point to the font and makes the letter stand out even more, especially in first person narratives. In headings it takes some getting used to—but each to their own.

More importantly..

cell widths

as an advocate of monospaced fonts for the uniform visual cadence they provide for reading, glyph set combinations have largely settled down in this exploration of high readability fonts using non-mirrored asymmetric glyph shapes.

This culminated in the base set of fonts drift, draft, stria and patio. With glyph sets combinations having possibly come to an end(!), attention has returned to the visual density of these (largely) monospaced fonts.

With the subtle refinement offered by the extended width upper and lower case M W and the narrowed width of serifless capital I and serifless lower case l, serifless and hooked glyph spacing for combinations of the lower case i and l began to stand out more. Thus, the following cell width adjustment for the above fonts..

font 0.85x 0.925x (new) 1.25x
adrift descending capital I hooked i j l M m W w
drift serifless capital I hooked i j l M m W w
draft serifless l hooked i j M m W w
stria serifless capital I hooked i j tailed l M m W w
patio serifless l hooked i j M m W w

These subtle cell width adjustments render a more uniform visual density while maintaining the overall visual cadence afforded monospaced fonts (perhaps marking the conclusion of this font journey! :)

The proportions are derived purely from visual experimentation at the very small font sizes i happen to read at. Future eye sight requirements for reading at larger font sizes may necessitate revisiting the values applied.

drift font on Oasis

repos

These cell width adjusted fonts may be found on OneDrive.

The previous font sets have been moved to the “archive” folder.

Kindle specific fonts with wider line spacing adjustments (to accommodate Kindle’s limited layout control) are no longer generated—finally jail broke my Oasis and installed KOReader. These fonts may still be used on Kindles, just limited to the devices’ line spacing options.

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