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Re: Replacement suggestions for Century Schoolbook?

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: Replacement suggestions for Century Schoolbook?
Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:07:32 +0100 (CET)

Hello Eben!

> One of the things to be clear about for yourself and the designer
> you work with is what the medium you want it to work in will be.
> For example is this mainly a font for printing on paper?


> Is it for the web too?


> Do you want it to work well in fine printing?  Do you only care
> about laser printing?

What's the difference between `fine' and `laser' printing?

> Maybe you want web and fine print.  If this is the case you probably
> want to look at having two related fonts made.  Oddly enough if you
> have two designs they can be made to appear far more similar than if
> you have only one.

I don't understand this.  Please explain.

> What glyphs do you really need?  If the glyph set is smaller then
> the designer can remain more focused.  It may not be obvious what
> glyphs will be most helpful.

The font should cover the most important languages used for
`classical' vocal music, especially operas.  This includes Italian,
German, French, Czech (e.g. Dvořák), Russian (in Cyrillic), English,
probably Hungarian (Bartók).  Today it's common that the original
language is typeset in upright shape, and a translation in italic, but
sometimes it's vice versa.

I've also seen a transliteration (using IPA) instead of a translation,
so covering the IPA characters for the above languages would be useful

> Do you want the font to be relate well to an existing font for
> setting music?

It's not clear what exactly you mean with `font for setting music'.
The font used for lyrics essentially doesn't interact with any other
font.  Normally, you only see upright and italic.

> It would also be important to give the designer examples of how you
> want to be able to use the type so that they can test it in those
> contexts and be sure it works well for you.

There are thousand of pages available for closer analysis in the
scanned vocal scores found in the Petrucci library (

> I would suggest raising the figure Dave mentions to $9,000 for one
> style so that the designer can afford to test the design extensively
> and can refine the design.  If you do that you will be able to have
> something of enduring value made for you.

OK.  Most important is very good kerning to get optimal legibility
with the highest possible density, since lyrics usually need more
horizontal space than the associated note heads, so the smaller the
needed horizontal extension, the better the layout for the music.


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