[lucida] Lucida fontset nits

James Cloos cloos+tug-lucida at jhcloos.com
Sun Nov 26 22:04:12 CET 2006

>>>>> "Volker" == Volker Kuhlmann <list0570 at paradise.net.nz> writes:

Volker> The normal size of the 10pt lucida is blown way overboard and
Volker> is much larger than any of the other commonly used fonts like
Volker> cm, PS Times, Palatino. If this is intentional design then I
Volker> plain disagree, it gives me unexpected results and makes
Volker> interoperability hard.

Remember that Times as has been shipped with PostScript is a display
font designed for newspaper headlines; it is not a 10pt design.

Similarly, Zapf designed Palatino to be a face for headers in books;
it is probably a 14pt or 17pt design.  (I forget the text font it
was designed to go with, and am writing this reply while offline so
I cannot look it up.  Perhaps someone with refresh my memory.)

CM was based on the font used by the 1st ed of the 1st volume (or was
it the 1st two volumes?) of TAOCP, and designed to work well on the
offset press and photo-typeseter they used to print that book.  As I
recall it did about 800 dpi.

Lucida, OTOH, was designed to be used on 300-dpi laser printers.
Everything relevant to a design is different when printing to such
a low-res device.  The stems have to be heavier since the other
designs had to take offset ink-spread into account.  The x-height,
em and general feel have to be exaggerated.  Et cetera.

(Lucida Fax, of course, is the exception, having been designed for
legibility after repeated faxing.)

In short, text layed out for CM, Times, Palatino, etc cannot be
expected to look at all like text layed out for Lucida Bright.
They will feel different, because the faces were designed for
different uses.

I bet the arrows would look better if they sty files didn't scale
the fonts down from their design sizes.  Perhaps it would be useful
to include an optional set of exceptions to the scaling factors.
OTOH, it may be the case that the arrows were designed only for
display math usage, hense the small heads.  If so, it is just an
example of how Knuth's choice to have mf support separate designs
for each size was The Right Thing To Do™.

BTW, I understand Steve Jobs gets the blame for two display faces
(Times and Palatino) ending up used by the masses as text faces.
He made the ultimate choices on which fonts to license for the
Apple Laserwriters and therefore the default PostScript fonts.
The story I read included something to the effect that he was
told Times was a design face but wanted something that could
squeeze as much text as possible into a given space, and insisted
that Times be included for such use.

James Cloos <cloos at jhcloos.com>         OpenPGP: 1024D/ED7DAEA6

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