JY&A Fonts
Australasia's leading font company

Home Feature Next

Set on the Web


Jack Yan interviews the men behind Microsoft's TrueType fonts for web browsers: Matthew Carter, Vincent Connare and Thomas Rickner



Georgia, Trebuchet, Verdana

LAST YEAR, Microsoft released three families of fonts for use on the screen, primarily on web browsers. The fonts, available from Microsoft's TrueType page, gave regular home users added variety to the standard sets that came with their systems. And, half a year down the line, many web pages specify one of the families - Georgia and Verdana designed by Matthew Carter and hinted by Thomas Rickner, and Trebuchet by Vincent Connare.
   All three men are well known in the field of typography. Matthew Carter has been at the forefront of each technical revolution in type - creating, for example, script typefaces for phototypesetters where characters touched (Shelley, illustrated below right). Prior to the advent of phototypesetting, the impression of touching letters had been close to impossible. Today, with the web, Carter has found himself at the forefront again, creating type which is legible and practical for a new medium. He and Cherie Cone run Carter & Cone Type Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Shelley   Microsoft's Vincent Connare is known among his peers as a designer who knows the process from beginning to end. In addition to his design skills, Connare possesses the expertise to instruct and produce a TrueType font, ensuring that both the design and the accompanying code meet the designer's original vision. As well as designing Trebuchet, Connare worked on Carter's original bitmaps to Verdana for Windows.
   Thomas Rickner, of Monotype Typography, took charge of the hinting process for Carter's families. Working from bitmaps created by Carter, Rickner wrote the final TrueType instructions for the Georgia and Verdana families.
   The development of the three families demonstrates that font creation is a far more complex issue than most outside the typographic industry believe. Design and technical considerations play important roles, with months of work before the end-user found, at the end of 1996, a series of fonts for free downloading.

The creative process

1    2    3    4

JY&A Copyright ©1997 by Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. All trademarks are the properties of their respective owners and may be subject to protection in certain jurisdictions. 'Shelley Allegro', 'Shelley Andante' and 'Shelley Volante' are trademarks of Linotype-Hell AG and/or its subsidiaries. 'Designature', 'CAP' and 'CAP Online' are the properties of Jack Yan & Associates. Email us here. Screen shots used for review purposes only and are the property of their copyright owners.