Tag Archives: font

Tagāti Book G, Graphite and TeXLive 2014

I updated my operating system to Ubuntu 15.04 ‘Vivid’ the other day and ran into trouble when I tried using my Tahano Hikamu font, Tagāti Book G. The issue was that XeLaTeX would ignore Graphite as the text rendering engine for this font in spite of my explicitly declaring it:

\newfontfamily{\Tagati}[
    Renderer=Graphite,
    ...
]{Tagati Book G}

The result was that none of the diacritics were aligned correctly, since the font is not configured for OpenType to handle them:

Demonstration of the bug in fontspec-xetex.sty 2.4a
a: Rendering as expected; b: Graphite ignored

After some research, it turned out that the bug is with the file fontspec-xetex.sty.1 Ubuntu 15.04 still ships with TeXLive 2014, which includes version 2.4a of it as a part of the fontspec package. In this version, there is a typo in the definition for Graphite which apparently makes it inaccessible through the Renderer option. You can read up on it in the bug report on GitHub.

Changing fontspec-xetex.sty according to the bug report and saving it under my home directory’s TeX tree at ~/texmf/tex/latex/fontspec/ to not overwrite the original file solved the issue for me. Another way to solve the issue for the time being is to include a snippet of code in your TeX file’s preamble that basically redefines the respective function.

The issue is already fixed in the latest version of the fontspec package, also in the version that’s available from CTAN, so I hope there will be an update to the fontspec package in the official Ubuntu repositories as well sometime.

  1. On my system, the path to the file is /usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/fontspec/fontspec-xetex.sty, use kpsewhere fontspec-xetex.sty to find it, otherwise.

Tagāti Book G Font is up for Download

Finally! After a couple of weeks of drawing characters (albeit in a rather lazy way) in February and March, and programming font features for the past couple of weeks, I decided to upload my Tahano Hikamu font to Github: https://github.com/carbeck/tagatibookg.

There’s still some things to improve, but for the most part, the font works now. Please be aware that this font uses Graphite and that not so many applications support that. Also, note that in order to use Graphite in Firefox 11+, you will need to activate it first.

The Github repository contains all files used in the making of the font so you can easily clone/download it. But if you really just want the font, you probably want to just

Download the ZIP archive

For some extra fun, here’s basically how I made it: See the video on Youtube

  • I had the ZIP file in my Dropbox ‘Public’ folder, however, Dropbox dropped support for the Public folder a while ago, so the link was broken. I fixed it now.

Some Work in Progress

I’ve been reworking my font of Tahano Hikamu since February now and also drew a hinyan version (“Tahano Hikamu Java”) completely from scratch. When I felt like toying around with these things again a couple of weeks ago, I started making the files functional with Graphite – that is, I added ways to handle diacritics and I’m currently working on getting dynamic diacritic replacement and character reordering right – this is so much easier and far less brain-twisting with pen and paper!

The whole thing is still messy and highly preliminary, which is why I won’t release any font files for download just now (please be patient). However, I’m kind of pleased with how this experiment comes along, so I wanted to share the link to my current testing page here as well and not just on Twitter.

There’s no version schedule, so it’s done when it’s done. Hopefully that won’t take too very long in spite of a pending term paper and other more important work. I’m looking forward to it, though, and so can you. 🙂

Digitale Typografie für fiktionale Schriftsysteme – ein Rant

  • Dies ist die Übersetzung eines englischsprachigen Beitrags (click for English version), den ich bereits im August 2011 geschrieben habe. Da scheinbar ein größeres Interesse an diesem Beitrag bestand, dachte ich, es wäre eventuell sinnvoll, ihn auch ins Deutsche zu übersetzen.
  • Mittlerweile habe ich auch einen Font mithilfe von Graphite gebastelt.
  • Beachte, dass ich nicht einmal ein halbprofessioneller Schriftdesigner bin. Alles, was du hier liest, ist learning by doing und daher sehr subjektiv. Ich habe mir bisher nicht mehr über Schriftdesign beigebracht, als nötig ist, um meine eigene Schrift umzusetzen.

Eines meiner fortlaufenden, mit dem Sprachenbasteln verbundenen Projekte ist es, das Schriftsystem meiner Kunstsprache auf den Computer zu bringen. Ich versuche seit mehreren Jahren, brauchbare Lösungen zu finden, bin aber immer früher oder später gegen eine Wand gerannt.
Continue reading Digitale Typografie für fiktionale Schriftsysteme – ein Rant

Digital Typography for Fictional Writing Systems – A Rant

This article still gets linked a lot even after over 5 years since publishing it. Technology, however, continuously advances, so please be aware that the information below may be outdated.

  • Dieser Beitrag ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch zu lesen, nämlich hier.
  • By now, I’ve made a font that uses Graphite.
  • Keep in mind that I’m not even a semi-professional font designer. All you read here is my subjective experience in learning by doing. I haven’t yet explored font-making beyond what I needed for my own stuff.

One of my ongoing language-construction related pet projects is to bring my constructed language’s writing system to the computer. I have been trying to come up with workable solutions to do this for a number of years, but always hit brick walls sooner or later. Continue reading Digital Typography for Fictional Writing Systems – A Rant

Tahano (Nu)Veno(n) font

Tahano (Nu)veno(n)Just in case this was missed by anyone … If you’ve been following my work you may remember I used to have this Vine Script thing, which was an ornamental alphabet that took inspiration for its characters from climbing plants. Rebecca Bettencourt, fellow Conlang-L reader, made a font of it last year. We agreed that it would be freeware and that I could offer it for download. I’ve not done so up to now.

I earlier deleted information on the script here as I didn’t see it directly related to Ayeri anymore, but I still used to receive requests about it occasionally. Since the alphabet itself is kind of pretty – although I’ve only ever seen it as a minor experiment and never used it actively to write longer passages in Ayeri with because it is simply too unwieldy for that purpose – I didn’t want it to get lost completely. Essentially, you may want to think of it as the equivalent of an EP in music.

The font is self-transcribing, basically. There’s also a page on the script as it was digitalized on Omniglot, you may want to check that for documentation, as well as the Readme file included in the ZIP archive.

Download (MD5: e9228a56fefadccce3c1abda8bc4456e; 59,355 bytes)

  • The description of Tahano Veno from the old Benung page can be downloaded as a PDF as well. It doesn’t significantly differ from the description at Omniglot, though.