Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tech Giants Meet to Plan Standards for Multicolor Typography

There are thousands of fonts available for your computer, free and paid. They run the gamut from simple webfonts to professional font families.  What has not been plentiful or easily utilized are multicolored fonts.  The compromise you currently have to work with to achieve more than one color in your typography is the use of several synched-up layers, each adding a color to the overall picture.  But all that is about to change, once a new protocol for multicolor fonts and animated typography is established.  

The MPEG group is merging technology from Mozilla, Google, Adobe and Microsoft into a unified standard that will add multicolor and animation abilities that will work uniformly across software platforms.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
C|Net

Link to article:

Excerpt: "For a few decades now, fonts have been monochromatic -- just the thing for putting black ink on white paper. But publishing has gone digital, and the era of the multicolored font is beginning.

The Motion Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) standards group last week began a project to standardize chromatic fonts -- those with multiple colors. Vladimir Levantovsky, a Monotype Imaging employee who serves as chairman of the group's font work, said he expects to merge technology from Mozilla, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft into a standard.

The impetus for the work was the need to support emoji, the colorful emoticons, icons, and pictures that gradually are expanding in use. But the work will expand to traditional typography, too, Levantovsky said.

'I am sure this technology will bring us a whole new era of polychromatic fonts,' he said. 'Emoji is just one of the use cases and it is certainly a significant one because it was the catalyst for color font creation, but I am sure there is much more to come.'

Today, it's possible to use multicolored fonts, called chromatic fonts, but it's awkward. Typically, a designer will combine two or more fonts that are designed to work together in layers to form, in effect, a single typeface. To do so, the designer must overlay the different layers of text in exactly the same place, something that can make editing and repositioning awkward.

With color-font support, the hassles of alignment, editing, and other changes disappear. But there's more, too: instead of just using different blocks of a single color, as with current chromatic fonts, the new standard will let people define gradients that gradually change from one color to another or that become gradually transparent."

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