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Typed Handwriting

Printed letters with random variations between letters.
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Several fonts exist that try to imitate handwritten text. Font designers have tried everything from unreadable fake cursive to the wretched Comic Sans in order to approximate print that is done by hand. These all fail utterly.

The thing that gives handwriting its distinctive look is the presence of variations between letters--imperfections that add character to what would otherwise be sterile print. In any font, letters of any one kind look the same every time they appear, shattering the illusion of freehand printing. There are two ways to solve this problem. One way would be to program several different examples of each symbol into the typeset, and have the computer choose one at random every time a symbol is used. This would look only marginally less artificial.

I suggest a font wherein each letter contains several points that shift randomly within a certain range of motion. The locations of these points would slightly distort each letter every time it is typed. The font would be styled to seem handwritten in the first place--and every letter would be unique. Thus, it would look a whole lot more like handwriting than a font in which letters are duplicated every time.

DrWorm, Sep 30 2010

Handwriting_20Font The idea of having randomness in the letters is discussed in the annotations to this idea [hippo, Oct 01 2010]

Beowolf http://www.letterror.com/
among much other info [xenzag, Oct 01 2010]

[link]






       //The thing that gives handwriting its distinctive look is the presence of variations between letters--//   

       Actually, I disagree. Prove it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2010
  

       Who, me? I'm a doctor, not a graphologist!
DrWorm, Sep 30 2010
  

       You've based your whole idea on the premise that non- uniformity is what makes handwriting handwriting. Yet generations were taught to form their letters in perfect copperplate (and many other variants), in which the ideal was a uniform and consistent appearance.   

       So, all I'm saying is, justify your premise.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2010
  

       The easiest way to identify a faux-handwritten font is to look at repeated letters to see if they're identical. The human element of handwriting prevents any two letters from being exactly the same, even if they look similar at first glance. People are flawed, and robots (oops- computers) aren't.
DrWorm, Sep 30 2010
  

       Yes, but what is your objective here? What have they not, if not then?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2010
  

       //The easiest way to identify a faux-handwritten font...// That's if you scrutinize it, letter by letter, with that question in mind. Not a normal way to read. Does repetition of identical letters affect your gestalt impression that it looks authentically handwritten, vs "fake" or typeset? (That gestalt is what I understand by //distinctive look//) I'm with [MB] on that one -- suspect it may be idiosyncracy relative to other writers that does it.
mouseposture, Oct 01 2010
  

       Even more fun, prove it here using only the typeable text functions.
normzone, Oct 01 2010
  

       I thought that was what [Maxwell] was challenging me to do in his first annotation.   

       [mouseposture]: Aren't those idiosyncracies what I'm talking about? Either way, the presence of fake handwriting fonts shows that there is a need, even if only a niche, for simulated handwriting, or for a font that at least doesn't appear printed. I don't usually care whether what I'm reading is printed or not. That would, as you said, be an abnormal and not at all enjoyable method of reading.
DrWorm, Oct 01 2010
  

       We've been here before....Beowolf is one early example of a typeface with a built in radomising alogorith. There may be more - not looked thoroughly. Eye magazine will hold info. See link for some information on Beowolf
xenzag, Oct 01 2010
  

       This sounds much like the early attempts of virtual analog synthesizers to mimic the slop in voltage-controlled circuitry by tossing random numbers into the digital calculations... except VC isn't actually random, so the result is less than pleasing.   

       Rather than a "natural" looking script, you'd end up with a "broken printer" looking script.
FlyingToaster, Oct 01 2010
  
      
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