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Colored Fonts

Say goodbye to boring single color text
(+3, -3)
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I think someone should invent multi colored fonts, Currently you can make your text colored but its very basic, you can have a red letter "T" or a blue letter "T" but what about the letter "T" with a linear gradient or a woodgrain texture or a natural brick pattern, the possibilities would be endless, it would be like Wordart only you could use it in any application and the text would simply be inputed from your keyboard as any other text would. Fonts would be offered at download sites or for sale on Cd's with both a style and a color pattern (i.e. you would download Helvetica with a natural colored Sand texture or Times Roman with an Oak pattern). To take it to the next level, after typing you could right click on your text and choose an option that opens up a dialog box letting you modify your texture (you could choose from light or dark stained oak, tan or red brick, etc.) Download sizes would be larger but I think that in the long run it would be worth it (What else are you going to do with a 24 gig hard drive, zip 250 drive, or recordable cd/dvd drive, right?)
corystahl, Apr 20 2000

Old Mac bitmap fonts could do this! http://developer.ap.../Text/Text-251.html
Here's the docs. Note that this was not a particularly widely used feature. [krevis, Apr 20 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Google http://www.google.com
My favourite multi-coloured font. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004]


       Fun :) Perhaps font textures/colors could be packaged in a file separate from the original font. Some modern pperating system (like Apple Aqua) could then completely take care of rendering, and make it available in all applications...   

       Actually, Aqua does standardize vector graphics on the OS level wich creates a great opportunity for colorful applications :))
danilom, Apr 24 2000

       Most modern paint/draw programs can do this. (Surely you've seen lots of fancy multicolored logos? They're practically de rigeur on poser home pages!)   

       The current generation of OS font rendering systems can't, but PostScript and PDF certainly can, and things like Quartz can.   

       The idea is not that you have special "font patterns", but that font glyphs are just shapes like any other, and can therefore be filled with the same gradients or bitmaps or whatever that any other shape can.
egnor, Apr 29 2000

       egnor: In PostScript, and probably also in some of the other font-engines that would allow color, the use of any color (or setgray) commands within a glyph will make that glyph uncacheable. This can have severe effects on rendering speed.   

       The remedy I'd suggest would be, if you wanted e.g. a red, white, and blue starred and striped font, to have four fonts: one containing just the red stuff, but without any color commands (thus it would be cacheable); one for the white stuff, again without color information, and one for the blue stuff. Then to these I'd add a "composite" font which would include instructions invoking the other three. So do draw a red, white, and blue "A", I would do something like:   

       {1 1 1 setcolorrgb whitefont begin A end 1 0 0 setcolorrgb redfont begin A end 0 0 1 setcolorrgb bluefont begin A end}   

       While the composite font would not be cacheable, drawing a letter with it would simply entail drawing three cacheable characters.
supercat, Oct 04 2000

       Would seem like at normal text size, having varicolored letters would make it a pain in the butt to read.   

       At normal 'logo' size, it wouldn't be a problem.
StarChaser, Oct 05 2000

       I designed a set of 26 letters under Illustrator : complex shapes, gradients,... We use these fonts on www.oldiz.com as bitmaps. What I would like to do, it's to use my letters as a single font (OpenType or True Type) with my word processor for example. This way I would be able to write a whole document with my own gradient-colored font. To sum things up, the idea is terrific and I found it while searching for "colored fonts" on Google :).   

       My solution would be to use the existing OpenType format but with special effects support. For example CSS allows web designers to apply "special effects" to a text : color, shadow, border... The idea would be to define a set of common effects supported by the rendering engine (OpenType engine is a PostScript one, fully supported on Mac and Windows). The font itself is static, which means I don't think "dialog box letting you modify your texture" is a good idea. The font maker software (like Macromedia Fontographer, the only one I know so far) allows you to create a font, apply effects, then you save it as an OpenType font or OpenTypeFX font ^^. To change the texture or gradient color, use the font maker. This way there's the font viewer/rendering engine and the font maker. You create then you use. I keep thinking about the great features from Adobe products, specially Illustrator or Layer Styles from Photoshop. It allows you to apply effects, styles to layers, objects and text : shadows, emboss, gloss, stroke... So It's possible to do and I think Adobe could do a great job for us ^^. Macromedia Fontographer-font maker + Adobe Illustrator-vector + Adobe Photoshop-styles -> create your OpenTypeFX fonts the easy way.   

       See you in 2029 ^^
goa103, Aug 11 2003


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