h a l f b a k e r y
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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
The thing that gives handwriting its distinctive look is the
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
The idea of having randomness in the letters is discussed in the annotations to this idea [hippo, Oct 01 2010]
among much other info [xenzag, Oct 01 2010]
||//The thing that gives handwriting its distinctive look is the
presence of variations between letters--//
||Actually, I disagree. Prove it.
||Who, me? I'm a doctor, not a graphologist!
||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.
||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)
||Yes, but what is your objective here? What have they not, if
||//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.
||Even more fun, prove it here using only the typeable text functions.
||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.
||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
||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.