The traditional type designer works with pen, in and paper. The characters that he designs go through many changes before the whole font is finalized and set in the printing medium. Further alterations to the font may occur after he prints and evaluates a sample piece of text. Computer-aided type design presents the type designer with a new design tool. Computers have been used in the printing industry for typesetting; the automation of type design is a logical next step. Freeing the designer from the repetitive tasks of the design cycle is one obvious advantage cf using computers. But computer-aided type design makes its real contribution when a designer can use it with the same facility that he uses traditional design tools like pen, ink and paper. This research investigates the use of the spline curve in type design. Contemporary type designers are expected to perform a variety of tasks. On the one hand, they may design characters that will last because of their artistic merit and singular characteristics. On the other hand, they may design characters that can be recognized by machines. A computer-aided type design tool should be flexible enough to meet these demands and con venient to use. The focus of the research will be on the input requirements for drawing the spline curves that form the characters. First, the mathematics of the spline functions and their use in two dimensional graphics is discussed. Next, a brief survey of the use of the spline curve in computer-aided type design is given. In order to investigate further the problems of designing characters, a pilot system was written to design basic character shapes, using raster based graphics. The system was designed with the objective of having input specifications which would be familiar to a type designer. This system is described in the last section.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Type and type-founding--Computer programs; Type and type-founding; Computer drawing; Printing--Technological innovations
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Albertini, Kathleen Barry, "The use of the spline function in computer-aided type design" (1981). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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