Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Signato – A new font inspired by the Independence of Lithuania (signato.lt)
147 points by bobinux 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

Unfortunately, the license permits the use of the font only for "non-commercial" purposes, which means that it cannot be included in Free Software distributions.

Non-commercial licenses are IMO seriously wrongheaded. It's hardly a unique problem here. See also Creative Commons which spent something like a decade trying to define what the term meant and then ended up pretty much punting when it came time for 4.0.

Even leaving aside philosophical free software issues, the practicalities are considerable. A term (as in this license) such as "not aimed at direct or indirect financial gain" could be read as ruling out pretty much any non-trivial public use given how many things are indirectly monetized in various ways today.

The main practicality is how many of the commercial users are just going to ignore the niceties of the license and use it regardless.

Getting people to understand that "No Copyright Intended" [0] doesn't absolve them of copyright infringement is tough enough. You'll never get some nontrivial number of people to understand that free download doesn't mean free for every potential conceivable purpose ever in perpetuity.

[0] https://waxy.org/2011/12/no_copyright_intended/

Doesn't this just mean you have to contact the author to work out terms for a commercial license?

"Just" that. But the reality is that if I'm looking for a commercially licensed photograph, font, or whatever, there are already plenty of sites that I can go to and pay for. And, if I'm looking for something free in a situation that clearly doesn't fall under non-commercial (e.g. marketing materials), I'm just going to skip over anything with a "non-commercial" only license and pick something else.

'Just' - but many need to do that through a legal department, so that requirement would be a dead stop unless there was an extreme advantage gained vs alternatives.

In 2 days Lithuania will celebrate 100 years of independence (apart from a 50 year intermission of Soviet occupation).

The release of this font is connected to the celebration.

I'm curious about this -

> While typing, you will notice that it is a much more sophisticated handwritten font than others. Spaces between words will not be perfectly identical, and the same two words when typed next to each will not look the same either, thus giving an impression that the text is actually written by hand.

How is this accomplished? I assume there's a ligature for spaces depending on the preceding character - but how does one randomise the ligatures between pairs of characters?

However they do it, it repeats deterministically. Every third character in a repeated string is the same. If you paste "EEE| |EoEoEoEo| |EoiEoiEoi|" into the box and note the changes to the 'E' you should observe the way the E is dependent on the previous characters, but only for a certain distance. I assume this is a ligature-like feature but I don't know enough about fonts to say any more.

Ahhh! I see. It becomes more obvious if you type a lower-case t repeatedly. Thanks :-)

OpenType is technically Turing Complete, however the usual way is to just cycle through letter form variations.

Liza Pro is one of my favorite fonts for demonstrating OpenType features: http://underware.nl/fonts/liza/features/OpenType_features/

Minor niggle: The 'Download' section has a header that reads 'For IOS users' that should read 'For macOS users'

As a writer of English I find a font without the letter Q to be distinctly lacking...

Good news, this font does in fact have the letter q.

I was trying the Turkish characters and it surprised me by having İ. Very interestingly, it didn't have ı. Does anyone know an alphabet which has İ but not ı?

I don't think any languages make use of İ but not ı; perhaps when you press the İ key on your keyboard the actual character sequence that gets entered is the decomposition "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I (U+0049) COMBINING DOT ABOVE (U+0307)"? OpenType has tags that allow you to describe where arbitrary combining diacritics go relative to a glyph, so maybe the font knows how to assemble those two code points into an İ, even though the font designer didn't explicitly design for Turkish. Just speculating here.

Love stuff like this.

The demonstration text on the web site omits Q, but it exists in the actual font file. Maybe there's no Q in Lithuanian?

Too bad about the license, or I'd use it for lots of things. Though I think Millennials who weren't taught cursive writing may have trouble with capital i and both z's.

Yes - Lithuanian language doesn't include Q, as well as X (not sure why X made it into the font, though).

Wild guess - Lithuanian does not have W, Q and X, but those are on de-facto "standard" qwerty keyboard

I was immediately disappointed by not being able to write my name (with ú and Á). It can work for Lithuanian, German, English, but not other languages that use different diacritics, as it doesn't have any others (accute, grave, circumflex, tilde, etc).

This font is pure digital poetry.

Su vasario 16, Lietuva

It would be interesting to automate the creation of fonts from historical documents by training CNNs to extract suitable sample letters and transform them.

That wouldn't be a replacement for serious projects like this, where an actual typographer was paid to work for 160 hours. But it could be fun to try lots of documents and see how the fonts they yield vary.

For all the beautiful ligatures that it has, the í (accented i) is very crude :(

> All signatures by specially programmed robot-arm will be written and published in the unitary book.


What a treat. Made my Wednesday : }

Beautiful font.

Signed, Pilsudski.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact