(And I love Vitesse; it's my slide deck font now.)
Marco wrote a blog post recently saying he had trouble getting responses from type designers, but what he managed to pull off here is a survey of some of the best reading faces in the world, ranging from venerable (FF Meta) to brand new (Elena).
I'm wondering about the licensing model, though... When I go to buy it, pricing depends on the number of CPUS. If I were to buy this font and use it in a slide deck, could I publish it after the conference?
In their FAQ, they say:
Our end-user font licenses allow only the production of Workflow PDFs, not Public PDFs. For organizations that need to circulate PDFs more widely, we offer an Embedding License as a supplemental product. For more information, please contact our sales office at email@example.com.
Font licensing seems complicated. I just want a font that I can use to produce beautiful slides, display them on a screen in front of a large audience, and print them / share them after the talk.
So, couple things:
(a) You can just not share the deck at all. That's my strategy. Slide decks suck. Sharing them also dilutes the value of your talk; a single talk can be given more than once, as long as you don't publish it.
(b) You can ignore the license. Many other people do that. You are unlikely to get burned by the H&FJ police for doing that. One imagines H&FJ is much more concerns about agencies and big companies accidentally publishing their whole font library in their professional PDFs.
(c) You can, instead of designing your talk in Keynote, design it in Illustrator (bonus: Illustrator is way better), slice the slides up on artboards, convert the type into outlines (a 1-click operation in AI), export them to individual PDFs, pull them into Keynote, and share that.
I agree that slide decks suck as a sharing medium (unless you go to the trouble of adding "notes" under each slide, and share that, but then you're better off sharing a different document). Martin Fowler puts it very well in this post: http://martinfowler.com/bliki/Slideument.html
I can see how sharing a slide deck would dilute the value of a talk. At the same time, sharing my slides lets me reach more people. They might learn more by watching the talk, but it's a trade-off.
There's also the question of the legality of sharing these slides on websites such as InfoQ or Parleys, where the slides are synchronized with the video. But I guess option (c) could work for these.
Given how it's a slide deck, this probably isn't a big deal for distribution. But if it's important to you, I'm sure you can OCR the final product, and that wouldn't end up embedding the fonts. Unfortunately that's sort of a roundabout process.
This is surely an annoying process bound to put anyone off of commercial typography... unless you're already typesetting your presentations in Illustrator. Which, admittedly, I haven't been doing. But now that I think about it: I do a lot of stuff in Illustrator, and Illustrator is so. much. better. than Keynote.
I don't understand why I should OCR the final output, though, since I already have access to the "raw" text. If I were to OCR it and generate a new PDF, I'm back to square one, since I'd need to specify a font. Unless you meant that some people might want to OCR my public PDF to access the underlying text, since it only contains images?
In the end, I guess I'll simply use a font with a more permissive licence (free or commercial).
If I'm going to spend a couple hundred bucks on a typeface, I'm not going to share it in JPG format.
I really think the best option is just not sharing slides. Your talk is your talk, not your visual aids.
@marcoarment congrats Marco, great idea out of nowhere to up your game re: typography. Out of nowhere!!
Interesting, considering Readabilty's app is a complete ripoff of the one-man-company Instapaper.
Edit: Even without that context, it seems petulant & rude.
"I wish someone had kicked my complacent ass about fonts sooner."
Those comments were very surprising to me, and not just because Marco gave the nod to Readability about fonts. Marco and Readability have both publicly acknowledged each others products and at one point they were approaching a working relationship with each other. It all appeared like it was friendly competition and respect.
It's not surprisng to me, but I still find it fascinating how one partner's comments (who I'm guessing is out of the Readability loop) can change all of that with one tweet -- at least from a business perspective.
Our latest experiment was partly inspired by Marco Arment’s awesome Instapaper application (and equally awesome Instapaper iPhone app).
I think Timothy Meaney needs to watch the Everything is a Remix series: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/watch-the-series/
Yes, the fonts are great. Not sure if anyone has noticed, but on IPad3 with Elena font only while in landscape only, capitals are distorted/thin. It's fine in every other font with both portrait and landscape orientations.
Otherwise, no doubt, these fonts are beautiful, and the twilight sepia is a welcome addition, since I use F.lux generally on all my systems. Great release Marco!
I'm not a big font guy but I've been very impressed twice recently by new web fonts -- first Kottke's redesign using Whitney Screen Smart and now Elena for Instapaper.
The fact is, Times New Roman and Helvetica are two of the greatest typefaces of all time both for legibility, and for "receding into the background", so that you notice the content, not the font. Just because they're tremendously overused doesn't make them any less legible.
And while Elena, Lyon and Tisa are not terrible, all of them impose far more typographical personality on the text than I'd rather have. And for an app that people may spend an hour a day reading on, the choice of typeface is actually tremendously important. For me, Elena is just too boxy and spindly, with overlong serifs; Lyon's letterforms just need further work and refinement (the lowercase 'f' has too large of a hook, and feels like it's going to topple over to the right; the commas draw too much attention to themselves because of their size, etc.), and Tisa is just too casual, without enough variation between thick and thin strokes.
So please, Marco, bring back Times New Roman, Palatino, and Helvetica as additional options!
There are certainly some other typefaces I would have preferred (Adobe Minion is one of my favorites), but I would imagine Marco was also constrained by the deals he could cut with the foundries. Especially given how quickly he incorporated the licensed typefaces, it seems like a remarkable upgrade to me, and I'm looking forward to trying it out more extensively.
It's just that there is ZERO indication that area is scrollable. It shows three (on iPhone), has rounded corners, no scroll bar... definitely a failure in user-interface. Strange.
Minion would be my #1 pick too.
On the iPad, the list displays 4.5 lines, with the top of 'Meta' peeking up from the bottom, so that's a natural visual cue that the list continues. Perhaps there's room to fit in 3.5 (3.4?) lines on the iPhone app, but I would be concerned about making the list either too cramped or unbalanced next to the triad of buttons on the right. In any case, once one discovers that the list scrolls, it's hard to forget it, so perhaps it's fair to trade discoverability for a cleaner interface in the long run.
One additional minor flaw I noted on that list (iPhone and iPad alike): the 'Lyon' text looks like it's aligned too high. I suspect the descender on the 'y' is to blame, although I don't see the same problem with the item for Georgia, the only other font with a descender in its name. One-star review until it's fixed in 4.1.1! ;)
P.S. Glad to hear the appreciation for Minion--I was so happy the day I got my TeX installation configured to use it. I'll likely wait for the 4th generation to update my iPad 2, so Marco's got a year to hash out an agreement with Adobe to use it....
A sane policy would recognize that he's a popular iOS developer in good-standing, and would not submit him to any review process.
Moving on... given that he thought it would take 7-10 days I think it was completely appropriate of him. He worked hard and got an extra boost. I'd rather be supportive than snarky.
I wish Apple provided a way to install non-approved apps without jailbreaking, either in some kind of custom security container or entirely at your own risk. I specifically would like to see "adult" (porn) apps allowed (as a free speech issue, and because I think they could be popular), but I'm aware of both Apple's desire to be PG rated and the likely influx of crappy spam which would ensue from porn apps. HTML5 pretty much covers this niche now.
From all the information we have it appears that, indeed, Marco's app was fast tracked for approval. So why are you questioning the sanity of Apple here?
Apple's store is a blockbuster success and follows millenia of tradition in shopkeepers having veto power over what they sell in their shops.
And there's quite a difference between fast tracked for approval and no approval process. The former requires the developer to the submit to a black box process, the latter provides instant feedback and full control.
Or there's a high correlation between the apps you installed and the ones that were fast tracked?
"the latter provides instant feedback and full control."
Sure sing the praises of the wildly successful Android Marketpl-- oh wait they had to rebrand it.
Moreover the difference here is that I am not claiming google's model is insane and has no advantages. There are clearly several strong advantages to it. But let's be clear it also has some huge negatives: security, fraud, average quality, spam, discoverability, etc.
Ticking off one spec where google has an advantage and declaring Apple's far more successful store insane is laughable.
1. Highest dpi screen of a Mac
2. Keyboard travel
3. Overall solid feel
I use both a Pro and Air daily and can say without doubt that I always prefer the Air.
However, if there's rumor of a new Air coming out soon, I'd wait for that.
However, while the lower dpi of my macbook pro is noticeable, it is not tremendously so. If the screen were closer to my face it would be much more noticeable, but laptops usually have some distance to the viewer.
For example, in a reading app, a pinch gesture can also be assigned to changing font sizes, and perhaps that's what many users will expect to happen.
I think keeping gestures to a minimum (in this case, just a tap, which coincidentally, is a feature of many e-book readers) serves Instapaper well.
By the way, well done Marco. Solid update, worth working hard for, and I am sure your customers appreciate it.