Beautifully Briefed, Mid-September 2022: Indigenous Type, Italic Type, Adobe Types “Stop,” and Two Awesome New Cameras

A wide selection of items for the beginning of fall, from positive fonts to jolly cameras — with Adobe and Pantone pouring some cold water on things. Let’s get to it!

Indigenous Letterforms

As Americans, Europeans, or, more generally, Westerners, we take for granted that fonts will reflect the various pieces of individual type — that is, letterforms — that we’ll need. But not everyone falls into that category.

North American Indigenous fonts — with updated Unicode. Major Kudos. (Courtesy of Dezeen.)

Dezeen points us to an especially interesting effort: “Typotheque typography project aims to protect Indigenous languages from “digital extinction.” In this case, folks who were in the Americas long before Westerners arrived used languages often not written down, or that use letterforms that simply aren’t supported in modern typographic systems.

“When [the Unicode Standard] doesn’t contain characters in a given language’s orthography, it is not possible for that community to accurately use their language on digital text platforms.”

Typotheque typeface designer Kevin King 

Fascinating. Read more at Dezeen.

Italic Letterforms

The always-great Hoefler & Co. spends a minute educating us about italics:

Hoefler examines italics: point-and-sketch
Hoefler’s Fifteen Italic Textures illustration

Italics can be the most colorful part of a type family, diverging dramatically from their roman cousins. Here’s a look at twelve kinds of italic typeface, with some notes on their cultural contexts, historical backgrounds, and practical applications.

Hoefler & Co.

Read the article, “Italics Examined,” at Hoefler & Co.’s Typography.com.

Adobe Types, “Stop.”

Adobe and Pantone are having a . . . thing. As a result, all Pantone spot libraries have been removed from Adobe products:

A classy move, completely in character for both companies, to reach into users’ machines and remove stuff they had paid for and may rely on because of some licensing spat.

Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

I didn’t get a notice in either InDesign or Photoshop, but a check in InDesign (the CC 2022, aka 17.4, version) shows only the CMYK libraries:

Adobe’s Pantone+ CMYK (Coated) color picker, from InDesign CC 2022

You can subscribe to the additional libraries from Pantone for $60/year. Book design is almost exclusively CMYK, so I won’t be . . . but grrrr.

On the subject of Canadians: thanks to Nick Heer’s north-of-the-border reporting for the update.

Two Awesome New Cameras, from $100 to $100,000

So Pagani, the multi-million-dollar sports car manufacturer, has decided to market large-format cameras. Okay!

One of Pagani’s new camera models
A closeup of the (beautifully-detailed) tripod plate for Pagani’s new cameras.

Incredible, breathtaking detail and quality, based on Gibellini models but taken to 11. But like their cars, mere mortals need not apply: they start over $100,000.

Instead I encourage an order from this Ukrainian company:

Jollylook’s Pinhole Instant Mini film camera
Jollylook’s Pinhole Instant Mini in situ

They’re based on instant film cartridges, are made of recycled materials, look incredibly cool, and a kit starts at an incredibly-reasonable $99. Throw in a few extra dollars to support Ukraine and . . . feel Jolly.

Thanks to This is Colossal for the link.

Neenah Swatch Pro

From Dieline:

Specialty paper manufacturer Neenah has announced a refresh to its Classic paper swatchbooks that makes bringing designs from digital workspaces to the physical world, including a significant revamping of the numbering system, optimized for the Neenah Swatch Pro extension for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

I’m a sucker for good paper — many of you know I started in print work, and to this day, prefer it over digital destinations. Neenah manufactures Classic Textures (think: linen, laid, etc.) that have been with us forever and are still very much appreciated when it comes time to put ink of paper. Literally. An extension that makes it easy to see what that looks like — something as simple as a number, like Pantone — is fantastic.

Get more information from Neenah, or check the Adobe Extension Exchange (note: that page still lists a 2019 update).

How Adobe InDesign Took Over

Way back in the day — that is, before the mid-nineties — publishing on the Mac consisted of Quark XPress. Okay, sure, there was Aldus Publisher and some bit players, but it was basically Quark or nothing. I used Quark in book design back then, and … basically hated it.

I was one of the early adopters of InDesign, dragging co-workers and companies along with me, as part of my time working at Tropicana. Not the juice cartons themselves — those were done in Illustrator — but the ancillary stuff, like marketing materials, sell sheets, and so on.

AppleInsider ran a piece a while ago (I’d missed it, initially), “How Adobe InDesign took over publishing with Steve Jobs’ help.” Good history for those of you who don’t know about those days or want a trip down memory lane, best summarized, in fact, by a commenter on the article: “This covers an interesting arc. Adobe went from an ambitious upstart trying to unseat an established, albeit arrogant, standard, to becoming the arrogant standard.”

Read on.

R.I.P., Aperture

Apple’s Aperture photography software debuted in 2005, as a sort of hi-end iPhoto; it combined sorting and editing into one application, using libraries to keep large collections. It was almost immediately followed by Adobe’s Lightroom, which performed basically the exact same functions — and came with better integration with Adobe’s own Photoshop, as well.

Aperture was developed through several versions, but a change in Apple’s strategy led to a end to development in 2015; however, it’s still been useable in every new version of the MacOS since. Until now — with the debut of MacOS Catalina in September of this year, Aperture will cease to work.

That’s led me — and likely many others — to migrate our Aperture libraries into Lightroom. Now let’s be clear: I’ve been using Lightroom for several years now (I pay the $53 per month Adobe subscription, which offers all applications Adobe currently makes, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator in addition to Lightroom) and have gotten quite used to the workflow. So when the announcement was made that Aperture was going to stop working, I went into Aperture and . . . was lost. Migrating was necessary.

In the long run, though, it’s been a good thing. Since Lightroom doesn’t import all of the changes and corrections that Aperture makes into Lightroom, I’ve had cause to revisit some of the libraries with a fresh eye.

The first of these is the England library from 2011. Check it out soon.

If you had Aperture, here’s the info from Apple on what to do with your libraries, and the info from Adobe about how to import Aperture libraries into Lightroom (Classic version only).