OpenType & Bitstream Charter
a new horizon for graphic designers
In July, Bitstream Inc. released its first OpenType Pro Pack, Charter BT. OpenType fonts are a cross-platform font format, meaning, the same OpenType font can be installed on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Unix systems. Mac OS X and Windows XP and 2000 have built-in support for OpenType, but they also work on Linux, Unix, and earlier versions of Windows, where they are recognized as TrueType fonts.
Anna Chagnon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bitstream, talks about this emerging standard:
"OpenType includes many more features than the standard TrueType and PostScript formats, including the ability to install the same font on different platforms, crucial for document portability. OpenType fonts boost productivity because graphic designers and business professionals don't have to wrestle with a lot of different fonts. With OpenType, you have larger character sets to work with and fewer font files to deal with."
In this first of many OpenType Pro Pack releases from Bitstream, they are building the base with the Bitstream Originals, including Bitstream Iowan Old Style, Bitstream Arrus, and Bitstream Amerigo, to name a few. Look for these and other OpenType Pro Packs from Bitstream in the coming months. (Click for a thumbnial slide-show.)
The Charter BT Pro Pack features 6 fonts built around Matthew Carter's original Charter roman. Additional faces (With link to PDF sample sheets) are: Charter Italic (PDF), bold (PDF), bold italic (PDF), black (PDF), and black italic (PDF).
Originally released in 1987, Charter incorporates three important features: compact set width to give economical copyfit; generous x-height to give readability at small point sizes; and sturdy open letterforms to give reliable reproduction at both typesetter and laser printer resolutions. The design brings a clarity and freshness to everyday documents, such as newsletters, textbooks, directories and technical manuals, where the reader's concentration must not be interrupted by unfamiliar letterforms but where typographic dullness can itself impair comprehension. The Italic has cursive letterforms - so is instantly distinguishable, while being readable enough in its own right for continuous text.
Designed by a Master
The significant point of note for Charter is that it was originally designed for the International Typographers (ITC) in 1981 by MatthewĘCarter one of the type design masters.
According to David Consuegra, American Type Design & Designers,
"At the end of 1991, Carter and another of Bitstream's cofounders, Cheri Cone, left to form their own company, Carter & Cone Type, Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. to design, manufacture and sell typefaces in industry standard formats."
Later, they would produce the all-too-familiar digital fonts Verdana, Tahoma, and Georgia. In his decorated career, Carter has produced a broad array of fonts from classic serifs to unique decoratives. Today, he not only continues to produce fonts and design, but is active in the typography industry and as a long-standing member of the Yale University graphic design faculty.
Read the full story on Matthew Carter
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