This FontStruction was selected by FontStruct staff.This%20FontStruction%20was%20selected%20by%20FontStruct%20staff.

by saberrider


With this one I tried to get as close as possible to the fantastic "Manicotti" by David Jonathan Ross. See for more information.
52 characters, 117 downloads
Fri, 9th January, 1:25 AM 2009
Last Edit:
Mon, 30th March, 2:09 PM 2009
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saberrider Fri, 9th January, 2009

aphoria Fri, 9th January, 2009

Excellent. Watch out...leonoka might hunt you down!

kix Fri, 9th January, 2009

excellent stuff

intaglio Fri, 9th January, 2009

Ha ha! Funny how one flamethrower can throw us all into an apoplexy of political rectitude.

I can't remember who said it, but we're all plagiarists to one degree or another.

Pity they didn't have the copyright symbol when those Roman masons did Trajan's column.

Nice theft, by the way... it's so beautiful it was demonstrably worth pinching.

SquarePeg Sat, 10th January, 2009

I love Manicotti... Nice job, saberrider!

saberrider Sat, 10th January, 2009

so they removed the top pick? ok that's just weird. what about bitmaptica, ariapenciroman, c64castor... i could go on forever. all some kind of plagiarisms. And my copy doesn't even resemble the original as well as some of the other plagiarisms do. Well this is going to be the last fontstruction until I'm going to get an explanation. To me this is some kind of censorship I cannot accept.

kix Sat, 10th January, 2009

pink button removed?

do you really think rob or stewf or any FSstaff mebmer would do that without even telling you?

we FSors have always been treaded sooo well on this website. all this on here is FREE and they seem to put so much effort on keeping us FSors "satisfied" with everything...

... dayum is it really happening that some dumbass calls someone a thief and everything changes???

firstly i think for creative people of all kinds it's barely impossible NOT to be influenced these days.

secondly it sounds like a good idea to me to create a FREE version of a font that you WANT, but don't wanna pay for, because you can possibly rebuild it in FS.
as long as the original creator is mentioned, i think it's ok. that sometimes depends on licenses but thats another story.

thirdly i think it's assumed that most FSors on here don't feel like STEALING anything.
its more the learning, the experiencing, the honouring of the type! even if you need to copy a popular typemaster. that's not the point dammit!

it's the way that counts

saberrider Sat, 10th January, 2009

i really appreciate the service and the job the fontstruct admins are doing. i'm just a little disappointed. they could at least leave a message when they do something like that.
you know what? i'm going to change the license. clone this font and create more plagiarisms. hail to the thief.

Stewf Sat, 10th January, 2009

I'm glad to see some thoughtful comments on the issue of replication and its effect (good or bad) on the FontStruct community. We're also having an internal discussion on the topic and the removal of this Top Pick selection was an unintended side-effect of those talks. It's back and we'll post more thoughts about inspiration/imitation soon.

Sorry for causing any confusion, saber!

intaglio Sat, 10th January, 2009

I can understand nervousness on the part of the administrators of Fontstruct. It's potentially Napster all over again. With the important difference that any plagiarism in Fontstruct will involve aesthetic/practical accommodations. So it's not just a case of replicating.

I think the software will have to be a whole lot more comprehensive than it is to be a realistic threat to copyrightholders. The bricks restriction hugely limits the font types that can be emulated; the spacing issues make them hard to use without hands-on tinkering.

Copyright infringement is far more of an issue with "pro" software, in my estimation.

And there's the whole thing. It's no accident that Fontstruct has frequently been compared to Lego. It's childlike fun (not childish) and it empowers enthusiastic amateurs to pursue their hobby.

Personally I see nothing wrong with amateurs copying known designs. It's a great way to learn and increase your admiration for individual designers.

Professional thieves aren't going to be using Fontstruct. Seriously now, is any Fontstruction going to harm an original?

The type foundries have got short memories: in the recent past they enthusiastically plagiarised each others' designs. I'd like a dollar for every knockoff Helvetica and Palatino or Optima I've seen.

The good side of copyright is it provides an income for originators. The dark side is that it stifles innovation and enables huge companies to get a stranglehold on a market. We've got to the point where copyright is being applied to seeds (with useful self-terminating gene built-in). I don't trust any company to be in charge of the seedbanks of the world, and yet an acceptance of copyright as inviolable natural law is empowering it.

Copyright isn't automatically sacrosanct. I don't think we should regard it so, anyway. Who stands to gain? And who loses?

aphoria Sun, 11th January, 2009

Very well said intaglio. I agree.

afrojet Sun, 11th January, 2009

I am enjoying the discussion. I like thinking of this issue with the focus of "its effect on the FontStruct Community". Surely, I don't know all the legal ins and outs of typeface copyright but as a member of the FontStruct community I do have some feelings about how I'd like the community to evolve and how its relationship to the larger type community is perceived. Personally, my hope is that FontStruct continues to be known as a place where innovation and creativity are practiced at a high level and that the products produced here are original and have value to the type/design community as a whole. I'd be bummed if FontStruct became known as that place to get cheap replications of original work - like some DVD street vendor selling shaky hand-held camcorder reproductions of first run movies.

Intaglio brings up a good question when he asks, "is any Fontstruction going to harm an original?". It's a tough question to answer. But if I produced a typeface, outside of FontStruct, and spent months working on an original design creating deep character sets, kerning pairs, OpenType doodle-whipples, etc, etc and released the font for sale and then, a week later I saw a version of my font (with all its compromises) being offered for free on FontStruct...well yeah, I'd be a little bummed about that. Furthermore, I'd probably carry forward a negative view of the software and community of users that allowed that to happen and would answer Intaglio's question with a resounding, "Yes. Yes, you have harmed my original and potentially my revenue stream)." Likewise - to bring it closer to home - I'd be bummed if someone copy/cloned one of my Fontstructions, and made it public without changing it by adding something new to the design. There's harm there, however slight. But its enough to make people not want to make their creations clone enabled.

I think in the interest of moving my own work forward, I would like to avoid making/using a public or private Fontstruction that has the potential to bring harm to another type designer's original work. And while that's a subjective criteria at best, I will try and remember it when creating new work with FontStruct.

meek Mon, 12th January, 2009

@Afrojet that’s kind of how I see things too.
One thing that continues to (pleasantly) surprise me about FontStruct is the quality of the comments. A discussion that started elsewhere with someone shouting and swearing has turned into something really interesting.
I just wanted to add something from my perspective.
A couple of people have argued that FontStructions are technically inferior to “professional” fonts and therefore replications, no matter how precise, are always going to be imperfect and incomplete. The danger with this argument is that it can easily become an argument against improving FontStruct.
I’d really like to continue improving the technical quality of the generated fonts. For example I want to add more sets of bricks, maybe even custom bricks; who knows one day perhaps kerning, postscript outlines or even alternate glyphs. At the moment I’m working on adding right-side bearings, a space character and overall spacing control. Check it out (it might not end up exactly like this):


Anyway, the argument that FontStructions will always be somehow essentially inferior is for me not enough. I don’t want someone telling me one day that the quality of downloaded FontStructions is getting too high. The creative standard of the designs on FontStruct is already very high and I’d like to take the technical standard as far as I can. If FontStruct were to become a copyshop that could put a real brake on this development and/or provoke changes in how FontStruct works.

intaglio Mon, 12th January, 2009

My bladder just went on me. I quiver with antici...

thalamic Mon, 12th January, 2009


intaglio Mon, 12th January, 2009

Two can play this game. Megaron. (that's a teaser -- Compugraphic)

SquarePeg Fri, 16th January, 2009

I don’t want someone telling me one day that the quality of downloaded FontStructions is getting too high.

Rob, you're right. I hadn't thought about it this way.

And I do feel that leonoka has a point in saying that by making an exact duplicate of an existing typeface and allowing others to download it for free, you are potentially hurting the designer of the original -- if people decide to download your exact copy rather than pay for said original.

Perhaps FontStructions that are exact copies of for-sale fonts shouldn't be shared... Should that decision be up to the FontStructor who makes an exact copy? Should FontStruct encourage original work, along with modifications of existing work, as Stewf has argued? I'm sure there are no easy answers. But it's good to be having this discussion, as others have said.

aphoria Fri, 16th January, 2009

Ok, let's say I create an exact, or even very close, duplicate, but I don't share it in the name of protecting the original. If someone really wants it for free, they can just create it themselves. Sure, it costs them a little time, but in the end they get the font for free.

If someone is willing to use a free font, with whatever limitations it may have, then maybe the pay version of it isn't really worth much? I'm not being sarcastic. Solid gold jewelry is nice, but sometimes fake gold suffices.

I'm not denigrating what true type (no pun intended) designers do. I totally respect their artistry and craft. The time and devotion needed to create a complete font set is amazing to me.

I guess I view FS creations similar to open-source software. OSS has pushed commercial software to become better. If a suitable or even better OSS application exists, why would I pay? Lest you think I'm a Linux zealot, I'm very much a Windows guy and use (and pay for) many commercial applications because there are not suitable alternatives.

SquarePeg Fri, 16th January, 2009

aphoria, you raise some good points. I like the comparison to open-source software... If you've read Hackers, by Steven Levy, you know that the first computer programs at MIT were shared by all of the users, and improved collectively.

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to put limits on what we (all of us) can do with FontStruct, but I think that Stewf and afrojet have made strong arguments for not harming type designers' livelihoods... And as an aspiring typeface designer, I am all for that (full disclosure!).

This may sound wishy-washy, but it's an ongoing discussion, after all -- maybe there are no easy answers, or answers that can please everybody.

Em42 Sat, 17th January, 2009

The Squire fontstruction that first ignited this discussion looks like an exact replica of FF Archian Plastic. For what I can see the original font has no kerning, so apart from letterspacing (at least until Rob releases the new improvements) it can be perfectly recreated in FontStruct.

But what is the point in recreating exactly something that already exists? I can see the pedagogical component, but if there is no personal interpretation I think the process is completely sterile.

I did myself a fontstruction inspired to an existing sign lettering (Les Bains), but I intended it as an homage to the original designer who conceived it, defining a full set of characters by interpreting his original concept.

Copying exactly something that already exists, and making it available for less (or for free), for me is a lack of respect for the concept, the research, the creativity and the work that the original designer put into his original creation. It might look like making available cheap counterfeit goods on a street stall.

aphoria Sat, 17th January, 2009

Suppose I create a font, outside of FontStruct, that is the simplest you can imagine; all straight lines, square corners, very boxy and pixellated. I also happen to sell it online.

Should no one be allowed to come here and recreate that font simply because I'm selling it?

Stewf said in a comment on the Squire page that he wants to protect the needs of everyone and "not just what passes legally." However, I think in the end it will come down to what passes legally. Even if I never create another copy of a font and even take Squire down, someone else will come along and make a copy of a font.

I imagine we have all been on the internet long enough to know if something is not illegal, you can't expect that everyone won't do it just to be nice.

thalamic Sat, 17th January, 2009

Those FF Archian fonts seem to be made for (on!, I mean on) FontStruct. I also suspect that some FS users are creating fonts here without making them public on FS and releasing (or maybe selling) them elsewhere.

BTW, two things I've been meaning to mention for a while: 1. The extra space FS adds automatically between characters is not 100% one grid square wide. I only know this because square dots of onGrid do not overlap exactly. Can this be addressed? 2. How does the website know to only load the preview of those fonts that are currently displayed on the screen? Does ActionScript provide a WindowScrolledPercentDown function or something?

Getting back to rights and originals and copy thing, The reason I don't offer the Clone button on my fonts is that, good or bad, I don't want anyone messing with my fonts, and I am sure most other designers feel the same way. But at the same time, I can't prevent anyone from recreating the same font, maybe even exactly or, very likely, improving it. So I feel that copying will continue whether I like it or not. That was me on the designer end, on the copier end, I feel somewhat justified in recreating something because I created it myself. Obviously both of my actions are contradictory to each other, hypocritical even. The question is if my conscience is fine with it...and it is, for the most part. How that is, I don't know. I began FontStructing back in April 2008 with recreating a font exactly, down to the pixel. I had no design input in it, just effort. I do feel now that that was wrong. I haven't deleted that font yet (because it is just so beautiful), but I no longer share it either. Since nothing is original, an expansion or redirection of someone's idea seems reasonable, but an outright copy seems not right somehow. However, is replication such a bad thing? I mean the entire monk scribe system did nothing for centuries, later replaced by Xerox and most recently by .pdf. "Where do we go from here? / Which is the way that's clear?"

As evident, I have no idea which side I'm on...or neither...or both.

thalamic Sat, 17th January, 2009

I thought of this after 'Submit'. Please allow me to play the devil's advocate: Supposing I was forced to make a choice, I would have to side with the original designer. So there.

The debate doesn't end there though. Fine, so we agree that only original content is allowed. Alright, define original then. Is 20% modification of an existing design enough to render originality? Let's take an example. I round-off the chamferred edges of a typeface. That's about 20% modification. Does that make it an original? No, probably, because it would more or less render the same, especially at small sizes. So 20% originality is not enough. 50% then. I take the same chamferred typeface, round-off the edges and introduce a vertical hole in each stem. That's about 50% modification. Is that original? Still no because the basic shape of the glyphs has remained intact. That means that to create an original typeface/font, each of the glyphs I create must be sufficiently different from any pre-existing glyph. And where do we draw that line, and who would be the judge of determining if the line has been crossed or not? If I set out to create an original font, I must know of all existing fonts, any- and every-where, lest I, inadvertently, plagiarize. A daunting task, not to mention, quite impossible as well as supremely expensive. Let me give up now.

I ask myself, are not all serif fonts copies of each other? I mean, just how different is a Jenson from a Caslon from a Garamond from a Times? Really, any can do the job. At least three of them are copies in that list.

If you think about it, FontStruct is an application just like Illustrator is an application. If I am allowed to do anything I want in Illustrator, so must I be in FontStruct. The only reason copying/recreating is even an issue is because the application is online and the fonts are stored not on local systems.

I don't see a resolution to this. Someone will just have to make some policy--thoughtful or even random--and stick to it. There is no absolute right or wrong answer here. It's all #808080.

SquarePeg Sat, 17th January, 2009

I ask myself, are not all serif fonts copies of each other?

That's what kix was pointing out in the other thread...

If you think about it, FontStruct is an application just like Illustrator is an application.

Yes. As you say, the difference is that it is online, as well as what people make with it.

afrojet Sat, 17th January, 2009

I don't think this is a question of "which side are you on" or "what passes legally" or whether or not we need a policy to be policed. Fundamentally, it's simply about what we choose as a community to give value to. I think a lot of new users to Fontstruct (myself included) practice their skills by emulating an existing font - like a newbie writer typing off pages of Hemingway or Fitzgerald just to feel the rhythm of good prose. But after a couple of runs at someone else's work we start to get the itch to leave our own mark and break out for an original idea. When we encourage and reward that journey from emulation to originality within the community, we benefit by gaining another member who produces great original work that challenges us to be better and better. I mean - if it wasn't for folks like Thal and Saber's original work continually blowing my mind and raising the bar, then I'd be half the Fontstructor I am today. We all bring to the table our own idea of what's original. It's ok if we can't quantify it or agree on specifically what that is, just as long as we are all shooting for it.

afrojet Sat, 17th January, 2009

BTW - I'm really impressed with the level of discussion here and the time people have taken to put forth their comments. Top notch everyone. Also, thanks for the Squire link. I had missed that side of the discussion.

intaglio Sun, 18th January, 2009

I once saw a film about Jimi Hendrix, in which Pete Townsend (The Who) was being interviewed. He recollected being told by a fan that "he's ripping off all your things, man". Meaning that Jimi was also getting into similar Fender-abuse onstage antics.

When he'd gone to see for himself what all the fuss was about, Townsend was perceptive enough to recognise musical genius and considered Jimi's "theft" of his own bag of tricks as a bit of a red herring.

Are there any parallels here? I think there are. Sometimes I see a font and I wonder... was one of my designs an inspiration for this? It might be egotistical, or not. I just don't know. I've carved out a bit of a niche for myself on the site, but I don't own it. When somebody creates a nice font that's in "my" territory, I'm impressed, doubly so if someone else's idea is better articulated than mine.

And that's the issue. When Eric Gill "improved" the font used for the London Underground, he had no qualms about putting his own monikker to it. Now I see many, many derivatives of that font. Is Mr Gill turning in his grave?

I should be so lucky as to have a top notch designer think one of my designs worth improving. I'd be flattered.

From very early on I started making my designs clonable, and anybody's welcome to "steal" ideas from my fonts. If they're good ideas, they're worth stealing, obviously.

I guess that shows where I'm coming from. Having said that, I can't think of any design I've started that was a particular, conscious emulation of a known font. Sometimes they just end up that way!

Does anybody know whether Disney got their 50yr extension to the Mickey franchise? Walt is long dead/freezedried and the family certainly doesn't need the money, but hey.