Saturday, March 04, 2006

one font becomes two

A friend of mine gave me her handwriting sample in November, and I finally finished the font. Good thing it still looks like Christmas here in the North. It sort of disguises the fact that her gift is over two months late!



As I was working on her font it became obvious that she writes 'normal' letters that she writes when she's not thinking about it, and quite distinct 'fancy' letters that she writes when she wants it to look nice. These became two different fonts, and I set it up so that when she makes the normal one italic, it becomes her fancy font.



At least that's what I tried to do. I haven't quite figured out the font markers to tell the computer that "this" font is an italic version of "that" font. Apparently checking the "this is italic" box and saving it in the same "font family" isn't enough. Currently it works on my machine as I type... but whenever I save anything written in her regular font, it becomes italic when I re-open it. I don't think my friend will mind all of her writing turning fancy overnight, though I'd still like to solve the puzzle.

I now have handwriting fonts of several friends and family on my computer. Handwriting is a strange thing to have a copy of. So much of their personality is wrapped up in their writing. When I type anything in their "handwriting", even the silly sample text above, I can usually hear them "saying" those words in my head.

In theory, with a few clicks of the mouse I could have all my friends "tell" me how beautiful and creative and interesting I am as a person. It's a bizarre power to have, even knowing that it's an empty power.

Happily, I discovered the antidote to this unsettling feeling of power was to turn some of their emails into their font, and hear their own words in their own handwriting, restoring the "real" person to me. Huh. I'm sure that's not the first time truth has been an antidote.

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