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  • Toolbending:Tools for Type

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    A workshop with Manufactura Independente (Porto, PT).

    Manufactura Independente is a design research studio born in 2010 and based in Porto, Portugal. It is the playground and testing grounds for Ana Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente’s design experiments and general fooling around.


    We'll start with a tour through their work, their working methods and toolbox. Questions welcome!

    After a short break, we will install a Virtual Machine (VM), which will allow you to run a designer-oriented version of Linux inside your MacOSX or Windows machine. See below how to get your VM up to speed!

    We'll use most of the morning to experiment with a few font hacking scripts that Manufactura Independente have developed.

    Some useful links

    Setting up your virtual machine

    • Download Virtualbox for Windows or Mac.
    • The virtual machine itself is 3GB, and it will be provided to you during the workshop. It can also be downloaded here.
    • Import the stonespaceship.ova file in VirtualBox, and start your new VM. All done!
    • User: Stone / Password: Spaceship

    Using Transpacing

    Make a copy of the scripts hosted here on github:

    $ git clone https://github.com/ManufacturaInd/tinytypetools.git

    If you are running this from a custom Linux-install (instead of the virtual machine provided by Manufactura Independente):

    $ sudo apt-get install fontforge python-fontforge

    Further instructions: https://github.com/ManufacturaInd/tinytypetools/blob/master/transpacing/README.md

    Changing the name of your new font!

    The new font you generated kept the name of its parent. We want to change that! Here's how.

    • Open the font in Fontforge.
    • Go to Element > Font Info.
    • Change the names to your new name.
    • Still inside the Font Info window, go to "TTF Names" and look for entries in that table with the old name, and change those too.
    • Choose File > Generate Fonts, change the format to "TrueType", and hit Save. Don't worry about FontForge's silly warnings, just hit Save.
    • Have fun with your new font!

    And remember!

    Using this tactic with non-libre fonts is illegal and, more importantly, violating the intentions of their original designers (however questionable they might be).

    Stick to libre and open fonts!