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0.4 He’s a jolly good fellow

I just dropped News Cycle 0.4 onto the internets.  Right now the deets are all at https://launchpad.net/newscycle/trunk/0.4 — why wait?  If you haven’t yet decided to click on that tantalizing new link, I’ll now explain why you should.

First, News Cycle is (of course), my open font revival of the classic ATF News Gothic from 1908.  In 1908, News Gothic included the Basic Latin character set, and that’s pretty much it.  The previous (0.2) release of News Cycle added to the original via a greatly expanded set of accents and extended character blocks, covering a large swath of Latin Extended-A and Latin Extended-B.

This release continues to expand on the original, and adds two new alphabets: Greek and Cyrillic.  There have been proprietary versions of News Gothic released by commercial foundries in the past that included one of these alphabets or the other, but as far as I can tell, News Cycle 0.4 is the first open source News Gothic to provide coverage for them.  In theory, they should look unified and coherent when mixed together with Latin.  That’s not inherently easy for someone who has very little experience reading Greek & Cyrillic languages, so by all means, if you have feedback, please send it.

I’ve also tried to learn a teensy bit more about OpenType funnery in this development cycle, so version 0.4 also includes “text figures” — aka, Oldstyle numerals.  I also updated many of the punctuation and non-alphabetic characters, and just cause I felt like it, added a nice selection of mathematical symbols (although they are limited to the symbols one would use to write in-line equations and expressions; complex and scaled symbols are a bit outside the scope).  Plus there are one or two easter eggs which I don’t feel like looking up at the moment, so let them serve as awesome little surprises.

The kerning was done by Igino Marini through his iKern service.  Hinting & instructions are autogenerated.  It is possible that I’ll be able to use ttfautohint to get better hinting; if so that will be made available in an update.  Right now you can download TTFs and OTFs from the Launchpad project page.  News Cycle is also provided through Google’s Web Font library, although there will be a delay before the new version is served up there, because the company does rigorous testing.

I’m currently working on bold; more about that in a week or so. Although … if you’re dying of curiosity, I did add the -Bold SFD to the Bazaar repository at Launchpad.  Don’t be alarmed when you open it, however — I’m starting with the regular version of each glyph and emboldening them one-by-one.  There aren’t that many glyphs done yet.

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