Divide by Zero Fonts

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Recurrently Sought Answers

I get asked these questions a lot, and though I don't generally mind, I figure it would be easier if the information was available on the page, (especially since sometimes I am not in the mood to reply and so sometimes the questions go unanswered). So here they are; feel free to ask me still, if you need clarification, and do still write () if you have some Nice Things To Say. =)

How do I make my own fonts?

Ah... you will need some rather expensive software (Fontographer, Photoshop), some inspiration, and quite a bit of free time. I can't really help you with any of these three...

However, you can check out a tutorial I made: How To Make Fonts, which attempts to explain what to do once you've got all this stuff. Enjoy.

Will you link to my site (or join my webring, etc.)?

No -- but don't take this to mean that I don't like your site (there are lots of internet font foundries and sites that I love). There are no external links on this site at all, partly for philosophical reasons and partly because I dislike the work required in maintaining a link repository. This is a content-only node on the web.

How did you make your graphics? (3D effect and shadows, etc.)

The highlights and shadows on the fonts were done with a collection of Photoshop plugins called "Alien Skin Blackbox" (the new version is called Eyecandy). I would not recommend abusing these effects, in fact, I think I may have gone a little overboard on some of my fonts. (I promise to clean up my act soon...) No, you cannot do this directly with Microsoft Word.

Can I use your fonts to do _______?

Probably -- see the Legal Stuff page.

Why don't you do mac versions?

I have neither the space nor the hardware (a Mac) to do this -- there is a converter on the howto page, which I hear works very well. (Actually, I tell a lie. Now I've got plenty of space, and Mac versions should be coming soon.)

May I link to your page?

Of course! I made some banners which you can use:

Can you find me font _________?

No, absolutely not. Please don't ask me this, especially if it is a commercial font. I am lucky enough to be able to do this for free; some people actually need to make a living selling fonts. Even if it isn't commercial, I only have maybe 20 fonts on my machine aside from the ones I've made (and most are the ones that come with Windows), so I probably cannot help you out. Try asking in the newsgroups comp.fonts or alt.binaries.fonts.

What is the Font Smoother you used to recommend on the main page?

This is an accessory that comes with Plus! that Microsoft decided to release for free. It is a VERY impressive addition to Windows 95; it makes fonts in all of your programs which use Truetype Fonts anti-aliased, which make them look smoother (and MUCH better). Anti-aliasing is the use of grey (or other colour) pixels to smooth the edge of lines:


Since the information in a Truetype font can represent a curve to infinite resolution, this is more than a simple blurring effect on the font; it actually allows you to see more detail. You must be running in 16-bit color to use this (which you SHOULD be, anyway, especially if you're browsing the web!). Here is the link: The Windows 95 Font Smoother. This functionality is built into Windows 98 and NT, so it shouldn't be installed on those platforms. Note, of course, that I didn't write this software so I'm not really the one to send bug reports to. Use at your own risk.

What kind of software/hardware do you recommend?

I could go on for ages about this, but quickly: I recommend Fontographer, Photoshop, and a Wacom drawing tablet (Wacom totally rules. Never have I been more impressed with a piece of hardware). A lot of ram is nice, and you should definitely be running in high-color (16 bit or better) mode.

Right now I've just got this big new computer, it's like this:

    Dell PII-400 with 256mb of 100mhz ram
    Diamond Fire GL 1000 Pro (OEM version) - 8 mb AGP
    12 mb Orchid Righteous 3D II
    11.5 gigs ultra-ata HD
    Princeton Graphics EO70 Monitor
    Wacom ArtZ II 6x8" drawing tablet with standard stylus,4-button puck
    APC 420 Smart-UPS
    Cheapo 4x/8x CDR
    Other miscellaneous fixins.

(I figured it's going to be obsolete soon so I might as well gloat about it now.)

How do you come up with font ideas?

Generally I doodle them in class.

Why do you do this?

I can't stop myself from making stuff all the time; I think it's some sort of neurosis. I also do other stuff like write music (I've written over 550 songs with my keyboard, and hundreds more with my band), draw, write, and make computer programs. Yes, I do also have friends. ;)

My ultimate goal is to be the Guided By Voices of indie typography.

Why don't you have a zip to download them all at once?

Fine fine, I do now. It is downloadable from the Main Page, or from This Link.

Where did you get those little heads on your link bar?

They are in the font Tombats Smilies, which you can download on the Fonts 1993-1997 page, and they are characters y, z, and ?.

What is the opposite of Iced Tea?

I don't know.

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