Type designers need a toolbox to build a single typeface up into a family of styles. Metapolator provides an initial set of tools for common processes, and it is fully extendable.
Type designers need tools that slide into their existing workflows. With Metapolator you can load fonts made with any traditional font editor.
The text-based and interchangeable UFO font source format has become an industry standard. Metapolator imports and exports UFOs, releasing a new animal into the ecosystem of UFO tools. Its adjustments are described in Metafont, a programming language that has been a standard in the LaTeX and mathematical typesetting world since 1977. The calculations are done with Metapost. As a web application it is built with an industry standard too: AngularJS.
The core principle of Metapolator: Typefaces are systems of shapes, and by naming the parts we can control the system.
How is it possible to keep a clear understanding of a parameterised letter shape?
The Metapolator solution is to make copies of the original, and add specific parameter values to each copy. Then, instead of constantly switching on and off parameter values for one single meta-font, we select a pair of fonts and set the metapolation parameter, which simply travels inbetween font A and font B. Its just like a cross-fader that mixes 2 turntables.
Cell replication with Metapolator: When we start using one single font, we can extrapolate to a 2nd replica by calculating a stroke from the glyph outline. From the stroke to the original outline, we can create new interpolations and extrapolations.
We create new instances from masters. An instance is located between 2 or more masters. Masters can be created from instances, too.
As soon we have more than one master, we can create children and siblings. None of this is limited to Latin alphabets. We expect that Devanagari fonts can be matched with Latin ones by translating parameters from one to another.
We believe type design should always be in the hands of the designer. Metapolator is NOT drawing shapes out of nothing.
Control points can be accessed and interpolated in Metapolator, along with composites, anchor points and kerning values.
Additionally, if Metapolator sees that all the points in a contour are in pairs, with a point opposite each point, then you can control this contour as a stroke. This gives you finer control over control bezier control points.
Metapolator has a modular design that allows you to create unlimited amounts of axes, and link unlimited masters together into complex interpolation environments.
Again drawing a connection to the world of music productio, consider modular synthesizers, where stacks of modules (or masters, in our case) are linked in all possible ways.
Metapolator lets you construct your very own Noordzij cubes.
Presentation at Libre Graphics Meeting, Leipzig, Germany
Seminar at Atelier National Research Typographic, Nancy, France
Presentation at Tag der Schrift, Zurich, Switzerland
Launching a beta version for brave users to test and explore
Inviting type designers around the world to review, use and contribute