TeX & Friends (Planet by DANTE e.V.)



It's all in the A! The Atlantic is stunningly redesigned with a bespoke typeface & a monogram

Led by creative director Peter Mendelsund and senior art director Oliver Munday, the well-respected book publishing design team who came on board full-time at The Atlantic almost a year ago, the magazine unveiled a new visual identity complete with a new logo, custom typeface, updated website, and iOS app with its December issue.

“It is the most dramatic new look for our magazine in its 162-year history, and one that, we hope, reflects boldness, elegance, and urgency,” writes Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief of The Atlantic, author and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. 

“The interesting thing to me about the first cover in 1857 is how clear the hierarchy of information is. The forthrightness, the omitting of needless information, the seriousness of purpose and mission—I would say those are all components of the design that represent what The Atlantic, as an institution, does well” notes Mendelsund of his team effort to redesign the historic title. 

“The most notable change in this redesign is the new nameplate, the move to the A as representative of the whole” adds Goldberg of the wordmark aka “an emblem—a logo.”

Set in the all-new bespoke typeface Atlantic Condensed based on the type forms that the founders chose for the first issue the font speaks of the magazine's legacy as well. 

“We started with a condensed capital A that pointed toward an old version of The Atlantic logo drawn by Boston Type Foundry in the mid-19th century,” Munday explains to AdAge. With some adjustments for something "that felt weightier or slightly more bespoke” the design team added a notch to the top of the A, adjusted the feet and then hired typographer Jeremy Mickel for final refinement. 

Eventually, the process led to the creation of a new custom condensed typeface, a full alphabet based on the original Boston Type Foundry sample used for the A.

This serif typeface known also as a “Scotch” face -a term describing the way the serifs are designed- is “an extremely legible, classical kind of typography, but also transmits a certain kind of vehemence and urgency that works nicely for our contemporary purposes.”

Atlantic Condensed, the bespoke and extremely legible serif typeface, aims to transmit a certain kind of vehemence and urgency that works nicely for The Atlantic's contemporary purposes

Per Mendelsund the new design had to be “readerly” and “to feel confident” without “clamoring for your attention in too many ways.” The task has been accomplished per the designers in a number of different ways. 

“One is through good grids, making sure that the page itself has a rigorous, almost Euclidean logic to the way it’s laid out. Another is by ensuring that the type is interrupted as little as possible and that when it is interrupted by imagery, the imagery is contained within its own cordoned-off space.” 

With the single-letter logo being the most striking aspect of this year's redesign -the magazine’s last full redesign happened in 2009- the A is set in roman, or normal, type. The upright letter conveys more authority, Mendelsund says. “Italics are typically not meant to work as a main graphical component but rather call attention in a body of text that is upright.”

Accompanied by a whole ecosystem of “engraved” nautical emblems to serve as visual elements of the Atlantic's latest redesign this is by far one of the most daring and visual pleasing rebranding projects of the year for a title which was launched in the autumn of 1857 by Boston publisher Moses Dresser Phillips

The first issue of The Atlantic Monthly was published in November 1857 and quickly gained fame as one of the finest magazines in the English-speaking world. The magazine, which billed itself as a "journal of literature, politics, science, and the arts," was an immediate success and within two years the circulation of the magazine had risen above 30,000. 

Two centuries later, on July 28, 2017, The Atlantic announced that multi-billionaire investor and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs (the widow of former Apple Inc. chairman and CEO Steve Jobs) had acquired majority ownership through her Emerson Collective organization. Now the magazine, subscribed to by over 500,000 readers, publishes ten times a year. Obviously the saga continues with an A.  

Discover more here.

All images via The Atlantic

by loukas at Friday, 2019-11-15 13:33



Rüdiger Schlömer will teach us how to type knit our lives for good

Swiss designer Rüdiger Schlömer is the kind of creative you can count on even under the worst and most extreme cold weather conditions. After all, he is a man who knows how to infuse type into knitting. 

Schlömer's book, Pixel, Patch und Pattern: Typeknitting (published by Verlag Hermann Schmidt) has been recently awarded the «Certificate of Typographic Excellence» from Type Directors Club, is currently on display in The World’s Best Typography exhibition (TDC65) and as Pentagram's Eddie Opara notes, is filled with surprises.

Innovative, insightful and playful, the book -which has also been nominated for Design Prize Switzerland 2019/20 for «Communication Design»- challenges the readers to learn to knit a variety of typefaces modeled on digital designs by well-known type foundries including Emigre, Lineto, Parachute, and Typotheque and emblazon ones hats, scarves, and sweaters with smartly designed monograms, letters, or words. 

“At first glance, the cover is extremely unassuming and without further inspection you would walk right past it. With a closer examination, its apparent pixelated, title in all caps wears a distorted, woven-textured effect with its added hybrid brew of Anglo-German: Pixel, Patch und Pattern. As your eyes peer down to the bottom of the cover, innocuously set in Futura, Typeknitting leaves you intrigued and you are overcome with curiosity” notes TDC's Communication Design Judge Opara of the publication which was published last winter by Verlag Hermann Schmidt. 

“When opening the book, behold the incredible surprises that wait! You are taken into an alternative culture of typography that is knitted! The different stitching techniques are endless and transformative. The open, playful, thought-provoking, effortless, enterprising, and dynamic qualities are profound. You relish the fact that every design is made by hand. The end results are awe-inspiring. It brings life to modularity and systems. After viewing this book, you have to ask yourself, why do you sit at your computer, hour after hour? Are you really making something that is tangible?” he adds. 

Typeroom's Loukas Karnis asked Schlömer some questions between his own type knitting lessons now that winter marches on in Europe. 

So please introduce yourself to us.

I grew up in Paris, France, and Bremen, Germany and studied Visual Communication in Aachen and Art in Context in Berlin. In my studies, I became interested in experimental communicative formats that combined analog and digital principles, like hacking, reverse engineering or programming.

I find that many of these "new" principles can be found in older media or techniques, in music notation or textiles. I have been living in Zurich since 2011, Switzerland, where I work mostly on exhibition design, books, and self-initiated projects.

How did you come up with the idea of mixing type with knitting?

For the occasion of the soccer World Cup in Germany, I developed a "Fan-Scarf-Remix"-Webtool together with my friend, designer and programmer Jan Lindenberg.

On the project website, you could remix existing fan-scarfs into individual messages and then download your remix as a knitting pattern. It was a playful, deconstructive answer -a hack- to the idea of national identity and its instrumentalization.

I started the project without any practical knitting skills, thinking that the knitting part would be just like printing out the final result ... which was very wrong. Suddenly I discovered the multitude of personal and regional knitting techniques and got interested in their practical exploration. Eventually I started a private knitting circle in my flat in Berlin with a couple of friends.

Which was the first knitted typographic product you came up with?

The first machine-knit product I developed was remix-fan scarves editions, which I released in small editions. There are big differences between hand and machine knitting.

Hand knitting is very accessible, you just need two needles and some yarn. Machine knitting allows larger editions, but it needs a technical infrastructure and brings you back to the computer. I like to keep switching between both, analog and digital.

“My Remix Fan Scarf editions are made of low-quality Jpegs found on the Internet. I started with soccer scarves only, now they contain letters of various source and context. Each edition come with an open-source pattern”

You have called your project “generative typography”. Please elaborate on this genre.

When looking at all the different hand knitting techniques, I see a lot of parallels to digital tools, layout programs or plugins. “Patchwork Knitting” for example, is based on geometric patches as basic elements. Instead of following a pixel-by-pixel knitting pattern, Patchwork Knitting gives you a basic grid, which you can freely combine into color and pattern combinations.

It's basically a modular, generative approach to pattern design, just very slow, because you knit it by hand. And since it's based on patches, it's perfect for knitting modular typography.

“Patchwork knitting is basically a modular, generative approach to pattern design, just very slow, because you knit it by hand. And since it's based on patches, it's perfect for knitting modular typography”

What is your book "Pixel, Patch und Pattern – Typeknitting" all about?

My book shows typographers how to knit letters, and knitters how to include typography. It's a systematic introduction to how different types of letters can be constructed using different hand knitting techniques.

The four main chapters, PIXEL, PATTERN, PATCH, and MODULE go from intarsia knitting to slip-stitch patterns to patchwork knitting. These approaches are shown through knitted prototypes with typefaces from type designers like Andrea Tinnes or Christian Schmalohr, and type foundries like Emigre, Lineto, Nouvelle Noire, Parachute and Typotheque. It also contains instructions for some specific knitting projects, like pullovers, Selbu mittens or cushions. 

How did you decide to collaborate with typographers on this project of yours?

When developing the book, I wanted to show "Typeknitting" as an open practice, not a collection of finished results. I saw my role as a mediator and translator between knitting and typography, two fields I know well enough to initiate this dialogue, without being a hardcore specialist in either.

As Typeknitting is a lot about communication through knitting and letters, the very process of it becomes communicative as well. The exchange with the contributing knitters and typographers was and still is essential in this process.

In most cases, I started with the different knitting techniques, and their structural, constructive characteristics. From there I looked for typefaces that would suit theses characteristics and then I knitted prototypes to illustrate the different principles. TypeJockey by Andrea Tinnes (Typecuts) turned this process around: it inspired an approach of combining structural and color patterns, which can be applied to many other fonts.

Typefaces are most knittable when they are pixel-based or have a strong constructive character. My book contains a collection of more than 30 typefaces, from bitmap classics like Emigre's Lo-Res and Oblong, to contemporary interpretations like Fidel Peugeot's Walking Chair. Some can be used for a specific technique, for example, dot-matrix fonts like Panos Vassiliou's Online One are perfect for slip-stitch-knitting.

Once you start exploring, the amount of knittable typefaces, knitting techniques, and the possible combinations is almost endless.

What are the similarities between the craftsmanship of knitting and type design if any?

I think that the knitting structure has many parallels to a piece of text -even if you are not knitting letters. Loops form a texture, just like letters form a text. Roland Barthes described the text as “a tissue [or fabric] of quotations”. Vice versa, you can also look at the knitting fabric as a text or code. But I would rather compare knitting to digital practice in general. The whole Typeknitting approach is somehow about the relationship between digital craft and analog programming, which form a kind of digital craftsmanship.

“When developing the book, I saw my role as a mediator and translator between knitting and typography, two fields I know well enough to initiate this dialogue”

Lots of people compare knitting to the protocols of software and the “Zen” qualities of the loops themselves. What's your take?

It depends whether you look at the process or at the physical result. When looking at finished knitwear you only see the visual characteristics of knitting textures and materials. This is like looking at a finished painting compared to experiencing the single brushstrokes. When you get into the process of knitting, the subjective experience is very repetitive, meditative, almost hypnotic. It's a very logical, algorithmic process, which definitely shows parallels to software. And as knitting is mostly based on two variables (knit and purl) it can be seen as a form of manual programming. I see many similarities and think it's no coincidence that knitting patterns look like code.

Do you consider yourself a fashion or a typography hacker?

“Hacking” as I originally understand it, describes a subversive intervention of a system from the outside. Today you find so-called “Life Hacks” in every mainstream magazine. Using your leftover coffee grounds for plants has become a hack, or using empty shampoo bottles to store valuables. Most of these tricks my grandmother used a long time ago, they were just basic household knowledge.

Which makes you think, either hacking wasn't as subversive in the first place ... or that the imaginative usage of older things and practices (like knitting) have a lot of potentials to be discovered, which is helpful to many. I see my book as a “Plug-In”, a joint between typography and knitting.

If you were a knitted typographic element which one would you be and why?

My favorite element right now it the slip-stitch. Instead of knitting a loop, you simply slip the yarn over from the left to the right needle. This makes a pre-writing, pre-typographic element, which later can become a sign (or part of a sign), although it's basically a pause in the structure. I like the simplicity of this. It also looks to me like it could have evolved as a mistake at first, and was later systematized into a method.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am preparing a workshop program. The next will be at the Amsterdam knitting academy "De Amsterdamse Steek", and another at the Swiss Yarn Festival. I am really excited about working with experienced knitters, to get practical feedback on my methods and to exchange ideas for further methods and patterns.

Parallel to that, I am constantly researching typefaces and ways of graphic applications, which I plan to explore in workshops on the graphic side. Typeknitting is made for dialogue, it's a process of constant translation between the two fields, knitting, and typography. And besides the physical projects you make with it, the evolving interdisciplinary communication is one of its most interesting side effects. I am very curious about where this will lead to.

Learn how to loop your creativity with type here (German edition) and here (English edition).

All photos © Linda Suter

by loukas at Monday, 2019-11-11 17:08



TUGboat 40:3 published

TUGboat volume 40, number 3, a regular issue, has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. In addition, prior TUGboat issue 40:2, the TUG 2019 (Palo Alto) proceedings, is now publicly available. Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already, and thanks.

Sunday, 2019-11-10 18:00



Moholy-Nagy and the New Typography: a comprehensive publication finally released

In 1929, ten years after the Bauhaus was founded, Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau launched the exhibition “New Typography.”

László Moholy-Nagy, who had left Dessau the previous year and had earned a reputation as a designer in Berlin, was invited to exhibit his work together with other artists.

He designed a room—entitled “Wohin geht die typografische Entwicklung?” (“Where is typography headed?”)—where he presented 78 wall charts illustrating the development of the “New Typography” since the turn of the century and extrapolating its possible future.

To create these charts, he not only used his own designs, but also included advertising prints by colleagues associated with the Bauhaus.

The functional graphic design, initiated by the “New Typography” movement in the 1920s, broke with tradition and established a new advertising design based on artistic criteria.

It aimed to achieve a modern look with standardized typefaces, industrial DIN norms, and adherence to such ideals as legibility, lucidity, and straightforwardness, in line with the key principles of constructivist art.

For the first time, this comprehensive publication showcases Moholy-Nagy’s wall charts which have recently been rediscovered in Berlin’s Kunstbibliothek.

Renowned authors provide insights into this treasure trove by each contributing to this alphabetized compilation starting with “A” for “Asymmetry” and ending with “Z” for “Zukunftsvision” (“vision of the future”).

By perusing through the pages and allowing a free flow of association, the typographical world of ideas of the 1920s avant-garde is once again brought back to life.

Enter this universe of geometric wonder here.

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-11-06 14:17

Type Champions Award 2019: Alibaba, The Guardian, NYT & more honorees to note

And the winners are in! Monotype introduced the inaugural recipients of the Type Champions Award, a new program that recognizes brands for their creative, innovative, and memorable use of typography in developing and maintaining their brand identities. 

“To celebrate that value, we are introducing a new program, the Type Champions Award” noted Monotype earlier this fall in this thank you note to brands that support the value of typography overall. 

The honorees are obviously brands which “demonstrate a focus on type in building their brand message, marketing & advertising efforts, and overall customer experience. This includes: Type consistency across the brand experience, an emphasis on future-proofing the brand through typography selection, authenticity in brand/creative, creative approach to advertising (use of new/emerging channels, unique strategy for engaging new/existing customers, mix of creative asset types) and leadership that vocally champions the value of type and creative.”

“Type plays a critical role in brand identity, and some brands are using type in their creative campaigns in a way that stands out as strategic, thought-provoking and innovative,” said James Fooks-Bale, Monotype's creative director of this award program which recognized the companies that use type “to stand out among their peers, and create authentic, consistent and relevant brand identities.”

After an open nomination period and an extensive review process, the following brands are this year's Type Champions Award honorees:

& Other Stories
Alibaba Group
Southwest Airlines
The Guardian
The New School
The New York Times

Last but not least Monotype launched a brand new e-book on trends in type design, often an indicator of broader shifts in brand strategy. 

“During the nomination process for the Type Champions Award, we asked creative professionals and our expert panel to identify the most prevalent trends driving design now and into the future” notes Monotype.  

Per the downloadable report the “5 Type Trends for Brands to Consider in 2020” are the following.  

1. The need for global language coverage

2. The rise of variable fonts

3. Emphasis on geometric sans serifs

4. Type as icon: Inline and engraving

5. A.B.R. always be rebranding

Download the report here.

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-11-06 11:59



Artivist at large: John Mavroudis and his multi-awarded typographic portraiture explodes

A statement and a truth: John Mavroudis is one of the most influential and talked about contemporary illustrators of our times. Blending his drawings with type, Mavroudis is an artist and activist to admire for his breathtaking and multi-awarded covers for TIME Magazine, New Yorker and more.

In the event of this year's 60th anniversary of Greece's highly acclaimed Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Mavroudis created two posters fueled with what this Greek-American artivist loves more. Pop aesthetics and type are the real stars in the visual identity of the 60th anniversary TIFF with two posters, a tribute to the festivalists who follow this cinematic adventure throughout sixty years.

“The figures are angelic, symbols of goodness. They remind us that the greater we understand different points of view, the more we see that others are not so different from us” notes Mavroudis. “I love the postage stamp frame because it’s a universal symbol of communication. That is exactly what the Festival amplifies, giving voice to filmmakers from Greece and all over the world. I’ve used it on many of my artworks, but I feel it is especially relevant here.” To discover more of this artist who speaks with type Typeroom's Loukas Karnis talked with John Mavroudis of his highly political and totally optimistic art.

So first off, congratulations on the 60th Thessaloniki Film Festival poster you designed for the milestone of Greece's movie fest. Can you walk us through how it came together — the concept and art direction and everything in between?

The 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival poster was a wonderful project to work on. I was so honored to be asked to create it. I was contacted by the good people at the Festival and given some general parameters about the project but I was given wide latitude to create something I felt worked.

I studied up on the history of the city and came up with a series of sketches, which I submitted. I heard back from them that they were more interested in looking forward rather than back. On reflection, I missed that part of the brief… but it made complete sense. It’s one of the reasons that the Festival has lasted this long. They constantly look forward. With that in mind, I submitted a few more ideas and they loved the typographic portrait of the angel. The idea that this would be the festival viewer was quite appealing to us.

We agreed on this sketch and they submitted a list of words and terms that would be used to create the piece. I ended up making two versions in a couple of different color variations. The fact that it could be deconstructed and used in a few different ways ensured that it had some utility to it. That’s important for a Festival that has all sorts of requirements on the variety of ways it was to be used. 

I ended up putting a stamped frame around it for a couple of reasons: I’ve used this motif before and I love the idea of a universally recognized symbol for communication to frame the artwork for a Festival that includes so many voices from all over the world. Although the brief was to look forward, I’m still drawn to Greek history. The connection to the arts is self-evident so there was some styling towards the iconic paintings I’m drawn to. A lot more time was spent trying to get the type on the face to match well with the facial features. All in all, I’m quite proud of how they turned out. I hope people find them worthy of such a great film festival.

On your site, you mention that you might have been born in Athens or Ireland or California. So what's your story?

I have a bit of fun on my website describing my origins. I’m an American. Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, California and extremely proud of being the son of a Greek father and an Irish-American mother.

My father was a Greek citizen who was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. His family originally came from Lemnos and Syros and when he emigrated to America in his early 20s he settled in California. I’ve only been to Greece once, but it’s a trip I’ll never forget. Athens, Delphi, Volos, Kefalonia Poros... I’m thrilled to be able to travel back and see Thessaloniki. 

Has your Greek heritage played any part in your art or your creative process overall?

Definitely, I grew up learning about Greek mythology and it certainly stirred my imagination. I remember reading D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and being completely absorbed by the stories and the amazing artwork. Then there were the trips to the Greek Orthodox church and seeing the iconic paintings of the saints. All of these things play a part in my style and my attempts to say something with my art. 

I love being able to communicate ideas through my artwork. I always found the most powerful artists hit you a couple of different levels.

One could admire the skill and style of the artist but for me, the artists that are seared into my memory are those who also sparked my imagination via a powerful message and/or unique approach. Goya, Magritte, Bosch, Thomas Nast, Alphonse Mucha, Stenberg Brothers, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, George Tooker, Ron Cobb, Paul Conrad, Ralph Steadman, Jim Starlin, Ted McKeever, Odd Nerdrum, Banksy to name a few are some of the artists who inspire me.

You are an illustrator, a graphic designer, and an activist. What is your creative process?

I usually spend a lot of time working on concepts. Once I am interested in a certain topic or inspired or outraged by something I’ve read or seen on the news, I start playing with ideas. Sometimes the ideas come in waves and sometimes you’re simply trying to find one piece that will lodge its way into my brain.

Once I have something that works, it’s tough for me to let go of it, until I’ve created what I imagine. Then comes the tricky part aka to find the right vehicle for that artwork. As an example, I was so outraged by the rise of Donald Trump and so tired of explaining to people why I hated him so much, that I tried to create a single piece that would satisfy my need to fully explain my opposition to him. After a series of attempts, I landed on the idea of creating his portrait made up of every word I could think of that applied to him. It took about a month to create the piece.

Thanks to my connections to the band Moonalice, Roger McNamee saw the piece and wanted to print them into posters. I then submitted the artwork to various publications. The Nation magazine eventually offered to use the art on its cover for the 2016 Election preview issue. The art had found a home -or in this case, two.

You are pretty outspoken against sexism and your TIME Magazine cover with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and your signature lettering has been a viral and artistic hit. How did that come up?

This particular style of mine, which I call typographic portraiture, seemed to catch on. I created additional portraits (much more flattering versions) of Hillary Clinton and Harvey Milk. I had submitted some pieces to TIME magazine (including those portraits) and they later got in touch with me during the Senate confirmation hearings for the controversial judge, Brett Kavanaugh.

They wanted a portrait of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in that style, made up of her quotes during her powerful testimony. She had held America’s attention with her accusation of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee. She came across powerfully as a credible victim and witness. That cover got a ton of attention. I was inundated by interview requests from all over. Eventually, that cover was later named Cover of the Year.

“TIME wanted a portrait of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in that typographic portraiture style, made up of her quotes during her powerful testimony. That cover got a ton of attention and eventually was later named Cover of the Year”

You have been hailed as one of the most prominent artivists in the magazine industry with your TIME cover for mass shootings taking the world by storm earlier this year. How did you come up with this heavily typographic cover aka statement against White Nationalist Terrorism?

Working with TIME magazine was pretty amazing, and I guess they had a positive experience working with me as well because they commissioned me with another cover seven months later. I was working on some ideas after the horrific gun deaths in Gilroy, California which is very close to my home town. I had attended the Garlic Festival in previous years, and now we had another mass shooting to join the rest of the very long list. Just a week after that shooting, there were two more in rapid succession. I was so sad, and angry about the continued bloodshed and I sent some ideas I developed over to TIME.

They got back to me on Monday and thought a different direction might work. They suggested making a list of all the cities where there had been 4 or more injured or dead in the course of a mass shooting. The list I worked with eventually (and sadly) numbered 153 events in cities -including repeat offenders. I turned that cover around in a few days and, again, it seemed to have made an impact on social media, as well. 

“This style, this combination of art and typography, works perfectly as a weapon of resistance. The fact that someone can go back to the artwork and see something they may have missed at first is gratifying”

Would you consider art and typography a weapon of resistance?

This style, this combination of art and typography, works perfectly as a weapon of resistance. On the successful pieces, there’s an immediate impact, but also some deeper layers to explore and think about. The fact that someone can go back to the artwork and see something they may have missed at first is gratifying. 

You are obviously against fascism, populism and all those -isms that make this world a harsh place to live. How do you deal with the trolls and haters on social media out there?

With success comes social media haters and though I used to be a very sensitive person, I’ve developed a thicker skin for criticism. I have a few friends that I completely disagree with on politics, but I feel it’s important to have the debate. Those that simply want to troll or attack, I have no use for, so I’ve learned to block and move on, as opposed to carrying on a long, long debate with people who refuse to acknowledge basic truths.

We can all have our own opinions, but we can’t have our own facts. So, while I’ll still debate every once in a while on social media or amongst my friends, life’s too short to simply bang my head against a wall debating the Trump Cult. 

Would you consider your art political?

A lot of my artwork is definitely political, but I also love creating decidedly non-political art, as well. I love creating music or film posters. I’d love to do a children’s book -I’m working on a few- or create book covers. 

You have worked for the printing industry in the past. Which is your all-time favorite newspaper and magazine both in terms of editorial and design?

New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, TIME magazine, The New Yorker, Q music magazine, The Big Takeover (music), The Nation (politics), Harper’s, Juxtapose, Communication Arts are some of my all-time favorite publications.

My favorite covers would probably feature many from The New Yorker, TIME, Fortune magazine -their early covers were spectacular. I’m also very influenced by the design and illustration of comic book covers, mostly Marvel, book covers, album covers, posters, and baseball cards.

You mention many interesting things on your site. So “along life's path, you have encountered many amazing things (with the unfortunate exception of Alien Abduction).” Were you really mocked by Bono of U2 fame?

I was a big fan of U2 in the early days and I saw them open for a band in Los Angeles. They were not very famous, but a friend and I waited near the backstage area and saw their manager walk by. He noticed us and asked us if we wanted to meet the band. We were thrilled at the prospect, so he brought the boys out, you see the main act, J Geils Band had taken the stage, so it wasn’t crowded where we were. U2 were very kind and signed autographs. I told Bono that I paid $40 -a lot of money for me in 1982- from a scalper to see the band. Then Bono turned to his guitarist and said: “Hey Edge, this idiot paid $40 to see us!” He immediately turned around and apologized, but I was laughing. 

You sold four covers to The New Yorker including one that was named Magazine Cover of the Year by the American Society Of Magazine Editors and had a cartoon of the Week, as well. Which covers and when?

I’ve been submitting ideas to The New Yorker for a while now. They’ve used my ideas (but not artwork) on four covers. The subjects were on illegal music downloads, Cristo wrapping Central Park, the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 (which was named the Cover of The Year), and a blackout in New York City.

I also did a cartoon for The New Yorker aka “Trump’s fake TIME magazine fixation” that was selected as their cartoon of the day. They were considering a cover, but they had a 2-week printing break, so they just published online. You can check my process on the 9/11 cover here.

I read that your 9 years old daughter Athena is your Art Director. How come? Does she have a word on your work?

My daughter, Athena, is very precocious. She’s in 4th grade but reads at an 8th-grade level and I’m very proud of her. I was mostly kidding, but she, like most Greeks in my family, is not shy about sharing her opinions. So I joke that she’s my Art Director.

You have mentioned in your interview with Nikos Fotakis that you create your own art when an idea strikes you and either you submit it to a magazine or you post it on your social media and someone picks it up it goes public. Will you share two examples of the above?

For my process to print I usually go about creating pieces that spark me and then try to find the best place for that piece to go, the Trump illustration was a prime example of that. It eventually made the cover of The Nation magazine but I had to do it, in any case. When I have an idea that I think can work, I try to get it out of my system by drawing it out.

Another example would be a piece I’m working on now on Bob Dylan. I don’t have any particular destination, I’m not a huge fan either but I really respect his body of work and consider him one of the truly great songwriters of this or any era. With that in mind, I had to start creating his portrait based on the titles of his amazing catalog of songs. If it finds a home or not that’s an entirely different matter. 

If I’m pleased with it, I’ll start sending it out to different publications to see if there’s any interest. The same applies to my desire to do a comic book cover. I’m such a fan of the comics, I basically learned to draw by tracing comic books when I was a kid, that I sent in some samples to Marvel comics and now I’m working on a cover project with them.

Which is your favorite typeface of them all?

I don’t have any particular favorite typeface but I can list a few that I love. Constructivist font which looks like the glory days of Russian poster making in the 1920s and 1930s is a favorite and I’ve used it on a couple of pieces. I find the design and usage of it so compelling. Also, I love the Art Nouveau fonts, but maybe that’s because I love the poster artwork of Alphonse Mucha so much. I also use DIN and Futura a lot so I guess I slightly veer towards the sans serif fonts.

If you were a symbol or a letterform which one would you be and why?

If I was a letterform, I’d probably opt towards “A,” “M,” or “X” aka my daughter’s first initial, my last name’s initial, and my favorite band’s first initial.

Your portfolio is impactful and heavy yet when one sees your body of work, you seem like an artist with optimism. What are your hopes for the future?

Thanks for the kind words about being “impactful and heavy” but “optimistic.”  That’s exactly how I’d love to be described. My personality is such that I feel so strongly about certain issues. I’m outraged by what’s happening to my country under Trump, but I’ve always maintained my sense that we’ll get through this. Reading history helps. This planet has survived more horrific times at great cost but the courage of those who resist that path shouldn’t be underestimated. 

Getting into the fetal position and rocking ourselves to sleep will not fix what ails us. My greatest example is the American Civil Rights Movement. Faced with the most brutal opposition and so many defeats, they plowed ahead and changed my country for the better.

We’re not there, yet. But we’ve come far and we shouldn’t let setbacks deter us from progress. The fight for a better world is never over. We need to accept that and find victories wherever we can and continue to move forward.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a few different projects. I have just finished a limited-edition screenprint piece on gay rights leader Harvey Milk and Natasha Trethewey, a wonderful poet. My illustration of the writer Joan Didion, a typographic portrait made up of great California writers, was just published and I’m doing the Bob Dylan piece I referenced already.

I also work on one of Paul McCartney. I have the Marvel cover project and a portrait of pro-basketball player Steph Curry. I’d love to do a portrait of Arsenal’s historic manager Arsene Wenger, but I haven’t contacted the club, yet but I’m always looking for more projects that excite me.

You mention that you have worked also as a DJ on the #1-rated Rock N' Roll station in the San Francisco Bay Area. What is your all-time favorite artists to accompany this interview of yours?

JM: These are my all-time favorite musicians.  XTC, The Chills, Guided By Voices, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, The Pernice Brothers, The Jam, Beach House, Grizzly Bear, The Delgados, Menomena, among others…

Explore more John Mavroudis' stunning typographic portraiture and universe here

“TIME wanted a portrait of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in that typographic portraiture style, made up of her quotes during her powerful testimony. That cover got a ton of attention and eventually was later named Cover of the Year”

All images via John Mavroudis

by loukas at Monday, 2019-11-04 12:31


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

siunitx v3 alpha 2

I’ve been talking about a new version of siunitx for a number of years now, and progress has been slower than I’d hoped.

After something of a hiatus (I released the first alpha last year), I’ve been back looking at the code again and expanding the range of tests to try to pick up more of the hidden bugs. I’m hoping now to have a reasonably regular alpha series as I build toward a first feature-complete beta, probably by the Spring.

Taking advantage of the possibilities offered by GitHub and Travis-CI, I’ve decided to place the zip files there rather than upload them here to my blog. (To be fair, the blog itself is currently hosted by GitHub too!)

The work on version 3 is taking place throughout the codebase, but the differences between the first and second alpha versions are focussed in two areas

  • Testing the backward-compatibility options
  • Beginning to implement quantities

There are still a lot of features to add, but for me the code works as a user. Of course, I don’t use most of the features!

One thing that’s definitely not done is full compatibility with version 2 font features. At the moment, I feel I’ll end up providing a way to continue to load v2 ‘behind the scenes’ for people who need it: I’ve got a completely new approach to font control, and it’s not really possible to map readily between old and new options. Probably I will have more on this for alpha 3, but at present I’d love feedback on any font cases that don’t work with the new approach.

One area I’d like to highlight is performance. I’ve always said that the move from v1 to v2 (using expl3) led to a bit performance jump. I’ve now got some figures, which also show v3 is going to be even better. My test document, using l3benchmark of course, is

\cs_new_eq:NN \benchmark \benchmark:n
\benchmark{\SI{0.234e3}{\joule\per\mole\per\kelvin} }

which gives

Version 1 0.0155 seconds (4.42e4 ops)
Version 2 0.00415 seconds (1.46e4 ops)
Version 3 0.00195 seconds (7.14e3 ops)

Saturday, 2019-11-02 00:00



Breaking Bad: The Incomplete History of the St Albans Bible

It reads like a horror story. In 1964, the New York rare book dealer Philip Duschnes (d. 1970) bought and subsequently broke a splendid medieval Bible produced in early-fourteenth-century Paris (Figure 1). Every page is adorned with exuberant decoration, usually with gold leaf. The manuscript also contains numerous historiated initials, like the letter S above. With … Continue reading Breaking Bad: The Incomplete History of the St Albans Bible

by Erik Kwakkel at Friday, 2019-11-01 16:47



60 years on: Typeroom's 21 favorite TIFF posters of all time

This year the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) which kicks off today, celebrates its 60th anniversary. The festival, which runs through November 10, will feature a total of 201 films and 59 short films, while 25 awards will be given out as part of the festivities.

According to the organizers, instead of celebrating by looking back on the sixty years of the festival, this is an anniversary which looks forward to the future of cinema itself. The theme of the 60th TIFF International Competition is “The Overview Effect” aka the effect that astronauts feel as they observe the Earth from space for the first time and perceive the world in its entirety.

To celebrate TIFF's milestone we present you with our all-time favorite posters of Greece's most prominent movie festival.

From the vintage aesthetics of the 20th century to Dimitris Papazoglou (57th TIFF), Beetroot Design (59th TIFF) and more this is a trip down the festival's history through its visual identity which changed over the years, sometimes for bad, sometimes for good. 

TIFF has collaborated with a variety of creatives throughout the years and for its 60th poster commissioned John Mavroudis, the multi-awarded Greek-American illustrator, to design the posters with his brilliant typographic portraiture. 

The first period of the Thessaloniki Film Festival started in 1960 and finished in 1991. During this period the festival showed exclusively Greek films and in its first year the festival was a modest "Week of Greek Cinema". From 1965 to 1991 the festival was named "Festival of Greek Cinema". Finally the festival became international in 199, acknowledged by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

Nowadays the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is an annual event focused on the discovery and promotion of new directors from all over the world. For ten days in mid-November, audiences numbering approximately 70,000, as well as hundreds of Greek and foreign Festival guests, attend screenings of more than 150 films in the city's cinemas.

Explore more here.

All images via TIFF

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-10-30 15:15



PF Marlet: Edgy, elegant & probably the ideal font of the month

In the event of Typography Guru's Font of The Month competition, we present you with a type system nominated for October, our beloved PF Marlet. 

“Marlet is a beautiful and inspiring set of typographic elements based on a minimal and simplistic approach to elegance. Originally designed as a single-style font for a Mexican cosmetics institute and its exclusive make-up and skincare line aimed at upper-middle income bracket women, Marlet has progressively bloomed” notes Parachute Typefoundry's Panos Vassiliou of his latest creation, a type system made for timeless elegance through numerous combinations diverting from passing trends in type design.

“The inspiration came from the roaring 20s and 30s, decades that embraced women’s independence both socially and politically. Taking intricate hints from the era whilst maintaining approachability, the contemporary dynamic version of this humanist typeface evolved with modulated b.”

“Marlet projects elegance and understated luxury, bringing femininity and all its complexities into the limelight, with lean lines concluding to subtle humanist curves that reference simplicity and underline the font’s exquisite quality. Its thick-thin, serif-less strokes express the modernity of the fashion industry, breaking away from the monotone sans serif.”

“A type system with contrast progressing from low (Text version) through medium (Display) to high (Finesse), with differentiated letter widths (Titling), extravagant letterforms (Swash) and finally 64 eclectic patterns (Motifs), Marlet evolved from a single typeface into a comprehensive type system in various weights which support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic.”

“Simple and elegant at the same time and in contrast to ultra-feminine Didot and Bodoni, Marlet is a ladylike infused typeface that is nonconformist, multifaceted, fashionable and romantic, strong and chic, casual yet provocative.”

Vote until Thursday for the Font of the Month competition here.

“Simple and elegant at the same time and in contrast to ultra-feminine Didot and Bodoni, Marlet is a ladylike infused typeface that is nonconformist, multifaceted, fashionable and romantic, strong and chic, casual yet provocative.”

Discover more of Marlet's edgy elegance here.

by loukas at Tuesday, 2019-10-29 06:29



Notice of 2019 Annual General Meeting

The 2019 UK-TUG Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Saturday 16th November at 14:00. The meeting will take place in the Fletcher Room, Trinity College, Oxford, OX1 3BH. We hope that as members as possible will be able to attend the AGM.

Notice is hereby given for the following.

1. Election of Chair

There were no nominations in 2018 for the position of Chair, which is therefore vacant. Anyone who wishes to stand should ask a member to nominate them for the post: in case of difficulty, please approach the committee. The term of Chair runs for two years from the AGM.

Nominations should be sent to the Secretary, by 23:59 on 1st November. The candidate should also confirm that they are happy to stand, and may be send a statement for circulation to members in support of their candidature.

If there is a contested election then there will be an electronic ballot. Details of the candidates and supporting statements will be circulated on Sunday 3rd November and voting will close at 23:59 on Friday 15th November.

2. Elections for the committee

The term of all committee members (with the exception of the Chair) expires at the end of the AGM. Anyone who wishes to stand should contact the Secretary at any time before the AGM. Nominations should be submitted by the candidate and supported by a second member.

Most of the business of the committee is carried out electronically, so a remote location should be no barrier. UK-TUG will pay reasonable travel expenses for attending committee meetings.

There will be a committee meeting after the AGM, likely at around 16:30.

3. Motions for the AGM

Any member may submit a motion to the AGM. Motions should be sent to the Secretary at the e-mail address above, and should be received by 23:59 on Friday 1st November. Motions and supporting documentation will be circulated on Sunday 3rd November.

Members not able to attend the AGM will be able to propose and vote on motions remotely. Details will be given with the motions when circulated.

by Jonathan Fine at Friday, 2019-10-25 19:26



Nature: with a bespoke typeface & a new logo the journal's evolution is on

Nature aka the British multidisciplinary scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869 and one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world sure looks different. Nature has evolved and it is being redesigned aiming at “clearer research communication in the digital age.” From today, Nature unveiled its brand new visual language in order to “fulfil its mission to serve researchers and disseminate scientific knowledge worldwide.“

“This design has been in development for well over a year, and is a much-needed update that helps us — in our 150th year — to communicate science with fresh clarity and style” note the editors of the journal's latest design transformation over its long historytn in printing. Yet this time is different because... digital.

Nature's previous designs were all based on one assumption: that the journal's content would be accessed through the medium of static ink printed on a physical page. As noted the redesign “is suited to digital platforms — where the vast majority of readers now find us — while at the same time producing a clear and engaging printed edition.”

“In surveys and interviews, readers told us that our text can be hard to read; and that research articles increasingly need to do justice to complex data sets. We knew that it would be challenging to come up with a compelling design that meets these needs and also works across formats, but working with renowned editorial designer b, we listened, we experimented and we have now acted” writes the editorial of a brand new Nature which has evolved from print to digital with many tricks.

Nature logo has changed for the 11th time -"a fresh take on the nature-with-a-small-n that we’ve used for the past half-century" and text is now in a custom typeface called Harding.

The font, crafted in collaboration with designers and typographers at Commercial Type is inspired by the mid-century Swiss modernist school of rational design. "This design school — sometimes called the internationalist school — emerged in response to nationalist design trends before and during the Second World War. It promoted the idea that graphic design should be based on a mathematical grid, allowing designers to arrange type and images with a semblance of order, as Nature’s creative director Kelly Krause explains in the journal's latest issue.

“Harding is designed to cope across the disciplines. It boasts an unusually large range of special characters, from triple prime and nabla to a full set of astronomical symbols and the ‘click’ phonemes found in some African languages” adds Krause.

“A key consideration in Harding’s overall design is performance on small digital screens. To boost readability in a limited space, it helps to enlarge the main portion of the lower-case letters, while making the ascenders and descenders (as in ‘h’ and ‘g’, respectively) smaller. Ultimately, this renders long, complex strings of words easier to parse, and allows for neat stacking of lengthy technical research-article titles over a number of lines. The ‘flavour’ of the typeface — the feelings it evokes, its personality — evolved over several months. We initially looked at six fledgling concepts, each with distinct letterforms such as rounded serifs (the small strokes at the end of letters). After we winnowed these down to two, Harding emerged as the clear winner. We aimed for an overall impression of calm, rational intelligence with perhaps a dash of British formality and wit. The myriad design considerations behind Nature’s new typeface serve one goal: to improve the reading experience for researchers and policymakers globally, and enhance comprehension and insight.”

A key consideration in the bespoke typeface's design is performance on small digital screens. To boost readability in a limited space, the font helps to enlarge the main portion of the lower-case letters, while making the ascenders and descenders smaller

The font is named in memory of Anita Harding, an inspirational professor at London’s Institute of Neurology who made important contributions to neurogenetics before her death at the age of just 42.

“The redesign process is not over, and you can expect to see more digital changes over the coming year, along with new print and digital design principles for all Nature-branded journal. Nothing is more important to Nature than communicating science with authenticity, accuracy and clarity. We hope the new design does this with a dash of style and with imagination, too. Please tell us what you think” adds one of the world's most respected journals.

Nature was ranked the world's most cited scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports and is ascribed an impact factor of 43.070, making it one of the world's top academic journals and one of the few remaining academic journals that publishes original research across a wide range of scientific fields.

Research scientists are the primary audience for the journal, but summaries and accompanying articles are intended to make many of the most important papers understandable to scientists in other fields and the educated public. Towards the front of each issue are editorials, news and feature articles on issues of general interest to scientists, including current affairs, science funding, business, scientific ethics and research breakthroughs. There are also sections on books, arts, and short science fiction stories. The remainder of the journal consists mostly of research papers (articles or letters), which are often dense and highly technical. Because of strict limits on the length of papers, often the printed text is actually a summary of the work in question with many details relegated to accompanying supplementary material on the journal's website.

Nature's first title page circa 4 November 1869. Image via Wikipedia

There are many fields of research in which important new advances and original research are published as either articles or letters in Nature. The papers that have been published in this journal are internationally acclaimed for maintaining high research standards. Fewer than 8% of submitted papers are accepted for publication.

In 2007 Nature (together with Science) received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanity.

Explore more here.

All images via Nature

by loukas at Thursday, 2019-10-24 08:27



Paris 2024: variable fonts and Art Deco for the Olympics

Paris has unveiled a gold-medal-shaped emblem for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympic Games that incorporates the Olympic flame and the lips of Marianne. The new design, under the direction of creative agency Royalties Ecobranding, brings together three iconic symbols connected to sport, the Games and France.

The logo pays tribute to Paris as the host city of the Games, as its pure, understated lines and its original variable typeface take their inspiration from Art Deco, the first complete artistic movement, which reached its height at the 1924 Games in Paris. Per IOC the typeface “expresses just how proud the country is to be welcoming the world to its capital city in 2024”.

According to the official press release “the emblem embraces the shape and colour of the most beautiful medal of all to express one of the core values of sport: striving for excellence. That same commitment also informs every step that Paris 2024 is taking in organising the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, so that it can fulfil the pledges it has made to stage a different, grounded, sustainable and inclusive Games.”

“The Olympic and Paralympic flames always conjure up special memories. The flame invites us to dream, to engage and to come up with new ways of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It reflects the unique energy of the Games, which bring people together and drive solutions forward. The Games will help improve the lives of the inhabitants of the Seine-Saint-Denis area by bequeathing useful infrastructure to them: eco-neighbourhoods, through the conversion of the athlete and media villages into housing, and the creation of local sports facilities, such as the Olympic Aquatics Centre.”

“Finally, Marianne. With its feminine traits, the Paris 2024 emblem pays tribute to a woman who is a French national symbol known around the world. She embodies the revolutionary spirit that infuses the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. She encapsulates the desire to bring the competitions out of the stadium and into the heart of the city. A familiar figure who is everywhere in the everyday lives of French people, she is also a reminder that these Games will be Games for everyone, Games that will belong to the people. Her face is also a homage to female athletes and a nod to history, as it was in 1900 at the Olympic Games in Paris that women were first allowed to compete.”

For the first time, the emblem will be the same for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, only differentiated by the Olympic rings or Paralympic agitos, which will appear underneath notes IOC.

“I congratulate Paris 2024 on the launch of their new emblem. It perfectly reflects their vision and desire to put people at the heart of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The combination of the gold medal, the Olympic flame and Marianne brings together the values, history and French touch that will make these Olympic Games truly special. I believe that this innovative design will be quickly recognised around the world and be a wonderful calling card for the Olympic Games Paris 2024” said International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission Chair for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant. 

The variable bespoke typeface takes its inspiration from Art Deco, the first complete artistic movement, which reached its height at the 1924 Games in Paris

Poster for The International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925 via Wikipedia

The 2024 Summer Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques d’été de 2024), officially known as the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad (French: Jeux de la XXXIIIe Olympiade), and commonly known as Paris 2024, is a forthcoming international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in Paris, France.

Having previously played host in 1900 and 1924, Paris will become the second city to host the Olympics three times, after London (1908, 1948 and 2012). 2024 will mark the centenary of the Paris Games of 1924. These will be the sixth Olympic Games hosted by France (three summer and three winter).

For more Olympics check here.

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-10-23 13:41



Bauhaus Rewritten: Pentagram's ode to the female forces which shaped our visuals

To celebrate Bauhaus' centenary London's Design Museum has commisioned Pentagram's partner Sascha Lobe with a London Design Festival installation aka a Bauhaus road crossing celebrating the women of Bauhaus.

To mark the iconic centenary of the design movement which fiercely changed our visual language Lobe designed a pedestrian crossing for London Design Festival 2019.

The road installation, titled Bauhaus Rewritten pays homage to the female forces of the Bauhaus, whose achievements are all too often overlooked in design history.

The names of pioneering designers including Anni Albers, Gertrud Arndt, Marianne Brandt and Ise Gropius, will feature in a typographic layout among glyphs that Lobe and his team created while designing the new identity for the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin last year.

The crossing is situated on High Street Kensington at the junction with Abingdon Road, moments from the Design Museum and it was launched to coincide with the start of London Design Festival.

The crossing is one of a series of Creative Crossings on Kensington High Street that also includes Japan House. Creative Crossings is project with the Kensington High Street Business Forum and is supported by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The Bauhaus was seen as a progressive academic institution, as it declared equality between the sexes and accepted both male and female students into its programs.

During a time when women were denied admittance to formal art academies, the Bauhaus provided them with an unprecedented level of opportunity for both education and artistic development, though generally in weaving and other fields considered at the time to be appropriate for women.

The Bauhaus was founded by the architect Walter Gropius in 1919 and operated until 1933 with the school's main objective the unification of the arts.

The Bauhaus taught a combination of fine arts, craft and industrial arts, and design theory in order to produce artists that were equipped to create both practical and aesthetically pleasing works to cater to an increasingly industrialized world and  had a significant impact on the development of art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography.

The road installation, titled Bauhaus Rewritten pays homage to the female forces of the Bauhaus, whose achievements are all too often overlooked in design history. 

From top to bottom: Gunta Stölzl (left), Ljuba Monastirskaja (right), Grete Reichardt (left), Otti Berger, (right), Elisabeth Müller (light patterned sweater), Rosa Berger (dark sweater), Lis Beyer-Volger (center, white collar), Lena Meyer-Bergner (left), Ruth Hollós (far right) and Elisabeth Oestreicher. Photograph by T. Lux Feininger; collection of the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

The recently published the book “Bauhaus Women: A Global Perspective” reclaims the other half of Bauhaus history, yielding a new understanding of the radical experiments in art and life undertaken at the Bauhaus and the innovations that continue to resonate with viewers around the world today.

“Bauhaus Women: A Global Perspective” bursts the bounds of this slim history by revealing fresh Bauhaus faces aka forty-five Bauhaus women unjustifiably forgotten by most history books.

Moving chronologically from the first women to enter the school to those who helped lead it through its last days in 1933, this book also widens the lens to reveal how the Bauhaus drew women from many parts of Europe and beyond, and how, through these cosmopolitan female designers, artists, and architects, it sent the Bauhaus message out into the world and to a global audience.

“Many of the Bauhaus women weren’t self-promoting,” says Dr. Elizabeth Otto, associate professor of art history and visual studies at the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. It’s one of the many reasons that few women Bauhauslers have been widely recognized. “The [male-driven] history of the Bauhaus as we know it, is not right,” Otto adds. “If you integrate the women, it is simply a more complete and a much more interesting picture.”

Otto co-authored the book with University of Erfurt professor Patrick Rössler, spotlighting 45 Bauhaus women, bringing their courage and creativity, as well as their progressive ideas and inspiring stories, into the spotlight.

For more Bauhaus inspiration check here.

Slider images via Pentagram

by loukas at Tuesday, 2019-10-22 09:02



Crowdfund alert: Letterform Archive X Jack Stauffacher

Only on Saturday: The Wood Type Prints of Jack Stauffacher is the typographic project to support asap. The publication is a long awaited tribute to the iconic figure of the letterpress community and artist of the type Stauffacher.

For its third book after W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design and Morla: Design, Letterform Archive is proud to announce this stunning tribute to the typographer, and designer whose elegant and innovative type treatments cemented his reputation as one of the best printers of the twentieth century.

“Only on Saturday is the only comprehensive look at Stauffacher’s striking typographic experiments, in which he used a box of worn, mismatched wood type to transform letters from legibility workhorses into expressive studies of surface, color, and form.” 

“These prized compositions — some patterned with letters in different sizes, typefaces, and inks; some layered with multiple presses of a single letter; others awash in solvent — morphed from exploratory pieces made in his off-hours to formal studies of what was possible between the positive and negative spaces on a page. Today, they are in the permanent collections of many major museums.”

Edited and designed by Chuck Byrne (a years-long contributor to PRINT magazine and Stauffacher’s longtime friend and representative in the art world), Only on Saturday will be the first widely distributed book on AIGA medalist Jack Stauffacher featuring hundreds of his wood type prints — many of which have never before been shared in book form — all imaged and printed using the highest reproduction standards in a handsome, large-format art book.

The edition is hailed as “an unprecedented look at Stauffacher’s process, presented through in-progress materials recovered from his studio; thoroughly documents Stauffacher’s influences, from his early days in the California letterpress scene to his absorption of modernist and Swiss Style teachings.

The book includes insights from established names in type like Chuck Bigelow, Matthew Carter, and Jim Faris; representatives of the modern art world such as Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, SFMOMA curator, and Staci Steinberger, LACMA associate curator; and a host of his closest friends and collaborators, including photographer Dennis Letbetter. 

“As typographers, designers, and printers, we translate words into written communication. Jack had done that all his life, making words visible. Then, after he had designed pretty much everything worth designing for a purpose, he started doing the opposite: he picked random wood letters from a case he had stumbled upon and made images with them. We aren’t supposed to read those letters as words but to go back to where they came from: pictures of those things. A large red B can be a sail, a blue A on its side is the sea, and the little black letters are birds or stones or ripples... When I asked Jack about the prints, he said that those letters had become such intimate friends over time that he could behold them just as beautiful objects; they didn’t have to work for a living anymore” once said Erik Spiekermann of Stauffacher.

Homepage image caption: Jack Stauffacher in his office at Carnegie Tech, circa 1960. Image courtesy Fritz Klinke. All images via Kickstarter

Our pledge for Only on Saturday will share Jack Stauffacher’s important artwork and charming story with the world, will cover production costs and enable Letterform Archive to digitize its complete collection of Stauffacher prints, “freezing their details — their color, type impression, and paper texture — in high-resolution reproductions that will be enjoyed for generations.”

Only on Saturday will be delivered to backers in June 1, 2020.

Kickstart here.

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-10-16 09:48



Ten most eclectic A' Design Award packaging winners ever

If devil is in the details then an awarded branding design is the real win in a market where everything needs to stand out. The following A' Design Award winners are the best inspiration to urge you, the Typeroomers of the globe, to enter the world's most prestigious design competition.

As the deadline to enter this year's A' Design Award and Competition is getting closer, we remind you that this call for entry is the best chance you are given to be internationally recognized and join this very eclectic league of A' Design Awards and Competition winners. 

With categories ranging from Good Graphic Design through Good Communication Design and Good Product Design, every creative force will find the one which suits the best for one's discipline. 

This year there are more than 100 categories to choose from so do register here.

Submit your work in order to enjoy fame, prestige, recognition, credibility, publicity and international awareness. All of the above in addition to a Winners’ Pack which includes everything your creative heart desires. 

Speaking of inspiration we present you with our favorite A' Packaging Design Award 2018 - 2019 Period Winners aka brilliant and innovative packaging designs for cosmetics and spirits to adore. For even more winners enter here. 

PRO RE NATA Cosmetic Brand Identity & Package Design by PlusX and Katalyst

Gin Manners Gin Bottle by Estudio Maba

Santaren Rum Bottle by Estudio Maba

The Good Stuff Hair Care by forceMAJEURE Design

Guapos Wine Label by Cesar Moura

Twenty Twenty Packaging Design by Panos Tsakiris

Poetic Hotel Packaging by Joel Derksen

Kaishan Chinese Spirit 18 Neo-Chinese Spirit Package by Jansword Zhu

Aeril Lab Package by Anastasia Dunaeva

Gradaia Grapewine range Grapewine brand and packaging identity by Stefano Giuseppe Dell'Orto and Giacomo Stefanelli

by loukas at Tuesday, 2019-10-15 10:17

LaTeX Project

New October 2019 LaTeX release available

October 2019 LaTeX release available

We have recently released the October 2019 LaTeX distribution to CTAN from where it automatically moves (or has moved) to the major TeX distributions.

This release fixes a small number of bugs and introduces some new features. The most important ones are documented in “LaTeX2e News Issue 30”. This document can be found on the LaTeX2e news page where you will also find release information for earlier LaTeX releases.

Topics are:

  • LaTeX development formats now available
  • Improving Unicode handling in pdfTeX
  • Improving file name handling in pdfTeX
  • Improving the filecontents environment
  • Making more user commands robust
  • Other changes to the LaTeX kernel, tools and amsmath
  • Documentation updates

Happy LaTeXing — Frank

Tuesday, 2019-10-15 00:00


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Greta Grotesk

Eine Schriftart ist nach Greta Thunberg benannt worden, die Greta Grotesk von Tal Shab, herunterzuladen aus Google Drive.

Der Name der Schrift ist nicht satirisch zu verstehen, sondern ein Hinweis darauf, dass es sich um eine Grotesk-Schrift handelt, also um eine Schriftart mit gleicher Strichstärke ohne Serifen. Sie ist an das Schriftbild angelehnt, das man von Greta Thunbergs handbeschrifteten Transparenten und Plakaten kennt. Genaugenommen ist es also ein Handschriften-Font. Leider hat die Schriftart – zumindest in der derzeitigen Fassung – keine Umlaute, also kann man damit den Slogan SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET nicht korrekt setzen… via t3n.

Der Beitrag wurde im Vergleich zu einer früheren Fassung geringfügig ergänzt um Erläuterungen zur Bezeichnung der erwähnten Schriftart.

by schneeschmelze at Monday, 2019-10-14 22:22


TUGboat 40:2 published

TUGboat volume 40, number 2, the TUG 2019 (Palo Alto) proceedings, has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. In addition, prior TUGboat issue 40:1 is now publicly available. Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already, and thanks.

Monday, 2019-10-14 15:45


Berlin Typography Project: a talk with Jesse Simon on his Berlin's type hunting adventure

If you wonder what is Berlin's relation to typography the Berlin Typography Projects has many answers to provide. “In terms of urban structure, Berlin has the same relationship with typography as any city” says Jesse Simon, director of the Berlin Typography Project to Typeroom's Loukas Karnis. “Words are an essential part of our quotidian existence – they are around us at all times whether we pay attention to them or not – and the visual form in which those words are expressed are essential in defining the character of a city. It should also be said, however, that Berlin has a good typographic community. For whatever reason there seem to be a lot of people here working in type design, so you could say that in Berlin, perhaps more than in other places, there is a built-in audience for the city’s typographic riches.”

Scanning the typography of a city as diverse as Berlin is a task we admire and BT is abandoned with urban design treasures, from the charming hotel signs of the past that capture the wanderer's eye, even though “the quirky neon and cursive scripts of the twentieth century are vanishing in the face of elegantly bland chains with unified corporate identities” to the bi-monthly 2019 series “Colours of Berlin” which examines the palette of this city's typographic elements the Berlin Typography Project is inspiring, to say the least. Recently Simon asked the Twitterverse of its insights in the prospect of a Belirn Typography Project edition. Following is Typeroom's talk with the creator of a typographic journal like no other. 

How did you decide to start the project? What inspired you?

Walking is always the best way to get to know a city, and when I moved to Berlin in 2012 I spent a lot of time exploring the different neighborhoods on foot. It’s impossible not to notice the great old signs, but it occurred to me only gradually how essential they were to the character of the street. The more I started paying attention to them, the more I wanted to do something with them. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but photographing them seemed like a good start.

As I became more focussed on looking for signs, I noticed that a lot of the older ones were disappearing at a rapid rate. Berlin has been catching up to the other major European capitals over the past few years in terms of gentrification, and a lot of the old city is being transformed into something more modern but less interesting. So the project shifted very quickly from a celebration of urban typography to an act of preservation.

When was BTP first launched?

The Twitter account was launched three years ago in October of 2016. The blog followed maybe half a year after that. For a while there was a sister project called Berlin Texture, which I really enjoyed but which never quite found an audience; it’s been on hiatus for about a year now. There is also a Berlin Typography Instagram account but it fizzled pretty quickly; the square format of Instagram simply isn’t right for the subject matter.

How would you describe Berlin's typography in five words or less?

Diverse and unpredictable.

Which is the oldest or iconic typographic element in Berlin?

As with most cities, Berlin has gone through numerous distinct eras in which certain typestyles and materials were especially popular. With the exception of some stone carving, much of what is visible in Berlin dates from after the second world war, and in order to get a sense of what the typographic character of the city was like in, say, the 1920s one is really limited to looking at old photographs. Neon was especially popular during the post-War economic recovery, and the older neon signs that survive conjure the curious optimism of that era.

Which are your own favorite typographic elements of Berlin?

Personally I like anything that offers a window into the past, a glimpse of what the city used to be. This can take many forms. Sometimes it can be an old neon sign, sometimes it can be some barely legible gold on an old piece of glass, or it can be an inscription in stone. But if you look hard enough, past all of the modern signs, you can find lots of text in Berlin that encapsulates the spirit of some previous age.

“Neon was especially popular during the post-War economic recovery, and the older neon signs that survive conjure the curious optimism of that era”​

Which neighborhood has the most interesting type elements in your city? Are there any differences between West and East Berlin in terms of type?

Much of Berlin’s most interesting typography can be found in the West. In a three or four hour stroll around Charlottenburg or Wilmersdorf, you will encounter dozens of fantastic signs from different eras, whereas if you spend the afternoon in Pankow or Weissensee you’ll find almost nothing. The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is that after reunification there seems to have been a desire in the East to distance themselves from the communist era. In practice, this meant getting rid of the visual reminders of the past, including most of the old shopfront signs. If you walk through the Eastern boroughs, a lot of the signage dates from the early 2000s. In the Western boroughs, where there wasn’t that sudden regime change, the evolution of the old shopfront signage happened in a more organic manner.

The Colours of Berlin is your latest bi-monthly series on your site. So what is the color of Berlin that rules them all?

Every color plays its own significant role in the city, and it would be impossible to imagine Berlin without the red of its Apothekes or the Green of its flower shops. I’m not the biggest fan of yellow in general, but there is something magical about the yellow that appears in Berlin’s neon signs. I’m currently trying to put together a series on the orange, and its proving difficult; most of the orange signs, which would have been popular in the seventies, disappeared long ago.

If you were a sign which one would you be and why?

I suppose we all wish we were a cursive neon sign from the sixties, but fear that we are, in fact, some nondescript plastic lit by LEDs.

Are you a graphic designer or typographer yourself? If not what is your fulltime job?

I spent many years working as a graphic designer in London before giving up and doing a doctorate in ancient history. I’ve continued to do some design projects for a few long-term clients — mostly in the world of music — and I definitely enjoy creating typefaces on an amateur basis. At present, I teach design and typography at an arts university in Berlin, so design is definitely a large part of my professional life.

Recently you asked the Twitterverse on the possibility of a publication featuring your collections. How many photographs have you amazed all these years?

The collection currently has about 5000 images … but I fear I’m starting to run out of the city. Every time I go to a neighborhood I find signs that have disappeared since last time. Probably about 20% of the pictures in the archive are of signs that aren’t there anymore. From the very beginning of the project, the idea was always to produce a physical publication containing the best Berlin had to offer; I think the collection is finally comprehensive enough to try and generate some interest from publishers.

Has the Tweerverse responded to your call for action?

People have been very positive about the idea of a book. The problem, as always, is getting a publisher interested. Despite the popularity of all things Berlin at the moment, typography is still something of a niche subject; the challenge is going to be to find someone who knows how to take that subject and make it accessible to a broader audience. 

“The collection currently has about 5000 images; I think the collection is finally comprehensive enough to try and generate some interest from publishers”​

What about crowdsourcing your own publication through Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Have you thought of this option?

This is a route in which I have absolutely no interest. Taking pictures and writing about the typographic trends found along the way is where the strengths of the Berlin Typography project lie. But when you’re making a book you have to think about design, production, printing, distribution, and sales. There are people out there who are great at that and they are the people we want to work with. If we tried to make a book ourselves it would be a disaster. 

Which would be the ideal soundtrack for a typographic trip along Berlin?

A good question. Music is central to my life, and there has never been a time when I’ve gone out looking for type without my headphones. I can remember about a month into the project when I was going out looking for signs in different neighborhoods, for some reason I ended up listening to Friedrich Gulda’s recording of the “Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Book I” almost every day. Of course, there are a lot of great recordings of those pieces – Edwin Fischer and Sviatoslav Richter being among the best – but somehow Gulda captured the exact momentum of walking up and down the grey streets looking for words that stood out.

Explore more typographic beauties in the streets of Berlin here.

All images via Berlin Typography project, used under permission

by loukas at Monday, 2019-10-14 11:25

Weblog von Markus Kohm


Eigentlich ist man als Entwickler kostenloser OpenSource Software, der auch noch so blöd ist, dafür Support anzubieten, immer im Stress. Das gilt umso mehr, wenn man auch noch von der Entwicklung anderer abhängig ist, langsam die Lust an der Sache verliert und recht anfällig für emotionalen Stress ist.

Schon seit der Frühjahrstagung in Darmstadt weiß ich, dass LaTeX etwas an \InputIfFileExists ändern wird, was zu einer Warnung bei Verwendung von scrlfile führt. Noch auf der Tagung habe ich das Problem beseitigt, so dass da gar nicht erst Stress aufkommen kann. Auf derselben Tagung hat Frank latex-dev vorgestellt, das es Paketentwicklern ermöglicht, Neuerungen in LaTeX frühzeitig zu testen. Eine sehr gute Hilfe, um Stress bei den Entwicklern vorzubeugen. Es hat dann zwar noch etwas gedauert, bis das auf CTAN und in TeX Live verfügbar war, aber seither verwende ich es min. zur Erzeugung meiner Entwicklerversionen von KOMA-Script. Leider habe ich trotzdem übersehen, dass Ende August eine interne Anweisung in \InputIfFileExists noch einmal umbenannt und der Befehl selbst robust gemacht wurde. Also letztlich bin ich selbst schuld, wenn dadurch unmittelbar nach der Release von LaTeX 2019-10-01 Stress bei mir aufkam.

Schon seit mehreren Jahren biete ich einfache Möglichkeiten, Änderungen an KOMA-Script vorab zu testen. Der Aufwand, den ich dafür treibe, das sowohl für TeX-Live-Anwender als auch MiKTeX-Anwender ohne riesige Computerkenntnisse zu ermöglichen, ist recht hoch. Trotzdem ist es eine Maßnahme, um theoretisch Stress unmittelbar nach einer KOMA-Script-Release zu reduzieren, weil so viele Menschen im Vorfeld ohne Risiko testen können. Ohne Risiko deshalb, weil man einfach auch wieder auf die Release-Version zurück wechseln kann. Leider lohnt sich der Aufwand für diesen Zweck eher wenig. Bisher gibt es kaum Bug-Reports aufgrund der zur Verfügung gestellten Prereleases. Wenn, dann kommen frühe Bug-Meldungen eher von den sehr wenigen, die direkt mit der Entwicklerversion testen.

Wäre das der einzige Grund für die Prereleases würden diese also streng genommen mehr Stress verursachen als sie vermeiden. Derzeit steht diesbezüglich beispielsweise an, für TeX Live ab 2019 mehrere Revisionen zu unterstützen, was allerdings erhebliche Änderungen an den Perl-Scripten nach sich zieht, die ich für die Erstellung der immerhin vier Repositries (TDS-Archive, MiKTeX für Windows Installationspakete, TeX Live < 2016, TeX Live >= 2016) entwickelt habe. Ob dabei eventuell ein weiteres Repository für TeX Live > 2016 aber < 2019 benötigt wird, muss ich mir auch noch anschauen.

Glücklicherweise bieten die Prereleases aber auch die Möglichkeit, auf schwerwiegende Probleme recht schnell zu reagieren. So wurde beispielsweise kurz nach der Veröffentlichung von LaTeX 2019-10-01 nicht nur das oben genannte nicht schwerwiegende Problem in KOMA-Script beseitigt und per Prerelease eine korrigierte Version bereitgestellt. Es wurde auch ein weiterer Bug gemeldet, der weit schwerwiegender ist und nicht nur zu einer Warnung, sondern einem Fehler führte, für den es nur eher unschöne Hacks als Workaround gibt. Das Problem konnte aber schnell beseitigt und eine Prerelease veröffentlicht werden. Das bewahrte mich davor eine Release zu erzeugen, aus der künstlich unfertige Neuerungen entfernt wurden, die noch nicht fertig dokumentiert und getestet waren. Etwas, was immer sehr viel Stress bedeutet, weil die Release dafür von Hand erzeugt werden muss und ich nie sicher sein kann, dass ich nicht zusätzliche Bugs produziere. Die Prereleases helfen hier also ebenfalls Stress zu vermeiden.

Und natürlich ist nicht jeder damit zufrieden zu stellen, dass er sich zur Bugbeseitigung eine Prerelease installieren soll, zumal er damit das Risiko neuer Bugs eingeht und dann eben nicht einfach zur offiziellen Release zurück kann, weil er ja wegen des ursprünglichen Bugs auf die Prerelease angewiesen ist. Das bringt für mich den Stress, neue Bugs in Prereleases möglichst rasch zu beseitigen und eine neue Prerelease zu erstellen – wenn denn solche Bugs überhaupt an mich gemeldet werden. Wie oben erwähnt passiert das eher selten, so dass dieser Stress eher emotionaler (oder eingebildeter) Natur ist.

Für Anwender bringt die Verwendung einer Prerelease übrigens ebenfalls eine Stressverminderung. Da ich bei neuen Bugs in Prereleases eher rasch Abhilfe in Form einer neuen Prerelease schaffe, dagegen bei Bugs in einer Release bis zur Veröffentlichung der nächsten Release schon einmal mehrere Wochen vergehen können, reduziert sich das Risiko bei Updates sogar. Außerdem sind meist mehrere Prereleases als TDS-Archiv und als MiKTeX-Installatonspaket verfügbar, so dass für etwas versiertere Anwender sogar die Wahl zwischen unterschiedlichen Entwicklungsständen besteht. Das setzt natürlich auch voraus, dass ein Bug gemeldet wird. Leider betrachten es vielen LaTeX-Anwender und selbst einige Prerelease-Anwender als ausreichend, wenn sie ein Problem in irgend einem Forum in der ihnen genehmen Sprache ansprechen und dort einen Workaround serviert zu bekommen, statt den Bug in Englisch oder Deutsch an mich zu melden. Auf diesem Weg bleiben nicht nur viele Bugs unentdeckt, ich werde sogar dafür angepflaumt, dass ich meine Zeit nicht auch noch dafür investiere, ständig das Internet nach nicht erfolgten Bug-Reports scanne. Das sind dann diese Stresserlebnisse, bei denen ich gerne den Computer abschalte und wahlweise in den Garten gehe oder mich auf mein Rad schwinge.

Leider bin ich selbst offenbar auch ein eher wenig gründlicher Arbeiter. Regelmäßig geschieht es, dass Stunden bis Tage nach einer Release trotz aller Gegenmaßnahmen Bugs – teilweise auf abenteuerlichen Umwegen – an mich gemeldet werden. Wenn Releases von KOMA-Script mit LaTeX-Releases oder Releases von grundlegenden Paketen nahezu zeitgleich erfolgen, steigt die Wahrscheinlichkeit und der Aufwand für die Bearbeitung dafür noch an. Wenn ich lange angekündigte Änderungen bezüglich der Beseitigung von üblen Hacks und ähnlichen Missfeatures oder längst obsoleten Dingen, nachdem ich das lange aufgeschoben habe, endlich durchführe, weil ihre Wartung schlicht nicht mehr zumutbar ist, dann steigt das Risiko für eine Flut von (nur teilweise) verständlichen Beschwerden natürlich. Da ich mich bemühe, alle noch so absurde Klagen höflich zu beantworten, steigt auch der Stress nach einer solchen Release enorm – nicht nur aufgrund der Erwartung solcher Ereignisse, sondern auch wegen ihrer realen Bearbeitung. Die Lust auf eine neue Release sinkt entsprechend schon im Vorfeld, was ebenfalls dazu beiträgt, dass ich irgendwann dann doch unter Zeitdruck gerate. Selbst gemachter Stress kommt also noch hinzu.

Auch bei der aktuellen Release von KOMA-Script 3.27 war das wieder so. Sowohl im Vorfeld der Release als auch jetzt, unmittelbar danach steigt der Stresslevel wieder einmal derart an, dass ich versucht wäre, den Computer auszuschalten. Aber natürlich würde das in diesem Fall nichts nützen. Die neuen Bugs müssen so oder so beseitigt werden. Je eher ich das mache, desto schneller verschwindet der Stress. Glücklicherweise gibt es sehr engagierte Menschen, die mithelfen, dass ich einmal dokumentierte Probleme nicht in diversen Foren mehrfach lösen helfen muss. Glücklicherweise gibt es auch Menschen, die in der Lage sind, Probleme kurz und prägnant auf den Punkt zu bringen und mir so helfen, einen Großteil der Lösungssuche bereits im Vorfeld zu erledigen. Glücklicherweise gibt es einen netten Menschen, der mir zumindest einen Aspekt einer neue (Bugfix-)Release abnimmt – es bleibt trotzdem genügend Arbeit.

So gelang es nicht nur, nach einem ¾ Jahr endlich KOMA-Script 3.27 mit vielen Erweiterungen und Detailverbesserungen zu veröffentlichen. Es ist zu erwarten, dass auch die darin enthaltenen neuen und alten Bugs gefunden und – soweit sie gemeldet werden – beseitigt werden. Dazu wird es dann je nach Dringlichkeit auch Workarounds, Prereleases und eine neue Release geben – trotz allen Stresses.

Bis demnächst

by Markus Kohm at Monday, 2019-10-14 07:20


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Zwei Aufgabenblätter auf einer Seite mit LaTeX

Für meine Studierenden erstelle ich diverse Übungsblätter, damit das Thema „Python“ etwas anschaulicher wird. Dazu nutze ich ein angepasstes LaTeX-Template, mit dem ich die Seite dupliziere und in verkleinerter Form auf das DIN A4-Blatt bringe.

%!TEX TS-program = Arara
% arara: pdflatex: {shell: yes}
% arara: pdflatex: {shell: yes}
% arara: clean: { extensions: [ log, aux, nav, out, snm, vrb, toc ] }




\chbpword{Bonus Punkte} 



    basicstyle=\ttfamily\footnotesize, %
    identifierstyle=\color{colIdentifier}, %
    keywordstyle=\color{colKeys}, %
    stringstyle=\color{colString}, %
    commentstyle=\color{colComments}, %
    columns=flexible, %
    tabsize=2, %
    frame=single, %
    extendedchars=true, %
    showspaces=false, %
    showstringspaces=false, %
    numbers=left, %
    numberstyle=\tiny, %
    breaklines=true, %
    backgroundcolor=\color{hellgelb}, %
    breakautoindent=true, %


\usepackage{pgfpages}                                 % <— load the package

  \pgfpagesuselayout{2 on 1}[a4paper,landscape,border shrink=5mm] % <— set options
  % duplicate the content at shipout time

\firstpageheader{WS~2018/2019}{Skriptsprachenprogrammierung}{Dr.~Uwe Ziegenhagen}
\runningheader{WS~2018/2019}{Skriptsprachenprogrammierung}{Dr.~Uwe Ziegenhagen}
\runningfooter{\today}{Mitte unten}{\thepage\,/\,\numpages}


\twoonone % two pages on one


\huge\bfseries Arbeitsblatt 02: Datentypen


\question Welche Datentypen kennen Sie in Python?


\question Erstellen Sie verschiedene Variablen mit unterschiedlichen Datentypen! Führen Sie verschiedene Grundrechenarten mit den Datentypen durch.

\question Satz des Pythagoras: Berechnen Sie mittels Python die Hypotenuse eines Dreiecks, dessen Katheten 3 und 4 Zentimeter lang sind. Prüfen Sie die Datentypen der Variablen mittels \texttt{type()} Funktion! Warum gibt es Unterschiede in den Typen?

\question Richten Sie einen String beliebiger Länge bei der Ausgabe auf der Kommandozeile rechtsbündig aus! Hinweise: Gehen Sie von einer Zeilenbreite von 60 Zeichen aus. Benutzen Sie die \texttt{len()} Funktion, um die Länge der Zeichenkette zu bestimmen.

\question Nutzen Sie die \texttt{int()}, \texttt{float()} und \texttt{str()} Funktion, um verschiedene Datentypen umzuwandeln!

\question Hier kommt ein Listing

def create_bruch():
    zahlen = list(range(1,13))
    zaehler = random.choice(zahlen)
    nenner = random.choice(zahlen)
    return 1234




Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Sunday, 2019-10-13 15:37


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Benannte Referenzen in LaTeX

Neben \ref{} und \pageref{} gibt es mit \nameref noch einen weiteren Befehl zur Referenzierung von Labels. \nameref{} gibt dabei den Titel des referenzierten Abschnitts aus. Daraus kann man dann auch einen \niceref{} Befehl bauen, der sowohl den Titel als auch die Seitenzahl in Klammern referenziert.



\newcommand{\niceref}[1]{\enquote{\nameref{sec:abschnitt}} (\(\triangleright\)~\pageref{sec:abschnitt})}


Siehe Abschnitt \ref{sec:abschnitt} mit dem Namen \nameref{sec:abschnitt} auf Seite \pageref{sec:abschnitt}.\vspace*{1cm}

Siehe Abschnitt  \niceref{sec:abschnitt}.


\section{Ein Abschnitt im Dokument}\label{sec:abschnitt}



Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Saturday, 2019-10-12 16:05



Bruce Kennett X Type@Cooper: an ode to type designer, painter & philosopher Roger Excoffon

Bruce Kennett, author of W. A Dwiggins: A Life in Design and a previous Lubalin lecturer, returns to Type@Cooper on the 16th of October for a tour of typeface designer and artist Roger Excoffon's joyful and passionate work.

Born in Marseille in 1910, Excoffon studied law at the University of Aix-en-Provence, and then moved to Paris to apprentice in a print shop. In 1947, he formed his own advertising agency and concurrently became design director of a small foundry in Marseille called Fonderie Olive. Later, he co-founded the prestigious Studio U+O, named in reference to Urbi et Orbi.

Excoffon's best-known faces are Mistral and Antique Olive, the latter which he designed between 1962 and 1966. Air France, one of Excoffon's largest and most prestigious clients, used a customized variant of Antique Olive in its wordmark and livery until 2009, when a new logo was introduced.

“Excoffon's faces, even the sober Antique Olive, have an organic vibrancy not found in similar sans-serif types of the period. His typefaces gave voice to an exuberant body of contemporary French and European graphic design” notes Wikipedia. 

“Excoffon’s work is a central part of the personality of post-WWII France — the three decades that the French call les trente glorieuses” writes Type@Cooper of this ode to Excoffon's work which “rapidly found its way into the very fabric of everyday life, visible in the tiniest villages of rural France on the awnings of beauty parlors and exterior signs of garages” during the 1950s and ’60s. 

“Beyond his printing types, Excoffon also expressed the fundamental spirit of the times through his posters for Air France, his work in advertising, and his graphic design program for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. He was a prime mover in les Rencontres de Lure, France's equivalent of the Aspen Design Conference” adds Type@Cooper

Read more here.

All images via Roger Excoffon's official site. 

by loukas at Friday, 2019-10-11 10:20



Vanity Fair: a farewell to Chris Dixon as he exits VF after 8 years

Vanity Fair creative director Chris Dixon is exiting the magazine after eight years reports The Hollywood Reporter of the departure that makes headlines in the printing and creative industry today.

Dixon has been with Vanity Fair since October 2011. As HR reports Dixon “announced the decision Monday to staff and Vanity Fair colleagues. He has been with the magazine since October 2011, rising through the ranks from design director to creative director under veteran editor-in-chief Graydon Carter. Carter left the magazine in December 2017, closing out a 25-year-run steering the publication. In his final editor’s letter, Carter praised Dixon as the 'current master' of the design team, a position he held onto under the editorship of Carter’s successor, Radhika Jones, who currently runs the magazine.”

“Since Jones took over, Vanity Fair has undergone a massive redesign that she supervised with Dixon. According to sources, Dixon met with Jones several weeks ago to discuss plans for a new chapter in his career. His last day will be Nov. 22, as he will stay on through the transition to find a successor.”

As HR notes Dixon “has weathered the changes that have come with corporate parent company Conde Nast's unification of creative, copy and research teams across all of its media brands. Those sweeping changes, first revealed in 2016, have led to many bumps in the road as the respective staffs of magazines were brought together to work across Conde titles in an effort to streamline and cut costs. Part of the trimming resulted in the loss of many jobs due to layoffs as well as departures, with veteran and high-salaried staffers among the hardest hit.” 

When Chris Dixon arrived at Vanity Fair in 2011 from New York Magazine he began reworking the typography, page design, illustrations, infographics, and photography to evolve the iconic publication section after section, page after page.

Having started his collaboration with Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes of Commercial Type on a six-month process to redesign Vanity Fair’s logo and create a new custom display typeface back in 2012, Dixon approved a fresh interpretation of Didot for the prestigious magazine in 2013.

Born 1967 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Dixon studied psychology at the University of Saskatchewan but when he took part-time art and design classes he “discovered what graphic design really was”. Having accepted into Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design for a three-year program in 1997 it was his graduate project that caught the eye of visiting teacher Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters who offered him a job as an art director. This is how it all started.

As HR notes Dixon “has weathered the changes that have come with corporate parent company Conde Nast's unification of creative, copy and research teams across all of its media brands”

A graphic designer by heart, Chris Dixon has spent more than 17 years designing at a wide variety of publications and companies, including the Financial Times, the New York Times MagazineOgilvy & Mather, as well as eight years at New York Magazine where he helped execute one of the most highly-regarded magazine redesigns in recent years, Dixon's take of Vanity Fair was groundbreaking. 

Ever since 2011, Dixon changed VF's overall look with a very contemporary yet classic in its typographic elements refined design with poster-like covers and well-crafted and detailed, but still bold and muscular typography.

Here we present you with some quotes of his typographic wisdom for a very compelling adventure in the land of the letter.

“I’m typographically led. For me, to solve a problem or make the thing special it’s the typography.”

“My brother is a film director and I sometimes liken art direction to film directing. They start with a script, basically just words on white paper, and they read it and start to imagine and visualize it. You can do it a thousand different ways – if you take the same script to different directors they’re going to visualize it in very different ways. In editorial design, we do a similar thing. You read a manuscript and it’s got a certain mood to it, a certain tone, and we work to communicate that. You can pull out certain words in the headline, or reduce the headline down to one word alongside a photograph and you get a tension between word and image.”

“I’m typographically led. For me, to solve a problem or make the thing special it’s the typography. Vanity Fair didn’t necessarily have that as one of its key strengths, so that’s what I’m mainly trying to do here now. I work on the photography, too, but I think that’s much more successful than other visual parts of the magazine; it’s a great big machine here that works really well. So it’s the typography and the general page design here”.

“Our Didot needed to be versatile. VANITY FAIR is a general interest magazine, and in any given issue you have a huge range of stories, from Hollywood to the civil war in Syria to a profile on Tony Blair. The new typeface had to be flexible enough to work with all those topics. I also wanted a Didot that would play well with other type — some covers get rather involved typographically and we’ll mix VF Didot with Solano, VF Sans, Flama, Futura, and we’re always looking for the perfect script face… Our Didot has weights that feel more journalistic, less delicate. Christian and his team understood the need for versatility, and we ended up with seven distinct sizes, each with multiple weights… It also gives us a huge range to work with, our covers tend to be type-heavy, and the range allows us to keep the covers looking typographically lush”.

With information from Eye MagazineGym Class and CBC Radio Canada

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-10-09 13:34



Patrick Thomas & his PULP silkscreen prints respond to the era of "truth decay"

On Thursday 10 October at 19:00, Patrick Thomas, the graphic artist, and professor at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart will give a talk about his current exhibition on display at A—Z: the PULP series, and the wider political aspects of his practice.

PULP is the title of a new body of work made by Thomas in response to the reality of living in an age of “truth decay.”

Interacting with “randomly sourced daily newsprint – the traditionally respected source of factual information – he layers found, drawn and code-generated graphic forms in an aleatory way utilizing the mechanical process of silkscreen printing”.

“Intentionally ambiguous, the resulting prints may be appreciated for their abstract beauty and as a celebration of the disappearing broadsheet newspaper format; however, they might also conceal a darker significance that suggests manipulation, concealment, and censorship” notes the press release to this revealing in all its abstractness body of work. 

“They are powerful graphic statements that document a moment in time whose aim is to ask more questions than provide answers, which, due to the unstable physical properties of the newsprint material, will continue to silently evolve over the years.”



“They are powerful graphic statements that document a moment in time whose aim is to ask more questions than provide answers”


Thomas is a graphic artist, author and educator. He studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art before relocating to Barcelona in 1991. In 2005 he published Black & White, a compilation of his work for the International Press. In 2011 Laurence King Publishing, published his second book Protest Stencil Toolkit. A revised edition was released in April 2019.

In 2007 he set up his first press. Since then he has exhibited his limited-editions across five continents, where many are now held in private and public collections. In April 2018 he was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Front Row about his public installation Breaking News. 

The project has since been realized in various European cities. He has given talks about his practice and held workshops worldwide. Between 2004–05 he was Graphic Research Fellow at Liverpool John Moores University and since October 2013 he is a professor of visual communication at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art. In May 2019 he released Open_collab, a free self-run project to encourage collaboration and experimentation.

Since 2011 he is based in Berlin. In 2019 Patrick Thomas was invited for a residency at Villa Massimo, the German Academy in Rome. 

A—Z  is a new space in Berlin with the mission to develop, showcase and promote ideas and projects in which graphic design goes beyond its boundaries and explores its more unconventional and experimental facets. For A—Z the task of “expanding the territory of graphic design by rethinking its limits and challenging traditional perceptions” is at the top of its agenda. 

“At the storefront space, located in the heart of the city, renowned graphic designers will be invited to unfold their artistic, conceptual or formally experimental projects. By showcasing individuals who are open to transposing the boundaries of their own practices, A—Z is setting a counterpoint to the predominant trends of overspecialization. The idea is to provide an interdisciplinary environment where graphic design enters into dialogue with other areas, such as contemporary art, artistic publishing, cultural research and social engagement.”

Featured contributions will range from print, digital media, installation, performance, film, and a variety of other media and formats. They will also cover a spectrum of topics, from typography and language, templates and hacking, to political and social questions, etc. Each of the invited collaborators create works that are personal statements that reach beyond the commissioned and applied realm of graphic design.

The space will also host talks, workshops and other events, in partnership with invited designers, initiatives, collectives and institutions worldwide. A—Z is an initiative of book designer Anja Lutz and The Green Box – Kunst Editionen.

Discover more here.

All images via Patrick Thomas Instagram account  and A-Z Presents

by loukas at Monday, 2019-10-07 11:36

Typodarium 2020: a writing system for diplomacy and tolerance revealed

Compiled by Lars Harmsen and Raban Ruddigkeit and published by Verlag Hermann Schmidt, Typodarium 2020 -“a writing system for diplomacy and tolerance, a writing system that brings down the walls in concrete heads and tears down political or military boundaries” is more relevant than ever.  

“Brexit and Trump’s Wall—it seems that borders around the world are currently being closed rather than permeable. It’s a good thing that more and more font families are mediating between languages and cultures at the same time, so you can use one font for multiple font systems” note the editors of this ideal gift to any typophile out there. 

“The Typodarium 2020, therefore, shows the latest font trends, the ‘weirdest’ display types, the latest bread fonts and other proofs of the vital type community as well as a bi-script font family every Sunday. There are differences between Arabic and Hebrew, Japanese and Latin, but visually there are also many similarities."

“Communication overcomes borders. Communication needs writing. Type designers react to the wishes of their customers. And these customers from business and society think more globally and further than some headlines might suggest. The Sundays of the Typodarium 2020 define the silver lining on the time horizon: We are one world!”

“Communication overcomes borders. Communication needs writing.  The Sundays of the Typodarium 2020 define the silver lining on the time horizon: We are one world!”

“The front pages of the Typodarium turn it into a calendar, the back pages, on the other hand, are a current font sample book camouflaged as a calendar. If you like a font very much, but you don’t see any possibility to use it at the moment, you might want to keep the font cheat sheet. Because that’s the way many people do it, we have packed the typodarium in a solid collection box. In the course of the year you will collect your typo inspiration here, always ready for use, because of course the font designer and source are on the back as well as a sample alphabet and information about the degree of development of the font.”

In this year's edition Parachute Typefoundry contributes with three typefaces. 

The newly released humanist typeface PF Marlet (25 February), PF Melon (16 March) and the ultra variable PF Grand Gothik (28 August)

Made for timeless elegance through numerous combinations diverting from passing trends in type design PF Marlet is Parachute Typefoundry’s latest type system. Inspired from the roaring 20s and 30s, decades that embraced women’s independence both socially and politically PF Marlet takes intricate hints from the era whilst maintaining approachability, the contemporary dynamic version of this humanist typeface evolved with modulated strokes. 

A type system with contrast progressing from low (Text version) through medium (Display) to high (Finesse), with differentiated letter widths (Titling), extravagant letterforms (Swash) and finally 64 eclectic patterns (Motifs), Marlet evolved from a single typeface into a comprehensive type system in various weights which support Latin, Greek and Cyrillic. Find more here.

PF Mellon is a modernist variable grotesque with mixed roots. Its unconventional aesthetic is the product of an exploration into the art of emphasizing titles, headlines and text in captivating and unpredictable ways. Contrary to conventional practices of highlighting text with heavier weights, PF Mellon proposes an intriguing new scheme based on striking and attention-grabbing compositions of narrow and extended letterforms- even when set in lowercase.

Part geometric and part grotesque, PF Mellon’s expressionist alphabet and extravagant style challenge conventions of visual culture in an Art Deco-like manner. Available also as a variable font format free of charge once you purchase the whole type family, discover more of PF Melon here.

PF Grand Gothik is a postmodern, multiscript, multifaceted and variable type system that pays homage to the development of grotesque (gothic) typefaces over the years. Taking late 19th and early 20th century European and American grotesques as a starting point, it traces this typeface genre up to mid-century movie theatre marquees, new wave cinematography, American highway signage, and telephone directories, adding some historical references for good measure.

Originally designed in 2017 as a bespoke typeface for a bilingual, black and white magazine on surfers, waves and landscapes, it was later reimagined and redesigned leading to the release of its commercial version. Enter the variable realm here.

The 365 day tear-off calendar with a fresh font for every day by 244 Designers from 33 countries, Typodarium shows a bi-scriptual font family every Sunday in addition to typedesign from all over the world. Buy your own Typodarium 2020 here.

by loukas at Monday, 2019-10-07 10:09



World Animal Day: meow around with Small's cat-inspired bespoke font

On this World Animal Day PETA is certainly not happy that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin spent $35,000 on a pair of Savannah cats, a breed legally restricted or banned in states including Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Texas and Vermont according to nonprofit group Savannah Cat Association. PETA urges the celebrity couple to inspire their fans around the world to save a life by adopting a cat from a local animal shelter and not “fueling the dangerous demand for hybrid cats, contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis” as noted by PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. On this World Animal Day Typeroom acknowledges the need to educate humans about how their actions impact animals and create awareness about the protection of animals all over the world and, in a more typographic mode, highlights Adieu Smalls, a custom typeface inspired by cats. 

Created by Smalls, a direct-to-consumer cat food brand the font speaks the language of cats, the only domesticated species in the family Felidae which has inspired everything. From art through novels to animated characters -Theodor Geisel's aka DrSeussCat in the Hat this is for you- cats have their own bespoke font and it is, obviously curved.

“We collaborated with Good Type Foundry to create a custom typeface inspired by the feline form — particularly the cattail. I don’t think you’d know right away, looking at it, but there’s something strangely cat-like about it, and it’s these tails. Cats use their tails to communicate and so we created a typeface to match that behavior, and appropriately, to communicate” notes Smalls lead designer Miles Barretto.

“Below, you can see when a cat is 'interested' a slight hook is formed at the tip of their tail. If we look at the character 'U' and 'E' you can see similar hooked tips that break out of the ascender and descender of the characters. When a cat is pleased the tail quivers. You can see in 'M' and 'O' you have a similar state of playfulness adds Barretto.

The tail-typeset is featured online and in the company's soon-to-be released print magazine, “Small Talk.”

World Animal Day is celebrated internationally on St. Francis Day, the patron saint of animals and the environment.

The decision to mark World Animal Day was taken in 1931 at the International Congress of Proponents of the Movement for Nature Conservation in Florence, Italy.

Animal rights organizations and groups use the holiday to draw people's attention to the need for humane and responsible treatment and care for animals, as well as to the wildlife plight on our planet.

“Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilizing it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.  It's celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare” is the motto to this campaign against cruelty. 

Learn more here and may the meows be with you.  

“When a cat is 'interested' a slight hook is formed at the tip of their tail. If we look at the character 'U' and 'E' you can see similar hooked tips that break out of the ascender and descender of the characters” 

“When a cat is pleased the tail quivers. You can see in 'M' and 'O' you have a similar state of playfulness”

All images via Smalls

by loukas at Friday, 2019-10-04 11:59



Where will design take you? Google Creative Lab’s Xavier Barrade @ Graphic Days Torino 2019

Graphic Days Torino is officially on. Born in 2016, this four-day international festival dedicated to visual design, which takes place at Toolbox Coworking (Turin, Italy) festival, aims at enhancing the cultural value of visual communication, inspiring people who work with creativity and this year’s fourth edition of Graphic Days Torino is focusing on the combination between visual design and social issues.

“This year our organisation has chosen to deal with the topic 'integration'. We have been involving foreign communities living in our territory or connected to our event in order to realize together some projects on visual communication and cultural identities, enhancing excellence coming from different nations. The result is a multicultural path that crosses the festival through different activities and exhibitions to display the contamination among populations, but also among different perceptions, skills and abilities” notes Graphic Days Torino. 

This edition of the festival, based in one of Europe's most polarized countries on the refugees' crisis, premieres today with Pentagram's Astrid Stavro sharing her experiences in the graphic design industry at GDT's opening talk on October, 3. 
During the festival Google Creative Lab's Xavier Barrade will share his insights having spent the last years working on creating content for emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Self Driving cars, Virtual & Augmented Reality, and helping to design and evolve Google products. 

Barrade is a creative lead currently working at Google Creative Lab in London where he helps to make things that connect people and technology through GCL, his team of interdisciplinary thinkers and doers which features designers, writers, business leaders, filmmakers, animators, producers, creative technologists, and much more.

Barrade’s “small team pushes for an impact that outweighs our footprint” -enter Refugee Info Hub, the mobile site for NGOs to provide refugees with accurate, up-to-date information in partnership with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps.

“Refugee Info Hub mobile site was created in just 36 hours. So far, the site has helped over 600,000 refugees seeking trusted information to continue their journey safely”

“In 2015, up to 7000 refugees were landing on Greek Islands every day. Unfortunately most of the information that was available to them was inaccurate, out of date, or in a language they didn't understand. That’s why the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Google created Refugee Info Hub: a mobile site for NGOs to provide refugees with accurate, up-to-date information” notes Google Creative Lab.

Powered by Google Docs, a tool NGOs are familiar with, making it easy for them to update the vital information on the ground as quickly as possible the mobile site is designed to use as little data and battery power as possible -FYI the white on black design uses up to 40% less battery.

The site was created in just 36 hours, and launched it in Lesvos. Four months later, it was available in 18 additional locations across Europe and being updated by more than 30 NGOs. So far, the site has helped over 600,000 refugees seeking trusted information to continue their journey safely.

“With the evolution of technology, the boundaries of what designers can do are expanding every day, this talk aims to give a small peek into what’s possible. Xavier Barrade who started his career as a graphic designer and is now a Creative Lead at Google Creative Lab will take you through his journey from creating posters and books to helping to invent new technologies, create immersive experiences and design digital products that help millions every day” notes GDT of Barrade's talk “Where will design take you?” this Saturday.

Other notable speakers are Yara Said, the young designer who commissioned to design a flag for the refugee team that went to the Olympics aka the awarded Refugee nation flag who will talk about the artist’s role in contributing to society through social design, République Studio, the award-winning creative direction and graphic design practice based in Paris whose love for typography is the driving force behind its impressive portfolio of works, Spin Studio, High on Type, Tsto, Offshore Studio, Studio Feixen, Eye Magazine’s Simon Esterson and John L. Walters, Dalton Maag South London’s creative director and type designer Riccardo De Franceschi and DesignStudio who will address the many challenges designers are facing in their Saturday Night Talk “Let’s change everything.”

“Graphic Days Torino 2019 deals with 'integration' in order to realize some projects on visual communication and cultural identities, enhancing excellence coming from different nations”

Images via Offshore Studio

via DesignStudio

via Studio Feixen

via Thonik

via Eye Magazine

via High on Type


via République Studio 

Follow all that’s happening at this year’s ultra political Graphic Days Torino through the festival’s social media feed. 

Slider images caption: “We had the pleasure to completely redesign the '20 Minuten', the most widely read newspaper in Switzerland, as part of a campaign for Samsung” notes Studio Feixen on their collaboration with the agency Jung von Matt for a newspaper that was “ intended more to be looked at, than read. In a first step, we redesigned the entire layout with all its nuances, such as the visuals of the horoscopes, the logos of the television stations, a tragically-odd comic, or an emotional weather map. What’s usually developed in months of hard labor had to happen within a few weeks. Nonetheless, we decided not to leave it as a redesign. On a second layer, each page was confronted with a colourful interpretation of its content. This way, not only the design edition itself became unique, but every single page within” via Studio Feixen

by loukas at Thursday, 2019-10-03 13:44



With Extinction Rebellion, Paula Scher & more Design Manchester is smarter (and angrier) than ever

“With the ashes of our political stability still burning on we look at the resourceful, the nimble and the canny who can lift or shapeshift an idea and inspire us to move forwards (wherever forwards maybe!) In 2019 we’re a year smarter, a year angrier in some respects but always motivated to celebrate design in all of its forms, so our theme will reflect the word SMART and everything that encapsulates” notes Design Manchester 2019.

In line with this year’s theme, DM assembled “some of the world's smartest creatives and a truly diverse bunch, from bridge builders to laser makers all ready to inspire no matter what your background is… creative or just curious. There will be talks, discussions, exhibitions aplenty across the multiple spaces meaning you're not glued to your seat but in reality who would want to miss these speakers.”

From one of the most influential graphic designers in the world and the “master conjurer of the instantly familiar” Paula Scher (Pentagram New York) to Neil Hubbard (Heathernick Studio), Cosey Fanni Tutti, Daljit Singh, Hansje Van Hale , Pfadfinderei, Harris Elliott and Extinction Rebellion’s Clive Russel & Charlie Waterhouse the creatives are about to reveal their secrets, philosophies and approach to design.

“In a world that appears increasingly to be acting dumb, in the face of global political upheaval and the climate crisis in the news daily, it is well past time for designers to get SMART, think SMART and ACT SMART” Design Manchester’s artistic director Malcolm Garrett RDI said of this year’s schedule.

“In 2019 we’re a year smarter, a year angrier in some respects but always motivated to celebrate design in all of its forms, so our theme will reflect the word SMART and everything that encapsulates”

Graphic designers Charlie Waterhouse and Clive Russell have worked with Extinction Rebellion, the international movement of climate activists that was launched in the UK by Roger Hallam and Gail Bradbrook, among others, building a strong visual identity for climate activism.

With simple and bold messages XR’s visuals are as powerful as they should. “The symbol is the product of an anonymous artist who goes by the name ESP. Its circle represents the planet, and the ‘X’ within it appears like an hourglass signaling the ever-decreasing time left to halt devastating climate change” writes the New Statesman.

Graphic designers Charlie Waterhouse and Clive Russell are no strangers to artivism. “The duo, who head design agency This Ain’t Rock and Roll, are veteran artist-activists. They previously worked with the campaign group Stop Killing Londoners, which campaigned to halt the capital’s rising pollution levels, and the Brixton Pound, a local currency introduced to support independent businesses in the South London constituency” reports the NS of the creative duo who take inspiration from the portfolio of Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop) which was established in Paris during the riots of May 1968 from artists and students who occupied the École des Beaux-Arts to provide a visual language that remains iconic and inspiring to many.

All images via Formes Vives

For Atelier Populaire posters were “weapons in the service of the struggle [that] are an inseparable part of it” and XR’s creatives follow this path.

“From my point of view as a designer, every single green movement up until now has been rubbish – it’s been dreadfully designed, it’s appealing to its own internal audience, not looking outward,” Russell says. “It was really important to make sure that we got across the idea that we’re a non-violent movement, but that doesn’t mean we’re not actually angry –  we are really angry,’’ he adds.

“You may well have noticed, there’s a new gang in town. Apologies if they made you late for an important meeting, but we hope you liked what you saw. The Extinction Rebellion is a dynamic new force in environmental activism – with a no-nonsense approach to getting the word out” writes This Ain't Rock N' Roll.  

“Much has been written about them in the past weeks, and they have certainly caused a stir in a space that has as many players as it does opinions. Our job is to accommodate both – while maintaining focus on the organisation’s very simple demands. If we’re to get anywhere with climate change and the current extinction crisis there’s going to have to be fundamental changes at personal, governmental and international levels.”

“Extinction Rebellion has formed as a direct result of society’s inability to grasp this, and the powers that be’s refusal to do anything meaningful about it. The movement’s audacious taking of five of central London’s key bridges on November 17th was just the start. As Rebellions are declared around the world, public awareness of the severity of the crisis we face will grow, as will the army of activists willing to do something about it” add Waterhouse and Russell.

“You may well have noticed, there’s a new gang in town. Apologies if they made you late for an important meeting, but we hope you liked what you saw”

Explore more reasons to attend this year’s Design Manchester venue here

by loukas at Wednesday, 2019-10-02 15:28


Reden ist Silber ¶ Druckerey Blog (Martin Z. Schröder, Drucker)

Visitenkartenetuis aus Silber

Da ich immer mal wieder nach schönen Visitenkartenetuis gefragt wurde, die Neuware aber selten einmal dazu gezählt wird, habe ich einige Antiquitäten besorgt.

Es dauert ein Weilchen, bis ich diese schönen Oldtimer gereinigt und fotografiert habe, aber die ersten sind nun hier und ausführlicher im Online-Shop bei der Visitenkartenetuis zu sehen.

Die meisten wurden in Birmingham hergestellt.

So alte Etuis wie dieses eine aus geflochtenem Silberdraht haben oft keine Punzen, von denen man den Hersteller ablesen kann.

In den nächsten Tagen werden weitere hinzukommen.

by Martin Z. Schröder at Saturday, 2019-09-21 13:55


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Bibliothek des Gutenberg-Museums in Hebis recherchierbar

Das Börsenblatt weist heute darauf hin, dass die Bibliothek des Gutenberg-Museums nun einen neuen OPAC erhalten habe und dass der gesamte Bestand der Bibliothek nunmehr auch über den Hessischen Verbundkatalog Hebis recherchierbar sei. Die Titel werden in Hebis in der Bestandsinfo unter „Mainz, Stadtbibliothek und Gutenberg-Museum“ nachgewiesen.

Das Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz betreibt eine Bibliothek zur Buch-, Druck- und Schriftgeschichte mit rund 91.000 Bänden und etwa 50 laufend gehaltenen Zeitschriften. Die Migration auf die neue Plattform hat zwei Jahre benötigt, ist zum größten Teil vollzogen und wird bis zum Jahresende abgeschlossen sein.

(via TeX-D-L/de.comp.text.tex/InetBib)

by schneeschmelze at Friday, 2019-09-13 18:03


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Meiner TUGboat-Artikel zur TUG 2019 in Palo Alto

Nachdem ich meine Präsentationen zur TUG 2019 bereits hochgeladen habe (LINK) folgen nun die Artikel, die in der TUGboat erscheinen werden.


Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Thursday, 2019-09-12 18:45

Aufgaben zum Bruchrechnen erstellen mit LaTeX und Python

Hier ein kurzes Beispiel, wie man mit Python eine TeX-Datei mit vielen Brüchen erzeugen kann. Nützlich, wenn Kinder Brüche kürzen oder erweitern sollen. In der nächsten Zeit werde ich sicher noch entsprechende Anpassungen für das Rechnen mit Brüchen hinzufügen.

EDIT: Erweitert um das Löschen der Hilfsdateien.

import os
import random

head = """
\\documentclass[14pt, twocolumn]{scrartcl}



foot = """

def create_bruch():
    zahlen = list(range(1,13))
    zaehler = random.choice(zahlen)
    nenner = random.choice(zahlen)
    return '\\item \\( \\frac{'+ str(zaehler) + '}{' + str(nenner) + '} \\)\\vspace{1em}'

with open("Brueche.tex", "w") as document:
    for i in range(32):
os.system("pdflatex Brueche.tex")



Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Thursday, 2019-09-12 18:40


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Finding files by expansion

The TeX core situation

Loading files is an important part of using TeX. At the primitive level, reading an entire file is done using \input. As many people know, files are found by a TeX system using the kpathsea library, which means that the argument to \input should (usually) be the file name alone.

However, it’s often convenient to have files found in subdirectories of a project: the LaTeX2e \graphicspath command is perhaps the classic example where this is used. Looking in multiple places means having an approach to searching for files. The same idea comes up again with graphics whenever you use \includegraphics: most of the time, you don’t give the file extension but rather let (La)TeX do some searching.

At the same time as this need to search for existing files, there’s the issue of when a file might be missing. The \input primitive is pretty unforgiving if the file is not found, and there are lots of times we want to ‘use this file only’ if it actually exists, or to retain control of the error state if a file is missing.

Classical TeX offers one way to check for files before trying to input them. That’s done by using the \openin primitive to open the file, then using an \ifeof test to see if we have reached the end of the file. That works because a non-existent file gives an immediate end-of-file for a read (\openin), but does not lead to an errors (in contrast to \input). The downside to this approach is it performs an assignment, so is not usable in an expansion context.

Some years ago, pdfTeX introduced a number of ‘file information’ primitives, including \pdffilesize. This takes a file name, and expands to the size of the file. Importantly, it works without error with a non-existent file, and expands to nothing at all. That means that it can be used to know if a file exists: any value at all means that it does. As the primitive works by expansion, it also can be used anywhere in TeX.

Searching in expl3

For TeX Live 2019, the LaTeX team did some work to bring primitives into line between XeTeX and other engines. That means that we can now look to exploit \pdffilesize as a way to find files and add new functionality. (The team looking after pTeX and upTeX had already added \pdffilesize.)

I’ve just sent an update of expl3 to CTAN which uses this new approach to file finding. There’s more to it than just changing the file opening primitive. To do a search for different paths, we need to be able to check one at a time. The older expl3 code checks each possible path using an assignment: again, not allowed in an expansion context. So I’ve re-written all of the search code to work by expansion: tricky but workable.

This means we have some new goodies: things like \file_size:n which can be used inside an x-type expansion (\edef) to give the size of a file even if it is not on the standard search path. Of course, being expl3 code, everything still handles spaces-in-filenames and active characters correctly.

Future plans

At present, where \pdffilesize is not available we will still fall back on the older code, so not everything can be done by expansion. However, in the near(ish) future we will likely make \pdffilesize a required primitive for expl3. At that point, some other code can be made expandable, most obviously \file_if_exist:n(TF). That will lead to some changes in the minimal engine versions: more news as and when a change happens.

Friday, 2019-09-06 00:00


LaTeX Project

Major news: LaTeX development formats are now available

LaTeX development formats are now available

We know that many of you, especially developers and maintainers of important packages, have a strong interest in a stable LaTeX environment.

In order to keep LaTeX very stable for users whilst allowing for further development to continue, we now have a development branch of LaTeX on GitHub containing development code for the upcoming release. When this code is ready for wider consumption and testing, we generate a pre-release of LaTeX from this development branch and make it available on CTAN.

For users of the TeXLive and MikTeX distributions it is therefore now straightforward to test their documents and code against the upcoming LaTeX release with ease, simply by selecting a different program name (when using the command line) or by selecting a menu entry (after setting it up, see below).

If you do this then the latest version of the LaTeX development format will be used to process your document, allowing you to test the upcoming release with your own documents and packages. For example, if you run

pdflatex-dev myfile

then you will be greeted on the screen with LaTeX2e <2019-10-01> pre-release-2 (identifying the pre-release format) instead of the normal LaTeX2e <2018-12-01>. In this pre-release you will find the latest new features that we have developed. Here is an example of upcoming features that are currently only in the pre-release format: better UTF8-handling as described in Taming UTF-8 in pdfTeX.

Note, that these are not `nightly builds’ of the format reflecting the very latest stage of development, but pre-release versions that we have tested ourselves so that we consider them ready for testing by a broader community, prior to their public release.

Our hopes

We don’t expect everybody to start using the development formats to participate in testing, but we hope that people with a strong interest in a stable LaTeX environment (especially developers and maintainers of important packages) will use the new facilities and help us to ensure that future public releases of LaTeX do not (as has happened in the past) require some immediate patches because of issues that were not identified by our internal regression test suite or by other testing that we do.

Any issue identified when using the development format should preferably be logged as an issue on GitHub, following the procedure outlined in www.latex-project.org/bugs/ including the use of the latexbug package as described.

Our bug reporting process normally states that issues involving third-party software are out of scope as we can’t correct external packages. However, in the particular case of the development format showing an incompatibility with a third-party package, it is fine to open an issue with us (in addition, please, to informing the maintainer of that package) so that we know about the problem and can jointly work on resolving it.

Details please …

More details and some background information about the concepts and the process is available in an upcoming TUGboat article:

The LaTeX release workflow and the LaTeX dev formats

  • Frank Mittelbach
  • TUGboat 40:2, 2019
  • Abstract

    How do you prevent creating banana software (i.e., software that gets ripe at the customer site)? By proper testing! But this is anything but easy.

    The paper will give an overview of the efforts made by the LaTeX Project Team over the years to provide high-quality software and explains the changes that we have made this summer to improve the situation further.

Setting up menu items

While the command line call works out of the box if you have a recent uptodate TeXLive or MikTeX installation, the use within an integrated editing environment doesn’t at this point in time (maybe the developers of these editors will include it in the future). However, it is normally fairly simple to enable it as most (or even all?) of them provide simple ways to call your own setup. How this works in detail depends very much on the environment you use, so we can’t give much help here. But as an example: to provide an additional menu entry for XeLaTeX-dev all I had to do was to copy the file XeLaTeX.engine to XeLaTeX-dev.engine and change the call from xelatex to xelatex-dev inside.

Enjoy — Frank & Chris

Sunday, 2019-09-01 00:00


LaTeX Project

New kids on the block (2)

New kids on the block (2)

I’m happy to be able to announce that Phelype Oleinik and Marcel Krüger have joined the LaTeX Project Team. Contact details are on the team page.

Phelype is a Civil Engineer, a TeX enthusiast and an expl3 advocate—you’ll find him on Stack Exchange answering complex questions. Marcel is an accomplished and well-known LuaTeX expert and besides other activities is maintaining luaotfload. With Marcel joining we have formally adopted the work on luaotfload which is a core component for making LaTeX available with a LuaTeX engine. The repository for this code is now https://github.com/latex3/luaotfload.

We are extremely greateful to have both of them on board and gain from their experience and knowledge!

A warm welcome — Frank

Sunday, 2019-08-25 00:00


LaTeX Project

New kids on the block (2)

New kids on the block (2)

I’m happy to be able to announce that Phelype Oleinik and Marcel Krüger have joined the LaTeX Project Team. Contact details are on the team page.

Phelype is a Civil Engineer, a TeX enthusiast and an expl3 advocate—you’ll find him on Stack Exchange answering complex questions. Marcel is an accomplished and well-known LuaTeX expert and besides other activities is maintaining luaotfload. With Marcel joining we have formally adopted the work on luaotfload which is a core component for making LaTeX available with a LuaTeX engine. The repository for this code is now https://github.com/latex3/luaotfload.

We are extremely greateful to have both of them on board and gain from their experience and knowledge!

A warm welcome — Frank

Saturday, 2019-08-24 00:00


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Slides for my TUG 2019 presentations in Palo Alto

This year I was able to visit the TUG 2019 meeting in Palo Alto, California. I gave two talks, one on LaTeX & Python, the other one on the creation of exams using the exam class. Find below the slides, all sources are included in the PDF and accessible at least via Adobe Reader.


Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Wednesday, 2019-08-21 19:34


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Aquamacs unter neuer Leitung

Gestern notierte ich nur kurz, dass Aquamacs 3.5 freigegeben worden ist. Aquamacs ist eine Distribution des freien Editors Emacs für macOS, die eine Reihe von nützlichen Erweiterungen fertig vorkonfiguriert enthält und außerdem die üblichen Keybindings aus macOS mitbringt. Wer diese nicht nutzen möchte, sondern einen Emacs sucht, wie er ihn von anderen Plattformen her kennt, kann das sehr leicht zurückbiegen. Keine Sorge vor Emacs-Lisp: Als ich vor einigen Jahren mein System von Grund auf neu aufbaute, war Aquamacs die Anwendung, die als erstes einsatzbereit war. Ich mache fast alles, was ich mache, in Aquamacs mit org-mode und LaTeX. (Den Rest mache ich in LibreOffice, wenn es dafür gute Gründe gibt.)

Eine weitere Meldung lief in der darauffolgenden Nacht über die Mailinglisten: Der Entwickler von Aquamacs David Reitter, der Aquamacs erdacht und seit 2003 betrieben hatte, hat das Projekt verlassen. Es ist ein Abschied aus persönlichen Gründen. Viel ist passiert seitdem, es sah schon mal düster aus, was die Zukunft von Aquamacs anging, aber nach der Modernisierung durch den Umzug auf GitHub im Jahr 2015 wurden Schritt für Schritt Hindernisse aus dem Weg geschafft, die auch andere freie Softwareprojekte für den Mac zunehmend behindern. Im Falle von Aquamacs ging es um die Integration gnutls, die notwendig geworden war, weil die Unterstützung für openssl in macOS aus Emacs entfernt worden war. Diese steuerte Win Treese bei, der auch das Projekt insgesamt übernommen hat. Ich danke David für seine Mühe über die vielen Jahre hinweg, und ich hoffe, Aquamacs bleibt den Mac-Anwendern noch lange erhalten.

A propos Mac und Freie Software: Bei der gerade zuende gegangenen TUG 2019 berichtete Dick Koch über die Großen Veränderungen bei MacTeX, von denen die Anwender möglichst nichts bemerken sollten. Von den Hürden, die Apple den Entwicklern zunehmend in den Weg stellt, die die Vorteile, die Unix eigentlich für freie Lösungen bieten sollte, immer mehr schwinden lassen. Notarization und hardened runtimes machen es auch zunehmend schwerer, eine so komplexe Distribution wie MacTeX bereitzustellen. Wer es nicht glaubt, der lese Dicks Bericht. Die Probleme bei der Entwicklung des freien PDF-Viewers Skim, der auf PDFkit aufsetzt, möge man auf dessen Mailingliste nachvollziehen. Nicht schön. Das ständige Hase-und-Igel-Spiel durch jährliche System-Upgrades (früher gabs das alle zwei bis drei Jahre) erzeugt einen erheblichen Druck und tut ein übriges. Auch andere Projekte sind betroffen. Vor zwei Wochen kompilierte Poppler zum ersten Mal nicht bei meinen MacPorts unter High Sierra. Es könnte sein, dass die Zeiten, zu denen macOS eine gute Wahl für den Einsatz freier Software war, vorbei sind und der Wechsel zu Linux ernsthaft in Betracht kommt.

by schneeschmelze at Tuesday, 2019-08-20 21:22



(LaTeX) Font Catalogue now on tug.org

The LaTeX Font Catalogue, created and still maintained by Palle Jørgensen of DK-TUG, has short samples of most fonts available in TeX distributions, categorized in several ways, and with LaTeX usage examples. It is now hosted on tug.org, as tug.org/FontCatalogue, Happy font-finding!

Tuesday, 2019-07-30 21:52


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Aquamacs 3.5 Nightly Build

David Reitter bittet um Tests des Nightly Build von Aquamacs 3.5. Neu im Vergleich zur vorhergehenden Version ist die Integration von gnutls 3.6.8. Sie war notwendig geworden, weil die Unterstützung für openssl in macOS aus Emacs entfernt worden war. Aquamacs 3.5 setzt deshalb mindestens Mac OS X El Capitan voraus. Den Code zur Integration von gnutls in Aquamacs steuerte Win Treese bei. Außerdem gab es Updates der vielen ergänzenden Pakete, die in in Aquamacs integriert sind. Aquamacs 3.5 beruht auf Emacs 25, also nicht auf der allerneusten Version von Emacs, sondern auf der vorletzten.

Die Entwickler weisen darauf hin, dass unter macOS Mojave ein Problem beim Öffnen der Menüs auftreten könne. Wer doppelt klicken muss, damit sich ein Drop-Down-Menü öffnet, sollte in den Systemeinstellungen bei den Bedienhilfen Aquamacs ausdrücklich freischalten. Ich kann das nicht selbst testen, weil ich noch nie mit der neuesten Version von macOS gearbeitet habe, also auch derzeit nicht. Mir fiel unter macOS High Sierra auf, dass Text beim fortlaufenden Eintippen manchmal am Zeilenanfang kurz ausgeblendet wird und dann wieder erscheint, als wäre nichts gewesen… das ist etwas merkwürdig.

Der Nightly Build ist nicht signiert. Um alles, was damit zusammenhängt, kümmert sich David Reitter später.

Zur Erinnerung: Wer möchte, dass sich Aquamacs so verhält, wie man es von einem Emacs gewöhnt ist, kann ihm das sehr leicht beibringen.

by schneeschmelze at Friday, 2019-07-26 20:20



TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Der Nachlass von Jan Tschichold wird digitalisiert

Die Erben des Typografen Jan Tschichold haben dessen Nachlass als Schenkung an das Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig gegeben.

Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek hat in einer Pressemitteilung vom 13. Juni 2019 bekanntgegeben, dass die Digitalisierung des Nachlasses von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft gefördert werde. Die Digitalisate sollen nach entsprechender Erschließung über die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek online frei abrufbar sein:

Nachlass Jan Tschichold wird mit DFG-Förderung digitalisiert

Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) fördert die Digitalisierung und Erschließung des Nachlasses von Jan Tschichold. Der Nachlass befindet sich im Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum (DBSM) der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek (DNB) in Leipzig. In einem achtzehnmonatigen Projekt werden ausgewählte Teile des Nachlasses digitalisiert und erschlossen. Das Projekt wird mit circa 110.000 Euro gefördert. Die Digitalisate werden mit Normdaten versehen und über das Portal der DNB weltweit im Netz zugänglich gemacht. Gleichzeitig werden die Materialien unter der wissenschaftlichen Leitung von Prof. Dr. Patrick Rössler von der Universität Erfurt inhaltlich erschlossen. Noch nie war ein so tiefer und einfacher Blick in die Werkstatt Tschicholds möglich. Zum Abschluss des Projektes wird eine Buchpublikation und eine Tagung die Ergebnisse zusammenfassen.

Jan Tschichold war einer der bedeutendsten Typografen und Schriftgestalter des 20. Jahrhunderts. Er wirkte im Umfeld des Bauhauses und gilt dort als Stichwortgeber für die sogenannte Neue oder Konstruktive Typografie. Nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg orientierte er sich zunehmend an traditionellen Vorbildern und veröffentliche zahlreiche typografiehistorische Werke und Lehrbücher zur Schriftgestaltung.

Die Erben Jan Tschicholds schenkten dem DBSM den Nachlass, damit er für Forschung und Lehre dauerhaft zur Verfügung steht. In den letzten Jahren gehörte er zu den meistgenutzten Nachlässen des Museums. Je mehr Wissenschaftler und Wissenschaftlerinnen, Künstler und Künstlerinnen und Studierende den Nachlass vor Ort sichten, desto stärker wird er aber auch in Mitleidenschaft gezogen. Die Digitalisierung ist ein guter Weg, um vielen Menschen einen Einblick in den Nachlass zu ermöglichen und ihn dabei bestmöglich zu schonen. Dabei ist es besonders wichtig, die Digitalisate mit treffenden Beschreibungen (sogenannten Metadaten) anzureichern, damit Nutzerinnen und Nutzer genau das finden können, was sie suchen. Nach der Digitalisierung werden die Daten Teil der Deutschen Digitalen Bibliothek und von Europeana, dem europäischen digitalen Kulturportal.

Noch bis zum 6. September 2019 ist in Leipzig die Ausstellung „Jan Tschichold – ein Jahrhunderttypograf?“ zu sehen. Die Ausstellung, zu der der Wallstein-Verlag eine reich bebilderte Publikation veröffentlicht hat, rekonstruiert an einer Auswahl der interessantesten Stücke aus dem Nachlass den Lebens- und Schaffensweg Tschicholds.

by schneeschmelze at Wednesday, 2019-06-26 17:55



LyX 2.3.3 released.

Third Maintenance Release in 2.3.x Series

Tuesday, 2019-06-25 00:00




Weblog von Markus Kohm

Ist wirklich etwas faul in der Community?

Seit einigen Wochen mehren sich in der TeX-Community Meldungen der eher negativen Art. Auch persönlich wurde die Ansicht an mich heran getragen, dass »in der Community etwas faul« sei. Teilweise kann ich das nachvollziehen, teilweise finde ich es auch bedenklich, gleichzeitig sehe ich aber auch die Notwendigkeit, zu relativieren.

Hier auf komascript.de selbst ist keine große Veränderung festzustellen. Auch von Admin-Seite her sind keine wirksameren Angriffe auf die Seite zu erkennen. Der Wettlauf zwischen Angriffen und Abwehrmechanismen ist weiter im Gange und weiter offen, hat sich aber nicht nennenswert verstärkt. Angestiegen ist allerdings die Zahl der offenkundigen Fake-Account-Anmeldungen. Ob der Anschein, dass wir diese meistern, korrekt oder ein Trugschluss ist, wird sich irgendwann zeigen. Aufgrund von gewissen Annahmen lag zunächst er Verdacht nahe, dass es sich dabei weniger um Angriffe auf die Serversoftware oder gar auf die Community auf komascript.de handelt, sondern sie eher gegen mich persönlich gerichtet sind. Allerdings zeigt ein Vorfall in einem Partnerforum, dass dort ähnliche Kräfte am Werk sind. Dadurch drängen sich nun zwei mögliche Szenarien auf. Entweder ist das dort aufgrund des Partnerseiten-Links geschehen, einfach weil hier bisher kein Erfolg zu erzielen war, oder die verantwortliche Szene hat tatsächlich neuerdings TeX-Foren oder allgemein technische Foren als neues, vermeintliches Opfer auserkoren. Beides wäre in der Tat unschön, ersteres wäre mir zudem sehr unangenehm.

Was mir gegenüber explizit geäußert wurde ist die Beobachtung, dass ein gewisses Anspruchsdenken um sich greife. Das kann ich allerdings nicht bestätigen. Es gab schon immer Anwender, die ihre Aufgaben auf die Helfer in Foren abwälzen wollten. Schon immer gab es Menschen, die nicht bereit waren, die Forensuche oder Internet-Suchmaschinen zu bemühen oder gar in Anleitungen nachzulesen. Wobei ich bezüglich der Qualität der Ergebnisse von Internet-Suchen gewisse Vorbehalte teile und ohnehin empfehle die Ergebnisse nicht unreflektiert zu übernehmen. Ich kann auch nicht feststellen, dass sich die Anzahl der entsprechenden Versuche, andere auszunutzen gesteigert hätte oder dass die Reaktionen, wenn solche Versuche auf Widerstand stoßen, insgesamt gröber werden würden.

Persönlich habe ich allerdings durchaus den Eindruck, dass einige wenige, durchaus langjährige Anwender besonders hartnäckig ihr Anspruchsdenken verteidigen und kultivieren und – lasst mich auch hier ganz unverblümt sein – dabei auch vor öffentlichen, recht garstigen Angriffen nicht zurückschrecken. Dazu kommen einige Benutzer – ich spreche hier bewusst nicht von Anwendern –, die jede Gelegenheit nutzen, gegen gewisse Helfer zu stänkern. Von beidem war ich auch selbst schon betroffen und in der Tat demotiviert mich so etwas so sehr, dass man auch sagen könnte, dass es mich geradezu deprimiert. Und ich bin offenbar nicht der Einzige. Wirklich neu sind beide Phänomene aber nicht. In meinen frühen Mailbox- und Usenetzeiten gab es das auch bereits. Damals war es allerdings noch unüblich, darauf politisch korrekt zu reagieren. Und die Community hat in solchen Fällen in der Tat dem Unruhestifter sehr schnell Grenzen aufgezeigt. Es kam allerdings auch vor, dass danach eine Gruppe faktisch nicht mehr existent war oder Wochen gebraucht hat, sich davon zu erholen.

Trotzdem, was ich tatsächlich beobachten kann, ist dass einige Helfer zunehmend müde oder – nennen wir es beim Namen – gereizt werden. Einige Helfer in anderen Foren haben diesen bereits eher im Stillen aber teilweise auch mit einigem Aufsehen den Rücken gekehrt. Das kann ich auch durchaus nachvollziehen. Nach einer gewissen Zeit, nervt es einfach, Neulingen immer wieder die gleichen wichtigen Informationen aus der Nase zu ziehen. Irgendwann hat man keine Lust mehr, genau darüber aber auch über die eigenen Lösungsvorschläge länger zu diskutieren als man für die Lösung selbst dann braucht. Irgendwann hat man auch keine Lust mehr, die immer gleichen Fehler in den gezeigten Code-Ausschnitten zu erklären, bevor man sich dem eigentlichen Problem zuwenden kann. Irgendwann nervt es gewaltig, wenn diese Fehler dann trotz aller Hinweise bei der nächsten Frage desselben Fragestellers wieder auftauchen. Irgendwann nervt es ganz gewaltig, sich dafür rechtfertigen zu müssen, dass man nicht jedem Hilfesuchenden erst einmal Honig ums Maul schmiert und die eigene Kritik nicht hinter vielen Lagen buntem Geschenkpapier und wohlriechenden Düften weitgehend unkenntlich verbirgt. Das oben bereits genannte, demotivierende Verhalten einzelner macht das nicht besser.

In einer solchen Situation kann dann durchaus bereits eine kleiner inhaltlicher Disput mit einem anderen Helfer, das Fass zum Überlaufen bringen. Dass Helfer sich nicht bei allem einig sind, ist dabei ganz normal. Dass nahezu kein Helfer bei den vielen Hilfestellungen, die er ständig leistet, komplett vor eigenen Fehlern gefeit ist, liegt in der Natur und der Komplexität des Themas. Wie schon Goethe im Urfaust schreibt: »Es irrt der Mensch, solang er strebt.« Da sollte eine Diskussion zwischen Helfern eigentlich kein Problem sein. Man sollte davon ausgehen, dass sich alle gegenseitig respektieren und Missverständnisse leicht auszuräumen sind. Leider scheint bei einigen aber das Fass bereits vorab so voll zu sein, dass sie darin dann so etwas wie einen Brudermord wittern. Das kann zu schwer nachvollziehbaren Reaktionen führen. So ließen Helfer bereits ihre sämtlichen Antworten in Foren löschen (oder haben es selbst erledigt) und haben damit Jahre eigener Arbeit sinnlos vernichtet. Auch andere unsinnige Aktionen, die sich letztlich gegen den Ausführenden selbst oder das eigene Wirken richteten, wurden schon beobachtet.

Ist also wirklich etwas faul in der Community? Ganz sicher. Faul war schon immer etwas. Aber ist es mehr? Das ist für mich schwer zu sagen.

Da ich selbst bei mir derzeit deutliche Anzeichen dafür erkenne, dass meine Schmerzgrenze wieder einmal längst überschritten ist, werde ich mir in den nächsten Wochen eine Auszeit verordnen. Selbst hier auf komascript.de wird es von mir in den nächsten 14 Tagen nur in Ausnahmefällen oder mit Verzögerung Antworten geben. Andere Foren werde ich gar nicht erst lesen. Auch die Bearbeitung von E-Mails wird verzögert geschehen. Was ich nicht zeitnah lese, kann ich erst recht nicht zeitnah beantworten. Umgekehrt besteht dann aber auch nicht der selbst auferlegte Zwang, zeitnah auf alles reagieren zu müssen. Weitgehend unbemerkt, aber keineswegs im Stillen habe ich das in der Vergangenheit immer wieder einmal durchgezogen und es hat beim Aufladen der Batterien sehr geholfen. Dank Smartphone gehört dazu inzwischen aber in der Tat eine gewisse, ganz bewusste Disziplin. Einen solchen möglichst weitreichenden Urlaub vom Netz kann ich allen genervten Mitstreitern sehr empfehlen.

Bis demnächst

by Markus Kohm at Wednesday, 2019-06-12 10:06




TUGboat 40:1 published

TUGboat volume 40, number 1 (a regular issue) has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. In addition, prior TUGboat issue 39:3 is now publicly available. Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already.

Friday, 2019-05-17 17:52


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

TeX Live 2019

Zugegeben, ich bin etwas spät dran in diesem Jahr mit dem Upgrade, aber sooo viel Neues hat sich bei TeX Live 2019 im Vergleich zu 2018 ja nun auch wieder nicht ergeben. Jedenfalls nichts, was mich beträfe.

Die New-Features-Seite zu MacTeX liest sich betont entspannt und besteht zu einem großen Teil aus Hinweisen, die auf Neuigkeiten bis ins Jahr 2010 zurückgehen.

In diesem Jahr hatte ich leider an den Pretests nicht teilnehmen können. Das Setup lief klaglos durch, und bisher sind mir auch noch keine Probleme aufgefallen. Seit heute Morgen sind auch die ersten neuen Pakete auf dem CTAN-Mirror meines Vertrauens verfügbar.

Mein Dank geht an die Kolleg/inn/en, die die neue Version auch in diesem Jahr erstellt haben.

by schneeschmelze at Sunday, 2019-05-05 12:37



TeX Live 2019 released

TeX Live 2019 has been released, along with the entire TeX Collection 2019. The DVD is in production and will be mailed to TUG, and most other TeX user group, members when manufacturing is complete (expected by the first week of June). The software can also be downloaded in various ways, and the DVD ordered from TUG store. Please consider joining or renewing your membership in TUG or another TeX user group, and thanks if you already have. Thanks to all the contributors.

Monday, 2019-04-29 22:02

WSPR.IO (by Will Robertson)

Google Season of Docs 2019

As a board member of the TeX Users Group, earlier this month I was investigating the Google Season of Docs scheme to establish whether it would be feasible for TUG to participate in 2019. The idea of these scheme is to bring in technical writers looking for experience in real-world ‘gaps’ in open source software documentation. The activities can range from frameworks, to tutorials, to reference documentation.

The TeX ecosystem is somewhat unique in the open source software world in that its software is often highly documented in a ‘soft’ literate programming approach using LaTeX’s DocStrip syntax or variants thereof. This documentation is distributed in PDF form and is one of the main reasons that a ‘complete’ TeX Live distribution is multi-gigabytes in size (the other reason being fonts).

However, just because code in TeX Live tends to come with PDF documentation doesn’t mean there aren’t ample opportunities for more and better documentation. The GSOD scheme looks fantastic but time ended up running short for our proposals; most importantly, we didn’t want to propose projects for which we didn’t have confidence we could provide adequate support.

Despite not progressing with the scheme this year, if it returns again in 2020 I’m more confident we will be in a better place to make a strong set of proposals. For reference I’ve listed what would have been our intended entries into our Google Season of Docs 2019 submission, had it gone ahead.

Best practice LaTeX for the web

Description: LaTeX has traditionally been geared towards generating print documents, nowadays generating PDF output. There is now more and more need to develop documentation in HTML form as well, and with the widespread adoption of MathML and alternative rendering technologies such as MathJax, there is little technical reason that LaTeX documents can not produce first-class HTML output as well as PDF output. In fact, there are a number of actively developed projects which allow this, including TeX4ht, LaTeXML, lwarp, HEVEA, and others.

For a newcomer, this creates a problem — each tool is suited toward different workflows and it is often not clear which would be the best to choose for a given project. As these are quite complex tools, it is also sometimes hard to get started and to know the limitations of each technology. This project proposes to write a comprehensive user guide to writing HTML documents using LaTeX workflows, comparing and contrasting the currently available technologies.

Related material:

TikZ tutorials for programmatic drawing

Description: The PGF/TikZ environment for programmatic drawing in TeX documents has become the de facto standard for including high-quality visual elements to a (La)TeX document. Its interface has evolved over a number of years and achieves a remarkable level of clarity given it is built on top of the TeX macro environment. PGF/TikZ and related add-ons can draw anything from flowcharts to 2D and 3D graphics to entire graphs (replacing, e.g., matplotlib for generating figures, with the benefit of tight coupling between graph style and document design in terms of fonts and colours).

The vast capabilities and improvements to its interface over time have lead to a noticeable gap in the documentation. The PGF/TikZ documentation is formiddable at 1289 pages, and while it provides some tutorial elements it is more of a reference document than a user guide. There are also a large number of example graphics online through the TeXample website, but these are often written using older or ad hoc idioms and are often not good examples of best practice. For this project we propose that a set of worked examples are developed that showcase TikZ’s range and can be used as reference examples to build from for new users. This project may also lead to improvements in the core PGF/TikZ documentation.

Related material:

LaTeX3 and LuaTeX programming tutorials

Description: In the early 2010s the expl3 programming layer started gaining significant traction for LaTeX programming. expl3 was a re-think of how TeX macro programming could be performed with rigorous syntax and robust data structures. Around the same time, the LuaTeX project was released, which allows TeX documents to be programmed using the Lua programming language. These two approaches are complementary and in some sense provide a transition from the legacy code of LaTeX2e into a future version of LaTeX that has clean interfaces for the document author, class designer, and code writer.

While expl3 and LuaTeX are both extensively described with reference documentation, neither have comprehensive user guides or tutorials for teaching a newcomer to TeX how to adopt these new best practices. This project would create a suite of documents for doing so.

Related material:

LaTeX2e reference documentation (https://latexref.xyz)

Description: LaTeX2e, the version of LaTeX used worldwide since 1993 by myriad mathematicians, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, linguists, and so on, lacks comprehensive reference documentation. An ambitious project has been started at https://latexref.xyz that catalogues and documents all non-private LaTeX2e commands. Further improvements to that document are necessary, including expanding the scope of the documentation to private/internal commands as well as general programming interfaces. As part of this effort, the documentation provided via the literate programming implementation of LaTeX2e could be thoroughly updated and re-written to harmonise with this project. In parallel with this project the interface to the documentation could be thoroughly revamped to exploit modern web technologies, but this would not fall under the direct responsibility of the technical writer.

Related material:

Monday, 2019-04-29 11:32


LaTeX Project

Two papers on the history of LaTeX

Two papers on the history of LaTeX

We have added two papers on different aspects of the history of LaTeX to the site. While both are somewhat older they present interesting accounts on the evolution of LaTeX.

The first was given by Chris Rowley at a conference celebrating Leslie Lamport’s 60th birthday and discusses the relevance of LaTeX throughout several decades (including some interesting predictions that can be checked against reality).

The LaTeX Legacy

  • Chris Rowley
  • Published paper, PODC ‘01 Proceedings of the twentieth annual ACM symposium on Principles of distributed computing, Pages 17-25
  • Keywords: LaTeX history, LaTeX future
  • Abstract

    The second edition of The LaTeX Manual begins: `LaTeX is a system for typesetting documents. Its first widely available version, mysteriously numbered 2.09, appeared in 1985.’

    It is too early for a complete critical assessment of the impact of LaTeX 2.09 because its world-wide effects on many aspects of many cultures, not least scientific publication, remain strong after 15 years—and that itself is significant in a technological world where a mere 15 months of fame can make and break an idea.

    Therefore this paper provides simply a review and evaluation of the relationship between TeX, LaTeX and some of the major technical developments in the world of quality automated formatting since the publication of LaTeX 2.09 in 1985. It is is neither definitive nor comprehensive but I hope it is informative.

The second is an interview carried out by Dave Walden (for the TUG interview corner) and Gianluca Pignalberi (for the Free Software Magazine).

Interview of Frank Mittelbach – A combined interview of the LaTeX Project director

  • Frank Mittelbach, Gianluca Pignalberi, Dave Walden
  • Published paper, 2006, Free Software Magazine
  • Keywords: LaTeX history, LaTeX future, LPPL, LaTeX3
  • Abstract

    Free Software Magazine (FSM) and the TeX Users Group (TUG) both like to publish interviews. Recently, Gianluca Pignalberi of Free Software Magazine and Dave Walden of TUG both approached Frank Mittelbach about interviewing him. Rather than doing two separate interviews, Mittelbach, Pignalberi, and Walden decided on a combined interview in keeping with the mutual interests already shared by Free Software Magazine and TUG.

We hope that both of them will give you some interesting insights into the evolution of LaTeX.

Tuesday, 2019-04-23 00:00


LaTeX Project

Uploading to CTAN with l3build

Uploading to CTAN with l3build

A new version of l3build has recently been released with the ability to use curl to automatically upload packages to CTAN.

This functionality has been on our wishlist for some time, with early thoughts around the idea of “reverse engineering” the CTAN upload page like the (now defunct) ctanupload tool by Martin Scharrer. Luckily for us, the CTAN team added an API to allow developers to interface with the CTAN upload process in a well-documented and stable manner.

This API has been used for some time by the ctan-o-mat tool by Gerd Neugebauer, which provides the ability to send package updates through to CTAN via the command line, with metadata for the package loadable via a configuration file. While it’s not a cumbersome process to manually upload packages through CTAN, it’s nice to be able to automate the process.

For a tool like l3build, we prefer not to rely on additional tools beyond a standard TeX distribution, and as Windows now provides a curl utility this has allowed us to build a CTAN-uploading tool into l3build directly. The mechanics of this tool were written by David Carlisle; thanks!

Its use is relatively straightforward. In the package’s build.lua file, add a table along the following lines:

uploadconfig = {
  pkg          = "vertbars",
  version      = "v1.0c",
  author       = "Peter R Wilson; Will Robertson",
  uploader     = "Will Robertson"
  license      = "lppl1.3c",
  summary      = "Mark vertical rules in margin of text",
  ctanPath     = "/macros/latex/contrib/vertbars",
  repository   = "https://github.com/wspr/herries-press/",
  note         = [[Uploaded automatically by l3build...]]

Additional fields to what are listed above are possible; this example isn’t intended to be exhaustive. The full list of possibilities is available either through the CTAN API documentation or through the l3build documentation.

Running l3build upload

With the build.lua configuration file in place, to submit a new version of the package to CTAN you would first run l3build ctan to generate the package zip archive, then execute something like

l3build upload --message "Minor update to fix some erroneous spaces from missing % signs"

For a longer message you could use --file releasenotes-v1.0c.txt where the listed filename contains the release notes for this update. Note, however, that there is a fairly small character limit on what can be included here; you may wish to maintain a longer, more detailed, list of changes in a separate CHANGELOG file.

Before the upload process, l3build will check whether any required fields have been omitted and prompt them in an interactive terminal. In particular, the user will be asked their email address for verification purposes; in general this information should not be hard-coded into the build.lua file if that file is to be stored publicly.

Rather than an interactive query, the email field can also be set as a command line option as in

l3build upload --email "my.email@mail.com" ...

Alternatively, you could create a build-private.lua file in your personal texmf/scripts directory containing

uploadconfig = uploadconfig or {}
uploadconfig.uploader = "My Name"
uploadconfig.email    = "my.name@gmail.com"

And read this into your build.lua file with require('build-private.lua').

Further automation and future plans

The current support does not attempt to automate any aspect of the release process. For instance:

  • You may wish additional logic to check the status of your version control system before proceeding with tagging or upload.
  • You may wish to have l3build tag update the package version automatically.
  • You may wish to populate the announcement field within uploadconfig automatically from an associated CHANGELOG file.

And so on. It’s also worth noting that this tool does not automatically run l3build ctan as that process can be very slow if the test suite needs to be re-run. It is a manual process to run the appropriate tag then ctan then upload steps.

As we gain more experience with how we and others are using the tool we will look into providing more functions around automation and/or convenience, especially integration with version control.

In the mean time, I’m looking forward to having it be a good bit easier to make a quick change to a package and send it through to CTAN.

Tuesday, 2019-04-16 00:00


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Vortragsfolien „Briefvorlagen erstellen mit LaTeX und scrlttr2“

Hier die Folien von meinem Vortrag zum Thema „Briefvorlagen erstellen mit LaTeX und scrlttr2“, gehalten auf der Dante e.V. Vereinstagung in Darmstadt.

Alle Code-Beispiele sowie der Quelltext der Folien selbst sind Teil des PDF, dazu nutze ich das attachfile-Paket. Mit einem einfachen \newcommand Befehl baue ich dann den \ta Befehl, der als Parameter nur den Dateinamen entgegennimmt und im PDF dann ein rotes klickbares Paragraph-Symbol setzt.

\newcommand{\ta}[1]{\textattachfile[color=1 0 0]{#1}{\textparagraph}}


Das github-Repository liegt unter https://github.com/UweZiegenhagen/scrlttr2_darmstadt


Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Sunday, 2019-04-07 07:30




Beautiful Type

Fantastic work from @tobiashall for the Rolling Stones. Well...

Fantastic work from @tobiashall for the Rolling Stones. Well Deserved Tobias ! https://ift.tt/2UK2a88

Monday, 2019-03-18 12:27


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

TeXworks v0.63

Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of the light-weight TeXworks editor. It keeps the user interface pared down, letting both new and experienced users focus on their input, whilst at the same time having lots of handy features.

Steffan Löffler has recently released v0.63 of TeXworks, and despite the minor version change (from v0.62), there’s quite a lot of new stuff. Highlights for me are

  • Basic support for BibTeX, including a new menu entry to insert citations into sources
  • More granular SyncTeX sypport, making it easier to go backward and forward from source to PDF
  • Re-written syntax highlighting, addressing some of the long-standing issues TeXworks has had with longer sources
  • Improved syntax patterns and keyword completion lists (both from me!)

Sunday, 2019-03-17 00:00


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Collecting environment content using xparse

LaTeX environments are almost always used for cases where the content does not make sense as a macro argument. That can happen for example because there are clear ‘start’ and ‘end’ conditions, because the content is long and open-ended, or because category code changes are needed.

The amsmath bundle first implemented an approach to collecting up the entire content of environments. For amsmath, this is needed to allow two-pass measurement of the width of align environments. Not surprisingly, this idea turns out to be more widely useful. It appears in a generic form in the environ package, which allows us to do

Some content

with the content of the environment referred to as \BODY.

There have been long-standing requests to add a similar ability to xparse. After some consideration, the LaTeX team have now added this ability as a new type of argument: b-type. Rather than requiring a separate command, this integrates directly into the existing approach in xparse:

Some content

Probably most notable here is the fact that the environment content is available simply as #1, rather than requiring a special macro name. It also means that there are no new mechanisms to learn: we can add optional and mandatory arguments to the environment before collecting the body.

Some content
Some content

Of course, there is a reason that most of the time you do not want to collect up all of an environment. But equally there are times when you do want to do exactly that. Adding support in xparse should make that a little easier.

Thursday, 2019-03-07 00:00



The Oldest Surviving Printed Advertisement in English (London, 1477)

Over the years I have developed a passion for the ways in which medieval scribes and booksellers (i.e. stationer, libraire) promoted their products. Commercial book artisans had a variety of tools available to attract clients to their shops, from spam scribbled in the back of manuscripts (“If you like this, I can make you one … Continue reading The Oldest Surviving Printed Advertisement in English (London, 1477)

by Erik Kwakkel at Thursday, 2019-01-24 18:27


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

„Moderne am Main 1919–1933“ im Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

In der Ausstellung „Moderne am Main 1919–1933“, die vergangene Woche im Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main zum Baushausjahr eröffnet worden ist, ist auch viel Neue Typografie und Vorarbeiten bzw. künstlerisches Umfeld zu sehen – wer also Gelegenheit hat, nach Frankfurt zu kommen, möge sich die Schau nicht entgehen lassen. Der kleinformatige, aber dicke Katalog ist auch schön gemacht und mit informativen Texten versehen. Leider muss man viel Wissen mitbringen, um die Zusammenhänge zwischen den Ausstellungsstücken und dem Hintergrund herzustellen, in der Ausstellung gibt es nur kurze Wandtexte, und der Katalog liegt leider auch nicht aus – ich habe das beim Gehen angeprangert, und das Museum verspricht Besserung. Wir haben etwas gewikipediat, um unsere Lücken zu füllen, und das ging gut.

Moderne am Main 1919–1933. Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main. Kuratiert von Grit Weber, Annika Sellmann, Klaus Klemp und Matthias Wagner K. Bis 14. April 2019. Katalog: 29 Euro.

by schneeschmelze at Wednesday, 2019-01-23 09:53


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

TeX: A branch of desktop publishing evolution

Die letzte und die folgende Ausgabe der IEEE Annals of the History of Computing widmen sich der Geschichte des Desktop Publishings. Darin auch ein zweiteiliger Aufsatz zur Geschichte von TeX:

Ergänzende Materialien findet man auf der Website der TeX Users Group.

by schneeschmelze at Wednesday, 2019-01-09 12:38


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

TeX-Tagungen 2019

Die Ankündigungen zu drei TeX-Tagungen sind hereingekommen:

by schneeschmelze at Friday, 2019-01-04 23:56


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Some TeX Developments, TeX und GitHub, Org-mode 9.2, MediaWiki2LaTeX, Variable Fonts

Das neue TeX-Jahr beginnt mit einem Glückwunsch an Joseph Wright: Nachdem bereits TeX & Friends auf sein Zehnjähriges zurückgeblickt hatte, ist es heute auch für Some TeX Developments soweit, wie wir nebenan lesen.

Das Beispiel zeigt: Die teXnische Blogosphäre hat sich etabliert, auch wenn die Abrufzahlen im Vergleich eher niedrig sind, leisten doch auch die Blogs einen wertvollen Beitrag zur Information und zur Dokumentation über die Mitgliederzeitschriften und die Webforen hinaus.

Joseph Wright hat aber auch noch einmal bekanntgegeben, dass er sein Blog von WordPress auf GitHub Pages umgestellt habe. Dementsprechend liegt der RSS-Feed nun unter https://www.texdev.net/feed.xml, und das eigentliche Blog liegt nicht da, sondern dort. Etwas verwirrend. Aber: Der Trend zu kommentarlosen Blogs hält also an, ich bin nicht der einzige, der es so macht. Und auch der Trend zu Blogs mit statischen Seiten ist ungebrochen.

Bleibt nur zu hoffen, dass es den TeX-Projekten mal nicht auf die Füße fallen wird, dass man in der Zeit ab 2018 so sehr auf GitHub gesetzt hatte. Nach dem LaTeX Project und der englischen TeX-FAQ nun also auch Blogs. Dezentralisierung wäre angesagt.

Der auch von TeX-Anwendern häufig verwendete Org-mode beispielsweise betreibt sein eigenes Git-Repositorium. Zwischen den Jahren wurde Version 9.2 veröffentlicht, die ggf. einige Änderungen in der Konfiguration erforderlich macht. – Beim 35C3 hat es eine Assembly von Karl Voit zu Org-mode gegeben – kein Video, aber die Gliederung zum Vortrag ist veröffentlicht worden, wie sich das halt so gehört für einen Talk zu einem Outliner.

Über MediaWiki2LaTeX hatte ich zuerst (und zuletzt) 2013 geschrieben. Dirk Hünninger hat sein Projekt jetzt in einer neuen Version auf WMFLabs bereitgestellt. Man kann damit nicht nur Seiten aus Wikimedia-Projekten, sondern beliebige MediaWiki-Seiten online nach PDF, EPUB oder ODT wandeln. Der LaTeX-Quelltext kann gezippt heruntergeladen werden. Das Projekt steht unter einer GPL-Lizenz und steht nicht auf GitHub, sondern auf Sourceforge zur Verfügung.

Zum Schluss ein Hinweis auf einen Beitrag zur Typografie: Christoph Zillgens erklärt in t3n , was es mit Variablen Fonts auf sich hat, ein neues OpenType-Feature, das man in der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia noch vergebens sucht, nur die englische und die russische haben dazu einen Artikel. Und natürlich das Typolexikon von Wolfgang Beinert. Seit Ende 2018 sollten demnach alle relevanten Webbrowser Variable Fonts unterstützen, so dass man sie demnächst wohl denn auch häufiger sehen wird.

by schneeschmelze at Tuesday, 2019-01-01 14:02

Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Ten years of Some TeX Developments

Just over ten years ago, I decided to establish a blog about TeX matters. After a bit of consideration and searching, I found that texdev.net was available, and decided to call the blog Some TeX Developments.

I’ve written nearly 400 posts since then, from one-liners about the blog itself to extended ‘articles’ on highly-technical aspects of TeX programming. I know that some of the most useful posts are ‘user’ advice, for example comparing TeX Live to MiKTeX, or explaining how overlays work in beamer.

The blog recently moved to GitHub Pages, making it a bit easier for me to run, and to fix older posts. I expect to keep blogging, and look forward to the topics that come up in the next ten years!

Tuesday, 2019-01-01 00:00


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Zweimal ConTeXt und Open Access für TUGboat

Stefan Kottwitz weist auf eine neue Einführung zu ConTeXt hin, die Axel Kielhorn auf GitHub veröffentlicht hat. Context-Intro erklärt auf insgesamt 45 Seiten, was es mit der Alternative zu LaTeX auf sich hat. Das PDF ist etwas versteckt in einem Unterverzeichnis zu finden.

Weitere Einführungen findet man übrigens in der Zeitschrift der TeX Users Group TUGboat, in der mindestens 16 Aufsätze zum Thema erschienen sind, zuletzt ConTeXt for beginners von Willi Eggers. Es gibt dort aber sicherlich noch mehr Beiträge, die ConTeXt betreffen, interessant dürfte auch Exporting XML and ePub from ConTeXt von Hans Hagen sein.

Was uns zu der revidierten Open-Access-Policy von TUGboat führt: Seit diesem Jahr ist das Online-Archiv der Zeitschrift allgemein zugänglich. Nur die jeweils neueste Ausgabe bleibt zunächst den Mitgliedern vorbehalten. Viel Stoff zum Stöbern, also. Ein Fundgrube für TeX-Anwender.

Der Trend zum freien Zugriff steht leider in einem gewissen Widerspruch zur Praxis in der TeX-Gemeinde, was die Kommunikation angeht. Man zieht sich immer mehr auf die geschlossenen Kanäle zurück und vernachlässigt die öffentlichen Listen und Newsgroups. So wurde denn auch die Veröffentlichung von Context-intro zuerst in der geschlossenen Vereins-Mitgliederliste von DANTE bekanntgegeben und danach erst anderweitig verbreitet. Der Trend zum digitalen Biedermeier, in dem sich die geschlossenen Hinterzimmer immer weiter ausbreiten, dürfte im ganzen nachteilig für TeX and Friends sein. Ich wurde vor etwa 20 Jahren nicht zuletzt deswegen auf LaTeX aufmerksam, weil die Community damals sehr offen aufgetreten und unmittelbar zugänglich war, jedenfalls zugänglicher als heutzutage. Freie Software gehört ins freie Web.

by schneeschmelze at Sunday, 2018-12-23 22:54


TUGboat 39:3 published

TUGboat volume 39, number 3 (a regular issue) has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. In addition, prior TUGboat issue 39:2 is now publicly available. Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already.

Sunday, 2018-12-23 18:53


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)

Der TeX Catalogue sucht neue Mitarbeiter

Im Sommer dieses Jahres hatte ich mich von einem Projekt getrennt, das ich 2001 begonnen hatte, den Topic Index zum TeX Catalogue, der das Ziel verfolgte, alle TeX-Pakete im Comprehensive TeX Archive Network CTAN thematisch zu erschließen.

Wir haben den Topic Index auf CTAN in den Obsolete-Zweig verschoben, um ihn zu erhalten, aber gleichzeitig klarzustellen, dass er von nun an nicht mehr aktualisiert werden wird.

Der Grund für meinen Rückzug aus dem Projekt ist kurz erzählt. Der Topic Index war ursprünglich ein reines Prokrastinations-Projekt, das ich während meiner Promotion begonnen hatte, um mich zu zerstreuen und gleichzeitig etwas Gutes für die Gemeinschaft zu tun. Bis dahin gab es noch keine thematisch geordnete Übersicht über die TeX-Pakete. Der TeX Catalogue bestand nur aus automatisch generierten endlos langen Listen, die entweder alphabetisch oder systematisch sortiert ausgegeben und bereitgestellt wurden. Man konnte aber nicht direkt nach einem Paket suchen, das einen bestimmten Zweck erfüllen sollte. Das änderte sich mit dem Topic Index. Von nun an gab es eine weitere endlose Liste, die allerdings thematisch sortiert war. Das war ein großer Fortschritt für die Benutzer. Aber da der Paketbestand auf CTAN erfreulicherweise ständig wächst, muss auch der TeX Catalogue laufend aktualisiert werden. Und hier bin ich im Laufe der Jahre leider immer weniger aktiv gewesen. Mea culpa.

Es war an der Zeit, daraus Konsequenzen zu ziehen, vor allem im Interesse der Benutzer, die sich bei einem offiziellen Angebot wie dem TeX Catalogue vor allem aktuelle Daten erwarten, die mit dem Stand auf CTAN übereinstimmen.

Die aktuellen Angaben zu den TeX-Paketen findet man heutzutage auf dem CTAN-Portal, wo sie auch laufend gepflegt werden, einschließlich einer thematischen Erschließung, wie sie der Topic Index bisher geboten hatte. Das Portal bietet gegenüber der Liste den erheblichen Vorteil einer effizienten Suchfunktion, die zudem den gesamten aktuellen Bestand erfasst. Jedes Paket, das auf CTAN aufgenommen wird, erscheint also auch ohne weitere Verzögerung in der Suche und im thematischen Index.

Aus persönlichen Gründen habe ich mich gegen eine Mitarbeit bei ctan.org entschieden. Man muss auch einmal loslassen können. Meine regelmäßige Kolumne zu den Neuen Paketen auf CTAN in der DTK führe ich aber gerne fort.

Außerdem möchte ich ausdrücklich dazu ermuntern, den Kolleginnen und Kollegen bei ctan.org unter die Arme zu greifen und dort mitzuarbeiten, wenn man sich ein Engagement bei der Pflege der Bestandsdaten vorstellen kann. Das kleine Team kann Hilfe gut gebrauchen.

Näheres zur Geschichte des TeX Catalogues und über eine Mitarbeit bei ctan.org habe ich in einem kleinen Aufsatz in der aktuellen TeXnischen Komödie Nr. 4/2018 zusammengefasst, der den gleichen Namen trägt wie dieser Blogpost.

by schneeschmelze at Sunday, 2018-12-16 00:04



LyX 2.3.2 released.

Second Maintenance Release in 2.3.x Series

Saturday, 2018-12-15 02:10


TeX & Friends (by Jürgen Fenn)


Heute ist es zehn Jahre her, dass der erste Blogpost bei TeX & Friends erschien. Damals gab es eine Inhaltsangabe der letzten Ausgabe der TeXnischen Komödie, aber auch schon ein Blick auf das TeX-affine Umfeld in Form von Erweiterungen, die es damals für OpenOffice.org gab. Übrig geblieben ist davon mittlerweile nur noch Writer2LaTeX, das es mittlerweile in Version 1.9.3 alpha gibt.

TeX & Friends war formal mein erstes Blog – wobei ich ja immer die Ansicht vertreten habe, dass das Blog nur eine Spielart des Schreibens in Datennetzen ist. Das Usenet und die Mailinglisten gingen ihm voraus, und wie bei jedem Medienwandel ersetzen neue Medien die alten nicht, sondern ergänzen sie. Die schneeschmelze folgte im Januar 2009, der albatros genau vier Jahre später, aber so richtig erst seit 2015.

Blogs sind Zeugnisse von Übergängen – gesellschaftliche ebenso wie persönliche. Man beginnt ein Blog, man führt es, es entwickelt sich, was die Frequenz und die Inhalte angeht, man schreibt mal mehr, mal weniger, vielleicht schreibt man eines Tages gar nichts mehr oder nimmt das Blog ganz vom Netz. Bekanntschaften entstehen, Blog-Nachbarschaften auch, und lösen sich wieder. Das Netz folgt den Regeln der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, die „kein anderes Band zwischen Mensch und Mensch übrig gelassen [hat], als das nackte Interesse, als die gefühllose ‚baare Zahlung.‘“ Und das freie Netz, das es vor zehn Jahren durchaus noch gab, gibt es nicht mehr. Die Folge: Immer mehr ziehen sich in virtuelle Hinterzimmer zurück, in ein digitales Biedermeier von geschlossenen Gruppen, geschlossenen Mailinglisten, geschlossen halt. Immer mehr verschließen sich, der Diskurs im Netz, von dem ich einmal ein Teil war, löst sich auf und verschiebt sich in private E-Mail-Verteiler, wo man weiß, an wen man sich wendet. Die Sklavensprache nach außen, die vertraulichen Verteiler als engstes Band nach innen. Und der Ekel vor dem Netz, den Günter Hack im Dezember 2013 ausgemacht hatte, legt sich über all das und bedingt es.

Ich glaube, ich gehöre zu denen, die sich mittlerweile doch wenigstens ein bisschen ausgebloggt und auskommentiert haben. Man ist müde geworden, die 15 minutes of world-fame kennt man schon, und ich wundere mich über die Kolleginnen und Kollegen, denen ich schon so lange folge und die es immer noch schaffen, regelmäßig etwas zu veröffentlichen und immer so weiter zu machen wie früher, und wenn man ihre Blogs mitliest, meint man tatsächlich, es wäre alles noch wie damals, oder jedenfalls ganz ähnlich. Wie wenn da einer… Chapeau! Ich meine das sehr ernst, und etwas depressiv gestimmt, durchaus.

Simone Stratil hat ihr Blog Papiergeflüster im Oktober geschlossen. Ein Jahr, nachdem sie bereits an ihrer Rolle gezweifelt hatte. Zu dieser Buchmesse war es soweit. I bid you farewell.

Bei Robert Basics plötzlichem Tod Anfang November 2018 war dieser stille Punkt zu fühlen, als die Gemeinde, die man in dem Moment zu Recht auch so nennen sollte, Rückschau hielt auf den gemeinsamen Weg, die Richtung unbekannt, und, wenn man es genau nimmt, schon so viele sind zumindest aus dem Blickfeld verschwunden. Die Zeit ist lang geworden. Das „Berliner Buch“ Zero Comments von Geert Lovink datiert von 2008, es ist so alt wie TeX & Friends. Ich stieg also ein, als es schon zuende ging. Pardauz.

Zum Schluss noch ein paar TeX-Neuigkeiten: Die LaTeX News 29 beschreiben den Dezember-2018-Release von LaTeX2e. Und LyX 2.2.3 ist heute veröffentlicht worden.

Zeit für ein Update.

by schneeschmelze at Friday, 2018-12-14 18:11


Typeset In The Future

The Book


Exciting news: there’s a Typeset in the Future book! Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies was published by Abrams Books on December 11 2018, and is available to buy from all good bookstores.


The book contains new and expanded TITF studies for seven all-time classic science fiction movies, in a form that is beautiful enough to adorn even the most discerning of coffee tables. It’s the perfect holiday present for the design / sci-fi geek in your life, even if that geek happens to be yourself.

Does it include my favorite sci-fi movie, [MovieName]?

For the book, I’ve hand-picked seven classic sci-fi movies, focusing on those that create a detailed vision of the future through design and typography. (The list is also heavily inspired by requests I’ve received on TITF over the past few years.)

Here’s the line-up:

The book also includes interviews with sci-fi, typography, and design experts, including:

  • Paul Verhoeven, director of Total Recall, RoboCop, and Starship Troopers
  • Mike Okuda, scenic art supervisor for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise (plus associated spin-off movies)
  • Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster, production designer and graphic designer for Pixar’s WALL¡E
  • Stephen Coles, co-founder of Fonts In Use, author of The Anatomy Of Type, and Associate Curator at Letterform Archive
  • Antonio Cavedoni, font designer and expert on Eurostile creator Aldo Novarese

And if that’s not enough, there’s also:

How does the book differ from the web site?

Four existing articles from typesetinthefuture.com have been revised and expanded for the book, with even more geeky detail than the originals. (The book’s 2001: A Space Odyssey chapter already contains twice as much goodness as when I first studied the movie in 2014.) Three new studies have been written entirely from scratch, alongside in-depth interviews with the typography and sci-fi experts listed above.

How can I keep up to date with the project?

You can sign up for the book’s mailing list to receive occasional updates about book-related things. I’m also posting regular updates on Twitter as @daveaddey, along with random fascinating design observations and ephemera.

Awesome – good luck!

Thank you! (And don’t forget to buy a copy.)

by Dave Addey at Tuesday, 2018-12-11 13:52


LaTeX Project

New December 2018 LaTeX release available

December 2018 LaTeX release available

We have released the December 2018 LaTeX distribution to CTAN. From there it will move to the major TeX distributions within a few days.

This release is a maintenance release in which we fixed a number of older and newer issues. The most important ones are documented in “LaTeX2e News Issue 29”. This document can be found on the LaTeX2e news page where you will also find release information for earlier LaTeX releases.

Topics are:

  • Bug reports for LaTeX2e and packages
  • Changes to the LaTeX kernel
  • Changes to packages in the tools category
  • Changes to packages in the amsmath category
  • Website updates

Bug reporting and compatibility mechanism

We like to take the opportunity to thank everybody who provided helpful bug reports using the issue tracker that we are now using. Writing up a good issue report including a clear MWE (Minimal Working Example) takes some effort, but it is also essential to help us identifying and fixing issues. Details on how to report bugs can be found in the article “New rules for reporting bugs in the LaTeX core software”. Please consult this article if you intend to submit a problem.

While I have the stage I would also like to remind package developers and other interested parties to check out the rollback mechanism for packages that we introduced already with the last release. The more packages embrace this approach the better will it work for the users. Details on the rollback concept is given in “A rollback concept for packages and classes”.

Seasonal Greetings — Frank

Monday, 2018-12-10 00:00


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Floating point calculations in LaTeX

TeX does not include any ‘native’ support for floating point calculations, but that has not stopped lots of (La)TeX users wanting to do sums (and more complicated things) in their document. As TeX is Turing complete, it’s not a surprise that there are several ways to implement calculations. For end users, the differences between these are not important: what is key is what to use. Here, I’ll give a bit of background, look at the various possibilities, then move on to give a recommendation.


When Knuth wrote TeX, he had one aim in mind: high-quality typesetting. He also wanted to have sources which were truly portable between different systems. At the time, there was no standard for specifying how floating point operations should be handled at the hardware level: as such, no floating point operations were system-independent.

Knuth decided that TeX would provide no user access to anything dependent on platform-specific floating-point operations. That means that the TeX functions that look like floats (in particular dimen work) actually use integer arithmetic and convert ‘at the last minute’.

Technical considerations

There are two basic approaches to setting up floating point systems in TeX: either use dimensions or doing everything in integer arithmetic.

Using dimensions, the input range is limited and the output has restricted accuracy. But on the other hand, many calculations are quite short and they are fast. On the other hand, if everything is coded in integer arithmetic, the programmer can control the accuracy completely, at the cost of speed.

Although it’s not an absolute requirement, e-TeX does make doing things a bit easier: rather than having to shuffle everything a piece at a time, it is possible to use inline expressions for quite a lot of the work.

Another key technical aspect is expandability. This is useful for some aspects of TeX work, particularly anywhere that it ‘expects a number’: only expansion is allowed in such places.

One other thing to consider is handling of TeX registers as numbers. Converting for example a length into something that can be used in a floating point calculation is handy, and it matches what e-TeX does in for example \numexpr. But in macro code it has to be programmed in.


The other thing to think about here is functionality: what is and isn’t needed in terms of mathematics. Doing straight-forward arithmetic is obviously easier than working out trigonometry, logarithms, etc. What exactly you need depends on the use case, but obviously more functionality is always better.

(Package) options

For simple work using the dimen approach is convenient and fast: it takes only a small amount of work to set up stripping off the pt part. I’m writing here for people who don’t want to delve into TeX innards, so let’s assume a pre-packaged solution is what is required.

There are lots of possible solutions on CTAN which cover some or all of the above. I don’t want to get into a ‘big list’, so I’ll simply note here that the following are available:

Some of these have variable or arbitrary precision, others work to a pre-determined level, and they also vary in terms of functions covered, expandability and so on.

I want to focus in on three possible ‘contenders’: fp, pgf and the LaTeX3 FPU. The fp package formally uses fixed not floating point code, but the key for us here is that it allows a wide range of high-precision calculations. It’s also been around for a long time. However, it’s quite slow and doesn’t have convenient expression parsing (it does reverse Polish).

On the flip side, the mathematics engine in pgf uses dimens internally, so it is (relatively) fast but is limited in accuracy. The range limits also show up in some unexpected places, as a lot of range reduction is needed to make everything work. On the other hand, \pgfmathparse does read ‘normal’ mathematical expressions, so it’s pretty easy to use.

The LaTeX3 FPU is part of expl3, but is available nowadays as a document-level package xfp. In contrast to both fp and the pgf approach, the LaTeX3 FPU is expandable. Like pgf, using the FPU means we can use expressions, and we also get reasonable performance (Bruno Le Floch worked hard on this aspect). The other thing to note is that the FPU is intended to match behaviour specified in the decimal IEEE 754 standard, and that the team have a set of tests to try to make sure things work as expected.

There’s one other option that one must consider: Lua. If you address only using LuaTeX, you can happily break out into Lua and use its ability to use the ‘real’ floating point capabilities of a modern PC. The one wrinkle is that without a bit of work, the Lua code doesn’t know about TeX material: registers and so on need to be pre-processed. It also goes without saying that using Lua means being tied to LuaTeX!


As you can see above, there are several options. However, for end users wanting to do calculations in documents I think there is a clear best choice: the LaTeX3 FPU.

\fpeval{round(sqrt(2) * sind(40),2)}

You’d probably expect me to say that: I am on the LaTeX team. But that’s not the reason. Instead, it’s that the FPU is almost as fast as using dimens (see pgf benchmarking), but offers the same accuracy as a typical GUI application for maths. It also integrates into normal LaTeX conventions with no user effort.

Sunday, 2018-12-09 00:00


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Bringing XeTeX into line

In parallel with work on the \expanded primitive, I’ve been working recently on bringing the ‘utility’ primitives in XeTeX into line with those in pdfTeX, pTeX and upTeX.


XeTeX was written to extend e-TeX to allow full Unicode working, including loading system fonts. The development started from the DVI-mode e-TeX, rather than from pdfTeX, which had added various new primitives to e-TeX. Much of the difference between pdfTeX and e-TeX is directly to do with producing PDF output, but there are some additions that are entirely independent of that.

Over the years, some of the ‘utilities’ have been added to XeTeX (for example \pdfstrcmp, which in XeTeX is just \strcmp). However, several have not made it, but have been added to pTeX and upTeX. That’s meant that XeTeX has between ‘a bit behind’ in feature terms: there are things that simply can’t be done without primitive support.

An opportunity arises

As I’ve said in my other post today, the recent setting up of a Travis-CI testing environment for TeX Live building means that it is now easy to try adding new material to the WEB sources of pdfTeX, XeTeX, etc. As I was working on \expanded anyway, I decided that I’d look at bringing XeTeX back ‘into line’ with pTeX and upTeX. That’s important as for expl3, the LaTeX team have been using almost all of the primitives that were ‘missing’ in XeTeX.

The new features

So what has been added? The new additions are all named without the pdf part that pdfTeX includes, as they have nothing to do with PDFs:

  • \creationdate
  • \elaspsedtime
  • \filedump
  • \filemoddate
  • \filesize
  • \resettimer
  • \normaldeviate
  • \uniformdeviate
  • \randomseed

These enable things like random numbers in the LaTeX3 FPU, measuring code performance and checking the details of files: all stuff that is in expl3 and will now work with XeTeX.

I should add that although I did the grind of working out how to integrate the pdfTeX code into XeTeX, Akira Kakuto sorted out the areas that needed knowledge of C, in particular where XeTeX’s Unicode internals don’t match up with pdfTeX’s 8-bit ones.

One more thing

As well as the above, I made one other minor adjustment to XeTeX: altering how \Ucharcat works so it can create category code 13 (‘active’) tokens. That probably won’t show up for users except it helps the team extend some low-level expl3 code. Hopefully it will mean there is on fewer XeTeX restriction.

Getting the code

TeX Live only gets binary updates once per year, so users there will need to wait for the 2019 release. On the other hand, MiKTeX already has the new features, so if you are on Windows it’s pretty trivial to try out. If you use TeX Live and really want to test out, you can update your binaries in-place, for example from W32TeX: if you understand what that means, you probably know how to do it!

Thursday, 2018-12-06 00:00

A ‘new’ primitive: \expanded

In recent years, development of pdfTeX has been very limited, with the v1.40 branch now being around for over 10 years. However, in the past there were plans for a v1.50 branch, and some code was actually written. One primitive that was fully coded-up at that time was \expanded. The idea of this is pretty simple: it carries out full expansion like \message (and almost like \edef), but it is still expandable. For example, try

\message{Hello \a\space #}
\detokenize\expandafter{\expanded{Hello \a\space #}}

using LuaTeX.

Why is the example for LuaTeX? When LuaTeX development started, the team behind it used the development code from pdfTeX as a starting point, and that included \expanded. However, release pdfTeX itself didn’t incorporate this code, and so it’s not been more widely available.

Enter the LaTeX Team

For some time, the LaTeX Team have been thinking about asking for \expanded to be made more widely available. Unlike the \romannumeral ‘trick’, \expanded does not require any hard work to get ‘past’ any output, so it is very useful for creating macros that work like functions. It’s also fast and clear in intention.

In the past, making requests for changes to the pdfTeX codebase was hard as building and testing is non-trivial. However, nowadays there is a GitHub repo which is also set up for Travis-CI. That means that there is an easy way to test: set up an Ubuntu virtual machine, clone the repo there, and run the tests in the same way Travis-CI does.

With that handy set up available, I sat down (on behalf of the team) and did the hard work: a bit of copy-pasting! As well as pdfTeX, I worked out how to add \expanded to XeTeX and the Japanese TeX engines pTeX and upTeX. After a bit of discussion, this code has been accepted by TeX Live, and will be there in the 2019 release.

Get it now

For those people who want to test now, LuaTeX of course has \expanded, so it is easy to try out. For MiKTeX users, Christian Schenk has already updated all of the binaries, so a quick update will give pdfTeX and XeTeX with \expanded. For TeX Live users, binary updates only happen once a year. But if you want to grab something now, you could look for example at W32TeX (which is the source for Windows binaries in TeX Live): you’ll have to manually rebuild your formats, but if you know enough to want to test, you probably understand that instruction!

Using \expanded

The team have already started planning to use \expanded, and recently added a new expansion type to expl3: e-type. We have some emulation code that allows this to work (slowly) even with older binaries. I’d expect us to make heavy use of this in new functions: it’s a lot easier than the \romannumeral approach.

Thursday, 2018-12-06 00:00


Typeset In The Future


From a trash-filled Earth to the futuristic Axiom and back again, WALL·E is a finely crafted balance between consumerist dystopia and sixties space-race optimism. Please join me, then, for a detailed dive into the uniquely robotic future of a remarkably human film, as seen through the eyes of its eponymous hero, WALL·E.

[This article is from the Typeset in the Future book, which is really very good and you’re probably going to want to buy a copy of. If you’d rather read the article first, don’t worry—I’ll remind you again later on.]

Before we get started, there is an important detail we must clear up. Our hero’s name is not, as you might think, WALL-E. Moreover, it definitely isn’t WALL•E. His name is WALL·E, and that dot is an interpunct, not a hyphen or a bullet.

WALL·E’s front plate, clearly showing his interpunct.

An interpunct is, of course, a vertically centered dot originally used to separate words in Latin and ancient Greek. (Spaces weren’t invented until several centuries later.) The interpunct is still in use today—it’s the official decimal point in British currency (£9·99), and is used to represent the dot product of two vectors in mathematics (x · y). Most relevantly, it’s used in Japanese to separate titles, names, and positions, as in “課長補佐 · 鈴木” (Assistant Section Head · Suzuki). It is therefore entirely appropriate as the separator in WALL·E, which is short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter · Earth Class.

The bold extended typeface seen on WALL·E’s front plate is Gunship, designed by Dan Zadorozny, one of the unsung heroes of modern sci-fi type design. Dan is an amateur type designer from Texas whose Iconian Fonts website features more than six hundred free hand-crafted typefaces, many of which have been used by sci-fi movies, TV shows, and book designers.

In addition to WALL·E’s front plate, Gunship is seen on Earth and aboard the Axiom, the flagship spacecraft of megacorporation Buy n Large (BnL, for short), most notably for robot-facing wall and door typography. Its upper- and lowercase variants include different combinations of cutouts and curve orientations, giving designers flexibility when crafting robot signage. (Strictly speaking, this means that our hero’s name, correctly capitalized, is “waLL·e,” with the interpunct as a further customization—Gunship’s own interpunct is rectangular.)

Gunship (lowercase characters).
Gunship (uppercase characters).

The movie begins with an insight into WALL·E’s typical workday, which is spent building gigantic piles of trash by compacting waste into neat, stackable cubes. After a hard day’s crushing, we follow him on his journey home, learning some useful exposition along the way. This includes a bank of electronic ads for BnL, promoting everything from liquid air to quadruple-patty burgers. Common throughout these ads is an insistence on immediate consumption—“DRINK NOW,” “HUNGRY NOW,” “RUN NOW,” “CONSUME.” And if consuming a product once isn’t enough, you can repeat the experience a second time—the signage seen below includes ads for both “100% Reused Food” and “Regurgi-Shake: Twice the Flavor.”


We’ve seen how corporate mergers, such as Alien’s Weylan Yutani and Blade Runner’s Shimata-Dominguez, are an inevitability in sci-fi futures. WALL·E’s Buy n Large is similar, except that this company was formed by a merger between a frozen yogurt manufacturer (Buy Yogurt) and a maker of suits for the larger gentleman (Large Industries). Clearly a marriage made in heaven, this corporate combination led to a rapid expansion, culminating with Buy n Large owning every company and government in the world.

The Buy n Large logo is an over-italicized customization of Futura Extra Bold Oblique, as demonstrated by a super-distinctive capital G in the BUY N LARGE BANK logotype that WALL·E passes early in the movie.

Futura Pro Extra Bold Oblique, released by Berthold. Original Futura design by Paul Renner.
“BUY N LARGE BANK” signage, set in Futura Extra Bold Oblique, showing its distinctive capital G.

If the red-and-blue logo feels familiar, it shouldn’t be a surprise—it’s because BnL uses the exact same typeface and color scheme as real-world retail giant Costco Wholesale Corporation.

The Costco Wholesale Corporation logo, in Futura Extra Bold Oblique.

There’s another curious BnL subsidiary to be found among the city’s electronic ads, on a beaten-up billboard advertising “Eggman Movers (Creating More Space).” This company is an Easter-egg reference to WALL·E production designer Ralph “Eggman” Eggleston, and it shares the name of the moving company from 1995’s Toy Story, for which Ralph was art director.

Eggman Movers, from 2008’s WALL·E.
Eggman Movers, from 1995’s Toy Story.

The presence of a Buy n Large–branded bank means Buy n Large–branded banknotes, which are unusual for being strewn across the floor of the deserted city. If you look closely at the notes, you’ll see that some of them have “106” in the corner, and are marked “ten million dollars.” Others look to be marked “996,” suggesting that Buy n Large stores continued the classic $9.99 pricing trick even after adding six zeroes to the end of everything. (Indeed, it says much about the Buy n Large approach to consumerism that it prints notes with the 99s already included, to avoid customers having to receive any change.)

$10 million and $99 million bills lie abandoned on the ground near a Buy n Large Bank.

We discover later in the movie that the Axiom left Earth in the year 2105. This suggests that in the preceding years of overconsumption there was a period of severe hyperinflation, making a $10 million note a necessity. This is not without historical precedent—Earth’s most extreme example of hyperinflation occurred in Zimbabwe in November 2008, just a few months after WALL·E’s release, when the inflation rate for the Zimbabwe dollar reached a staggering 79,600,000,000 percent per month. At this point, a single US dollar was equivalent to 2,621,984,228 Zimbabwe dollars. The largest-denomination note printed during this time was the $100 trillion note, which makes Buy n Large’s $10 million bill seem like small change by comparison.

A $100 trillion bill from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, showing some impressively pointy Futura.

WALL·E leaves the bank behind and continues his journey via the disused tracks of the BnL Transit monorail system. In the absence of working trains, these concrete tracks provide a convenient route through the middle of the deserted city.

WALL·E climbs an escalator to a BnL Transit monorail station.

Despite their association with aspirational futures, monorails have been failing to become a global mass-transit system for almost two hundred years. The first passenger monorail opened in 1825 in Cheshunt, England, primarily to transport bricks, though it was also utilized for transporting people, mostly for novelty purposes. Unlike the top-of-rail system seen in WALL·E, Cheshunt’s monorail consisted of carriages suspended beneath an overhead track, and was powered by a single horse.

The Cheshunt style of monorail—with suspended carriages hanging beneath a single rail—was also adopted by the Wuppertal Schwebebahn, which began operation along the Wupper River in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1901. The Wuppertal’s suspended system is still in operation today, carrying more than sixty-five thousand passengers on an average weekday.

A Wuppertal Schwebebahn monorail train arrives at the Werther Brücke station in Wuppertal, 1913.

The monorail seen in WALL·E is of the style popularized by Swedish entrepreneur Axel Wenner-Gren, whose prototype ALWEG (Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren) monorail system came to the attention of Walt Disney after a family visit to Wuppertal gave him monorail fever. Disney saw the potential for a monorail attraction at his new Disneyland theme park in California, and the Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System opened in June 1959. The system remains in operation today (under the name Disneyland Monorail), and there are similar attractions at Disneyland Tokyo and Walt Disney World in Florida. In total, Disney monorails have transported more than one billion passengers into an aspirational transportational future.

The Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System at Tomorrowland station, 1963. Photograph by Robert J. Boser, CC BY 3.0.
The Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System at Disneyland Hotel station, 1963. Photograph by Robert J. Boser, CC BY 3.0.

It’s not entirely clear what US city WALL·E lives in, but the presence of a monorail network certainly positions it as a location that was once optimistic about the future. This mid-century futurism is borne out by other architectural features of the city, most notably a curved building seen among the billboards encountered earlier. This building is strongly reminiscent of the Space Needle observation tower in Seattle, Washington, which was built for the city’s 1962 World’s Fair, together with an ALWEG monorail system that is still in operation today.

Seattle’s ALWEG monorail passing in front of the city’s Space Needle, 2008. Both were built for Seattle’s 1962 World’s Fair. Photograph by Smart Destinations, CC BY-SA 2.0.
A remarkably space-needle-like building seen close to the monorail in WALL·E’s home city.

Near the monorail, WALL·E passes a promotional poster for himself, with the caption “Working to dig you out!” This poster has definite communist propaganda undertones, showing a stylized army of WALL·Es working together to build a brighter future. The implication of this design choice—that communist values are the solution to decades of rampant consumerism—is a pretty bold political statement for what is only the fourth minute of the movie.

Buy n Large poster for WALL·E robots, with the caption “Working to dig you out!”

The future to which these WALL·Es aspire is apparently just above and behind the viewer—a common trope for communist propaganda, where the aspirational group gaze is almost always in this direction.

Chinese communist propaganda poster with the caption “To go on a thousand ‘li’ march to temper a red heart.” A “li” is about 500 meters, so a thousand-li march is about 310 miles.
Soviet communist propaganda poster, with the caption “Let’s raise a generation utterly devoted to the cause of communism!” Designed by Victor Ivanov, 1947.
North Korean propaganda poster, with the caption “The party calls! To important construction!”

Indeed, this gaze is such a common trope that it became the primary styling of the promotional poster for 2014’s banned comedy movie The Interview, in which two Americans travel to North Korea to interview the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un. (The WALL·E poster’s bottom-edge caption, punctuated by an exclamation mark, is a recurring design feature in North Korean propaganda posters.)

Promotional poster for The Interview, with the Korean-language caption “Don’t believe these American bastards!”

This aspirational style is an example of socialist realist design, the officially sanctioned visual aesthetic of the Soviet Union, which positioned broad-shouldered, purposeful workers as the true heroes of the age. As a robot who is literally a rectangle, there is surely no worker more broad-shouldered and purposeful than our movie’s eponymous hero, WALL·E.

WALL·E’s self-promotional poster is also a fine example of Handel Gothic, one of the movie’s supporting typefaces. Originally designed in 1965 by Donald J. Handel, the font has become a mainstay of design futurism. (Indeed, it is quite possibly the originator of one of our rules for futuristic type: Make straight things curved.)

Handel Gothic Com Bold, from Linotype. Handel Gothic was originally designed in 1965 by Donald J. Handel for FotoStar.

My favorite use of the typeface in WALL·E occurs later in the movie, when we see the distinctly curved E of some Handel Gothic… on a handle. (I refuse to believe this is anything but a deliberate typographic joke.)

“Handle” Gothic.

Handel Gothic enjoyed a particular resurgence when the type family was expanded in the 1980s, and will be immediately familiar to anyone who visited EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World in Florida, which opened in 1982. (Later in this article, we’ll look in detail at the theme park, which is now named simply Epcot.) The original EPCOT Center logo was Handel Gothic all the way, making particularly good use of a lowercase n in “Center” to bring some extra curviness, and choosing a font variant with a curved leg in its R for consistency. (It also added letter joining and slicing for good futuristic measure.)

Original logo for the EPCOT Center theme park at Walt Disney World, Florida.

Handel Gothic will also be familiar to Star Trek fans, from its appearance in the credits for both Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99) and Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001).

Opening credits from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Emissary,” showing some shiny metallic Handel Gothic (in this case, with a straight-legged R).
Opening credits from the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Unimatrix Zero: Part II,” showing Handel Gothic with a similarly straight-legged R.

The movie that made Handel Gothic synonymous with sci-fi, however, was almost certainly Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, released in 1977. Close Encounters used the typeface for its theatrical poster and for its opening credits, with the very words “Close Encounters” offering not one but three opportunities to recognize Handel Gothic’s trademark E.

Opening credits to 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

But back to WALL·E’s journey. Toward the end of his trek home, he passes many more WALL·E units, all of them rusted and dead. The sole remaining WALL·E happily cannibalizes a Caterpillar track from a nearby broken unit to replace his own damaged part, and motors onward with the new track in place.

It’s an easy detail to miss, but WALL·E’s home is a broken-down “BnL WALL·E Transport” vehicle, which may once have housed all the dead units he just passed. When he reverses himself into a WALL·E-size bin in a rotatable storage rack a few minutes later and rocks himself to sleep, his loneliness as the last robot on Earth is made all the more acute by the uninhabited bins around him, now filled with ordered trash.

Defunct WALL·E units litter the landscape, becoming part of the trash they once existed to clear.
A hulking WALL·E TRANSPORT, ironically rendered immobile by the piles of trash surrounding it.
WALL·E tucks himself into a transportation bin, as the last remaining unit still able to do so. Where there once would have been many more WALL·E’s, there is now simply ordered trash.

Before he climbs into bed, WALL·E retrieves his favorite VHS cassette from a nearby toaster, and pops it into a VCR. It turns out this is a beaten-up copy of Hello, Dolly!—1969’s awkwardly punctuated Jerry Herman musical. Delightfully, the typography of this cassette is taken directly from the movie’s 1991 VHS release, though the identity of its non-futuristic title font—half Century Schoolbook, half Benguiat Caslon—has sadly eluded my detective skills.

WALL-E’s much-watched copy of Hello, Dolly!
The front cover of 1991’s US VHS release of Hello, Dolly!

WALL·E watches his Hello, Dolly! cassette via a small, portable device that looks almost exactly like an Apple iPod Video. I say “almost,” because the real-world iPod Video had a smaller click wheel than the one seen in WALL·E, had white labels on its buttons, and did not support external playback from a VHS cassette player. Nonetheless, this iPod is just one example of many in WALL·E’s home that evoke nostalgia for gadgets past, reinforcing that WALL·E himself is the discarded, unwanted technology that humanity left behind.

WALL·E’s iPod, showing Hello, Dolly! on its LCD color screen.

To work around the tiny scale of his iPod’s screen, WALL·E uses a plastic Fresnel lens as a magnifying device to enlarge the image to several times its original size. In doing so, he follows a trend started in Terry Gilliam’s similarly dystopian Brazil, in which employees at the Ministry of Information Retrieval huddle around tiny CRT screens to watch westerns through Fresnel lenses when their boss isn’t looking.

WALL·E watches a movie on his iPod’s small screen through a rectangular Fresnel lens.
In 1985’s Brazil, Ministry of Information employees watch movies on a small CRT screen through a rectangular Fresnel lens.

WALL·E awakes from robotic sleep on day two of the movie, low on power and dynamism. The fact that his head is a big pair of binoculars gives a great opportunity for a visual gag, as we see him literally bleary-eyed before activating the zoom lock on first his left eye, then his right, to reveal an eye-test chart in the opposing rack.

From his bleary beginnings…
…WALL·E focuses first his left eye…
…and then his right, locking in on an eye test chart in the distance.

WALL·E’s binocular form is mimicked in the shape of his heads-up display (or HUD), which has the classic “two circles” shape used in many movies to indicate that we are looking from a character’s viewpoint through a pair of binoculars. This HUD raises an interesting question, however. Why does WALL·E have a heads-up display, with information overlaid on a video stream? A heads-up display really makes sense only if you are a human who has eyes; for a robot, any video input is combined with additional metadata from environmental sensors (such as direction, zoom, and power), and fed directly into the robot’s processor. Overlaying environmental information on a video stream implies that the robot has cameras that look at the world, and then more cameras that look at the augmented output of those cameras, which doesn’t make sense at all.

The answer, of course, is that WALL·E has a HUD because movie robots have HUDs, and movie robots have HUDs because they enable the viewer to visualize what the robots are thinking, even if it makes zero sense in technical reality. This trope began in 1973’s Westworld, whose final act shows us the world from the vantage point of Yul Brynner’s gun-slinging robot. Although Brynner’s HUD is not augmented with data, it is nonetheless the first use of computer-generated imagery in a feature film. Director Michael Crichton cuts several times from a real-world scene to the robot’s pixelated version of the same, including a thermal image when Brynner chases his prey in the movie’s final act.

A canyon in Westworld…
…and Yul Brynner’s pixellated view of the same.
Yul Brynner’s gunslinging robot tracks its prey with a thermal imaging interpretation of its video input.

Westworld’s “robot viewpoint” trope was codified by 1984’s The Terminator and 1987’s RoboCop, both of which augmented their HUDs with additional data and text. Following these two movies, a heads-up display pretty much became the de facto expectation for any on-screen robot whose motives need to be understood.

A HUD screen from the T-800 Terminator, in 1984’s The Terminator. Here, the T-800 is determining an appropriate auditory response to a question from its apartment’s superintendent.
A HUD screen from the OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001, in 1987’s RoboCop. Here, RoboCop’s visual tracking system is being put through its paces by detecting the location of a pen. (Note that RoboCop’s HUD has highly visible scan lines, to make sure we know we are watching a live video stream in a movie.)

Pixar’s robot HUDs tend to include the shape of the robot’s eye(s) within the heads-up display, to help us associate the HUD with the character it represents. The Incredibles’ Omnidroid predates WALL·E’s binoculars in this regard. Other WALL·E robots—M-O, SECUR-T, and EVE—also follow suit.

The Incredibles’ Omnidroid has a HUD that makes the droid’s desire for self-preservation clear via some on-screen Eurostile Oblique. It also demonstrates the Pixar trend (continued in WALL·E) for HUDs to match the shapes of their robots’ eye(s).
The SECUR-T sentry robot’s eye in WALL·E is explicitly a camera, as reinforced by a SLR (single-lens-reflex)-camera-like HUD when taking a CAUTION photo of WALL·E’s rogue robots.
EVE’s curved, lined HUD mirrors the curved, lined styling of her eyes and face.
M-O’s wide, flat eye-panel shape is mirrored in his wide, flat on-screen HUD display. This shape, of course, requires his HUD to use a certain wide, flat typeface for its informative text.

Pixar’s neatest variation on the robot HUD trope occurs all the way back in 1999’s Toy Story 2, where a plastic toy’s marketing gimmick (plus some clever camera framing) enables us to literally see through the eyes of the movie’s robotic bad guy.

Evil Emperor Zurg, arch-enemy of Buzz Lightyear, in 1999’s Toy Story 2.
As Buzz runs away from Zurg, a camera move brilliantly subverts the robot HUD trope…
…turning a plastic toy’s “LOOK HERE” scope…
…into the bad guy’s evil robot HUD…
…complete with ZURG VISION logo in Eurostile Bold Oblique.

There is one further question raised by WALL·E’s binocular HUD. How does his directional compass—seen at the top center of his HUD—continue to work when he is aboard the Axiom? Lots of planets may have a north, but the same is not true of spacecraft—north, south, east, and west make sense only when you’re on the surface of a sphere.

A detail from WALL·E’s binoculars when onboard the Axiom. This compass direction indicator, from the top of the viewport, updates as he rotates, despite the notable absence of a planet.

Day two (and act two) of WALL·E see a Buy n Large scout ship arrive on Earth, disrupting WALL·E’s routine. Most importantly, it introduces us to EVE, who is everything WALL·E is not. EVE’s shiny white design is technologically advanced; she’s the curvy iMac G4 to WALL·E’s boxy Mac 128K. Her design evokes sleek Apple products of the 2000s, with her head, in particular, highly reminiscent of a 2002 iMac G4’s base. Even her reboot sound is a futuristic take on Apple’s famous startup chime, whereas WALL·E’s post-charge chime is the version Apple introduced in 1998 and removed altogether in 2016.

WALL·E sees EVE for the first time, as she is released from her transporter pod to begin scanning Earth.
Side view of an iMac G4,
released in 2002, with an EVE-head-like base.
An Apple Macintosh 128k, released in 1984, with a WALL·E-like beige body. Photograph by Ian Muttoo, CC BY-SA 2.0.

EVE’s evocation of Apple product design is not entirely coincidental. In a 2008 interview with Fortune magazine, director Andrew Stanton stated: “I wanted EVE to be high-end technology—no expense spared—and I wanted it to be seamless and for the technology to be sort of hidden and subcutaneous. The more I started describing it, the more I realized I was pretty much describing the Apple playbook for design.” This led to a 2005 call to Steve Jobs—at that time, both owner of Pixar and CEO of Apple—which in turn led to Apple design head Jony Ive spending a day at the Pixar headquarters in Emeryville, consulting on the EVE prototype. (It is surely entirely coincidental that EVE’s wireless arms and hands are reminiscent of Apple’s wireless Magic Mouse, released the year after WALL·E.)

Eve’s wirelessly-connected fingers and hands, as seen in 2008’s WALL·E.
Apple’s wireless Magic Mouse, released in 2009. Photograph by Yutaka Tsutano, CC BY 2.0.

During a dust storm, WALL·E takes EVE back to the safety of his home, where he presents her with a small multicolored cube. In the three seconds the camera pans away for WALL·E to retrieve Hello, Dolly!, EVE solves the Rubik’s Cube and returns it to her astonished host.

WALL·E presents EVE with a Rubik’s Cube from his trash collection.

EVE’s cube-solving time would be impressive for a human; the current world record is 4.22 seconds, set by Feliks Zemdegs in May 2018. Sadly, because of the camera pan, we’ll never know if EVE broke the world record for a robot, which currently stands at a mind-boggling 0.637 seconds. This record was set in November 2016 by Sub1 Reloaded, a cube-solving robot built by German engineer Albert Beer. Six high-performance stepper motors turned the cube twenty-one times to complete the task, averaging just 0.03 seconds per rotation.

Sub1 Reloaded, the world-record-holding Rubik’s Cube robot, in November 2016.

Spare a thought, then, for poor WALL·E. His surprise at EVE’s accomplishment is understandable—he lacks color vision and has only three digits on each hand, which means that Rubik’s Cubes are really not his specialty. (There’s a reason Guinness doesn’t have a “fastest dog” Rubik’s Cube category.)

One other point of note: This scene is the only time the color green appears in WALL·E in a scene unrelated to a plant. While this breaks the movie’s careful color scripting, it’s worth it for a good gag.

All seems to be going well with WALL·E and EVE’s introductions, until they are rudely interrupted by EVE’s spotting a plant that WALL·E has excavated from the trash. She subsumes the plant, as per her “directive,” and enters hibernation mode. WALL·E’s attempts to wake her invariably end in comedic pain, though one of them does reveal EVE’s serial number, 051682, set in Handel Gothic. (I can’t help but wonder whether someone in Pixar’s art department was born on May 16, 1982.)

EVE’s serial number, seen on the inside of the door above, is 051682.

WALL·E gives up on reviving EVE and disconsolately returns to his trash-crushing routine. Shortly afterward, the Axiom’s scout ship returns to Earth and collects EVE to take her home. Desperate not to lose his new friend, WALL·E hitches a ride on the outside of the scout, causing him grief when the ship blasts through Earth’s surrounding satellite trash. As the satellites fall away, we see that WALL·E has a Soviet-era Sputnik 1 satellite on his head. This is impressive, especially given that Sputnik 1—the first man-made object to orbit Earth—burned up on reentry to Earth’s atmosphere in 1958.

As the Axiom scout ship breaks through Earth’s satellites…
…WALL·E is briefly left with Sputnik 1 on his head.
A replica of the Sputnik 1 satellite, showing its 58cm-diameter aluminum sphere and four spindly antennas

We see Sputnik 1 again later in the movie, as a model in Captain McCrea’s display cabinet. This model is accompanied by a NASA space shuttle launch/entry helmet, as worn by space shuttle astronauts between 1982 and 1986 during launch and return from space.

A space shuttle launch/entry helmet and a Sputnik model in Captain McCrea’s display case.
Payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe is briefed on the space shuttle’s launch/entry helmet during training for the January 1986 launch of flight STS-51L.

This “retro space tech” theme can also be seen on Earth during EVE’s scan for plant life. After scanning a Toy Story Pizza Planet truck and a portable lavatory, EVE checks a rusting Apollo command module before slamming the door shut in disgust at its absence of plant-based life.

A BnL-branded Apollo-style command module in a pile of trash on Earth.
The Apollo 14 command module, nicknamed “Kitty Hawk,” at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photograph by gordonplant, CC BY 2.0.

Showing recent space technology as trash or as museum pieces positions our personal experiences of space as archaic and quaint in comparison to the Axiom’s futuristic styling. This further reinforces WALL·E’s own obsolescence as a discarded piece of technology, and sets us up neatly for a transition to the shiny futurism of the Axiom.

The Axiom paints a vision of the future where every menial task, no matter how small, has a dedicated robot created expressly for the purpose. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL and Alien’s MU/TH/UR, all these robots have cute acronyms to make them human-friendly.

SAUT-A (chefbot).
Microbe Obliterator, or M·O.
VAQ-M (vacuumbot), BUF-4 (bufferbot), and SPR-A (spraybot).
HAN-S (massagebot), and PR-T (beauticianbot).
SR-V (tennisbot).
BIRD-E (golfbot).
SECUR-T (stewardbot).
BURN-E (maintenancebot), shortly after being locked out of the Axiom by WALL·E and EVE.
GO-4 (gopherbot).
Waste Allocation Load Lifter · Axiom Class, or WALL·A.
NAN-E (nannybot).

Of particular note is VN-GO, the painterbot, whose acronym perpetuates a common yet incorrect pronunciation of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh’s surname. (According to the BBC Pronunciation Unit, it is “van Gokh,” with the kh pronounced like the ch in the Scottish word loch.)

VN-GO (paintbot).

EVE’s acronym, sadly, is even worse. Her denomination as Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator could not be more inaccurate, given that her entire reason for existing is to evaluate vegetation on the planet Terra (as Earth is known in Latin). Presumably, her moniker was chosen for cuteness rather than linguistic accuracy—after all, this movie is about WALL·E and EVE, not WALL·E and TVE.

Also of note is TYP-E, a typingbot who is designed solely to press keys when someone approaches the elevator shaft to the captain’s quarters. TYP-E provides an excuse for one of the movie’s best visual gags—as a robot, he has a keyboard made entirely, of course, from ones and zeroes.

TYP-E (typingbot).
In a brief over-the-shoulder shot, we see that TYP-E’s keyboard is made entirely from keys labeled 1 and 0.

M-O’s cleaning colleagues (VAQ-M, SPR-A, and BUF-4) may bring back memories for fans of 1997’s The Fifth Element. In Luc Besson’s over-the-top vision of the future, evil industrialist Zorg demonstrates his own array of task-specific robots by dropping a glass tumbler on the floor to trigger their “lovely ballet.” As two sentrybots stand guard, a sweeperbot, a spraybot, and a bufferbot clean up his mess before returning to a nearby storage station.

The Fifth Element pre-empts WALL·E’s cleaning robots with its own sweeperbot…
…and bufferbot.

The Axiom’s robots travel around the ship via their own dedicated corridors, separate from the craft’s passenger areas. These passenger areas are split into three classes—economy, coach, and elite—each of which has a distinct architectural style. The classes themselves do not play a functional role in the movie’s plot, but one has to wonder what they mean for the Axiom’s society. Are children born into the classes their ancestors originally purchased, as if into some kind of futuristic caste system? Would the Axiom have its own Titanic moment if a passenger from economy bumped hover chairs with someone from elite? One thing’s certain: The styling of each class is extremely useful for helping viewers orient themselves within the ship’s overall structure as the action moves back and forth along its length.

Our introduction to the passenger area starts with the economy deck, which is compact, angular, and concrete in texture and color. Its palette is deliberately sparse, rarely moving outside the Buy n Large blue, red, and white, and making extensive use of the corporation’s Futura Extra Bold Oblique.

The economy deck, as seen by WALL·E shortly after his arrival on the Axiom. Apart from a few hints of yellow, it follows the BnL corporate color scheme exclusively, with plenty of Futura Extra Bold Oblique.
The economy deck, as seen when Captain McCrea announces the Axiom’s 700-year anniversary.

The deck’s design is highly reminiscent of the interior of the Contemporary Tower at Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort, whose A-frame concrete-and-steel structure was so futuristic when it opened in 1971 that it even had a monorail running through the middle. (As anyone who has stayed at the Contemporary can attest, however, its rates can hardly be considered “economy.”)

Interior of the Contemporary Tower at Walt Disney World Contemporary Resort, as it looked in 2011. The blue raised platform on the right is a monorail station with a green-line monorail currently boarding. Photograph by Sam Howzit, CC BY 2.0.

The coach deck, unlike the economy deck, is curved, eclectic, and spacious, with brightly colored holo-ads scattered everywhere. It mimics Las Vegas’s Strip in gaudiness and style, with artificial neon colors used extensively and every sign encouraging Axiom passengers to spend more money. (How the ship’s financial economy continues to function after a seven-hundred-year flight continues to remain a mystery.)

The central mall area of the Axiom’s coach deck, with garish, over-saturated holographic ads and signs.
Las Vegas Strip at night
A section of the Las Vegas Strip at night, showing a similar palette of over-saturated cyan, purple, pink, and yellow hues, combined with omnipresent ads encouraging consumption. Photograph by rabbit75_ist.

The ceiling of the coach deck is a gigantic animated screen that can switch between day and night, complete with a BnL-branded sun or moon. The ceiling’s relationship to actual time is somewhat tenuous, as we see when Captain McCrea winds the sky back from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. in order to make his morning announcements. In this regard, the ceiling is essentially an amalgam of two Las Vegas landmarks: the painted cloud ceilings of the Forum indoor arcade at Caesars Palace, whose lighting ebbs and changes without ever making it nighttime enough for you to want to stop buying things, and the four-block-long overhead screen of the Fremont Street Experience—the world’s largest video screen—whose 12.5 million LEDs illuminate Vegas partygoers every night. The result is an entirely fake sky for the Axiom’s population, allowing finely tuned control over their artificial environment.

The coach deck’s sky dome ceiling, transitioning from midday to early morning.
The painted, vaulted ceiling of the Forum Shops arcade at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Photograph by anokarina, CC BY-SA 2.0.
The four-block-long LED ceiling of the Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas. Photograph by dconvertini, CC BY-SA 2.0.

The coach deck leads to the elite deck, whose styling resembles that of a high-class lido or spa. Despite their very different palettes, the coach and elite decks share a curved, futuristic environmental styling that unifies their overall architecture. According to production designer Ralph Eggleston, the architecture of this shared area is inspired by the work of architect Santiago Calatrava, whose signature curved supports and arches can be seen throughout both decks’ central concourse.

Close-up of the arched supports in the central coach deck plaza.
Transitional area between the coach and elite decks, showing arched supports around the central transportation line.
Café Calatrava, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. Photograph by Peter Alfred Hess, CC BY 2.0.
Concourse and roof supports, Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport Railway Station, Colombier-Saugnieu, France. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 1994. Photograph by Ingolf, CC BY-SA 2.0.
An arched glass half-dome in the coach deck’s food court.
Close-up of the base of the captain’s control tower, showing its arched, glass-fronted entrance.
Exterior detail, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2001. Photograph by joevare, CC BY-ND 2.0.
Arched exterior of the Adán Martín Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, completed in 2003. Photograph by Rick Ligthelm, CC BY 2.0.

The other main influence for the Axiom’s architecture is the design of the Tomorrowland area of Disneyland, in California. According to production designer Ralph Eggleston, during the movie’s production WALL·E’s design team visited an exhibition of Tomorrowland concept art and took inspiration from the designs therein. Perhaps the most obvious of these influences is the presence of a PeopleMover transportation system running through the middle of the club and elite decks, in a style very similar to the PeopleMover at Tomorrowland. (Do check out DaveLandWeb’s fantastic PeopleMover photo page for some great examples of the original in action.)

The club deck’s circular PeopleMover loading area.
Raised PeopleMover tracks running along the length of the club deck.

The evolution of Disney’s PeopleMover concept began with the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair, for which the Ford Motor Company asked Disney to design an attraction to compete with General Motors’ Futurama II exhibit. The resulting Magic Skyway gave fairgoers an opportunity to ride in a driverless Ford convertible—including the just-launched Ford Mustang—through a diorama that transported them from prehistoric times to a futuristic space city.

Following its success at the World’s Fair, the traction system behind Magic Skyway was adapted into a new feature for Tomorrowland’s 1967 relaunch. The new attraction, known as the WEDway PeopleMover, enabled Walter Elias Disney to follow Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren (of ALWEG monorail fame) in naming a futuristic transportation mechanism with his initials. It also provided an ideal inspiration for the Axiom’s central transport system.

The Axiom’s PeopleMover has much in common with its WEDway counterpart. Both are focused on a main circular loading area in the heart of a central plaza, with a long, straight stretch of track extending away from the loading deck. Both give passengers a tantalizing view of surrounding attractions as they are transported from one area to another. Indeed, I am sure Walt Disney would have been delighted to see his dream of future transportation integrated into the Axiom’s space-age environment, especially given that Disneyland’s PeopleMover was a prototype for Walt’s grander vision of futuristic living. Walt planned to build a larger PeopleMover installation as part of his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT—a new and futuristic city to be created from scratch at his planned Disney World Resort in Florida.

In October 1966, Walt recorded a short film pitching his “Florida Project” to industrialists and legislators, including a detailed description of EPCOT’s transportation system. In this new city, cars and trucks were to be pushed underground, with the community’s twenty thousand residents instead traveling by WEDway and monorail to work, play, and socialize. The concept images below from Walt’s EPCOT film give an idea of just how much imagination the creative brains at WED Enterprises applied, under Walt’s careful guidance, to everyday living challenges.

EPCOT’s transportation was planned on a radial system, as this schematic from Walt’s EPCOT film demonstrates. City residents use a series of PeopleMover systems (shown here as light blue spokes) to travel from their homes on the outskirts of the city to the central transport hub. Should they need to travel to other parts of Disney World, they then transfer to a high-speed monorail system (shown here in red).
Concept art showing one half of EPCOT’s main transportation lobby. The longer-distance monorail service (right) runs through the center of the lobby, with shorter-distance WEDway PeopleMover services departing from the edges of the lobby (left). Cars and trucks are pushed underground into lower levels of the city’s transportation network (bottom).
Concept art from the EPCOT film, showing a PeopleMover and Monorail passing through the city’s central shopping district.
In Walt’s EPCOT proposal, the city’s WEDway PeopleMovers (shown here as light blue spokes) transport residents through the city’s greenbelt, past sports facilities and schools…
…to residential areas in the city’s suburban districts, complete with footpaths and children’s play areas.

Tragically, Walt Disney died less than two months after his EPCOT introduction was filmed, passing away before the pitch was screened and before New Tomorrowland opened to the public. His ambitious vision of a prototype community did not become a reality, but its name lives on in the Epcot theme park (formerly “EPCOT Center”) at Walt Disney World in Florida—although the eventual EPCOT park became more of a permanent World’s Fair than a real-life city of the future. The WEDway PeopleMover did not realize its potential, either: The Disneyland attraction closed in 1995, to be replaced by the faster (but short-lived) Rocket Rods ride, which itself closed in 2001.

Disneyland park-goers can still see the PeopleMover’s abandoned tracks snaking through Tomorrowland, displaying curved, arched supports that Santiago Calatrava would surely approve of. (Thankfully, a PeopleMover can still be experienced at the Magic Kingdom park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover continues to provide a leisurely tour of nearby attractions.)

An overhead section of the now-disused PeopleMover track in Tomorrowland, seen in 2009. Photograph by Loren Javier, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Of course, the PeopleMover also lives on via the Axiom, whose reimagining of the concept is almost a microcosm of Walt’s vision for EPCOT. Aboard the Axiom, it’s a PeopleMover (not a monorail) that fulfills the role of high-speed arterial transport, with individual BnL hover chairs completing the “final mile” of the journey via preset illuminated paths (blue for humans, white for robots, red for stewardbots). It may not match the scale of Disney’s EPCOT dream, but it’s nonetheless fitting that Walt’s vision of a transportational future made the trip into space.

Illuminated paths provide hover-chair routes throughout the Axiom
…defining a “final mile” pathway to each passenger’s room. Here, the normally blue “human” pathways have turned bright green to indicate that plant life has been found and the Axiom is preparing to return to Earth.

During WALL·E’s tour of the passenger decks, we discover that the Axiom’s computer is voiced by none other than Alien’s Ellen Ripley. Casting Sigourney Weaver as the disembodied voice of a space-based computer is clearly ironic, especially given her experience with such voices in Alien and Aliens. WALL·E ups the irony by having Weaver narrate not one but two scenes that would feel all too familiar to her xenomorph-hunting counterpart, triggering bonus space-peril associations for Alien fans. (Weaver also plays a disembodied voice in Andrew Stanton’s Finding Dory, aping her narration of nature documentaries.)

“Twenty seconds to self-destruct,” says Ripley, as WALL·E tries in vain to stop his LifePod’s self-destruct sequence.
Ripley knows what she’s talking about—she was counted down to self-destruction herself in Alien.
“Activating airlock disposal,” says Ripley, as EVE and WALL·E try to avoid being sucked out of an industrial-sized airlock…
…with spinning red lights around the sides.
Ripley knows what she’s talking about—she narrowly avoided airlock doom herself in Aliens.

Alien and Aliens are not the only sci-fi movies to get a nod from WALL·E. On the Axiom bridge, we meet AUTO, the ship’s autopilot robot. It might be hard to believe just by looking at him, but AUTO is actually an Evil Space-Based Computer. His design is clearly influenced by a certain other ESBC—that central red eye is a direct reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL, giving an immediate signal that this robot is not to be trusted.

AUTO, the Axiom autopilot. Aspects of his design may be familiar to those of you who have read the 2001 article.
HAL, the Discovery One autopilot. Aspects of his design may be familiar to those of you who are reading this WALL·E article.

AUTO’s physical similarity to HAL gives him a practical similarity, too. On the rare occasions we see the world from AUTO’s vantage point, we get an extreme fish-eye view of the surrounding area, just as we did for HAL in 2001. WALL·E combines HAL’s fish-eye view with The Terminator’s red HUD hue, making AUTO’s evil intent doubly clear to any discerning fan of sci-fi.

AUTO’s fish-eye view, from WALL·E.
HAL’s fish-eye view, from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

AUTO and HAL belong to a long-standing tradition of sci-fi automata whose glowing red eye(s) give away their evil nature. They really are everywhere in sci-fi movies—from the Model 101 in The Terminator, via the replicants in Blade Runner, to the evil wriggly thing inserted into Neo’s belly button in The Matrix.

After having all of its skin burnt off in a fire, The Terminator’s T-800 displays some impressive evil red eyes.
The evil wriggly thing that works its way into Neo’s belly in The Matrix has a trademark evil red eye.
The sentinels in The Matrix take evil red eyes to a whole new level.

That red glow has its benefits, however. You can always tell when an evil robot has been finally defeated from the fact that its red eye(s) slowly fade to black. The Terminator’s T-800, The Matrix’s wriggly thing, and WALL·E’s AUTO all follow this trope when deactivated.

As The Terminator’s T-800 is squished beneath the sheets of an industrial steel press, its evil red eye fades slowly to black.
After removing the wriggly thing from Neo’s belly, Trinity discards it in the rain, where its evil red eye fades slowly to black.
After switching the Axiom from autopilot to manual control, AUTO’s evil red eye fades slowly to black.

AUTO may look like the movie’s bad guy, but his actions are simply an example of artificial intelligence following its programming too literally. To understand his motives, we must remember that BnL’s original plan was for its star liners to return to Earth as soon as an EVE probe found proof that life was once more sustainable. Five years after their departure, however, BnL autopilots were sent a directive by CEO Shelby Forthright telling them to keep their craft in space indefinitely, because the cleanup process on Earth was not going to succeed. Six hundred and ninety-five years later, with no subsequent instructions to the contrary, AUTO is simply following this command to the letter, blocking any and all attempts to return to Earth.

In this regard, AUTO is eerily similar to 2001’s HAL, whose murderous tendencies aboard the Discovery were similarly driven by an inability to reconcile a contradiction in his programming. In the movie’s sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, we learn that the basic purpose of HAL’s design was “the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment.” We also discover that HAL was instructed (via Directive NSD 342/23) to lie to Dave and Frank about the real reason for the Discovery’s mission. After lip-reading that they planned to disconnect him, HAL determined that the only logical way for him to both keep processing and avoid lying was for Dave and Frank to die.

AUTO’s own instruction is Directive A113, whose numbering may sound familiar to Pixar fans. “A113” appears in every Pixar film, from a family license plate in Toy Story to an underwater camera model in Finding Nemo. (Indeed, it’s even in Brave, where the roman numerals ACXIII appear carved just above the front door of a witch’s hut.) The reason for its repeated inclusion is that room A1-13 was the classroom for the Character Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts, where Pixar alumni John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton studied. (This explains why it’s also the number on the door of Riley’s classroom in Inside Out, and on the Scaring 101 classroom door in Monsters University.) WALL·E may be its highest-profile outing, but it’s there in every Pixar movie if you keep your eyes peeled.

AUTO triggers Directive A113.

The majority of WALL·E’s robots are voiced by Ben Burtt, the Academy Award-winning sound designer and creator of R2D2’s bleeps. AUTO’s voice, however, is provided by MacInTalk, a speech synthesis technology first used to announce the Apple Macintosh computer in January 1984. (You may also recognize MacInTalk as the lead vocalist on Radiohead’s “Fitter Happier,” from 1997’s OK Computer album.)

MacInTalk’s inclusion in WALL·E makes it one of only two Apple voice synthesis technologies to star in a feature film; the other is Siri, who provides the voice for ’Puter, Batman’s high-tech assistant in The LEGO Batman Movie.

“‘Puter”, Batman’s Siri-based computer assistant, from The LEGO Batman Movie. (The Batmobile’s interfaces are, perhaps inevitably, set in Eurostile Bold.)

Despite the technology’s age, I’m happy to report that MacInTalk voices still ship with macOS today. If you’d like to turn your Mac into an Evil Space-Based Computer, simply open the System Preferences application, select Accessibility and then Speech, and enable the “Ralph” system voice.

In addition to AUTO, there are two more nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey in WALL·E, both of which take advantage of preexisting associations for dramatic or comedic effect. The first is WALL·E’s brief escapade in a LifePod, the design of which seems clearly inspired by 2001’s EVA pods. That iconic ball-like shape immediately triggers an association with interstellar peril, which WALL·E soon discovers is entirely justified.

One of the Discovery’s EVA pods is activated in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
One of the Axiom’s LifePods is activated in WALL·E.
The pod design in 2001 has many similarities with its WALL·E counterpart…
…though it does not (as far as we know) include an optional satellite dish, parachute, flare set, or inflatable life raft.

The second 2001 reference is a knowing usage of Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, when Captain McCrea becomes the first human to stand up and walk in possibly hundreds of years. It’s an appropriate enough use of the music—2001’s monoliths oversee (and supposedly trigger) several leaps in mankind’s evolution, so it’s entirely valid to hear those famous chords when the captain makes his first steps (even though this is technically a regression, not an evolution).

Determined to tackle the mutinous AUTO, Captain McCrea steadies himself…
…and drags himself to his feet, to the tune of Also sprach Zarathustra.

Of course, WALL·E is not alone in riffing on Strauss’s classic melody. It is similarly parodied in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as a 2001 monolith turns into a bar of chocolate) and Zoolander (as Hansel considers smashing Mugatu’s iMac with a nearby bone). If that’s not enough, it’s also in Pixar’s Toy Story 2 and Cars 3, plus other animated movies including Kung Fu Panda 3, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, and The Simpsons Movie. On the live-action front, it’s in Man on the Moon, Catch-22, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Clueless, Turner & Hooch, and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, to mention just a few.

In 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka transports a bar of chocolate via television to the tune of Also sprach Zarathustra
…transforming 2001’s famous monolith into a bar of Wonka Nutty Crunch Surprise.
In 2001’s Zoolander, non-evolved male models Derek Zoolander and Hansel smack an iMac chimpanzee-style to the tune of Also sprach Zarathustra
…before Hansel grabs a handy bone to use as a tool.

Despite AUTO’s best efforts, McCrea manages to switch him to MANUAL and sets the Axiom on a hyperjump trajectory back to Earth. The hyperjump looks exactly like you’d expect, which is exactly like the USS Enterprise engaging warp drive in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The Axiom makes a hyperjump toward Earth in WALL·E.
The Enterprise engages warp drive toward “thataway” in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Once again, WALL·E is sneakily using prior sci-fi art as a shortcut, re-creating familiar effects so that the Axiom’s quick journey home can be explained without exposition. (It might also account for why everyone aboard the Axiom experiences a brief stint of The Motion Picture’s wormhole effect during the jump.)

The Enterprise bridge goes all “wormhole effect” when it engages warp speed while still within the solar system.
EVE and WALL·E go all “wormhole effect” when the Axiom hyperjumps back to Earth.

As these homages show, WALL·E is not afraid to borrow from its predecessors to gain some free sci-fi association. Indeed, such references are celebrated and elevated, drawing on the production team’s clear fondness for vintage sci-fi to create a movie that is both a love letter to the classics and a worthy addition to the list. WALL·E capitalizes on our existing associations with the future to communicate complex plot points and motives with minimal dialogue and text. It is, to my mind, Pixar’s most realistic vision of an internally consistent world, despite the polar opposites of its Earth- and space-based environments. It’s political and satirical, representing utopia and dystopia with enough humor to poke fun at the downsides of both. In short, WALL·E envisages a future that could so easily be bleak and pessimistic—but is instead inspired by the naïveté of its inhuman heroes to re-create the optimism that took man into space in the first place.

Wow! That was good, wasn’t it? What an amazing article! So amazing, in fact, that you probably want to impulse-buy the Typeset in the Future book it comes from, right this very second. Here are some convenient links to buy it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or you can head down to your local bookstore (which it is much harder for me to link to) when the book is released on December 11 2018.

The book also includes an interview with Pixar designers Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster about the making of WALL·E, plus six more equally amazing movie studies, alongside interviews with Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall) and Mike Okuda (Star Trek). You can read more about it here if for some reason you’re still not convinced.

Dave Addey

by Dave Addey at Tuesday, 2018-12-04 13:33


Some TeX Developments (by Joseph Wright)

Blog on the move

I’ve been writing Some TeX Developments for ten years now, starting off on WordPress.com before moving to a self-hosted WordPress set up. All of this time, I’ve stuck with WordPress as it’s a very powerful and flexible system. However, it’s got some downsides too. In particular, as it is dynamic, database-driven, system, the pages are created each time someone requests them. That’s great for things like supporting comments, but it means there’s a non-trivial amount of work done each time someone views a page. That turns into a real cost when you are paying for your own hosting. My most recent hosts were really good for support, but I needed enough CPU cycles to push me into the ‘non-trivial’ cost bracket. At the same time, a dynamic site means that there’s always a security risk.

Enter GitHub Pages

I’m hardly the only person to come across these issues, and it’s no surprise that there are a variety of good solutions. One that’s really gained in popularity over recent years is GitHub Pages. This uses a specially-named Git repository to run a generation system called Jekyll. Unlike WordPress, Jekyll generates pages when the sources are committed, so the pages themselves are static ‘classical’ HTML.

Rinse and repeat

To go from WordPress to Jekyll, I started by extracting all of the content using the WordPress to Jekyll Exporter plugin. That gave me a set of HTML files which nearly worked straight away (but with no styling). After a few bits of clean-up to make things work at all, I then did a load of search-and-replace steps. Most of these were to convert the content to Markdown, clean up minor mark-up issues, etc.. I also took the opportunity to work on fixing typos, broken links and so on: that is a lot easier to do with a local set of files, compared to WordPress.

Most of that work was very mechanical, but it took a while: most of that was because of flaws in my original text, not the exporter!

What’s missing?

Exporting the content doesn’t deal with the website style, nor does it include comments. The latter don’t work in Jekyll directly, though one can use Disqus. I decided against that for the present: I don’t really need a discussion system for my blog.

Getting the style right could have been sorted by copy-pasting the raw HTML from the old site. But I decided to take the opportunity to revise the layout. At the present, it’s based on the LaTeX Project one, but rather simplified. I may well look at this again, fixing minor issues as I go. But I’m no design expert: I’d be very happy to have suggestions!

The final thing to do is to get the web address sorted. I’m just sorting out with my registrar and GitHub, and that will be done shortly. Hopefully, with that done, my latest blog rearrangements will be done!

Monday, 2018-11-26 00:00


Uwes kleines Technikblog - Kategorie LaTeX (by Uwe Ziegenhagen)

Checklisten setzen mit

Mit dem typed-checklist Paket lassen sich einfach komplexe Checklisten setzen, hier ein Beispiel aus der Dokumentation:

\Goal{open}{I have a trendy haircut}
\Task{done}{find a hairdresser}
\Task{started}{make an appointment}
\Task{open}{go to the hairdresser}
\Goal{achieved}{I have a typed checklist}


Uwe Ziegenhagen mag LaTeX und Python, auch gern in Kombination. Hat Dir dieser Beitrag geholfen und möchtest Du Dich dafür bedanken? Dann unterstütze doch vielleicht die Dingfabrik Köln e.V. mit einem kleinen Beitrag. Details zur Bezahlung findest Du unter Spenden für die Dingfabrik.

More Posts - Website

by Uwe at Saturday, 2018-11-17 16:23