Open Source Publishing – Graphic Design Caravan

Asian Record, side B

Fonts · News · OSP-DIN · April 21st, 2011 ·


Vi Mã Đăng installing OSP's posters at Café 3D.

Its akward, it’s unconfortable, but we want to put ourselves in a position of welcoming a happy accident, a trong ruì có may.

(Tomorrow, not forget :
— printer
— walking
— reformat usb sticks
— osm account)

We make a tour with GPS and cameras to chase stencil letters in priority, and some hand-painted letters.

Redrawn stencil letters, on lots of walls

Some less stencils, even if the reverse leftover of a vinyl cutting operation is barely always throw away, it can be used also, and is composed of islands and sea. Stickers are everywhere.

Maybe at a more high pace than on other places, machine vinyl cutting letters make hand-drawn lettering goes rare

Participants ask what is so interesting in those daily life pictures. Pierre Marchand says that, this is exactly daily life as they say, but if they learn how to look at it and how to change it, then it will change radically this daily life/landscape.

When possible to wrap it, wrap it. Here the ceiling of a taxi.


We work with bare feet
Maybe are we at the meristem (Méristème) where cells are not yet specialised – where we are in danger
The professor illustrator who draws beautiful curves so easily on Coreldraw ask for more step by step operations
(Tape, Ferrer maybe)
Connecting with the city, with the territory
– Bring a flat surface to be able to work less bended

We are making fonts based on previous day pictures. The morning we learn how to use gimp/inkscape/fontforge to autotrace a letter from a picture and how to produce a font.


“Unicode’s normative definition is not as informative as it might be (many of the Greek accents are “unified” with Latin accents that the don’t really look like, the result is that following Unicode slavishly will yield the wrong glyph). So in some cases FontForge will use a slightly different set of glyphs than the normative decomposition.” — Georges Williams (http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/accented.html)


how to define the thickness and the curve of a tilde relative to letters thickness in a non-typographic system as the DIN one?

“Too much excited to put the vietnamese diacritics everywhere, Nhan Nguyễn and the 2 Pierres decide to spent the afternoon in the garden of the “3D Café” in Can Tho under the endless loop of vn muzak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igqtCvoBXck seems a must) impossible to avoid if you want to have access to an electrical outlet. Prince prepared a py + qt script to inject automatically the needed
Nhan propose some ways to draw them and Pierreh lost himself in the osp-foundry to find the source files. Organically, after editing most of our fonts, all more or less experimental in some way, we’ve been attracted by our old chap Din, and ends up by editing most of the diacritics to make them fits best with the Din principles (from what font came the previous ones?). The night falls suddenly -near-equator-style- without finishing, but with all the actors ready for tomorrow’s first activity of the morning : the “up, more down, a bit less at the right, slightly to the left” collective game of positioning ready-to-use component diacritics. Back to the hotel with a discussions about the iterative but programmatic process of producing a font, itself a program, a script in some way, or more mathematically, factorisation… Let’s go for another motor ride in town, now.”


Morning: We are practicing LiteralDraw in groups. Participants draw letters.

We take advantage of the crazy fluidity of riding a motorbike in the city. Some of the participants ride their motorbike and go draw letters in the city, communicating by phone their position and movements to the ones staying at the working space. Those ones report the instructions in LiteralDraw to make letters in order to make a complete font.

Chien Phan Quoc leaving for his first road session

Lilly Nguyễn on her patient, smily and persistant work of multitranslation

First series of letters ended up being quite easy to do — only skeleton of letters, instructions given by phone were not so clear. Second series: we want a real letter with skin and flesh, why not serifs or stencil letters?

We add a LOGO/Turtle mode to LiteralDraw.


Chien lost a complex LiteralDraw drawing yesterday for he didn’t save it. Discussions around the missing fishing net when you quit without saving. Is LD a software like the others, or a more rough tool, an in-between commandline and GUI tool?

LD was modified yesterday in two interesting ways.

For an even more “direct” or “straightforward” mode : no need for an end anymore.

line 40 60

will not wait for a


to draw the line (of course the end instruction is still very useful to separate shapes)

For our rides in the city hunting letters shapes, we introduced the turn instruction, with right, straight, left arguments, the distance and a nuance (a deviation from the main direction)

Maybe more important is the introduction of variables, with the var instruction! So we’re now able to write

change turn tourne
var 150 unpeu
var -10 presque


tourne R unpeu presque

which is not real natural language programming, but which sounds quite poetical for me.

Pushing it a bit, to go to typed variables to be able to

tourne àdroite unpeu presque


tourne à-droite un-peu presque

or even

tourne à droite un peu presque

using non-breaking spaces between “un” et “peu” as a trick. So we introduced number and string as replacements for var. LD is more and more deeply connected to language.

The extention of OSP-DIN is a neverending work.

Sometimes we’ve used previous week’s dictionary

change line dòng
change stroke bút
change end trở—lại
change move di—chuyển
change cubic cong
change close đong
change fill điền—vào
change transform biến—đổi
change text văn—bản
change font kiểu—mâu

biến—đổi 0.6 0 0 0.6 0 -300 
bút 180 0  200 1
điền—vào 250 100 100
di—chuyển 135.00 732.00 
cong  134.00 691.00  178.00 660.00  241.00 659.00 
cong 290.00 661.00  328.00 701.00  328.00 755.00 
cong  378.00 665.00  441.00 643.00  521.00 677.00 
cong 524.00 681.00  576.00 759.00  497.00 889.00 
cong  496.67 891.67  411.67 960.00  330.00 986.67 
cong 230.00 926.67  163.33 845.00  133.33 735.00 
di—chuyển 135.00 732.00 
kiểu—mâu 30 0 0 Alfphabet
văn—bản we

With the golden frog at the back

Lilly Nguyễn     Thong Tran
Thanh Tri        Loi Kim
Trung Tran Minh  Ngân Trương
Dat Huynh Phat   Nam Pham
Quoc Nam         Chien Phan Quoc
Vansau Duong     Kiet Le              
Lê Quốc Tuấn     Xuan Phuong      
Nhan Nguyễn      Minh Đương Nguyễn

La participation OSP de l’Open Design Week a été rendue possible grâce au soutien de l’OIF

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