LINGUIST List 3.533

Fri 26 Jun 1992

FYI: Phonetic Fonts

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. "Charles A. Bigelow", phonetic fonts

Message 1: phonetic fonts

Date: Fri, 26 Jun 92 0:46:57 PDTphonetic fonts
From: "Charles A. Bigelow" <bigelowSunburn.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: phonetic fonts

Kris Holmes and I are developing a set of phonetic fonts that we
intend to license at no cost to the community of linguists. As the
fonts near completion, we are seeking suggestions of characters and
mappings that linguists would wish to see in the fonts, before we
"freeze" the fonts. We are also interested in hearing from brave souls
willing to beta-test the flaky early versions fonts and provide

The basic features of the fonts are as follows:

1. Character sets.
International Phonetic Alphabet
Americanist phonetic alphabet
Latin capitals

2. Format.
TrueType, in two versions: one formatted for use with Microsoft
Windows 3.1 on IBM PCs and compatibles; the other for use with Apple
Macintosh computers running System 7, or System 6 with the TrueType

3. Mapping (of characters to keyboard).
Suggestions welcome. One plan is to put all the characters into one
font, and allow users to remap as necessary. This would require use of
a font tool that can remap Truetype fonts. An alternative plan is to
provide 2 or 3 basic mappings that allow access to complementary sets
of characters.

4. Style(s).
Lucida* Sans 		(1st release)
Lucida Bright		(2nd release)
Lucida Bright Italic	(later release)
Lucida Sans Italic	(later release)

Lucida is a family of fonts that contains a wide variety of harmonized
styles. If you want to see what Lucida looks like, Lucida Bright is
the standard text face used in Scientific American, and Lucida Sans is
used for boxed text in the same magazine. Because of its high
legibility at small sizes and low resolutions, Lucida Sans is also
used as the standard interface font for Sun Microsystems OpenLook user

If you want to look at commercial TrueType versions of Lucida, Lucida
Bright, Lucida Sans, and twenty other Lucida fonts, including three
math fonts, scripts, and other styles, can currently be found in the
"Microsoft TrueType Font Pack For Windows", sold at steep discount at
many computer software stores. The Lucida phonetic fonts harmonize
with these other Lucida fonts, both in text and in formal notation
using the Lucida math fonts. The Microsoft versions of Lucida are also
"read/write embeddable" (see below).

5. License.
The Lucida phonetic fonts will be licensed by us to end users at no
charge, and the fonts may be copied and distributed for no charge. In
addition, the Lucida Phonetic fonts can be "embedded" in documents. A
brief explanation may be helpful. TrueType fonts contain a feature,
which, if enabled, allows applications to "read/write embed" the fonts
in documents. In other words, a read/write embeddable font can be
attached by a user to a document, and the document can be transmitted
to someone else, who can then read and print the document in that
font, and can detach the font and use it in additional documents. This
means that you can be sure that the recipient of your document,
whether a colleague, a journal, or a typesetting service bureau, will
have the same font(s) that you used.

Although these Lucida phonetic fonts will be licensed to end users
without charge, the fonts may not be used for commercial distribution,
sale, or sublicensing. The right to use the fonts will convey no other
rights in the font designs, digital implementations, or trademark.

6. Distribution Medium.
Macintosh 800K diskette.

Distribution restrictions. We prefer to send only one diskette per
department or institution, to reduce the effort and expense or
reproducing and mailing. However, since the fonts may be copied and
distributed, recipients may distribute the fonts further within
departments and institutions, and to free-lance linguists outside
(since, as we have seen on this list, some schools are closing, or
trying to close, their linguistics departments).

7. Background. Over the past sixteen years, Kris Holmes and I have
designed a wide variety of fonts for various purposes. Users of
Macintosh System 7 can see our work in the TrueType versions of New
York, Geneva, Monaco, and Chicago. Kris and I have worked with
linguists on various typographic projects, which have numbered among
the most enjoyable and interesting work we have done. We are donating
these phonetic fonts to the community of linguists as a kind of token
of esteem and gratitude. In particular, we are grateful to Dell Hymes
and Bill Bright for their encouragement, though they certainly cannot
be held responsible for any mistakes or problems in these phonetic

8. Suggestions and requests can be sent by e-mail directly to:

Since the ASCII character set on most terminals limits what can be
sent by e-mail, printed or written copy and suggestions can be sent

	Charles Bigelow
	Bigelow & Holmes
	P.O. Box 1299
	Menlo Park, CA 94026

If you want to be placed on a mailing list for the finished fonts, or
want to be a beta-tester, please send your (snail) Mail address,
and say whether you want to get the flaky test versions, or wait for
the more stable releases.

-- Chuck Bigelow

*Lucida is a registered trademark of Bigelow & Holmes Inc.
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