This presentation focuses on TrueType (TT), PostScript® Type 1 (T1), and OpenType® (OT) being the major multi-platform outline font data standards for print, a bit of history of font formats, and their file management in computer operating systems. “Outline font” means that they describe letter shapes — glyphs — by means of [control] points, which in turn define lines and Bézier curves. An outline font must be represented physically by the dots of the output device, whether it’s screen pixels or the dots of a laser, ink-jet or wire-pin printer. The process of converting outlines to a pattern of dots on the grid of the device is called “rasterization.”
The content was originally written in 2005, and published in Graphicus 1015, at the time the leading Italian magazine for the graphic industry, and consequently designed as a lecture, a 2006 presentation on digital typography at IUAV Venice, Italy. The slides were then updated in 2011 for teaching purposes. The OpenType variable technology should be part of the next update, together with grammatography.