Recently Completed Projects


An OpenType version of Erik van Blokland's Kosmik is now available from FontFont. The OpenType version uses the Contextual Alternates feature available in InDesign 2.0 and later to "flip" between multiple versions of adjacent or proximate glyphs. If you look at this comparison, you'll notice the cycling glyphs in the "after" line give the type a true hand-written appearance.

¶ Previously, Kosmik was a Type 3 font, a rare breed that only works inside a printer's Postscript engine and not on most screens. Newer versions of ATM and Illustrator managed to break the funtionality of the original Kosmik, so Letterror and FontShop commissioned Eccentrifuge to port it to OpenType.

The OpenType Specification also describes a "Randomize" feature, in my opinion a misnomer, which implements this flipping technology in a more reliable and desirable way. It's actually not random at all, but instead cyclical: it keeps track of each character's last glyph variant and cycles to the next variant (or back to the first) the next time the character appears. Unfortunately this requires applications to implement a special kind of behavior for a more general class of lookup type, and as of this writing, no shipping applications support the feature as described. Our current approach using the Contextual Alternates feature is therefore a compromise, but it nonetheless delivers the desired behavior, even inside the limitations of currently shipping OT-savvy apps (i.e. just InDesign 2.0.)

¶ While we were at it, we added more currency symbols and support for Turkish. There are also a few undocumented "Easter Egg features" that clever users can find in InDesign's OpenType flyout. Beware the "Titling Alternates" feature:

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