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Interesting Internet Links

The Web page of Unicode. This is the encoding of the future: a set of 65,536-positions encodings whose aim is to include all languages and scripts of the world. Despite some imperfections, Unicode is extremely useful and we, at Atelier Fluxus Virus, use it in everyone of our projects.

The Web page of TUG (TEX Users Group) and the Web page of Omega. TEX is an extremely powerful typesetting system, the work of the renowned US computer scientist (and dear friend) Donald Knuth. It has been the first big public domain system and a landmark in the history of digital typography. Omega is an extension of TEX to Unicode and more generally to oriental languages.

One of the most important Web pages on Perl. Perl is a scripting language allowing easy and quick processing of text. It has been developped by a (genious) linguist, Larry Wall, and is known for its power, easiness to learn and the principle that "there are more than one ways for doing the same thing".

The official Web page of SGML and XML. This are markup systems. HTML (in which is written the page you are now reading) is just a simple application of SGML. By tagging texts whose structure is important (like dictionaries, catalogs, scientific texts), we can afterwards use them in many different ways and store them efficiently (so that, retrieved in 10, 20, ... 100 years, they are still usable), by avoiding commercial file formats.

The Web page of online books. Starting from this page you will find hundreds of URLs of Web pages in the whole world, related with online books. If you want to read Homer's Odyssey in English, or Shakespare's Plays in German, or Alice in Wonderland in Esperanto, this the place to start...

The official Web page of the Thesaurus Linguæ Græcæ (TLG). The TLG is a CD-ROM with thousands of Greek texts from Homer until about 600 BC (57 million words).

Gerda Delbanco's Web page of old German typefaces. This German company makes and sells the most beautiful odl German fonts (Fraktur, Schwabacher, etc.) You can find samples and information on their history. The Atelier Fluxus Virus has bought and is using all Delbanco typefaces.

Octavo Digital Rare Books. These people take old books, masterpieces of typography, scan them, type the text (and the translation whenever the book is not in English) and bundle the whole thing into a beautiful electronic book, where one can admire the beauty of the original, read the text, make searches, etc. A brilliant idea, which we hope will have the success it deserves!

Magenta This Greek company distributes Greek fonts as well as products around the Greek language (a tool for editing polytonic Greek texts, various electronic dictionaries, including a Modern Greek/ancient Greek dictionary, etc.) They also distribute an interesting collection of Bitstream Unicode fonts.

Paratype This Russian company makes very nice Cyrillic alphabet fonts, many of them with the additional characters needed for pre-Lenin Russian. They also have a few Slavonic fonts.

Walden Fonts Historical Fonts and Clip Arts. This US company (located in Winchester, Massachusetts) has created and sells many interesting historical typefaces, ranging from a reproduction of the type used by Gutenberg in his 42-lines bible, to fonts of the American 19th century. Also provided are fonts with borders and decorative elements, as well as unusual clip-arts, like for example the signatures found on the American declaration of Independence.

Interesting and Noteworthy Books

On Greek

Greek printing types in Britain, by John H. Bowman, Tipofilía Editions, Thessaloníki 1999. A travel to the world of 19th century English-made Greek typefaces. For people who like beautiful Greek typefaces.

Ghlósses, alfávita ke ethnikí idheologhía sta Valkánia (Languages, alphabets and national ideology in the Balkans), edited by K. Tsitselíkis, Kritikí Editions, Athens, 1999. A very interesting study on the use of different alphabets by the various populations of the Balkans (see also our paper for the 14th Unicode conference, on Greek).

I ekdhotikí dhrastiriótita ton Ellínon katá tin epokhí tis Italikís Anaghénnisis (The editorial activity of Greeks during Italian Renaissance), catalog of a book exhibition which took place in Florence (Italy) in 1986. Information and examples of the first Greek books printed in Renaissance Italy.

Casting the Greek Newspaper, A study of the morphology of the ephemeris from its origins until the introduction of mechanical setting, by Klímis Mastorídis,, Elliniká Filologhiká ke Istoriká Arkhía, Thessaloníki 1999. The history of Greek newspaper from the typographer's and typography historian's viewpoint.

Les débuts de la typographie grecque, by Jean Irigoin, Dhédhalos, Athens 1992. Another short study of the beginnings of Greek typography.

Règles et recommandations pour les éditions critiques, Société d'édition "Les belles lettres", Paris, 1972. Instructions for preparing and typesetting critical editions of ancient Greek texts, from the Parisian publisher "Les belles lettres".

A Practical Guide for the Writing of the Greek Accents, by A.J. Koster, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1962. An 80-page long book on Greek accents, with hundreds of exercises and their solutions at the end of the book.

On Arabic

Writing Arabic, A Practical Introduction to the Ruq`ah Script by T. F. Mitchell, Oxford University Press, 1953. An in-depth tutorial to the Ruq'ah script with examples, terminology and bibliography. A delight!

L'imprimerie arabe en occident, by Josée Balagna, Éditions Maisonneuve & Larose, Paris, 1984. The history of the first centuries of Arabic book, starting with the first Arabic book, printed in Italy in 1514.

Introduction to Qur'anic Script, by Seyd Barakat Ahmad, Curzon Press, London, 1985. A method to learn Arabic through the Qur'an. Maybe not the best way to learn the language, but contains interesting information on the strcuture and typography of the holy book of Islam.

Le voile du nom, Essai sur le nom propre arabe, by Jacqueline Sublet, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1991. A fundamental book on the use of personal names in the Arabic countries (where there is much more than just name, surname and father's name...).

Basic Qur'anic Arabic Grammar, by Jamal-Un-Nisa Bint Rafai, Ta-ha Publishers, London, 1998. Most Arabic Grammars treat modern Arabic; this one focuses on the language of the Qur'an, and gives Qur'anic examples for any grammatical construction. Very interesting for people who learn (modern) Arabic and want to know where the rules came from. Only weak point: the typesetting, which is newspaper-like and unworthy of the Qur'anic text...

De la fréquence des lettres & de son influence en calligraphie arabe, by Vlad Atanasiu, l'Harmattan, Paris, 1999. An original and interesting book on Arabic typography, calligraphy and the Arabic script in general. A lot of information on various subjects and a quite long bibliography.

On Hebrew

Synagogue Song in America, by Joseph A. Levine, White Cliffs Media Company, Crown Point, Indiana, 1988. Don't judge this book upon its cover. It is a very serious book on Hebrew cantillation and gives, between other things, musical examples for most cantillation marks. It is accompaned by a three on-hour musicassettes.

The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, by Page H. Kelley, Daniel S. Mynatt and Timothy G. Crawford, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998. A book with many interesting facts on the written text of the Hebrew Bible and in particular the Stuttgart Edition (BHS).

An Anotated Bibliography of Hebrew Typesetting by Sivan Toledo, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Tel-Aviv University, 1998. A very interesting article on Hebrew fonts and their history. [This text is provided here without the explicit agreement of Sivan Toledo, whom we are temporarily unable to contact.]

On Armenian

Le livre arménien à travers les âges, the catalog of a book exhibition which took place in 1985 in Marseille (France) at the Armenian Cultural Center. Information on the history of the Armenian book and very nice examples of traditional Armenian typography.

On Old German

Blackletter: Type and National Identity, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1998. A collection of very interesting studies on the German broken script, its relationship (or non-relationship) to the political background, the attempts of design of intermediate (between broken and antiqua) typefaces, German bi-alphabetism, etc.

On Digital Typography

The TEXbook, by Donald Knuth, Addison Wesley, 1978. In this book Donald Knuth described the TEX programming language. The reason we suggest this book is that besides a programming manual it is also a very rich and pleasant digital typography manual, written with humor, imagination and good sense.

On Typography

Lesetypographie, by Hans Peter Wilberg and Friedrich Forssman, Verlag Hermann Schmidt, Mainz, 1997. From Mainz, the birthtown of typography, a very interesting and complete typesetting guide for German.

An essay on typography by Eric Gill (in person), Lund Humphries, London, 1931 (re-edition 1988). A typographical jewel by the big master of typography and creator of the well known typefaces which carry his name.

Schriftzeichen und Alphabete aller Zeiten und Vöolker des Erdkreises, by Carl Faulmann, Vienna 1880 (reprint Augsburg 1990). A catalog of types of the Royal Austrian Printing House. It is an almost scientific linguistic classification of types of several exotic languages. It also contains typesetting rules for various languages and scripts, including Arabic and Persian "Nastaliq".

Paragraphs on Printing, by Bruce Rogers, Wiliam E. Rudge's Sons, New York 1943 (reprint Dover, New York, 1979). Useful advices on traditional typesetting from an old master of typography.

On the History of Typography

To khronikó tis tipoghrafías (History of typography), by Níkos Skiadhás, Ékdhosi Somatíou Tipoghráfon Athinón, Athens, 1966. A synopsis of the World history of typography in the characteristic style of Níkos Skiadhás.

Anatomy of a typeface, by Alexander Lawson, David R. Godine, Publisher, Boston, 1990. History and analysis of the most notorious typefaces, a chapter per typeface. A very interesting book for those who want to learn more about the (Latin) typefaces surrounding us.

Five Hundred Years of Printing, by S.H. Steinberg, The British Library and Oak Knoll Press, London, 1996 (re-edition). There are many histories of typography, this one is one the most interesting and pleasant ones.

Counterpunch, making type in the sixteenth century, designing typefaces now, by Fred Smeijers, Hyphen Press, London, 1996. One of the rare books on making typefaces, purely from the artistic and historical point of view, specialized on the 16th century.

Typo: wann-wer-wie, quand-qui-comment, when-who-how, by Friedrich Friedl, Nicolaus Ott and Bernard Stein, Könemann, Köln, 1998. Aí impressive trilingual volume with tons of material on the history of typography.

The Elements of Typographic Style, by Robert Bringhurst, Hartley & Marks, Vancouver, 1992. A book on typography, very interesting and pleasant to read. Some typos and unhappy font choices in the (ancient) Greek examples.

Les poinçons de l'Imprimerie Nationale, Éditions de l'Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, 19??. A beautiful catalog of the types of the French National Printing House; between them also the famous "Grec du Roy" by Claude Garamont.