Thomas Rickner

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Thomas Rickner, 2018

Thomas Rickner (born October 8, 1966, Rochester, New York) is an American type designer who, while Lead Typographer at Apple Inc., supervised the production of the first TrueType fonts released in 1991 as part of Apple’s System 7 operating system for the Macintosh. [1] Rickner provided TrueType production and font hinting of Matthew Carter’s Georgia, Verdana, [2] and Tahoma typeface families, commissioned by Microsoft and widely distributed in the Windows operating system and Apple’s Mac OS X. [3] Rickner’s original type designs include Amanda, Buffalo Gal and Hamilton.


Rickner began his career in type design in 1987 as a bitmap editor for Omnipage Corporation, of Rochester, New York. In 1988, he was graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Printing Management and Sciences with a bachelor's degree, and started at QMS/Imagen Corporation, a laser printer manufacturer in Santa Clara, California. There, under the direction of noted type designer Charles Bigelow, Rickner worked in the production and hand font hinting for laser printers.

In 1989, Rickner began working for Apple, Inc., where he served as Lead Typographer for two years. In addition to supervising production of the first TrueType fonts released by Apple, Rickner also worked on the early development of TrueType GX. [4]

In 1992, Rickner began freelance type design work for The Font Bureau, Inc. collaborating on the development of several projects, including the Graphite and Tekton Multiple master fonts for Adobe Systems and a revival and expansion of William Addison Dwiggins’ Eldorado family for Premiere Magazine. [1]

Rickner joined Monotype Corporation in July 1994, and in 2004, became a founding partner of Ascender Corporation in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Rickner is developing fonts for the Ascender Compact Asian Font format (ACAF), and has designed fonts for the Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Thai, Thaana and Cherokee scripts, among others.

Most recently, Rickner was involved in the development of Microsoft’s ClearType font collection [5] and spent nearly two years engineering the Japanese font Meiryo included with Windows Vista.

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PostScript (PS) is a page description language in the electronic publishing and desktop publishing realm. It is a dynamically typed, concatenative programming language. It was created at Adobe Systems by John Warnock, Charles Geschke, Doug Brotz, Ed Taft and Bill Paxton from 1982 to 1984.

TrueType is an outline font standard developed by Apple in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. It has become the most common format for fonts on the classic Mac OS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Verdana Humanist sans-serif font

Verdana is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter for Microsoft Corporation, with hand-hinting done by Thomas Rickner, then at Monotype. Demand for such a typeface was recognized by Virginia Howlett of Microsoft's typography group and commissioned by Steve Ballmer. The name "Verdana" is based on verdant, and Ana.

Typeface Set of characters that share common design features

A typeface is the design of lettering that can include variations in size, weight, slope, width, and so on. Each of these variations of the typeface is a font.

Matthew Carter British type designer

Matthew Carter is a British type designer. A 2005 New Yorker profile described him as 'the most widely read man in the world' by considering the amount of text set in his commonly used fonts.

Arial Neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface

Arial is a sans-serif typeface and set of computer fonts in the neo-grotesque style. Fonts from the Arial family are included with all versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 3.1 on, some other Microsoft software applications, Apple's macOS and many PostScript 3 computer printers. The typeface was designed in 1982, by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders, for Monotype Typography. Each of its characters has the same width as that character in the popular typeface Helvetica; the purpose of this design is to allow a document designed in Helvetica to be displayed and printed with the intended line-breaks and page-breaks without a Helvetica license.

In digital typography, the TrueType font Arial Unicode MS is an extended version of the font Arial. Compared to Arial, it includes higher line height, omits kerning pairs and adds enough glyphs to cover a large subset of Unicode 2.1—thus supporting most Microsoft code pages, but also requiring much more storage space. It also adds Ideographic layout tables, but unlike Arial, it mandates no smoothing in the 14–18 point range, and contains Roman (upright) glyphs only; there is no oblique (italic) version. Arial Unicode MS was previously distributed with Microsoft Office, but this ended in 2016 version. It is bundled with Mac OS X v10.5 and later. It may also be purchased separately from Ascender Corporation, who licenses the font from Microsoft.

Monotype Imaging American typesetting and typeface design company founded in 1887

Monotype Imaging Holdings Inc., founded as Lanston Monotype Machine Company in 1887 in Philadelphia by Tolbert Lanston, is an American company that specializes in digital typesetting and typeface design for use with consumer electronics devices. Incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, the company has been responsible for many developments in printing technology—in particular the Monotype machine, which was a fully mechanical hotmetal typesetter, that produced texts automatically, all single type. Monotype was involved in the design and production of many typefaces in the 20th century. Monotype developed many of the most widely used typeface designs, including Times New Roman, Gill Sans, Arial, Bembo and Albertus.

A computer font is implemented as a digital data file containing a set of graphically related glyphs. A computer font is designed and created using a font editor. A computer font specifically designed for the computer screen, and not for printing, is a screen font.

Georgia (typeface) 1996 typeface by Matthew Carter

Georgia is a serif typeface designed in 1993 by Matthew Carter and hinted by Tom Rickner for the Microsoft Corporation. It was intended as a serif typeface that would appear elegant but legible when printed small or on low-resolution screens. The typeface is inspired by Scotch Roman designs of the 19th century and was based on designs for a print typeface on which Carter was working when contacted by Microsoft; this would be released under the name Miller the following year. The typeface's name referred to a tabloid headline, "Alien heads found in Georgia."

Type foundry Company that designs typefaces (fonts)

A type foundry is a company that designs or distributes typefaces. Before digital typography, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces for hand typesetting, and matrices for line-casting machines like the Linotype and Monotype, for letterpress printers. Today's digital type foundries accumulate and distribute typefaces created by type designers, who may either be freelancers operating their own independent foundry, or employed by a foundry. Type foundries may also provide custom type design services.

Kris Holmes

Kris Holmes is an American typeface designer, calligrapher, type design educator and animator. She, with Charles Bigelow, is the co-creator of the Lucida font family, among many other typeface designs. She is President of Bigelow & Holmes Inc., a typeface design studio.

Cambria (typeface) Serif font family

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Font hinting Technique for improving font rendering

Font hinting is the use of mathematical instructions to adjust the display of an outline font so that it lines up with a rasterized grid. At low screen resolutions, hinting is critical for producing clear, legible text. It can be accompanied by antialiasing and subpixel rendering for further clarity.

Meiryo is a Japanese sans-serif gothic typeface. Microsoft bundled Meiryo with Office Mac 2008 as part of the standard install, and it replaces MS Gothic as the default system font for Vista on Japanese systems.

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Liberation fonts Open-source font superfamily

Liberation is the collective name of four TrueType font families: Liberation Sans, Liberation Sans Narrow, Liberation Serif, and Liberation Mono. These fonts are metrically compatible with the most popular fonts on the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software package, for which Liberation is intended as a free substitute. The fonts are default in LibreOffice.

Ascender Corporation was a digital typeface foundry and software development company located in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois in the United States. It was founded in 2004 by a team of software developers, typographers, and font-industry veterans who had previously been involved in developing fonts used widely in computers, inkjet printers, phones, and other digital technology devices. On December 8, 2010, Ascender Corp. was acquired by Monotype Imaging.

Steven R. Matteson is an American typeface designer whose work is included in several computer operating systems and embedded in game consoles, cell phones and other electronic devices. He is the designer of the Microsoft font family Segoe included since Windows XP; of the Droid font collection used in the Android mobile device platform, and designed the brand and user-interface fonts used in both the original Microsoft Xbox and the Xbox 360.

Peter Karow German entrepreneur

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