Infogrid Pacific-The Science of Information



Overview of IGP:Font Manager 2 and the new concepts introduced such as Font Schemes and Font Scheme maps.

2.1 Overview

IGP:Font Manager 2 (FM2) is a companion module for IGP:Digital Publisher (DP).

It is designed for the management of large collection of fonts, and the creation of unlimited font schemes for direct application to print, online (reader), fixed layout and other formats.

It is designed to address the following publishing requirements:

  1. To assist book designers select fonts for print and digital formats from large font collections.
  2. To provide a new creativity tool for new and emerging publishing challenges.
  3. To be able to quickly and easily provide alternative font designs when used with design profiles.
  4. To increase productivity when used in an advanced template oriented digital content production environment such as IGP:Digital Publisher.
  5. To provide multiple ways to work with fonts on digital content.
  6. To be customized by any sufficiently trained user.

The primary purpose of FM2 is to allow the creation of Font Schemes which can instantly be applied to any document in IGP:Digital Publisher  using any template and any design profile.

To achieve this FM2 generated schemes support the latest CSS-3 Font Module properties to introduce previously unavailable font power when applied to digital content.

FM2 introduces some significant changes in the way fonts are mapped to documents and uses the new CSS organization structure in the new interface release of IGP:Digital Publisher. You will need to familiarize yourself with the following change issues: 

  • Font Schemes
  • Font Scheme Maps
  • Font Scheme Selectors
  • OTF font features

2.2 What are Font Schemes?

A Font Scheme is a named collection of font-families that have been assembled for a specific format and/or format design profile for a document or set of documents to give the document a unique and specific look.

Because IGP:Digital Publisher uses a highly controlled XHTML5 structure, semantic and presentation vocabulary ( IGP:FoundationXHTML), it is possible to map fonts directly to defined elements and CSS structures within the XHTML using advanced CSS-3 techniques.

What does this mean in practice?

It means a designer can explicitly map fonts to FX structures from FM2. This completely bypasses complex mapping of fonts to a document using IGP:Document Designer (DD), a somewhat tedious process; or by manually modifying the CSS, an even more tedious process.

The primary value over manual attachment of font-based font-family statements are blocks to productivity and flexibility. 

This new approach effectively inverts the IGP:Document Designer process where named fonts are attached directly to structures. The downside of this approach are numerous: 

  1. The font-family names are hard-coded into print CSS. Changing them means revisiting DD.
  2. There is no current mechanism to apply fonts to digital formats.
  3. Fonts and design decisions cannot be previewed in writer.
  4. The system is not easy to use for exploiting font features such as discretionary ligatures, swashes and other OTF font options.

All of this and more are addressed with the use of font schemes.

2.3 What is a Font Scheme Map?

In an XHTML production environment, font-families need to be applied to various XHTML structures using font-family names within @font-face declarations. The Font Scheme Map is a unique Infogrid Pacific invention for IGP:Digital Publisher to make the application of fonts to XHTML structures, semantic objects and layout objects easy and fast. Instant in fact.

The tagging grammar of IGP:FoundationXHTML (FX) is highly controlled and heirarchical. The Font Scheme Map builds on that fact.

The Font Scheme Map is a predefined font-family name that is directly associated with an FX structure. This is predefined against FX structures but can be extended and customized. The simplest example is the basic FX wrapper element. It looks like this.

.galley-rw {font-family: Galley;}

.galley h2 {font-family: Heading2, Heading, Galley;}

This uses the CSS font-family fallback mechanism in a unique and powerful way. In this example it makes it easy to apply one of three fonts to headings. Heading2 (font-family: heading2;) can be given a unique font, or all headings can have the same font (font-family: Heading;), or headings can use the same font as the galley (font-family: Galley;).

This is a good place to illustrate the controlled vocabulary nature of IGP:FoundationXHTML. Font-families are always expressed in CamelCase, and in the singular tense.

The FX Font Scheme Map is a fixed structure that exists in the CSS. It can be extended and customized. It is several hundred CSS rules waiting to get to work. So that is a lot of CSS in the working environment. Never fear, when formats are generated it is whittled down to the exact statements required by the CSS optimizers.

2.4 What is a font Scheme Selector?

IGP:FoundationXHTML (FX) is a controlled tagging vocabulary.

Once you have selected your fonts for a specific document format instance you need to be able to easily associate the font-families with the Font Scheme Map explained above. 

The Font Scheme Selector is the tool you use. Select a font, select an FX core structure, then an FX child structure. That's it. FM2 will generate your CSS and the fonts are immediately applied to the document.

2.5 Introducing Font Feature Viewer

OTF fonts have been around for a while now. It is still surprisingly difficult to know what features an OTF font supports. IGP:Font Manager 2 (FM2) strips the mystery and makes all OTF font features open, viewable and instantly usable.

The Font Character and Font Feature viewers are significant features of  FM2. This allows a designer or editor to view all of the characters in a font, and more importantly, all of the font features such as swashes, stylistic alternatives, discretionary ligatures and so much more. You can print out reference sheets if you require them.

Font Feature Viewer is integrated directly into IGP:Digital Publisher Editing and Design Tools so you can discover and insert special characters easily, and select and apply font features to any required font applied to specific text.

2.6 Change Management

With the new DP interface there is a change management process to be considered. But be assured, the underpinning IGP:FoundationXHTML never looses its value while CSS, fonts and other "applied" dimensions can change considerably. This is the core concept and value of any serious digital content production system.

IGP:Font Manager has been designed to work in conjunction with the new DP IGP:CSS Editor and improved template system. It does not work with the legacy CSS "TAH" template model. Books created with the old system cannot use the new tools without the CSS being reset.

  1. Legacy documents already produced and publishers are protected. They are excluded from the existing system unless explicitly updated for rework. When you click CSS Edit in an existing document you will see the old TAH editor. Nothing changes.
  2. Print continues to be the change-management cost point. If you have used IGP:Typography In the Browser to typeset a book, updating to the new system will NOT affect any typesetting you have applied. However you must make sure the applied font scheme is identical to the original book, and any custom CSS changes will have to be moved to the new book.
  3. Any new book you create can be created with the old system just by selecting your current templates. Alternatively you can start with a new 2012 template to take full advantage of all the new systems, methods and tools.
  4. All other processes - format generation and more, continue to work with both systems because of the consistency of the XHTML5.

2.6.1 IGP:CSS Editor

The new IGP:CSS Editor is an integral part of the production and management of digital content for the next decade. The fact is that the styling and appearance of content is going to be defined by CSS for the indefinable future. Book Setup

There is a new document print setup screen. This single screen allows all major print variables to be set in a single pass, in just a few minutes. Most importantly the Line-height attribute is taken and used to make the full book set-up process faster, more accurate and lighter.

For more information visit the IGP:CSS Editor sections in the IGP:Digital Designer User Manual. Full CSS Access

You can now access the Print, Online, Writer and Format CSS files directly. They are organized using the IGP:FoundationXHTML classification system and include a powerful CSS editor interface. The dramatically increases productivity, ease of understanding of such a large scale CSS model, and makes custom extensions easy to use.

For more information visit the IGP:CSS Editor sections in the IGP:Digital Designer User Manual.

2.6.2 Improved Templates

All new templates have 2012 appended. Eg: TradeMaster2012. There is one significant new master template that has been added. This is DPMaster2012-1.

DPMaster2012-1 contains the full set of new digital content features for all formats. It is designed and included as a reference and starting point for new templates. It is not designed as a working template, but can be used in any document.

The current new templates are: 

  • DPMaster2012
  • TradeMaster2012
  • QAAMaster2012

These will be extended as we move forward. If you require help customizing these for any specific publishing requirement the IGP support team is ready to assist.

2.6.3 Legacy Books

You can continue to work in the old way with all the old tools. The new features are triggered by the creation of a new book AND the application of a *2012 template. This was seen as critical to ensure no past work was lost, and to allow publishers to upgrade in a systematic way.

2.7 Summary

The new IGP:Font Manager 2 is a significant "power-up" tool in the IGP:Digital Publisher toolkit. It is probably the most powerful font-manager tool available anywhere, and the  only one focused on exploiting the power of fonts in CSS. 

  1. It allows the upload and management of unlimited font files.
  2. It uses and exploits the latest CSS-3 specification.
  3. There is a learning-curve (small) and a change-management requirement. The advantages are massive.
  4. You can use fonts in never-before imagined ways for print, e-book and fixed layout products.

These changes also prepare IGP:Digital Publisher for the next round of interactive tools such as the planned IGP:CSS Direct Design, document editing tools and a number of other feature improvements.

IGP:Digital Publisher is designed for the serious publisher who knows their content is valuable and needs it to be available to work in many different ways both right now and into an indefinite future.
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