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Distro Black web font

Distro Black

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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+ Readme / license file

    Yo reader of readme.txt files.

This document contains important information on the use of these fonts. You MUST
read it ;)
(Copyright information at bottom, don't skip it now)

The DISTRO basic set includes Light, Regular, Bold, Heavy and Black versions,
plus a fantastically useful set of matching Distrobats.  You also get a Toasted
version for breakfast and an Extinct one for scaring your aunt. Rumours of
further variants abound... At least one of these fonts was included on the
commercial FontHaus Exclusives CD, but you're getting them for free!

The Distro series was part inspired by Brody's ubiquitous Blur and also by the
blurry print of a Chinese novel printed by the Beijing Publishing Co. (Ya gotta
love 'em, go check out their catalog.)  I adored Brody!Blur but felt hampered by
the lack of weights.. and also by the fact that it's been done to death in these
parts. (I guess that means it's a classic.) 

So I started work on my own version, and was fascinated to discover how the
character shapes changed with different blur and contrast settings. There's
still a lot to be explored with the way light and focus affects type....

Helpful notes
These fonts were designed to be used at all sizes.  I put a lot of work into
making them readable as body text and you shouldn't have any trouble with that. 
But my true confession for this evening is that I adjusted the kerning and
character spacing, particularly of the heavier weights, to suit larger size
output.  Use 'em big and you'll have lotsa fun, but if you need some Distro body
text, you should increase the character spacing/tracking a little in your layout
app. The effect should be that of glancing blearily over a printed page at 2am
after one too many beers. (Now there's a design brief we can all relate too!)

That's all very well, but what color should it be? Hmmm.. You can get some very
nice effects by reversing out the fonts on a black background.  Don't get too
saturated with color, keep to muted hues and work with the effect of light. Try
some lime greens, some aquatic blues. Toast in particular looks wonderful that
way, almost like a monitor burnout. 

Now apostrophe has thrown a spanner in the works. He's shown me Distro-enhanced
graphics which have made me realise that, used in a certain way, they can appear
cartoon-like and rather funky. Try Extinct in bright pink, that's a good one. 

I did start making a special filler font to accompany Toast. It fills the hollow
spaces inside to give you a font that is essentially 3D. This isn't being
released just yet, but maybe if there's a demand for it... 

Sundry matters

These fonts are top notch, professional quality typefaces. A previous version of
Distro Extinct has been sold commercially by FontHaus (now DesignHaus) on their
FontHaus Exclusives CD, under the name 'Extinction'.  If you bought this font
from them, you should know that they released an UNAUTHORIZED and UNFINISHED
version which has major flaws and many missing characters. Despite promises of a
contract, FontHaus have never paid me a cent in royalties and I am currently
taking legal advice. Font designers beware!

But rest assured, this Distro package contains the definitive final versions. I
hope someone out there does some good stuff with them. Weeks and months and
years of my life went into making these, so do the decent thing and USE them. 


And now the moment you've all been waiting for - the Copyright Notice!

*fanfares, trumpets*

The original Distro fonts are copyright (c) 1997-2001 PJA Ramsey/Swordfish
The new, improved and finally released Distro fonts are copyright (c) 2001 Peter
Ramsey/Swordfish Design & Apostrophic Labs.  All rights reserved.

These fonts are offered for distribution as limited license 'freeware'.  You are
welcome to use them and distribute them in any way you wish, provided that NO
MONEY CHANGES HANDS at any stage. A copy of this text file MUST accompany any
and all fonts distributed in any manner. The font files themselves must not be
modified, either by editing the outlines or by messing with the font's names,
copyright or other notices.

If you would like to do something with these fonts which is prohibited by the
above notice, please obtain some friendly advice from **** email hidden from
bots **** or **** email hidden from bots ****

If you use these fonts in a commercial or other project and would like to show
your appreciation to the designers, give whatever you feel is right to your
favorite charity.  You can also help by spreading the word about  If you're *really* grateful, you can visit Peter's site and check out the cool stuff on offer.

Devised and produced by Peter at Swordfish Design UK
Revised and reproduced by apostrophe at The L'ab

Dedicated to Sabra, who told me they were beautiful :)

Typed by ;-Peter Ramsey on 30 August 2001. It's my birthday today! 

I've known Peter Ramsey for years. Though time and life in general has taken its
toll at sometimes eroding, sometimes strengthening that knowledge, we've stuck
it out civilly through the years as much as 2 people on either side of an ocean
possibly could. When Peter decided to come on board at the lab, I smiled ear to
ear and thought to myself: "It's about time, boyo." He had sent me different
styles of Distro a couple years previously, and I considered them very
unfinished and a playful start at best.

Looking at the different elements and effects of Distro over the past couple
months reminded me of what the early nineties brought in terms of fonts.
Rubdowns and faxfonts and blurring and unfocus. Some hardcore typophiles
theorize that without Deck and Brody there wouldn't have been a Carson, meaning
that this sort of font was the meltdown that paved the way to grunge and
deconstruction. I have other theories about that, but as far as Distro goes, it
was refreshing to go back to the that pre-grunge era when everyone's eyes were
being re-doctored with Photoshop and the idea of venture capitalism as a
profession was becoming more widely accepted. In the early nineties I used to
believe that display typography was part of pop culture, meaning that it
reflected society and its attitudes. Now I believe that typography has nothing
to do with society overall as much as it has to do with the colour of the sky in
the typographer's head really.

Working on Distro was enjoyable. I haven't had to clean my glasses and refill my
stein as many times since Metrolox. The time passed, the fonts were finished,
and the sense of satisfaction one gets from finishing 10 fonts is nice. So there
I was smiling ear to ear again.

Then it was time to work on the last font, Distro Extinct. Opened it in Fontlab
and immediately sensed that there was something wrong. I'd seen those letters
before. Meanwhile, the wire was zinging with email exchanges between Peter and
myself, swapping style variations and yakking about the Distro pack and what to
do with it. One of the emails he sent me contained a variation containing the
notice "generated for Mark Solsburg." That stopped me in my tracks for a
heartbeat. Then I slapped my forehead. I was sure that Peter had once told me
that he was about to publish some fonts commercially. That Extinct version must
have been one of them. Sure enough, in the Fonthaus catalog of a couple years
ago was a font called Extinction, made by Swordfish Design UK, that matches the
look of the Distro Extinct I was working on. I emailed Peter telling him
something like "oh man, I'd totally forgotten that you were a commercial
designer," and he emailed back "Ummm whaddayatalkinabout?" To save you all the
little details here, it turned out that Mark Solsburg, aka, and was selling an unfisnished version of a font
that Peter sent him as a demo in 1998. It was being sold on a CD as part of the
"Fonthaus Exclusives". And ummm Peter was the last person to know about it.
There was no contract, no approval for publishing between the two parties, yet
the font was grooved and sold who knows how many copies. Goooooooooooooo figure.
The designer of the font didn't know that it was being sold until 2 years later,
from a catalog lookup by someone who didn't have anything to do with any vital

Well, there you have it. So after all is said and done now, I'm packing this
Distro pack with that same emotion that I had when I found out about that
WinGear/GreenBay mess. This has been some summer. Nietzsche had it right after
all, didn't he?





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