Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Good News on the Mac Front

Well, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks has been out now for nearly three months, so I suppose it’s a good time to point out that OS X has added the Deseret Alphabet to another font. The font Apple Symbols has had a full Deseret Alphabet repertoire since 2003 (!), and now the version of Baskerville shipped with OS X also covers the Deseret Alphabet.

The Baskerville glyphs are somewhat experimental and depart from the “standard” glyph shapes (the ones that people have been complaining about since the 1860’s), but not to any outrageous extent. The major features of the redesign are serifs, ascenders, and descenders; these are all distinct advantages for readability. Some lower-case letters have also acquired dots to replace small interior strokes.

The Roman faces are quite serviceable, but the italics still need some polish. On the whole, it’s sufficiently acceptable that the Deseret Alphabets Classics series has switched over to Baskerville from the modified Gentium used in the earlier volumes.