ISO font technology standardization was launched twenty years ago, opening the door to many activities that followed, including:
Over the years, these developments have had a profound effect on all consumer electronic devices, digital TV and streaming media applications, and the Web. We developed technology standards that became an indispensable part of the media ecosystem, enabling custom fonts to be used without limitation, allowing authors and application developers to offer branded and accessible content in all world languages, and making significant improvements to the quality of the user experience.
Today, I am incredibly proud to announce that this important work, conducted by both the ISO SC29/WG3 Font Format subgroup and W3C WebFonts Working Group, has been honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the prestigious Technology & Engineering Emmy® award for “Standardization of Font Technology for Custom Downloadable Fonts and Typography for Web and TV Devices” .
This tremendous achievement was made possible by the efforts and contributions of many experts! I am honored and grateful to have worked with such a diverse group of talented people who brought their combined expertise in typography, design, linguistics, web & media technologies, and computer science. Their contributions to this important work have changed the way people read on screen, and truly made the world a better place.
I would like to thank the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for their recognition of our work, and express my gratitude to many people who supported font standardization activities throughout the years.
The Emmy® award ceremony was held on April 25, 2022. Photo: curtesy of NATAS.
The development of ISO font technology standards is a phenomenal success story that started in 2001, as part of the development of the MPEG-4 family of standards. The first standard for “Font compression and streaming” (ISO/IEC 14496-18) introduced OpenType® as an external normative specification, followed by the development of the “Open Font Format” (ISO/IEC 14496-22) that was initiated based on the generous submission of OpenType version 1.4 to ISO by Microsoft and Adobe in 2004.
For nearly 20 years, these standards have undergone substantial changes introducing new layout features, color font capabilities, and variable font technology. At the same time, they have enjoyed tremendous levels of adoption by consumer electronics devices, influenced new features in digital media applications, and have become the foundation of the W3C Web Fonts technology that is now mainstream.
For the past two decades, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside many bright minds who contributed to this development, and to have been supported by my former employer Monotype. Together we developed a technology that gave a new voice to the written word, enabled content creators to deliver high quality interactive content, and created new market opportunities that benefit many font and font technology vendors, and multimedia industries at large.
I am happy to announce that this important work will now continue under Type Standards LLC, as an independent entity. I am especially honored that Google, recognizing the importance of font technology standardization, has offered their financial support in sponsoring Type Standards, and my continued involvement in ISO standardization activities as an independent expert.
If you or your company is interested in supporting this work, or utilizing other services I offer as an independent consultant on all kinds of technology, standardization, IP and font topics, please get in touch.