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Annatar sketches

I found some old pencil sketches from when I started working on Tengwar Annatar Italic (about 2003):

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The history of Tengwar-Gandalf

The classic font Tengwar-Gandalf by Michael S. Elliott has no official web site – being originally released through BBS! It is however available all over the web, on various Tolkien fan sites (here, here, and here, to name just a few), as well as on most generic font sites. At all of these places, the font has been repacked: sometimes the archive contains only the TrueType font file, sometimes the original plain text documentation is included but not the illustrated one, and sometimes other files are added as well: for example, this archive contains converted font files in Type1 format. Thankfully, the original TTF file seems to be byte for byte identical in all distributions.

Example of Tengwar-Gandalf v. 1In my quest for a more original release, the closest I have come is this SIT-archive, which in addition to the same old TrueType font file also contains the illustrated documentation file and a Type1 version of the font, containing an extra glyph (the s-hook) – in other words, it is not a mere conversion of the TrueType file. The files in this archive are dated May 1993. Now, because SIT-archives are cumbersome to open, and because old Mac fonts need to be extracted to be usable on other operating systems, I have prepared an updated package of the font:

This version of the font is well known for its reversed lambe. The simple explanation for this somewhat curious shape is that it is a copy of the “T” in the public domain font Black Chancery. (In the same way, the rómen is a slightly modified “y”.) What is less known is that Mr. Elliott shortly after the original publication released an updated second version which features many improvements, such as refined u and o-curls, an extended character set including all the tengwar in the Appendix table, and a corrected lambe. This updated version can still be found to this date on various obscure sites and archives, but unfortunately it seems like it has never managed to reach a larger audience. (I for one had never heard about it.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Number of Tengwar fonts

During the discussions that took place during Omentielva Nelya regarding the encoding of Tolkien’s scripts, we touched on the subjects of which script is most popular. Of course, Tengwar is more popular than Cirth; if nothing else, the number of fonts is an indicator of this. There might be a bit over five Cirth fonts (I have not investigated this carefully), but what about the Tengwar?

Just for the fun of it, I have attempted to count the number of Tengwar fonts in existence. I have listed vector fonts of any format and encoding model. (I regard TeX-fonts as vector fonts; however, low resolution bitmap fonts have been ignored.) Since I am here mostly interested in the number of unique designs, I have chosen to include also fonts that are not publicly available. The list is roughly cronological (at least in the beginning).

  1. teng10 by Julian Bradfield
  2. tengwar by Michael Urban
  3. Moroma by Lawrence M. Schoen
  4. Tengwar Gandalf by Michael S. Elliott. (Updated/plagiarized as Tengwar Sindarinwa.)
  5. Gondolin by Michael Everson. (Used in the Unicode proposal, but not publicly available.)
  6. Tengwar Quenya by Dan Smith
  7. Tengwar 04 (03, 05) by Paulo Alberto Otto. (Also known as Tengwar Hereno.)
  8. Tengwar Sindarin by Dan Smith
  9. Tengwar Noldor by Dan Smith
  10. Tengwar Naive by Johan Winge (me)
  11. Tengwar Parmaite by Måns Björkman
  12. Tengwanda Namarie by Deniart Systems
  13. Tengwanda Gothic by Deniart Systems
  14. Tengwar Cursive by Harri Perälä
  15. Computer Modern Tengwar by Ivan A. Derzhanski
  16. Computer Roman Tengwar by Ivan A. Derzhanski
  17. Code2000 (2001, 2002) by James Kass
  18. Tengwar Typewriter by Jeff Anderson
  19. Elfetica by Ronald Kyrmse
  20. Tengwar Elfica by Enrique Mombello
  21. Tengwar Teleri by Josh Griffing
  22. Tengwar Annatar Italic by me
  23. Tengwar Annatar Upright by me
  24. Tengwar Formal by Michal Nowakowski
  25. Tengwar Mornedhel (Galvorn) by Josh Griffing
  26. Tengwar Gothika by Enrique Mombello
  27. Tengwar Eldamar by Måns Björkman
  28. Tengwar Telcontar by me
  29. Tengwar Beleriand by Enrique Mombello
  30. Constructium by Kreative Software
  31. The publications by Thorsten Renk use a unique font (partly based on Bradfield’s teng10).
  32. FreeMonoTengwar by J. “Mach” Wust
  33. Tengwar New (Light and Bold) by Marcin Przybys. (Not available for download.)
  34. Elfic Caslon by Peter Wiegel
  35. Greifswalder Tengwar by Peter Wiegel
  36. Tengwar Optime by Peter Wiegel
  37. Tengwar Tellepsalinnacontar by “Tencedil”

All in all, a pretty impressive number, I would say.

(This post was last edited on Aug 30, 2010.)

Peter Wiegel

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