Free Tengwar Font Project

We live in exciting times! The well known Tengwar enthusiast J. “Mach” Wust recently started the Free Tengwar Font Project, aiming at collecting free (as in freedom) Unicode Tengwar fonts and associated tools in one place. This I think is a great initiative, and I hope to make Tengwar Telcontar a part of this project.

Mach has also created a monospace font, FreeMonoTengwar, which, in the same spirit as Tengwar Telcontar, is intended to be a fully usable unicode font for Tengwar. Mach has quite ingeniously tried to solve the problem of tehta-alignment by means of ligatures, which have the not insignificant advantage of being supported by many more systems and programs than Graphite fonts.

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Graphite and OpenOffice

Just a short note to inform that it is now official that the next major update of OpenOffice.org will include native support for Graphite fonts – such as Tengwar Telcontar. However, I’m dismayed to see that this only applies to the Windows and Linux version, which means that, as far as I know, MacOS still lacks a viable way to use Graphite fonts.

Update: Except for XeTeX that is.

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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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Omentielva Nelya

As I have mentioned in the introduction to my experimental font Tengwar Telcontar, the proposal to encode Tengwar into Unicode has lain more or less dormant for close to a decade. However, with the upcoming conference Omentielva Nelya, things seem to finally get moving, as there is going to be a workshop on this very subject led by none other than Michael Everson. Several other tengwar experts and font designers plan to attend, and, needless to say, I’m very excited and have great expectations on this seminar.

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