Thomas Milo Presented With Dr. Peter Karow Award At DTL FontMaster Conference

Activity|The FontFeed|Yves Peters 2009-10-26 20:47:40

The second Dr. Peter Karow Award for Font Technology & Digital Typography has been awarded to Thomas Milo for the development of the ACE layout engine (the heart of the Tasmeem plug-in for InDesign ME) for Arabic text setting. The Award is presented every five years to a person who makes an exceptional and innovative contribution to the development of digital type and typography related technology. The first Dr. Peter Karow Award was presented to Dr. Peter Karow himself at the third DTL FontMaster Conference at Castle Maurick in 2003. This means it took an extra year before the jury (Dr. Peter Karow, Dr. Jürgen Willrodt, Peter Rosenfeld, and Frank E. Blokland, chairman) came to an unanimous decision for this second award.

Thomas Milo and his company DecoType developed with ACE – an acronym for "Arabic Calligraphic Engine" – new advanced technology for Arabic text setting. The Arabic script needs a far more sophisticated approach than for instance the Latin script, based on a thorough analysis of the Arabic script. Not only did Milo's typographic research serve as the foundation for the ACE technology, clearly it also formed a basis for the development of the OpenType format, although this is a less known and acknowledged fact.

Thomas Milo's importance for the development of digital type and typography is evident and in line with the position of Dr. Peter Karow in the field. As one consultant of the award jury stated:

Dr. Karow made type digital in a way we know today (description of shapes as outlines, rasterisation, hinting, greyscaling, plus page-layout improvements). Thomas Milo added the "smartness" needed for scripts that ask for a more sophisticated behavior than Latin.

On the 18th of November Dr. Peter Karow shall personally present the award to Thomas Milo at the Type[&]Design 2009 conference in The Hague.

The jury of the Dr. Peter Karow Award congratulates Thomas Milo with his impressive achievements!

Demo of Tasmeem, shaping a text from A to Z in InDesign CS4. Features of word shaping and position tuner are used on Naskh font.

About Thomas Milo:

Thomas Milo on Arabic Script, War in Lebanon, and More, an interview with

Titus Nemeth on designing typefaces for ACE in Tasmeem (PDF):

Titus Nemeth: Tasmeem 4 Typefaces 2009Titus Nemeth: Tasmeem · Typeface Design in ArabicTitus Nemeth: A Primer for Arabic Typeface Design for the DecoType Arabic Calligraphic Engine in WinSoft TasmeemTitus Nemeth: The Current State of Arabic Newspaper Type and Typography

Decotype videos demonstrating ACE by way of Tasmeem:

Abdallah sez … Aphorisms set in Ruqah and NaskhUsing Tasmeem's Text Shaper to expand text and fit it on the pageUsing Tasmeem's Text Shaper to expand a lineUsing Tasmeem's Word Shaping

On November 18th, 2009, the 4th DTL FontMaster Conference will take place at the five star Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel in The Hague.

The conference – titled "Type[&]Design 2009" – is targeted at those who work professionally with type, such as graphic designers, typographers, printers, type designers, and font developers. It will provide insight in many (technical) aspects of type (design) and font production. The primary focus will be on OpenType, and the support of this font format in both operating systems (such as Mac OS and Windows) and in applications from leading companies (like for instance Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and Quark).

Besides the OpenType format the IKARUS system as well will have a central place in the conference program, since it is now 35 years ago that the era of the digital font production started with this invention by Dr. Peter Karow. Much of the actual font technology, like hinting and kerning, originated in the IKARUS system, for which the DTL FontMaster modules are built. Dr. Peter Karow – the guest of honour during the conference – will present the second Dr. Peter Karow Award for Font Technology & Digital Typography. Furthermore the new 3.0 edition of DTL FontMaster, which includes the 2.5 version of the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO), and version 1.5 of DTL OTMaster will be presented.

The previous DTL FontMaster Conference took place at Castle Maurick in Vught, nearby 's-Hertogenbosch in 2003. In the past three years the Dutch Type Library organised so called "FM Tracks" in Lisbon (2006), Brighton (2007), and St. Petersburg (2008), as part of the ATypI TypeTech Forum sessions. So after six years the FM Conference has returned to the Netherlands.

Speakers at the conference are Dr. Peter Karow (Digital Typography and Artificial Intelligence), Dr. Jürgen Willrodt (OpenType Status 2009), Thomas Milo (DecoType, ACE, and Tasmeem), John Hudson (Scholarly Types), Peter Rosenfeld (Re-inventing font technology), and Frank E. Blokland (Automating type design processes). All talks will be held in English.

A PDF version of the conference program can be downloaded here. More information can be found on the FontMaster website.

Header image:Thomas Milo by Eben Sorkin.



Eben Sorkin

Eben Sorkin

Dutch Type Library

Dutch Type Library