In praise of useless information

About a year ago, back when we were still doing laser night at Local64, C did a nice backlit laser-cut sign for me to put in the door downstairs, using a font that wasn’t properly speaking a stencil but still kept all the interior bits of letters attached. About a month ago I started thinking about getting around to making a similar sign for the maker space at Pacem, so I asked him if he could remember what font he’d used.

No clue. And thanks to the move it wasn’t on any of our machines any more. So how to find it? (Remember that when you upload a file for zapping by the Glowforge you have to convert all your text to paths, because the servers don’t know anything about fonts.) No likely sites in browser histories. No luck at all with font-comparison sites (which basically image-processed away the single-stroke feature that made this font so distinguishable).

OK, so the title probably gave it away. I looked inside the original SVG file with a text editor, and when Inkscape converted the text to a path way back when, it obligingly left style information for that path telling what font it had once been rendered in, and a “label” property with the original text. Gosh all hemlock. I don’t know if that stuff was there to support undo, or because it’s simpler to leave it there than to delete it from the nodes in the file, but that’s what the software does.

Oh, and the font: Library 3AM, by designer Igor Kosinsky , to whom my thanks. I think for the next sign I’m going to use the “soft” version. If only there were italics…

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