PCPlus 268: Drawing Bézier curves

I write a monthly column for PCPlus, a computer news-views-n-reviews magazine in the UK (actually there are 13 issues a year — there's an Xmas issue as well — so it's a bit more than monthly). The column is called Theory Workshop and appears in the back of every issue. When I signed up, my editor and the magazine were gracious enough to allow me to reprint the articles here after say a year or so. After all, the PDFs do appear on each issue's DVD after a couple of months. When I buy the current issue, I'll publish the article from the issue a year ago. Since I've just bought the issue for May 2009, here's May 2008's article.

PCPlus logo I had a good deal of fun writing this article. A great deal. Not only in the writing of it, but in the drawing of the figures. All my Adobe Illustrator skills came to fore, not that I have that many of course, and it was a blast drawing the curves and the "beads" travelling along straight lines and everything coming out just right. (Since Illustrator just does cubic splines, the quadratic spline images were faked with cubic ones and I'm still amazed it all worked out.)

The topic was also fascinating as well. The rivalry between two designers at French car manufacturers in the early 60s. PostScript and the AppleWriter. I love typography (I've been known to put down hard-earned cash for beautiful fonts) and writing about how the glyphs are rendered on a screen or on paper was a delight. Rereading it now at such a remove, I feel my enthusiasm for the subject comes though strongly in the text. One of my more favorite articles, without a doubt.

This time I was determined to get the text right and so I pointed out to my editor that the narrative contained accented characters (Bézier, Citroën) and that the typesetter had to take special care. I'm glad to say everything turned out just right. Awesome: many thanks to Richard, my editor, and the anonymous typesetter.

This article first appeared in issue 268, May 2008.

You can download the PDF here.

Now playing:
Pet Shop Boys - Flamboyant [tomcraft extended]
(from Flamboyant (Maxi CD))

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