Rodger Whitlock (under 'Splines quadratic and cubic'):
>> ...there seems to be a whole area of undiscussed territory about
>> the way technics shapes or constrains 'style'.
>I'm not even remotely near to being a type designer, but I would say
>that Bezier curves do not limit glyph shapes. You can, as far as I
>can tell, approximate any curve as accurately as you please with
>Beziers, esp. with the cubics used by Type 1 font technology. On the
>other hand, the rasterizers do get unhappy if presented with overly
>complex outlines (e.g. too many Bezier segments) -- I think the Black
>Book warns about this -- so indefinitely precise approximation to an
>arbitrary curve is not practical.
>It is my impression, having read the entrails of a few glyphs from a
>few commercial fonts, that good Truetype and Type 1 fonts use
>surprisingly few Bezier segments. I sometimes wonder if the sleek
>forms of Lithos, for example, are due to the use of too-few Bezier
Yes, your last remark is the kind of thing I've wondered about, and hope
for in a list like this one: uniting the discussion of style and the
technical talk. Maybe one could say Adobe style has tended towards
sleekness, tout court? (That was what one observed most of all in ITC
faces, pre-digital - that slickness of finish.) Even 'authentic' Adobe
Garamond is pretty sleek. So maybe this is no more than an outcome of
mentality or sensibility - if it's true that 'Bezier curves do not limit
glyph shapes'. But then there's also the factor of resolution of output...