editable visualized data
June 29, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

FF Chartwell is a typeface for creating simple editable graphs and charts, designed by Travis Kochel. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and ­­FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Watch the demo video. Buy a license.
posted by heatherann (19 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
oh wow that is very clever.
posted by rebent at 12:08 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

This would be cool if you typed up a whole email then just as you hit "send" everything reorganized into a bunch of colorful charts and your grandmother opens her inbox and thinks you are just making fun of her.
posted by SharkParty at 12:38 PM on June 29, 2012

EULA warning: this font is not able to be embedded into webpages or as part of a mobile app, making it almost completely useless.
posted by mark242 at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2012 [8 favorites]

uh, most fonts cannot be used on the web.
posted by rebent at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

"It’s really easy to use; you just type a simple series of numbers like: ‘10+13+37+40’, turn on Stylistic Alternates or Stylistic Set 1 and a graph is automatically created."

In what program?
posted by bleep at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most fonts can be used on the web with the @font-face CSS directive, as long as their license allows it.
posted by Phssthpok at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Without y-axis labels I would hesitate to call those graphs. But, hey, I bet they'd like great on your next oversized "infographic".
posted by Jimbob at 2:07 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

It looks like some explanations are missing in the video. I have this big bunch of numbers freshly crunched in Excel, how can I use this instead of the default Excel chart so that I can paste the resulting (much prettier) chart in my Powerpoint presentation? Or is it something for designers only?
posted by elgilito at 2:21 PM on June 29, 2012

Really cool - could have a productive use as sparklines.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:23 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bleep: in InDesign, for example. For graphic designers, it really is very easy to use. You need to find where the Stylistic Alternates are in the font panel, but the rest is really just typing it.
posted by svenni at 2:24 PM on June 29, 2012

The web version is forthcoming, so sayeth the article.
posted by liamcampbell at 2:28 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

GOD I love typefaces offered through FontFont. Just look at them... go marvel at their beauty. If everything in the world were set in DIN and FF Meta, I'd be perfectly content.
posted by spiderskull at 3:10 PM on June 29, 2012

Why what a wonderful idea! I might just buy this to have it on the off chance I should need it, let me check the pr-- ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE DOLLARS?!

This is going to become one of those many things I find out about, think is cool in case I need it, check the price and see it's unreasonable for such casual use, then I forget about it. So when the situation does arise where it might be useful I don't remember a solution even exists.

In other words, for my personal use cases, it's just as if this thing never existed, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. He'd probably get a lot more money overall it was $10 or less, especially with a gimmick like that.

AND it doesn't allow embedding in web pages or documents, which as noted above would be much of the point of a font like this. Pages and PDF documents have the capability of including small ranges of fonts so users don't have to have them on their system to read documents, but the creator of this font thinks that'd be too much of a doorway to the dreaded FONT PIRACY.
posted by JHarris at 5:17 PM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

This seems a bit fringe but could be super useful for graphic designers working on layouts for industry publications and public sector reports. Lots of figures and tables and graphs that you often have to laboriously rework or redraw to make them look good. It doesn't seem like it will ever be suitable for web work, since it exploits a feature that I can't see working reliably across a wide range of platforms - I mean it doesn't even work reliably across applications on a single platform - but then that doesn't seem to be the point. The web version will probably just be a script on their server which renders an image for you, or something like MathJax.
posted by deo rei at 6:41 PM on June 29, 2012

I guess it's a limitation of trying to make these from a font, but I wish there were some multi-dimensional things in there like scatterplots.
posted by RobotHero at 8:06 PM on June 29, 2012

It would still be really good, I will bookmark this for the next time I need to make a bunch of bar graphs or something.
posted by RobotHero at 8:07 PM on June 29, 2012

I'm going to make a special font where if you type <hr /> it automatically makes a horizontal ruling line dividing the text before and after it. You'll be able to draw any shape of any size and color you want with things like <v:oval style="width:100pt;height:75pt" fillcolor="red" /> and insert clip art without even touching the mouse, just put the name of the image you want... there'll be ways with a couple of extra keystrokes to get things to align themselves automatically anywhere you want on the page, or even arrange themselves into tables... And if you put <marquee> before and </marquee> after some text, it will actually create a custom animation that scrolls the text along if you're reading it on an iPad or Kindle. Can you even imagine the power something like this will put in the hands of designers?

I don't want to spill the beans but there will actually be ways to make things blink. Shh, don't tell anyone.
posted by XMLicious at 8:49 PM on June 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

XMLicious: Sounds complicated. It'll never catch on.
posted by RobotHero at 3:34 PM on July 2, 2012

in InDesign, for example. For graphic designers, it really is very easy to use.

I don't doubt that (I use InDesign and all that stuff too), but for people reading their copy, their copy isn't so easy to use. I found out it was inDesign from happening to notice it in the video, which i'm shocked I even watched.
posted by bleep at 6:40 PM on July 2, 2012

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