Day Three of the FontForge Book Sprint

by mollysharp1

Today, Day 3, is essentially the last day of this Book Sprint. In the morning, the first thing we did was finalize our title and subtitle. Team FontForge had not followed the rules about doing that up front, but the cover designer couldn’t wait any longer and we pushed it right to the end. Amazing how much discussion it still took to finalize title and subtitle. Here it is: “Start Designing With Font Forge: A Guide to Making Type”. Each word choice we reviewed while weighing the alternatives seemed to convey subtleties that the team couldn’t agree on. But we got there in the end.

Next, Jason and I were sent back to our little isolation chamber to collaborate on two new chapters. At lunch, we checked in with the other two groups, and it seemed that energy levels were running very low across all groups. Some of us took a walk outside in the sunshine to help replenish the energy. Lots of coffee was being consumed—good thing for all the caffeinated beverage options in the self-serve cafe.

After lunch, all 3 sprint groups convened in the large conference room, where Adam told us we couldn’t write any new material, but should focus on refining existing material. He ran through some basic instructions for how to approach the rest of the job, including some BookType- and Booki-specific formatting guidelines. At that point, for Team FontForge’s book, there were still plenty of image placeholders that needed to be populated. And we knew we had a colossal editing job ahead of us: 23 chapters in need of full content review, with all the copyediting and proofreading tasks we could squeeze in. And Jason and I needed to leave by 5… sorry guys! Each chapter would ideally get two separate reviewers. But… by the time Jason and I left, only half of the chapters had been reviewed. Hmmm.

From 2 till 5, things got pretty punchy in Team FontForge’s room. Ben silently slipped on a pair of fuzzy ears. Were they koala ears, bunny ears, mouse ears, or the ears of some heretofore unknown Australian creature? We may never know. I’m pretty sure none of the things we were laughing about would have seemed quite as funny if we hadn’t been under such a crazy deadline on the 4th day of basically being essentially locked into a room together. Actually though, everyone in the group has a pretty fantastic sense of humor, and even though the people in the other two groups are really nice and interesting, I am glad to be on Team FontForge. (Guys, I hope we do get those commemorative monocles.)

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the amount of content and the quality of the content we produced! I am really looking forward to seeing the printed book. BookType outputs PDF, EPUB, and MOBI, but I do think it will be the most satisfying to be able to hold the actual print book.