6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2003 3:26 PM by Robert Blackwell™

    Font Software

    Robert Blackwell™ Level 1
      Hey, I wanted to make my own font and was looking into Open Type..is this something a newbie like myself should consider?

      Basically, I have a font drawn on paper, I then take it into stream line and then to Illustrator where I tweak it.

      What font creation software do you use? I know about MM's Fontographer and then a couple other ones from like 50-100 bucks.
      Any info you guys can pass along would help.
        • 1. Re: Font Software
          Thomas Phinney Level 3
          If you're concerned with functionality and features, then:
          - If you're on a tight budget, I'd recommend TypeTool (from the FontLab folks).
          - If you have the money, go for the full FontLab.
          - ScanFont, also from the FontLab people, is a great tool for taking drawings and moving them towards being a full font.

          If you want simple and easy, and don't care about keeping up to date with modern features, then Fontographer isn't a bad choice.


          • 2. Re: Font Software
            Robert Blackwell™ Level 1
            The only feature I'm really interested in I'd say would be the ability for me to import eps files because I'm really most comfortable with AI already. And then on top of that. OT would be ideal. Thanks for the info.
            • 3. Re: Font Software
              Level 1
              "Robert BlackwellT" <robbie@nospamwowcentral.com> wrote in message<br />news:1de798ff.1@WebX.la2eafNXanI...<br />> The only feature I'm really interested in I'd say would be the ability for<br />me to import eps files because I'm really most comfortable with AI already.<br />And then on top of that. OT would be ideal. Thanks for the info.<br /><br />Robert,<br /><br />basically, you have two choices: Fontographer from Macromedia and FontLab<br />from http://www.fontlab.net/<br /><br />Fontographer is an excellent state-of-the art font editor that is well<br />suitable for drawing glyphs. It can import EPS/AI files and export them to<br />Type 1, and optionally to TrueType. However, the software hasn't been<br />updated since 1996 and has problems running on most current OSes. Yet, it's<br />still one of most favourite font editors used worldwide. After exporting the<br />font to Type 1, you can use the free Adobe OT FDK to convert your Type 1<br />font to PS OpenType (but not TT OpenType), although it's not a completely<br />straightforward process.<br /><br />FontLab is a newer program, with its latest release 4.5 that came out in<br />December 2002. It can import EPS/AI, export Type 1, TrueType, TT OpenType<br />and PS OpenType. The new version initially had some stability problems, but<br />some fixes were released recently that reportedly correct many of the<br />problems. FontLab runs on MacOS X and Windows, is extensible via Python,<br />supports flexible encodings, excellent native TrueType hinting, metrics and<br />kerning editing etc. However, the software is a bit more complex in<br />handling, while on the other hand, it's more powerful and somewhat less<br />stable.<br /><br />I've also heard of people using both applications :)<br /><br />I think Fontographer's biggest advantage over FontLab is in drawing glyphs.<br />Since you draw your glyphs in Illustrator, you may consider looking at<br />FontLab. There is a demo version available at http://www.fontlab.net/<br /><br />I would somehow compare the Fontographer-FontLab relation to that of<br />QuarkXPress-InDesign. Quark has been on the market for years, its versions<br />3.32 and 4.11 are rock-solid but then, it's showing its age and there's no<br />real dynamic development that can be seen. Just like Fontographer. On the<br />other hand, InDesign, just like FontLab, was initially suffering from some<br />"childhood illnesses", but now it's becoming mature. It's undergoing heavy<br />development, and the new versions are very powerful and give you more<br />options and possibilities altogether, although are sometimes more tedious<br />for the daily work.<br /><br />Best regards,<br />Adam Twardoch
              • 4. Re: Font Software
                Robert Blackwell™ Level 1
                I downloaded the fontlab demo but since I don't know how to use it...it's a little pointless...under the help menu, the was no help file or anything that I saw.

                It looks like a pretty complete program but I the only import option was under the glyph section...which was all grayed out. Since I don't know what I'm doing at all, it's really hard to evaluate. Are there any online tutorials you could point me to? I have a few more computers I can install it on to extend my demo time to make sure this is going to be worth it for me.

                • 5. Re: Font Software
                  Hello Robert,

                  if you use Mac osX or Linux you can try Pfaedit - its open source.


                  In FontLab you can use easy "cut & past" to include vectors from
                  illustrator to the glyph window.

                  • 6. Re: Font Software
                    Robert Blackwell™ Level 1
                    Thanks but I use windows.