TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Feb 23 19:18:22 EST 2017
FONT RECOGNITION VIA FONT MOOSE
Font creation programs
A free on-line truetype font editor, developed by Golan Levin, with the help of Jonathan Feinberg and Cassidy Curtis. (Alphabet Synthesis Machine is a co-production of Art21, Inc., New York City, and The Arts Company, Cambridge, MA) It has a font archive with over 7,000 fonts created by visitors. All fonts created are of the inner city graffiti kind, so this is not meant to be a professional tool. I estimate that the archive gets about 50 fonts per day. See, e.g., here for M1. See here for Antarctica (2007) by Czar Choi. [Google] [More] ⦿
Developer (with Ari Rappoport) of LiveType at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. LiveType is font creation software that uses a parametric model for the fonts and allows the user to specify any number of constraints. Useful for creating multiple master fonts. You may also find some fun font applets at his site. ParamTT is a the complementary font design tool to create and manipulate LiveType characters. [Google] [More] ⦿
Early typeface editor by the ATF/Kingsley people, which was capable of handling truetype, PostScript type 1 and 3, BDF bitmaps, Mac bitmaps, and Windows bitmaps. It was withdrawn. The developers included Jens Alfke and Henry Schneiker. It is rumoured that this program incorporated some of the old ATF optical scaling ideas. Its features are discussed at Typophile. A blurb taken from the ATF text: "ATF Type Designer I will come in several variants. A basic package, comparable to Fontographer 2.0 in scope, will cost $449 for a private license. That is, the user cannot make fonts for sale. However, he can prepare fonts and logos for in-house use. Hint-insertion tools are an extra $750; the Optical Scaling module is a $1,000 option. Commercial type designers must pay a much higher price: $55,000 plus a royalty of $3.40 per face. Alternative licenses, trading off the up-front fee for higher royalties, may also be negotiated." See also this Seybold report from 1989. [Google] [More] ⦿
ATypI 2007 was held at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Brighton in Brighton, UK, from 12-16 september 2007. Its TypeTech section was reported on by Christophe Badani here. Since it is in French, I will loosely translate it for my readers:
Japanese foundry that markets about ten Latin and twenty full kanji fonts. Among its type families is LSN or Lambda Truetype Font. Finally, it sells a font editor for Japanese fonts, called LFEdit. [Google] [More] ⦿
An app for the iPhone for making simple geometric images, created by Buro Destruct. Luca Pedrotti has used it to make modular typefaces. I guess that it is a portable younger brother of FontStruct. [Google] [More] ⦿
BitCopy 2.0 costs 2000 USD, plus 186 USD per year for maintenance. Creates bitmap fonts for Xerox FNT, PostScript type 3, AFP, HP LaserJet, PCL4 and 5, from PostScript and truetype fonts, Atech FastFonts, and other bitmap fonts. A bitmap font editor is included. By Lytrod Software Design Tools. [Google] [More] ⦿
"This software helps you draw (create) your own bit-mapped font for VT220+ and Wyse terminals (or other terminals which can emulate them). In the future it may be extended to generate font for printers. You draw the characters as *'s in a text file using any editor or word processor. Then this program scans these drawings and converts them to the soft-font code needed for downloading to terminals or printers." Free, by David Lawyer. [Google] [More] ⦿
Brian M. Zick
Prototyp is a really fast typeface generation tool, developed by Yannick Mathey during his studies. Operations are performed on an entire typeface at once, using sliding scales for the choices. Yannick has created the typeface Liberty for theater Liberté in Toulon, France (but it was not retained). He also made Genèse (2010, +Ultrablack). Marion Desmonnet (Lyon, France) and Yannick Mathey codesigned the script typeface Allen in 2014.
Free open source graphical tool that allows the import of scanned (tiff, jpg, gif) and vector (postscript, pdf, dxf, hpgl) data, the vectorisation, editing and creation of data (and page layout), and the export of vector data. It runs on Linux (X-Windows) and Mac OSX. It can be a useful tool as a preprocessing step in the creation of fonts, when starting from scans of drawings or from pictures of typefaces. [Google] [More] ⦿
Choosing a font editor in 2014
Micah Rich, the founder of The League of Movable Type, discusses the choice of a font editor in his newsletter of August 2014:
Comparing TTX, OTFDK, DTL OTMaster and FontLab Studio 5
Thomas Phinney compares small font editing tasks in truetype and opentype fonts, and looks at four options: TTX (free), Adobe's OT FDK (free, admittedly less handy than TTX in his own words), DTL OTMaster (commercial and similar to TTX) and FontLab Studio 5. Excerpts from his blog: Currently, if I want a simple and accurate representation of the contents of a TrueType or OpenType font, and possibly to edit the info, I have been using the wondrous open source TTX tool, which is based on the FontTools library. This dumps the font info to an XML text file, which can be viewed/edited in any text editor or anything that can handle XML. It can also recompile the text file back into a font. (In fairness, Adobe's FDK for OpenType also has table dumping/recompiling tools, just not quite as slick as TTX. Even Adobe folks often use TTX.) [...] The downside to tools like TTX and OTMaster is that they make little effort to tell you the meaning of the various cryptic values for various fields (or the exact meaning of the field itself), even when said values are legal/legit. So you need to also have a copy of the OpenType or TrueType specification handy, and optionally a more descriptive, hand-holding tool like FontLab Studio. [...] FontLab Studio 5 interprets the OpenType font into its own internal format. It can't open a font, make a tiny change and re-save it as a font without potentially changing other things. To give a really concrete example, FLS displays font embedding settings in terms of its interpretation of the settings, rather than the actual bits. TTX or OTMaster are really handy for that, because they show the unvarnished truth of what's in the font, without interpretation. [Google] [More] ⦿
From Pyrus/FontLab: "CompoCompiler creates composite fonts automatically. You can use an existing composite font as a template (to determine which composite characters to make) or create your own. Then just tell CompoCompiler to create composites for any other font using the template and in seconds you've finished a job that could have taken hours!" For Windows. [Google] [More] ⦿
Fred Cairns reports that starting with Corel 9.0, the font making feature was dropped from Corel Draw. Not a good business decision, as some older versions of Corel Draw do not load on Windows 2000 or Windows ME. [Google] [More] ⦿
Gary David Bouton explains how to create fonts. Although this wonderful expository page is copyright of Corel, the discussion is rather general most of the time. Corel Draw is only dissected near the end. [Google] [More] ⦿
Site with many barcode font tools, a barcode font set by Chaos Microsystems, the truetype font utilities CSFontUtility, TTFViewer, the truetype embedding bit modifier embd100e, the FCP2 font editor, and the font matcher (matches a BMP with all truetype fonts in a folder). [Google] [More] ⦿
Daniel Rodríguez Valero received his PhD in Arts in 2006 from University of Barcelona, where he also got a Postgraduate in Digital Typography. He teaches Typographic Design and Digital Typography in the Arts Faculty (University of Barcelona) since 1999, and Graphic Design in Advertising studies (University of Alicante) since 2002. He teaches Digital Typography at the máster ibérico em design, Oporto (Portugal). He has created a new system for type design called Constructor in collaboration with Marc Antoni Malagarriga I Picas, a programmer. Constructor is a glyph editor based on calligraphic curves, which he presented at TypeTech, ATypI in Brighton in 2007.
He writes: Constructor is a new tool for type design, open source and cross-platform, based on a calligraphic heritage that provides new possibilities. It can be combined with production tools like Fontographer or FontLab, because its finality is to construct outlines extrapolating some instructions or parameters given by the user. It works with only one master and produces different letterforms that can be copied/pasted to a font editor. It will help to design quickly a complete family, so the benefits of this new system for type designers are tremendous. He claims to be inspired in part by Gerrit Noordzij's theory of type design as explained in The stroke of the pen. [Google] [More] ⦿
Software corporation based in Düsseldorf and Needham Heights, MA. From the web page: "DATA BECKER CORPORATION (www.databecker.com) is a privately held publisher of high-quality, value-priced computer software and books for the North American retail market. DATA BECKER CORPORATION, founded in 1999, joins its associate company, DATA BECKER GmbH&Co. KG (Düsseldorf, Germany), one of the leading publishers of computer software, books, and magazines throughout Europe. Together they form a worldwide publishing powerhouse with operations in every major consumer software market." "Your Handwriting/Mi Letra/Meine Handschrift" is a 20 USD utility that lets you transform your scanned handwriting (you need a scanner though) into a handwriting font (truetype). For PCs. It can also be used to create fonts. Alternate URL (CD ROM Meine Handschrift). Alternate URL. See also here, here and here. Data Becker also sells a cheap CD with 2500 truetype fonts called Goldene Serie Schriftenpaket.
British firm that markets FontMaker, a partial truetype font editor developed by Derek Floyd. Handles TrueType, type 1 and bitmaps. It can import type 1 fonts, and thus should be able to transform type 1 into truetype and vice versa. Between 140 and 630 USD. Also sells special hinting software, as well as foreign language fonts. [Google] [More] ⦿
Java-based open source truetype font editor, created especially but not exclusively for Japanese. "DoubleType is designed with collaborative creation in mind. Unlike other programs that work on a single binary file, DoubleType stores each glyph in separate text-based files. This allows people to utilize existing collaborative tools such as Wiki and CVS, to share their work and send patches." Development seems to have stopped late in 2008. [Google] [More] ⦿
North-Carolinian distributor of Type Designer and creators of the Kidbag type collection. Kid Type Paint was designed by Jane Scarano and Jake Scott. Designer at Creative Alliance of the kid's handwriting typefaces KidType 1 and 2, as well as DingBrats (1993, dingbats). Dead FontShop link. Jake and Scott Scarano (now defunct link!) are credited at FontShop with the 1993 creative Alliance ruled kid's lettering typeface Kid Type Ruled, and the brushy 1993 typefaces Kid Type Crayon, Kid Type Marker and Kid Type Paint.
A set of utilities by the Dutch Type Library for Mac and PC that allows one to professionally produce and correct fonts. Developed in coordination with URW Hamburg. Includes BezierMaster, ContourMaster, InterpolateMaster, KernMaster, IkarusMaster, TraceMaster and DataMaster. The DTL FontMaster team:
DTL LetterModeller (LeMo)
DTL LetterModeller (LeMo) is an application for the exploration and parameterisation of (certain parts of) type-design processes. It is developed by Frank E. Blokland with the programming help of URW++ people Jürgen Willrodt, Hartmut Schwarz, and Axel Stoltenberg. The application is the result of Frank's PhD research at Leiden University on the systematization and standardization of Renaissance font production. The models generated with LeMo can be used as a direct basis for type design, or just for generating examples for writing with the broad nib. The new LeMo V5 (2016) can be downloaded for free from here. This new version of LeMo has become a highly flexible and adjustable full-functioning font editor. It contains many features, such as intelligent scaling and stem adjustment. LeMo V5 cannot open .ufo files: it will only import .be files. [Google] [More] ⦿
Commercial combined graphical and table editor. From the announcement in January 2009: The Dutch Type Library and URW++ are proud to present DTL OTMaster, a highly sophisticated application for opening, reviewing, editing and saving tables of fonts with a snft file structure, as there are CFF and TTF flavoured OpenType fonts, TrueType fonts and TrueType Collection fonts. Font editors, like for instance the DTL FontMaster suite, FontLab Studio and FontForge, rely on their own internal data formats for type design and font production. In case of the batch oriented FontMaster modules, this is either an IK or a BE file, for the Ikarus and Bezier outline description formats respectively, along with data files for character and font encoding, font naming, kerning and OpenType Layout features. From these data, binary fonts for the end-user are compiled as the very last step in the font production process. OTMaster is a tool for inspecting and adjusting such binary fonts, irrespective of the font editor used for their creation. A unique feature of OTMaster is, that it makes the editing of tables possible from a graphical user interface. Furthermore, it comes with built-in tools like the Glyph Editor for proofing and editing contours or even drawing glyphs from scratch. A 'kern' Table Viewer is available for proofing and refining the kerning, and a 'GSUB'/'GPOS' Viewer to visually test (and in case of GPOS also adjust) these OpenType Layout tables. OTMaster was programmed at URW++ in Hamburg, Germany. The FM Team (Dr. Juergen Willrodt, Axel Stoltenberg, Hartmut Schwarz, Peter Rosenfeld and Frank E. Blokland) was joined by Karsten Luecke as advisor and also author of the OTM manual and Nikola Djurek for the design of the function icons in the Glyph Editor. OTMaster is available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. Free light versions: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux. [Google] [More] ⦿
German software company that markets Manfred Albracht's Type-Designer (v3.1 for 249DM) and other Type Related products for the Wintel platform. Available for under $100 in the US, but more expensive in Europe. Reported to handle Truetype better than the competition. A demo version is available from the website. [Note: Pyrus and DTPSoft have now joined forces, and Type Designer is being discontinued. DTPSoft will be marketing FontLab etc. in Europe]. Font software and font services. Sells TypeDesigner, FontLab, SigMaker, TypeTool, FontExpert, and ScanFont, to name a few. [Google] [More] ⦿
Paul Haeberli's free C code (1989) for transforming mouse positions into dynamic (and calligraphic) strokes. A free port to OpenGL and GLUT (and Mac OSX) by Nicholas Zambetti is here. Zambetti lives in Ivrea, Italy. [Google] [More] ⦿
This FontLab software converts Fontographer database files (versions 3 and 4 are supported) to FontLab files. FogLamp is available separately (for both platforms) and in bundles with Fontographer and TransType Pro. Combination of Fog, FogLamp and TransType Pro allows to build Fog-based font-editing environment which can generate OpenType fonts in both flavors as well as any other font format. [Google] [More] ⦿
FON format bitmap editors for PC includeGoogle] [More] ⦿
A fantastic software program, available during the mid nineties, and brought to the market by Ares Software Corporation. It allowed to mix and match and extend and blend and parametrically shake fonts. Its auto-hinting features were unequaled. The program is still around in some archives, and gets posted occasionally on abf.
Laurence Penney's take: FontChameleon (created by the same team that brought us FontMonger and Letraset FontStudio) was an extremely powerful font manipulation program. Its power resulted from taking direct control of outline editing away from the user. Using a new way of representing fonts, where each character was defined as a set of "difference descriptors" from a generic outline, Ares created close approximations of 150 well-known fonts. These all shipped with Version 1.0 - which cost around $300. Using on-screen slider controls, you could adjust the weight, width, x-height, slant and tracking of these fonts, as well as blending one font into another! In general, all characters of all fonts were defined in terms of repositionings of the same set of control points (though letters such as 'a' and 'g' had more than one point-set for obvious reasons). Exploiting stylistic consistency within a font, these repositionings could be parametrized so that each font was expressible as a 2K parameter set - compared with 40K to 60K for standard font formats. So this new power could save 95% of your fonts' disk space too. A simple use of FontChameleon's blend feature would be to interpolate between Helvetica Regular and Helvetica Bold. With my second try on the program, I tried a more crazy use: interpolating between Garamond and Futura. Wow! All the grunge fonts you'll ever need, and then some! (Ernie Brock, one of its developers, told me how ideal TrueType was for much of the blending. You could use its interpolated on-curve points to vary a corner from sharp to curved: just bring two consecutive off-curve points together, and... we have a corner point.) Now that Ares is owned by Adobe, and bearing in mind the potential personality clash with multiple masters, FontChameleon (along with all of Ares' other font products) has been discontinued.
FontChameleon 1.5 Professional was released in 1994 with 220 preset "flexible" fonts, including italics. This release was a massive expansion of available base fonts which covered most classic serif and sans serif font families from Berkeley Old Style to Ares Sans 46, which was a synthetic reincarnation of Frutiger. In 1994 it was advertised for $149.95. According to Nicholas Fabian, These flexible fonts, called font descriptors average only around 4K of space. Every time a new font is needed in an application, a fully functional TrueType or Postscript Type 1 font can be generated in a matter of seconds. When a font is created in FontChameleon, it is a fully-hinted font with quality second to none. ontChameleon fonts have unparalleled flexibility. Design parameters of a font are changed using slider bars which universally modify all the characters in any of the fonts in the font descriptor list. Slider bars control the weight, length of ascenders, depth of descenders, width (condense/extend amount), cap height, number height, x-height, slant and tracking. Even two different fonts can be blended together to create a new font, which leads to potentially millions of useful font variations.
The Font Chameleon flexible fonts:
A free standalone Mac application for building fonts in an intuitive way. By Frederik Berlaen of TypeMyType in Belgium. The only thing I can say is wow. It is a small tool, but the speed with which one can create outlines is fantastic. [Google] [More] ⦿
At High Logic in the Netherlands, Erwin Denissen (who is based near Utrecht) has developed a font editor called Font Creator. No type 1 support. Windows only. At some point, Font Creator switched from shareware to payware. It also added Scanahand, a Windows tool for making handwriting into a font. His CV reads: Erwin Denissen started his career as an employee at ICT Automatisering, mainly working with Delphi. About two years later he switched to Bolesian were he made a move to Java software development. When Bolesian was eaten by it's big sister Capgemini in 2001, Erwin Denissen continued to work with Java. After several successful projects, and moving from software engineer to software designer to project leader, he decided to quit his job and fully focus on his own company High-Logic, he started back in 1997 as a graduate project. As an independent software vendor, Erwin Denissen strives to continue developing new and innovative products for the world-wide typography market. Right now High-Logic has three products, a font editor, a font manager and a font generator. In March 2008 Erwin Denissen acquired MyTools.com, including 8 products. In July 2008 yourfonts.com was launched as an online font generation service. More fonts related utilities are expected soon. [Google] [More] ⦿
The first step in font design can be Adobe Illustrator. One can take Illustrator's output to FontLab (video tutorial by GoMedia's Katie, basically saying that after "Pathfinder" in Illustrator, the character is copied (control-c) and then pasted into a position in FontLab (control-v)). Fabio Sasso (Porto Alegre, Brazil) gives another web and video tutorial. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font Remix tools
Mac and PC software, initially free, and requiring Python. The tools written by Tim ahrens are plug-ins for FontLab that allow scaling of glyphs without affecting the stroke weight. Also, they allow to tune the width, height and weight of single letters interactively, automatically generate small caps, generate superiors, inferiors, numerators and denominators, create true condensed and extended versions, generate tabular figures with only a couple of clicks, and slant glyphs while keeping vertical tangents straight. [Google] [More] ⦿
FontArk, introduced in September 2013, is a fresh professional type design tool. It is designated to enable fast and intuitive font design based on the skeletons of the glyphs (not the outlines). Fonts are designed online. Video on Behance.
The driving force behind Fontark is Ofir Shavit (Israel), an artist, designer, scientist, philosopher, gamer, and creator. He studied industrial design at Bezalel Academy.
On September 1, I tried it out and could not get further than the cumbersome registration page. Be prepared to enter your data multiple times and then be told that you must first be approved, if you manage to decipher the difficult captchas...
Andreas Koller is a Senior Creative Technologist at Skype in London, designing, researching and prototyping product innovation and tools. In 2014 he graduated from the Information Experience Design MA programme at Royal College of Art. Before that he studied at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences.
A specialist in generative and algorithmic art and design, he created the free software Fontastic: Fontastic is a library for creating font files in TTF and WOFF format which you can then use in any design program or website. It allows one to make fonts based on data, sensors, live feeds, or any other algorithm, or manipulate existing fonts to create one's own version. Fontastic was designed to make it as easy as possible to create a font in Processing. Under the hood, it uses doubletype, a Java font editor that builds font files according to the TrueType format, and sfntly to create Web Open Font Format files. [Google] [More] ⦿
Launched at the end of August 2009 by Håkon Bertheussen, this was a truly free font generation service---the users own the generated fonts, and there are no commercial interests behind the scenes. Some minor improvements are being implemented. It looked and felt like the popular YourFonts, which is not free. Håkon Bertheussen is a design engineer at Atmel, Trondheim, Norway. He runs Bertheussen IT. A list of examples of fonts made with Fontcapture.
Update in May 2010: Amazingly, Fontcapture is now being redirected to Yourfonts (where one has to pay 10 dollars for the same service). Maybe Fontcapture became too popular. But the redirection makes me think that Bertheussen could be bought after all. So here is an opportunity for hackers: imitate the Fontcapture experiment, offer a free service for a year, and then cash in. [Google] [More] ⦿
From the FontLab team, a plug-in for FontLab 4.6 or AsiaFont studio. FontFlasher makes "Flash fonts" (bitmap truetype fonts) out of ordinary TTF or T1 fonts. According to the FontLab people: Regular TrueType fonts tend to get blurry at small sizes in Flash because of the anti-aliasing. FontFlasher creates new outlines for a font at a given size that eliminate the anti-aliasing and therefore produce much crisper, more legible renditions on computer screens. Tutorial by Dani Wahlers. [Google] [More] ⦿
George Williams' free Open Source UNIX-based font editor for type 1 and truetype fonts, previously called Pfaedit. Also does truetype collections (TTC) and opentype fonts. Note that FontForge can be used to do all conversions between all formats (type 1, truetype, OpenType; PC, UNIX and Mac): it's a formidable tool. The internal text format for fonts is called SFD. It is a format that is acceptable for communicating and storing fonts. Note also that there is a powerful scripting language that can automate conversions and various tedious tasks.
Footnote: the headline of this page is set in New G8 by Artifex and Michael Sharpe based on URW Garamond No.8, a project developed, like hundreds of others in the open souyrce community, by FontForge. [Google] [More] ⦿
A major font editor marketed by Pyrus, which also publishes TypeTool, BitFonter, AsiaFont Studio, TransType, FONmaker, ScanFont, FontFlasher, SigMaker, and CompoCompiler. FontLab 4 was released in December 2001. Demo on the website. Versions 3 and up are able to handle "native" Truetype as well as Type 1. Version 4.5 handles OpenType too. Docs and demos. FontLab was developed by Yuri Yarmola. Last version 4 for Windows: FontLab v4.6. Demo. Demos of most products. Latest version for Mac OS X and Windows, dated December 2005, and priced at 650 dollars: FontLab Studio 5. [Google] [More] ⦿
Semi-lively forum on the technical aspects of font design, and not just about FontLab. Moderators: Yuri Yarmola (FontLab), Adam Twardoch (FontLab), Ted Harrison (FontLab), Der FontMeister (FontLab), Alex Petrov (FontLab), Sergey Malkin (Microsoft), Si Daniels (Microsoft), John Hudson, S.B.L. Hooker. [Google] [More] ⦿
Fontlab review by Eugenia Loli-Queru. She likes it. One of her comments is telling: why not pay the 549 dollars for Fontlab so you can make your own font (by altering an existing font, if you read between the lines) instead of paying thousands of dollars for licensed fonts: "Operating system makers are encouraged to at least download the demo and try it out if they are serious about creating unique, high-quality fonts for their OSes instead of paying thousands of dollars on licensing ready-made high quality fonts for use with their OS." [Google] [More] ⦿
Here is what type designer John Hudson from Tiro Typeworks has to say: " The principal advantage of FontLab over Fontographer is that it actually implements the PS Type 1 and TrueType specs, rather than fudging it as Fontographer does. I've used FontLab 2.5 and 3.0 for Windows for almost 5 years, in a professional type design context, and can attest to their quality. I have also had nasty encounters with FOG data, and can attest to its quality. [Google] [More] ⦿
From Palisades research: a 129USD font editor for AutoCAD fonts. Plus lots of symbol and other fonts for use in AutoCAD. All pay-fonts. The editor has disappeared. A copy of it is at Pores Dot Net. [Google] [More] ⦿
Makers of InstaFontMaker, a free font tool: With easy finger draws and just a few taps, you can quickly get your fonts and instantly share your life in your very own handwriting on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter, right from your Android phone. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font editor first developed at Altsys and later taken over by Macromedia and finally, in 2005, by FontLab. The latest version (5.0, Mac and Windows) was released by FontLab in June 2010 and costs 400 USD. I applaud the fact that it still supports type 1 and in particular, type 1 multiple master format. But it also produces OpenType fonts and TrueType fonts. It is loaded with yummy features.
The original creators included Jim von Ehr, David Spells, James Brasure, Tom Irby, John Ahlquist, Kevin Crowder, Parry Kejriwal, David Fung, and Eon Chang. The pre-FontLab Fontographer was sold by Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. Fontographer v4.1 had a list price of $495, but was generally available for under $300. Fontographer used its own format for files, which has the same mathematical basis as Type 1, but could generate .TTF files. A copy of FOG4.1 was recently placed on alt.binaries.fonts. Free copies are floating around on some Russian FTP sites but you'll have to do your own detective work. Description. Technical notes.
In April 2005, Adobe bought Macromedia. John Hudson remarks about this sale: Regarding Fontographer: it is very unlikely indeed that Adobe's purchase of Macromedia will lead to a new version of Fontographer. It is much more likely that the produce will be retired completely, and will simply no longer be available. The history of Fontographer and FontLab has shown very clearly that for a large software company like Macromedia or Adobe a font tool is simply not worth development investment. The potential market is simply too small to interest them. Font tools need to be developed by small companies seeking a niche market, and FontLab has demonstrated that this approach can be very successful. I suggested some years ago that Macromedia should simply give the Fontographer code, including the aborted 5.0 version, to Jim Gallagher. He has spent a good portion of his life nursing this code and providing tech support to Fontographer users, so if there is any future to Fontographer it seems to me that he deserves to guide it and to benefit from it, if possible. Perhaps Adobe might consider this. They have been generously supportive of the makers of FontLab, DTL FontMaster, etc., with their OpenType SDK code, so clearly encourage competition in the font tools business. Giving Fontographer to Jim for a dollar, and letting him do whatever he wants with it -- which might include open sourcing it, I suppose -- seems to me the best thing that could be done with this product. Otherwise, it might as well be withdrawn from the market, because it is never going to be updated by Adobe or any other large software company."
In May 2005, Adobe/Macromedia sold Fontographer to FontLab, where Jim Gallagher (Der Fontmeister) will continue development of the software. In November 2005, Fontographer 4.7 was published--for the first time, it could be used on Mac OS X. [Google] [More] ⦿
John Hudson of Tiro Typeworks describes what happens behind the scenes when you import and modify fonts: " In the case of TrueType, Fontographer dumps all hinting, converts curves to cubic beziers, applies incorrect Type 1 autohinting, and then converts the curves back to quadratic beziers -- inaccurately in some cases -- when you export the font. In the case of Type 1, Fontographer dumps hint replacement points and flex hints, but doesn't do too much other damage." [Google] [More] ⦿
MIS Press book by Stephen Moye: a complete guide on typeface design using Fontographer. ISBN 2-55828-447-8. July 1995. 30USD. Out of press, but since the entire book is on the web, who cares? [Google] [More] ⦿
Free on-line tool for applying effects such as 3d, morphing and outlining to any truetype or opentype font. Developed by Swiss software engineer Tobias Reinhardt. These are the same people who created Paintfont. The internal engine uses Fontforge. I tried it on a sketched font. The 3d effect had errors (see attached file). The outline feature also gave suboptimal results. [Google] [More] ⦿
Lausanne-based type site related to a project conceived and designed by two graphic designers, Franz Hoffman and Pierre Terrier from studio koilinen, and a software developer, Marc Escher. A quote: It provides the ability to create fonts that preserves the gestures of a given handwriting and the original look of the drawing appliance (ball-point pen, pencil, ink, paper, etc.)
Fontself allows one to make fonts directly in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. It appears that one can create, with their commercial software an Opentype font by simple dragging and dropping an image with the individual letters. It works on both Mac and Windows. This, in turn can be used to simulate handwriting. Fonts (format unclear, not downloadable) include grunge typefaces (Agrotesk, Linexspray), handwriting (Psycho, Mascara, Meriem, Bic, Ehcadnarac, Manu, Signo, Manuscript), and scanned text typefaces (Baskerville, Garabig, Franklin Multi, Sabon, Gothique, Dido). [Google] [More] ⦿
A nifty and elegant free service by FontShop started in 2008 to make, share and download modular fonts, peppered, of course, with FontShop ads. FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks. Once you're done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application. You can keep your creations to yourself, but we encourage users to share their "FontStructions". Explore the Gallery of fonts made by other FontStruct users and download them or even copy them and make your own variations. Creation page.
It is amazing how the 100 or so basic shapes can be combined in many beautiful typefaces---this is not just a simple generalization of a pixel font editor. After only 3 weeks, FontStruct had over 21,000 registered users, and people had already made over 23,000 new fonts. FontStruct was made for FontShop by Robert Meek.
List of many designers and fonts at FontStruct compiled by yours truly.
My wishlist for them [which they have happily ignored for many years now, and things are getting increasingly worse]: to add all font designer names to their pages and inside the fonts, to organize a super-page with a list of all designers, to speed up the software and/or internet line (by a factor of ten), to remove the annoying extra clicks on license agreements before downloads, to fix the browser crashes reported by many (Allan Weiser and others; Mac OSX Leopard/Firefox has problems and still crashes Firefox as late as January 2010), to enable mass downloads and mass downloads per designer, to split the free fonts from those that cannot be downloaded (an increasingly large portion, by the way), to eliminate logins with passwords for visiting tourists, and to eliminate Flash (it crashes in Google Chrome regularly when FontStruct windows are open).
Daumen9 made by Crissov in 2009 exposes the fundamental flaw of all modular designs that work within the limitations of truetype or opentype or type 1---one can't achieve proper small circles. Not FontStruct's error---blame it on short-sightedness of the font format engineers. [Google] [More] ⦿
FontStudio was a font creation tool from Letraset that is no longer available. However, that does not mean it is obsolete, au contraire! Great typographers like Akira Kobayashi swear by it. As Lucas de Groot puts it: "Apart from paper and paper tools, nothing but FontStudio 2.0 for designing glyphs! Absolute precision, speed, huge amount of shortcuts and convienient stuff in the drawing area, auto-import of scans, best metrics/kerning tools, etc. It takes a while to get into it, to get to know the quirks. Too bad it's so difficult to buy these days." John Hudson adds: "FontStudio is a small, but very good PostScript (Type 1) font tool, which is no longer in production. There are certainly designers who swear by it, and we use it ourselves when we need to globally adjust kerning pair data and other small jobs which it still does better than any of the current programs. It does not, however, do TrueType hinting, nor even have native TT outline editing." Olivier Randier provides this glowing testimony: "FontStudio is a great software. Maybe a little difficult to learn when you begin (especially when you need to translate the handbook and the interface in French yourself), but how powerfull! The kerning editor still has no equivalent, I think (except maybe FontLab, but I'm not sure). The drawing interface is extremely precise and has functions I still wait for in Illustrator (OK, with PathFinder, Illustrator past through, now, but some things are still easier in FontStudio). I bought it ten years ago with my SE30 (MacOS 6) and it still bravely works on my G3 (MacOS 8)... OK, now it's getting old, because of new font formats, like OpenType, and other new technologies (plug-in, vector antialiasing, layers...), and it would need to be refreshed. I asked Adobe if they intented to keep on upgrading it, they said font editing softwares don't pay enough. They prefer to rely on Microsoft softwares;(Now, I'm thinking about migrating to FontLab, but I will probably use it mainly for format conversion and cross-encoding kerning and stick to FontStudio for the drawing work, because I'm too much used to it, now. Really, if you work much on type, you should give it a try. As for Fontographer, I really can't work with, the interface is ugly, hardly legible for drawing, and kerning editor is nothing. But it may be a question of culture: I think people used to draw with Freehand would prefer Fontographer's look and feel, people used to Illustrator will find FontStudio more familiar. Fontographer feels like a toy for me, I really can't imagine seriously making a professional job with it." And Martin Archer says: "FontStudio was a much more humane program to use than Fog. Unfortunately it won't run on newer machines or on OS9 or newer. It had a fantastic range of zoom, the bezier tools worked intelligently, it had a superb background layer facilty and it had none of those stupid sound effects. I don't understand Adobe not releasing a commercial font creation program. How do they expect designers to make fonts to use with their graphics programs - by buying Macromedia's Fontographer? A mix of Fog and Fontstudio would have made designing a little easier when I still did it a few years back. I imagine that if I were designing fonts now I'd finish all the shapes in Illustrator and leave just the encoding part to Fog or whatever other program does that - although clearly just getting outlines into Fog is a pain in the neck. " [Google] [More] ⦿
Fontula is the second iPad font editor (after iFontmaker) to hit the market in 2010. Developed by Sajid Saiyed, it cost only 2 dollars initially, but has been increased to 5 dollars. Discussion group. [Google] [More] ⦿
Frank E. Blokland
Type designers comment on freehand drawing programs besides Illustrator. They mention Inkscape, SodiPodi, Skencil and FontForge, which all run in Linux. Inkscape and SodiPodi both run on Windows and in the X environment on Mac OS X. FontForge will run in the X environment of Mac OS X and under Cygwin on Windows, too. Inkscape is an open source SVG editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visio, etc. Supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, node editing, svg-to-png export, grouping, and more. Sodi Podi is a free vector-based drawing program, like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator from the proprietary software world, and Sketch or Karbon14 from the free software world. Sodipodi uses W3C SVG as its native file format. [Google] [More] ⦿
It is possible to freely convert an image into a glyph in a font. I quote: Yourfonts offers a Font Template .pdf download that was designed for people who want to use their own handwriting as a font. You simply fill out the .pdf, scan it and upload it for conversion into a .ttf file. However if you're a savvy Photoshop or Illustrator user it won't take you long to figure out how easily that same template can be used to convert your image files into fonts. First convert the .pdf "Your Fonts Template" into an image file (.png seems to work the best). Then convert your original image file into .png files with transparent backgrounds. You can also use the 'Export transparent file' option in Photoshop. Then it's a simple drag and drop onto the "Your Font Template" image, and a quick resize to make sure it fits correctly the corresponding "letter box". When you are finished make sure you flatten the image and save it as a 300 dpi .gif, .jpg or .png. Your almost done! Upload the newly created Your Font Template image file at Yourfonts and in less than 5 minutes your images will be converted into .ttf files ready to be downloaded. [Google] [More] ⦿
Quote: "Altsoft FTMaster (Font Type Master) is an application for font designing, editing and converting. It is completely based on Altsoft FTMBase .NET API which provides a comprehensive set of classes and methods dealing with a variety of modern font formats." It supports Type1, Type2, Type42, TrueType, OpenType, CID-based fonts, and Multiple Master fonts. Free evaluation version. Commercial product: 1000 US dollars. Written for Windows, it converts between formats, allows editing, renaming, generating multiple master font instances. Extracting fonts from PDF files is possible as well. Personal note: I see nothing in here that one cannot achieve with FontForge (free). [Google] [More] ⦿
Freeware pixel font editor for Mac OS X by Mark Leisher. It works natively with BDF fonts, but can import
Michael Schmitz at the Universität der Künste Berlin developed a tool, genotyp, that allows one to blend and marry various types, the way Font Chameleon used to do. Discussion at TypeForum. [Google] [More] ⦿
Soon-to-be-released software by Darren Mackay for editing and managing fonts. GlyphManager will be released as Freeware and GlyphMaker will be released as 'Fontware' (essentially designers send me a copy of each font they produce - a better description will be available when the website is up). [Google] [More] ⦿
Flexible free font editor by Berlin-based Georg Seifert, announced at ATypI 2009 in Mexico City.
GNU Font Editor (GFE) is a free graphical font editor for UNIX/X-Windows based on the GIMP Toolkit. It is easy to use and will eventually support many font types. Currently it supports only BDF font files, that can be converted to many other formats easily. Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
GOTE stands for GNOME OpenType editor. Free (beta-version) editor by Robert Brady from the Department of Electronics&Computer Science, University of Southampton. Currently supports truetype only. Requires the gnome libraries and freetype. [Google] [More] ⦿
"Handy Pilot Font Editor is running on any handheld computers such as USR PalmPilot Pro, IBM WorkPads, and ofcourse 3COM palms." Looks like a bitmap editor for the handhels Pilot computers. Commercial product by Alexander Ovcharenko. Alternate URL. Download. [Google] [More] ⦿
In August 2007, Avi Muchnik (Aviary) introduced Horus, an on-line font editor that is quite promising. It parses and opens truetype files, shows their outlines, dumps their tables, and allows changes in the truetype font data. Other tools by Aviary include Raven for creating vector art. They say: Aviary is on a mission to make creation accessible to artists of all genres, from graphic design to audio editing. We're a privately held company currently headquartered in Long Island, NY, with team members around the world. Our founders also created Worth1000.com, a talented community of 500,000 digital artists that participate in amazing daily contests. [Google] [More] ⦿
How to make monospaced fonts
Erwin Denissen, who wrote the Font Creator Program, explains how to make any PC truetype font into a monospaced font with FCP:
Free icon font made by "KeyaMoon". It has a free font generator that allows one to create a font from selected glyphs. The free version is limited---the full version of Icomoon costs 39 dollars.
iFontMaker (2010) is a 7 dollar app for iPad that lets one make finger (truetype) fonts on the go. The developers are in Japan: Pentacom and Tomonaga Tokuyama. Review by Brian Hudson. Another review. Rina Miele's review. Examples.
Born in 1984, Tomonaga studied in Kyoto and is an artist and self-taught programmer.
URW's font editor for UNIX workstations, Apple Macintosh and Windows 95/Windows NT PCs. Between 700 and 1000 USD. The web page says that the prices are for Macs only, so I am a bit puzzled. Do the other versions cost more? This superb piece of software was developed by Peter Karow. The first digital fonts were designed on the Ikarus system---it is said that the first font designed on the Ikarus system was Marconi in 1975---a cooperation of Rudolf Hell (the engineer) and Hermann Zapf. [Google] [More] ⦿
Commercial font editor from 2013 that completely works within Adobe InDesign. This tool was created by Theunis de Jong (Jongware) and Marc Autret and can generate OpenType fonts very quickly. [Google] [More] ⦿
An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format: Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development. People have used it as a first stage in drawing glyphs for fonts, importing the vector graphics into FontForge or FontLab. Tutorial by Tavmjong Bah. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font.My created a Google Play store app called InstaFontMaker (2014), which comes in free and 3 dollar versions. One can quickly make hand-drawn fonts using this tool. It requires Ipad or a similar touch device. Google Play store link. [Google] [More] ⦿
James Matthew "Matty" Farrow
Jelle Bosma (b. Rijswijk, The Netherlands, 1959) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and. like many of his contemporaries, was influenced by Gerrit Noordzij. He works from a studio near The Hadue, and designs type, programs font tools, hints, and produces type. His typefaces:
Jim Gallagher, "Der Fontmeister", is writing a book on Fontographer, and provides support for Fontographer at his site, after having worked for ten years at Macromedia. He states here: "FOG will rise from the ashes or be cloned by my mysterious team of coders". [Google] [More] ⦿
Joan Marti Mas
Jukka Aalto, aka "Armadillo" comments from the font design trenches. Here are bits and pieces.
KalliCulator Automatic Calligraphy
Lasse Fister (Berlin) is a graphic designer. He embarked on a great project in 2010 called Graphicore Font Building. Starting from a bitmap (BMF format) font, via a free Python program written by him, one can generate OpenType fonts. The free program, graphicoreBMFB has many parameters/options/settings, that allow one to generate very many children of the BMF font. He showcases this by making his free superfamily GraphicoreBitmapFont. All is free and open source.
Web site jam-packed with links related to TrueType software (editors, converters). Demo versions of FontLab, Fontographer, FontStudio, IkarusM, Linus M, TypeDesigner, FontMonger, BitFont, ReAdobe, FontDetective, FontMonster. [Google] [More] ⦿
Bitmap to PostScript or Metafont filter for X-windows and UNIX set-ups. Free, but a fair amount of programming savvy is needed. Part of the fontutils package, result of an ongoing GNU project. Help is needed. [Google] [More] ⦿
Makers of Fontographer. Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. Fontographer v4.1: list price $495, but available for under $300. For example, Diskovery sells it to students in the US for 228USD (129+99), Windows and Mac. Also included in Macromedia Graphics Studio bundle, which may be available as a competitive upgrade. A well-established font editor on the Mac and the PC, the tool used for many fonts currently on the market. A demo version is available from Macromedia on CD. Fontographer uses its own format for files, which has the same mathematical basis as Type 1, but can generate .TTF files. A copy of FOG4.1 was recently placed on alt.binaries.fonts. Free copies are floating around on some Russian FTP sites but you'll have to do your own detective work. Latest deal: for 200USD, get the Macromedia Designers bundle, which included Fontographer, Freehand, Xres,&Extreme 3D. [Google] [More] ⦿
James Matthew "Matty" Farrow (Australia) wrote in 1999: I am interested in calligraphy, palaeography, and (digital) typography, and am currently writing an outline font editor for Adobe Type 1 fonts called spif. [Google] [More] ⦿
Rob Meek's type synthesizer machine for making truetype fonts on-line. Repeat until you are pleased with the results. The web site does not work on any of the browsers/operating systems I am using. It seems to run on Windows only, sigh. [Google] [More] ⦿
Alexis Reigel (b. 1980) is a co-founder and developer of Metaflop. He is a software developer and has his main focus on web applications, and contributes in his spare time to several free and open source projects and organizes the Pantalks at Colab Zurich.A the other cofounder is graphic designer and Metafont specialist Marco Müller (b. 1979). Simon Egli and Linus Romer are participants in the free software project.
The Metaflop site offers the source code of Metaflop (2012-2016) and several of their Metafonts. They created three metafonts, Fetamont, (MF Fetamont (2014) by Linus Romer is an extended version of Knuth's rounded elliptical logo font), Bespoke (sans) and Adjuster (octagonal, techno), both with about fifteen parameters. Visitors can adjust the parameters to generate Opentype fonts that can be downloaded. [Google] [More] ⦿
Font editor project by Simon Egli (initiator, Switzerland), and Lasse Fister, Reuben Thomas and Ben Martin (core developers). Metapolator will be a web-based parametric font editor, providing a GUI for designing with UFO fonts and Metafont technologies. Metapolator is intended for type designers to design large font families faster, and for typographically sensitive graphic designers to adjust their libre fonts for their exact needs. For example, expanding a single style design into a family of weights and widths, or fine-tuning the weight and width of a font for your exact needs. Metapolator first provides a typical 'super' interpolation system that works with unlimited numbers of masters and axes, and will load and save normal UFO fonts. Github link.
Open source software guru Dave Crossland wrote this opinion in 2015: In early 2013 I'd met Simon Egli, who later that year made an initial PHP prototype for a successor to metaflop, and then a second prototype with Python called mfg. This led in early 2014 to a third project, with Simon and Lasse and Peter Sikking: Metapolator. Today I'm sad to say that I'm not all that happy with how Metapolator turned out; for myself, I think I was too ambitious, and tried to make the project go fast. By the end of 2014 we had a lot of pieces, but not a joined up product: a lot of great ideas from Simon and the other designers he invited (Wei and Nicolas) that went into a detailed UX design from Peter; and a powerful CPS engine led by Lasse all up and running, entirely web based; but not a product useful for type designers. So over this year, that product has been taking shape, mainly thanks to the implementation efforts of Jeroen Breen, and now there's a demo online. But the demo is not (yet) compelling... and I'm not sure when it will be. Maybe never. Github link. [Google] [More] ⦿
From its developer, Serge Vakulenko: "Metatype is a set of utilities and scripts for creating TrueType fonts using Metafont language. It also includes two font families, named TeX and TeX Math, based on the D. Knuth's Computer Modern fonts, but extended with Greek, Cyrillic and other characters. Metatype and TeX fonts can be used under the GPL license." The TeX family consists of TeXBold, TeXBoldItalic, TeXItalic, TeXMono, TeXMonoItalic, TeXMath, TeXMathBold, TeXMathBoldItalic, TeXMathItalic, TeXNarrow, TeX, TeXSans, TeXSansBold, TeXSansBoldItalic, TeXSansItalic, TeXWide. It comes in TTF and BDF formats. Free software in pre-alpha development, for Windows and X11/UNIX/Linux. The code is in C and Python. [Google] [More] ⦿
MuirMcNeil Design Systems
MuirMcNeil Design Systems is a project-based collaborative between Hamish Muir and Paul McNeil, est. 2010. Their activities are focussed on exploring parametric design systems to generate appropriate solutions to visual communication problems. Hamish Muir is a founding principal of 8vo (1985-2001) and co-editor of Octavo (1986-1992). He currently combines work as an independent graphic design consultant specialising in editorial, information and systems design with teaching part-time at the London College of Communication. Paul McNeil is a London-based independent graphic design consultant specialising in type, information and systems design. He is a Senior Lecturer in Postgraduate Graphic Design at the London College of Communication and lead developer, MA Contemporary Typographic Media.
They have several parametric and modular software syystems for typography and type design. These include 20-20 (done in 1974: a modular design idea in the spirit of FontStructor, but without any active software), Interact (done in 1994---grid-based parametric screen fonts), Three Six (an experimental optical / geometric type system consisting of six typefaces in eight weights. It explores the possibilities of using systematic principles to generate geometric typeforms which are distinctive at large point sizes but which can also be read at smaller sizes in bodies of extended text), Four Two (an extension of Three Six). The Three Six project led to a number of multiparametric dot fonts. It was published by FontFont in 2012.
In 2014, four commercial modular and pixelish typeface families were published, Panopticon (a system of layered 3d geometric typefaces), Intersect, Nine (Metric, Mono) and Interact. In that series, the nine-weight geometric almost-typewriter typeface Nine Mono (monospaced and monoline) stands out.
Muir helped Dalton Maag with the development of Tephra (2008), an experimental multi-layered LED-inspired family.
In 2016, the designed the dot matrix-themed identity for Typecon on the theme Resound.
Maybe the third try is the good one. Fontifier and Fontcapture were two free font services in which scanned alphabets could be converted instantly into truetype fonts. Both went commercial after a short trial period. Now, in October 2010, we have another taker, MyScriptFont, which was developed by T. Reinhardt in Switzerland. It uses Fontforge for part of the work. I tried it out, and it first failed for me, returning an empty file. Then it worked but cut off some letters and had problems with letter spacing. I guess one can train oneself to make this tool useful. [Google] [More] ⦿
New Renaissance Fonts (was: New Fontografia, or: David's Fontografia 2006)
David Kettlewell (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1946), who has been professor at Tartu university in Estonia, and now works from his forest farmhouse in Bollstabruk, Northern Sweden, explains how fonts work and how to work with Fontographer and other programs. Kettlewell also runs Fontografia, a medieval and calligraphic type site featuring subpages on Ludovico Vicentino [degli Arrighi], Giovambattista Palatino, and Giovanniantonio Tagliente. He also tells us why Fontlab is so much better than Fontographer when developing fonts from scans.
David Kettlewell is a harper, renaissance musicologist and conductor who illuminate his work with text and type. His own work through New Renaissance Fonts is mostly with medieval and renaissance scripts, calligraphic alphabets and ornamental capitals. Direct acess. MyFonts link for New Renaissance. Klingspor link.
Free fonts: AliceScrolltipRoman, AndersFancyCapitals, AndersPlainCapitals, BickhamSwashCaps, Cartouches, CelticNoadProtoype, Chiswickblack, DagmarIlluCaps, Davies-RomantiqueCaps, DaviesIlluminatedcapitals, DaviesRoundhand, DaviesSapphire, DeBeauChesneRoman, FantasiaCaps, GothicCaps, KarinsFreeLombardyCaps (2006, with Karin Skoglund), KingRichard2Caps, Kurbits3, Lettreornee, LubnaCaps, NesbittDecoratedCaps-Medium, RicksClassicItalic, RicksDecoratedUncial-Medium, RicksFolkloreRoman, RicksRelaxedHand-Italic, Samuel, SevilliaDancingText, Sevilliastandingtext, Sevilliatiles, ShawDecoratedInitials1, ShawDecoratedInitials4-Medium, Taliente-IlluCaps, WestminsterMemorialBrasses-Medium.
Other fonts (some no longer available or shown): Soest St. Mary (2006, decorative capitals from embroidery work in a German church), Kurbits, Samuel, Celtic Noad, Dagmar IlluCaps, Lettre ornée, Phalesiodecor (medieval caps, 1998), American Uncial (adaptation of a URW font), FinalRomanfat or FatRoman50 (adaptation of an RWE font), Marshall (made from an 1822 parchment).
Some fonts are developed in conjunction with Richard Bradley. Others involved more loosely include Adam Twardoch, Karin Skoglund, Dagmar Varaksits and Anders Rosen.
MyFonts offers fonts like Chiswick Illuminated Caps (2009, Lombardic), Alice Scrolltip (2006), Albrecht Fraktur (2011), Edward's Uncial 1904 (2011, after an alphabet drawn by Edward Johnston), Davids Roundhand, Karins Lombardy Caps, Sevillia (2006, with Richard Bradley), and Soest St Mary.
Noah PostScript Type 1 Font Editor
Yeah Noah's free Windows-based PostScript Type 1 font editor has been around since 2000. This editor is based on code changing, not mouse dragging. It gives a lot of control to the user, and with a bit of a coding mindset this can be a wonderful tool. Alternate URL. Yeah's first font is Existence Light (2004, OpenType), a monoline sans. He also made the octagonal typeface Trivial (2008). Yet another URL. Fontsquirrel link. [Google] [More] ⦿
Free font generation service based on a template that must be submitted on-line. The service itself is convenient and fast. Paintfont's software uses Fontforge as an engine. Developed by Swiss software engineer Tobias Reinhardt. I tried it on a 60-second sketched font, called Eric Garner to support a good cause. The results were fine, given the limitations of the medium. [Google] [More] ⦿
Palm Font Editor
The main digital type foundry in Russia. ParaType was established as a font department of ParaGraph International in 1989 in Moscow, Russia. At that time in the Soviet Union, all typeface development was concentrated in a state research institute, Polygraphmash. It had the most complete collection of Cyrillic typefaces, which included revivals of Cyrillic typefaces developed by the Berthold and Lehmann type foundries established at the end of 19th century in St. Petersburg, and artwork from Vadim Lazurski, Galina Bannikova, Nikolay Kudryashov and other masters of type and graphic design of Soviet time. ParaType became the first privately-owned type foundry in many years. A license agreement with Polygraphmash allows ParaType to manufacture and distribute their typefaces. Most of Polygraphmash staff designers soon moved to ParaType. In the beginning of 1998, ParaType was separated from the parent company and inherited typefaces and font software from ParaGraph. The company was directed by Emil Yakupov until February 2014. After Yakupov's death, Irina Petrova took over the reins.
Products include FastFont, a simple TrueType builder, ParaNoise, a builder for PostScript fonts with random contours, FontLab, a universal font editor and ScanFont, a font editor with scanning module. Random, customized fonts. Multilingual fonts including, Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, Georgian and Hebrew fonts for Macintosh and Windows.
Famous typefaces by Paratype include Academy, Pragmatica, Newton, Courier, Futura, Petersburg, Jakob, Kuenstler 480, ITC Studio Script, ITC Zapf Chancery, Amore CTT (2004, Fridman), Karolla, Inform, Hafiz (Arabic), Kolheti (Georgian), Benzion (Hebrew).
The PT Sans (Open Font Library link), PT Serif and PT Mono families (2009-2012) are free. PT stands for Public Type. Another download site. PT Sans, for example, consists of PTSans-Bold, PTSans-BoldItalic, PTSans-Caption, PTSans-CaptionBold, PTSans-Italic, PTSans-Narrow, PTSans-NarrowBold, PTSans-Regular.
Type designers include Vladimir Yefimov, Tagir Safayev, Lyubov Kuznetsova, Manvel Schmavonyan and Alexander Tarbeev. They give this description of the 370+ library: The Russian constructivist and avant garde movements of the early 20th century inspired many ParaType typefaces, including Rodchenko, Quadrat Grotesk, Ariergard, Unovis, Tauern, Dublon and Stroganov. The ParaType library also includes many excellent book and newspaper typefaces such as Octava, Lazurski, Bannikova, Neva or Petersburg. On the other hand, if you need a pretty typeface to knock your clients dead, meet the ParaType girls: Tatiana, Betina, Hortensia, Irina, Liana, Nataliscript, Nina, Olga and Vesna (also check Zhikharev who is not a girl but still very pretty). ParaType also excels in adding Cyrillic characters to existing Latin typefaces -- if your company is ever going to do business with Eastern Europe, you should make them part of your corporate identity! ParaType created CE and Cyrillic versions of popular typefaces licensed from other foundries, including Bell Gothic, Caslon, English 157, Futura, Original Garamond, Gothic 725, Humanist 531, Kis, Raleigh, and Zapf Elliptical 711.
Finally, ParaType offers a handwriting font service out of its office in Saratoga, CA: 120 dollars a shot.
George Williams' free Open Source UNIX-based font editor for type 1 and truetype fonts. Also does truetype collections (TTC) and opentype fonts. Note that PFAedit can be used to do all conversions between all formats (type 1, truetype; PC, UNIX and Mac): it's a formidable tool. In 2004, Pfaedit was renamed FontForge. [Google] [More] ⦿
Cornu-spiral based curve editor by Raph Levien. For UNIX only. Discussion. Spiro is the name of the (free) toolkit. Now also available for Mac OS X. Discussion and examples. TYouTube video of letter design using a combination of Inkscape and Spiro. Inkscape can output "ai" files, which can be used as input in FontForge or FontLab. [Google] [More] ⦿
A kickstarter project by Yannick Mathey and Lyon-based Louis-Rémi Babé that attempts to make type design easy and parametric, with sliders. Yannick Mathey's web page. Others involved in the project include or included Jean-Baptiste Levée, Yann Guillet, François Poizat and Antoine Heber-Suffrin. The commercial app went into beta mode in October 2015.
In 2016, there are three typefaces ready in their system: Prototypo Grotesk, Prototypo Fell, and Prototypo Elzevir.
"ptkfonted is a BDF (the common X11 screen font format) font editor written in Perl/Tk. It is capable of modifying existing bdf fonts, or creating new ones from scratch. Several sample fonts are included." Free utility by Jason Reed. [Google] [More] ⦿
The world's leading typography tool outfit. Makers of the T1/TTF font editor FontLab3 and 4 (Mac, PC), FONmaker (create bitmap fonts from truetype or T1, for PCs), TransType (conversion from PC to Mac and vice versa), Scanfont 3.13 (from scanned glyphs to font), TypeTool (cheapo truetype font editor), FLcomposer (edit CJKV and unicode fonts), EuroFonter (adds Euro symbol to truetype fonts), Sigmaker (signature into truetype font), Compocompiler (composite fonts and templates). Alternate site. Excellent customer support. [Google] [More] ⦿
A program that allows one to build fonts up from multicolored, multilined and concentric circles. Called Responsive Type Alphabet, the software is written in "Processing" (www.processing.org), a language and development environment designed to make visual software development simple and easy to learn. Concept by Hudson-Powell, and implemented by Julien Gachadoat, Michael Chang, Brian Cort and Michael Zancan.
Font software specialist who has written several free font editors such as MEEK 4.0 and FontStruct, both on-line truetype font generators. He is based in Berlin. At Designer Shock in Berlin, ca. 2001, he made the grunge fonts DSHomeBack, DSHomeFront, DSHomeSide, DSHomeTop (2001). At Meek FM, he presents a typographic synthesizer.
His fontStruct creations are mostly pixelish: Robby Meeky, floorplan, Johann, Johann Skinny, Johann Small (2008, all fat rounded sans typefaces), logo (a horizontal stencil face), low_orbit, low_orbit_super_pixel, minimeek_1, Modular Nouveau No. 2 (2008), minimeek_extended, nouveau_modular, plain, sharp, snipped_1, the_first_dot_clone, the_first_fontstruction, tuning_fork, Dilly Dally (2012, possibly by a pretender?).
Developed by Letterror, RoboFab is a library of code and objects written in python for all Python-supported platforms (MacOS X and 9, Windows, Linux, etc). RoboFab is a toolkit for font and glyph data. It works together with FontTools and FontLab, but it can be used seperately. The basic version is free. " The toolkit offers a new and improved approach to working with type development projects, and it implements a brand new XML-based font data source file format called Unified Font Objects (UFO). This enables easy exchange of font source data between applications, it stores Cubic ("PostScript") as well Quadratic ("TrueType") contour data and it is application and operating system independent. Individual characters from a project can be distributed, checked into databases and manipulated with standard text tools and version control software. The UFO format contains glyphs, Unicode data, metrics, kerning, names, and many forms of data hich would not normally be associated with a final font format like TrueType or PosScript. Several new tools based on RoboFab and UFO are in development, MetricsMachine, for example, is a powerful spacing and kerning editor for MacOS X making use of the development tools that ship with Apple's OS." [Google] [More] ⦿
A type design script language, available From Buro Petr van Blokland + Claudia Mens. Robofog, developed by Petr van Blokland with Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland (The Netherlands) is a script program to be used with Fontographer, based on the program language Python. It enables type designers to script and pre-program their actions in Fontographer. Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
Gone. It used to have these font utilities: 30.07Advancedfontsv, Font Creator, Font Doctor, Font Reserve v2.6, Font Wrangler v2.0j, FontAgent9, FontExpert 2004 v6.0, FontExpert2004, FontRenamer122, Font_Xplorer_Lite, Fontlab Transtype v2, Suitcase, X-Fonter, Fontographer, Safefont. [Google] [More] ⦿
Comments by Pritchard: From Pyrus at about 200 dollars. Will import data from a scanner and autotrace to convert to characters in a font: has basic editing tools for cleaning up images and adjusting the characters, etc. The results are surprisingly good, and this provides a short cut to getting useable characters which can then be fine-tuned. Could be a dangerous tool in the hands of the inexperienced, who may be tempted to let the first rough result loose on an unsuspecting world. Exports fonts in Type 1 or Truetype format. Mac and PC. Full version. [Google] [More] ⦿
Trial (not demo!) version of ScanFont by FontLab, Yuri Yarmola's brainchild, lets you build five TrueType or type 1 fonts. " ScanFont is a program that can turn everything printed on paper or painted in computer program to a TrueType or Type 1 font. It does most of job automatically: from selection of images to autotracing, autohinting, autokerning and finally font generation. ScanFont includes both bitmap and outline editors." [Google] [More] ⦿
A font editor written by Gerhard Mörth (PAW Software). It is quite likely that this product was called FontCreator (not to be confused with the editor by that name from High Logic) and Polices Studio (at Micro Applications). The same people wrote MyHandwriting and MyHandwriting2, commercialized by Data Becker. [Google] [More] ⦿
Commercial standalone pixel font editor (49 Euros) for Microsoft Windows. The output is in truetype. Published in 2006, the development by Program Produkt, a company founded in 1988, started in 2003. Developers: Peter Hermann, Istvan Jozsa, Laszlo Grad. Free sample fonts by Istvan Jozsa include Uncondensed (2006), StarDust (2006) and AntShit (2006). [Google] [More] ⦿
Softy is a free truetype font editor for Windows written by the late David J. Emmett. The program resided here for a long time, but that site, managed by Dave's wife, L. Emmett, seems to have gone, and was replaced by the new URL at MASSMind, where one can also request updates past the latest version, 1.07b that provide enhancements and bug fixes. Alternate URL. This 25USD shareware truetype and bitmap font editor has all the basic tools necessary for both modifying an existing font and creating one from scratch. Among them glyph and contour copying and mapping, inserting points to curves, changing straight lines to curves, and changing font characteristics. It can also edit/generate fonts with characters with the unicode numbers higher than the basic western Latin table. System: Windows 3.x or Win95. Bitmaps supported: windows FON, FNT, LaserJet SFP, SFL. Download sites: 1, 2, 3 (version 1.05!!!), 4, 5, 6. Tutorials: Grumpy, BTTF, Angela Cable from Rock Springs, WY. OK, if no link works, try this and consult this help page. [Google] [More] ⦿
Spif is intended to be an editor of outline fonts for Unix and X. At present it will load and display Adobe Type 1 font format (ascii) files. The outlines displayed may be edited but cannot be saved at present. By James Matthew Farrow at the CS Department of Basser University in Sydney, Australia. [Google] [More] ⦿
Developed by Erik van Blokland in 2003-2004, and first shown at ATypI in Prague in 2004, Superpolator is a flexible tool for interpolating fonts and glyphs with extreme flexibility in design space topology. Superpolator is a python package, based on RoboFab. The package contains scripts for use in FontLab (with vfb fonts) and for use with UFO-style fonts. Superpolator2 (2007) is its commercial version at 250 Euros per license. [Google] [More] ⦿
GNU General Public License program by Curvesoft Inc., released on Feb 2 1999: TclFont is technology for creation, display and printing of scalable _stroke_ fonts defined as TCL scripts. It consists of 4 parts: (a) A sample stroke font named 'Pencil' where each glyph is defined by a small TCL procedure. Two types of strokes are currently supported: straight lines and conic curves. Pencil includes almost all the ISO-8859 glyphs with the exception of a couple of ligatures. The design is Courier-like though variable width. (b) A set of C++ files which allow stroke fonts to be arbitrarily scaled and displayed on the screen. The pen diameter can also be varied. (c) A set of TCL procedures for creating a downloadable scalable PostScript Type 3 font from a stroke font (currently this requires at least a Level 2 RIP since it uses the 'strokeadjust' operator to keep stroke widths uniform). (d) A set of TCL procedures for a large size display of single glyphs (this is useful when creating new glyphs).
Since the software was nowhere to be found, except in a dark corner on my hard drive, I am making it available for everyone: Download TclFont.
Link to the TCL programming language. Tcl, or Tool Command Language, is a simple-to-learn yet very powerful open-source programming language. Its syntax is described in just a dozen rules, but it has all the features needed to rapidly create useful programs in almost any field of application - on a wide variety of international platforms. Versions of Tcl have run on almost any modern OS, e.g., Unix (Linux and non-Linux), MacOS, Windows (NT-family versions and later, with 95/98 supported by older releases), PDA systems, cell phones, and many more. [Google] [More] ⦿
TrueTeX, Richard Kinch's a professional implementation of the TeX typesetting system for Windows and ttf_edit, a TrueType font table editor, available for free during a limited time to persons willing to serve as beta testers. Also includes the "joincode" filter. [Google] [More] ⦿
TTEdit is a free truetype font editor for Windows. Page in Japanese. From the same people, Handfont (for handwriting generation), OTEdit (OpenType font editor for Windows), and font utilities. Alternate URL. [Google] [More] ⦿
A TrueType font table editor (remove glyphs, change names, etc.), part of TrueTeX, Richard Kinch's a professional implementation of the TeX typesetting system for Windows. For a while, ttf_edit was available for free to persons willing to serve as beta testers. Based in Lake Worth, FL, Richard is one of the most helpful, thoughtful and informed people in the font software business. You'll like working with him on your problem(s). [Google] [More] ⦿
A free truetype modifier program being developed by George Williams, the author of pfaedit, the free truetype font editor. It is a companion program to take an existing TrueType (OpenType, TrueType Collection) file and allow you to edit some of the tables, especially the hinting table. [Google] [More] ⦿
Type 3.2 (was: CR8type)
CR8type for Windows is a commercial Windows truetype and opentype font editor written by Allan Murray. Free demo. Also, CR8tracer is a freeware utility based on Peter Selinger's 'Potrace' to convert bitmap images into monochrome vector formats. Combine with CR8type 2.0 to create fonts from scanned images of signatures, handwriting etc. Windows only. It can edit PostScript and OpenType fonts and has a knife and freehand drawing tool. It draws, kerns, deals with unicode, converts between formats, and basically is a full-fledged type design tool.
Type Light (2012) is a free light version of Type 3.2 for Windows. The full Type 3.2 program is for Windows, Linux and mac OS/X.
CR8 Software Solutions are an independant software vendor located in Auckland, New Zealand. A creation of Allan Murray - a self-taught software developer who began programming computers in the early eighties and who has been involved in the ID card and digital printing industries for the past twelve years. CR8 Software Solutions has had a web presence since 2006. [Google] [More] ⦿
Manfred Albracht's font creation program that allows type 1 to truetype conversions. DS Design, 1157 Executive Circle, Suite D., Cary, NC 27511, USA. Alternate link. You can also buy ScanFont, FontExpert, SigMaker, TypeTool, FontLab. Also, custom font design. [Google] [More] ⦿
A "basic" font editor from Pyrus available for 99 US dollars. Can edit both Type 1 and Truetype, and will preserve all the data (such as hinting) in Truetype fonts for characters which are not edited. [Google] [More] ⦿
TypePhases (was: vigital tipografia)
Joan Marti Mas' dingbats and fonts. Joan Mas is a Catalan type designer, illustrator and graphic designer in Palma, who offers free and commercial fonts. His free fonts include Cu-tbo-rough (2004, handwriting), Dalicanya (2004), Pero Jefe (2004), Corbatins (2004), Cartelia (2004), Carusses (heads), Ataques, Scroonge (grunge), Tooman (tribal dingbats), Kinky Boots (2004), Viatge Quimic (2004, psychedelic face), Kool Aid Acid Text (2004), CU-TBO (2004, comic book family), Psychopaths (2002), CapsBats (2002), Plantiya (1999), Illustries (2000), Illustrisms (2000 and 2012: vintage scanbats), Amano (handwriting, 2000), DeskSpace dingbats, Bruegheliana, Fazzes, Whimsies (2000), Ombres, Defora (grunge), Antypepatics (great facial caricatures, some even Picasso-esque), Honcho, Ataques, Taques au gogo, Scroonge, Lletraparits, Collbats (named after the cartoon artist Josep Coll, 1924-1984), Homoningos (2002-2004, human figures), Viatge Quimic (2002, lettering based on ideas of Austrian designer Alfred Roller from the early 20th century), Mandicho (child's hand), Sinky (comic book), Tipejos (human figure outlines), Embrush.
Commercial fonts: Genteta I, II and III, Absurdies (mad men dingbats), The Joy of Reading (2001), Fontorio (handwriting), Simpa (handwriting), Entestats (2004, dingbats of heads), Incipials 1, Deaf Crab, Racana, Emplomada, Phalopha, Feedback, DaMarka, Bizarries, Brrrush, Threedee, Capsbats 1,2&3 (very original: human heads with things in them), Manualita (handwriting), Ombres 2&3. He (note: Joan is a man's name in Catalonia) also has a sub-page on font creation and typography.
Typism is Juraj Sukop's web-based font editor published in 2009: It is a public site where anyone can create a font for others to use and to study, to modify and to copy. You write the description of a typeface, design the outlines of a glyph, track the development history and publish any revision in human-readable format to store locally. All it takes to run it is a browser supporting a few open standards. [...] I believe it is of uttermost importance that everyone has the unrestricted access to the tools one needs to create freely. Therefore everyone can come here and may do good and that is why typism uses SVG. All the code and fonts are released under MIT License and Open Font License, respectively. [...] In other words, typism borrows heavily from Blender, Firefox, Wikipedia and The Pirate Bay. Juraj was an exchange student at UIAH in Helsinki, and got support for this project from the Slovak government. [Google] [More] ⦿
Jerusalem-based company headed by designer and font software developer Jakob Gonczarowski. Jakob also wrote (and is now selling) an X-Windows font editor for SUN machines (soon for Linux machines as well). Jakob also made many of the present Hebrew typefaces. [Google] [More] ⦿
A few Celtic truetype fonts at the Faculty of Celtic Studies of the University College Cork. The font collection, GAELA, GAELAW, GAELAX, GAELAXW, GAELB, GAELBW, GAELBX, GAELBXW, shows the following copyright line: TTGL/TTASM (C) F.M. O'Carroll Aberystwyth 1997. The page also has truetype executables such as TTASM, TTBIT, TTGL, TTVIEW, all truetype font utilities allowing even a limited amount of truetype font editing on DOS (not Windows). [Google] [More] ⦿
A free on-line raster image to vector image tool published in 2007. Input: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF. Output: EPS, SVG, PNG. Based on a Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory research project by James Diebel and Jacob Norda. In principle, one should be able to use it for converting scanned images to fonts by importing the EPS or SVG files into FontForge or other tools. I can see this as a nice free alternative to ScanFont for making glyphs out of complicated scanned images. The only downside for now is that the tool is on-line and a bit slow. But the quality of the generated output is excellent. [Google] [More] ⦿
VS Software in Little Rock, AR, offers these products and services: signature/logo font making, Jet True (TrueType to PCL font converter for 325 USD), barcode and MICR fonts, FontGen v1 (300 USD: bitmap font editor, 7 formats). About FontGen: FontGen's most common format is a 300 or 600 dpi PCL 5 bitmap font for use with the PCL driver of an HP or compatible laser printer. [Google] [More] ⦿
Edits BDF fonts on X-Windows (simple ASCII representation of bitmap fonts) and can import Linux console fonts, Sun VF fonts, X bitmap, Linux console fonts (PSF, CP, FNT), metafont PK/GF, Windows FON/FNT fonts, TrueType fonts, and HBF (Han bitmap fonts. It exports PSF fonts if necessary. Developed and freely made available by Mark Leisher, Computing Research Lab, New Mexico State University, Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA. FTP access. [Google] [More] ⦿