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semicharmed
Feb 22, 2008, 07:54 PM
I work for a weekly college paper down in New Orleans.
We're looking to invest in a font library & probably some kind of font management software. So far the only large collection I've found has been the Adobe Font Folio 11; everything else pales in comparison to 2,300+ fonts for ~$2500.
Right now we run 5 production machines, all G5s running Tiger with CS2. We also have a central server used to store archives, business/advertising stuff & weekly content running 10.4 server. Our fonts are not managed at all, and we constantly have problems with two machines using a different version of our body text.
None of these purchases would be made until after the academic year is over, simply because that's when we'll know if we can afford the investment & will have the time to properly configure the font libraries & management software.
So I'm looking for recommendations for both font collections and management software. Primary needs in the collection are well-designed sans serif fonts (something beyond myriad) used for headlines, pullouts, etc and serif fonts appropriate for body text. The reason the Adobe collection is attractive is because buying the licenses for 4-5 options for each font, depending on the font, is already more expensive per machine than the collection.



bntz313
Feb 22, 2008, 10:29 PM
Suitcase fusion is a good font manager. I use it at school and I have it on my laptop, it's pretty good but it's the only one I used.

chaosbunny
Feb 23, 2008, 03:42 AM
I use Linotype FontExplorerX on my 2 macs, and many graphic designers I know use it too. It is at least as good as Suitcase and best off all it's free.

Blue Velvet
Feb 23, 2008, 04:28 AM
I wouldn't buy the Adobe Font Folio for a college paper at all where funds are restricted. Why do you need access to all these families, most of which you will never use? A well-designed paper would only use 2-3 families with a handful of variants. These huge collections are better suited to large agencies.

You're better off spending the money on something else and making a careful selection of individual families that present a coherent approach to design and typography. Most individual fonts are licensed for up to 5 machines anyway...

When our organisation invested in a small font library some years ago, I hand-selected every family about twenty in all that gave a good range for the types of projects we were likely to encounter over the next 5-10 years, and have only added two families since, after our rebranding a couple of years ago.

You'll get far better value for money that way, by buying a careful selection of workhorse families, than splashing out on a huge grab-bag of miscellaneous typefaces. Besides, some really nice and contemporary fonts are available from other vendors that won't be available from Adobe.

WetToad
Feb 23, 2008, 12:52 PM
I wouldn't buy the Adobe Font Folio for a college paper at all where funds are restricted. Why do you need access to all these families, most of which you will never use? A well-designed paper would only use 2-3 families with a handful of variants. These huge collections are better suited to large agencies.

You're better off spending the money on something else and making a careful selection of individual families that present a coherent approach to design and typography. Most individual fonts are licensed for up to 5 machines anyway...


The reason a college newspaper would purchase a collection like this is not because of editorial design, but to enhance ad revenue. No one would be interested in placing an ad if they all looked the same, and a sizable percentage of the ads are not client provided.

A budget of $2500 for the entire Adobe Collection is not a bad alternative to handpicking a lot of different fonts, as the price per face and family drops incredibly.

With Leopard's new "wonderful" way of managing Helvetica Neue, it's completely screwing up many of my existing magazine documents on copyright and pricing pages. Replacing this face to avoid the conflict is over $1k just for the HN family, so going a bit further to get the entire collection isn't the worst thing I could think of.

Blue Velvet
Feb 23, 2008, 12:58 PM
The reason a college newspaper would purchase a collection like this is not because of editorial design, but to enhance ad revenue. No one would be interested in placing an ad if they all looked the same, and a sizable percentage of the ads are not client provided.


Good points. I've never worked in a production environment where ads are created inhouse that don't need to conform to existing corporate guidelines; we're always supplied with external artwork. It didn't cross my mind at all about ad revenue... however, there is a lot of chaff in the Font Folio, last time I looked at it.

WetToad
Feb 23, 2008, 01:04 PM
Oh yeah....

Your two best font management tools are FontAgent Pro Server (http://www.insidersoftware.com/FA_pro_server.php) and Extensis Suitcase Server http://www.extensis.com/en/products/font_management/product_information.jsp?id=prod160011.

I've used Suitcase since I can remember, beginning when it was first released back in the ancient times, and have recently converted and become a FontAgent Pro devotee. (Among many neat features, it is the ONLY manager with a PHOTOSHOP plug-in to activate fonts.)

For awhile I used Font Reserve, and loved it, but when Extensis purchased the company producing it and incorporated many of its advantages into the inferior Suitcase product, then ignored it, I reluctantly returned to Suitcase (thoroughly pissed off, actually).

I like Suitcase Fusion, not crazy about X1 (I've not used it for a long time, however - crashing issues), but -really- like FontAgent Pro. On top of the great product, the customer support is absolutely SUPERB.

WetToad
Feb 23, 2008, 01:10 PM
... however, there is a lot of chaff in the Font Folio, last time I looked at it.

Can you spell "B-U-T-T U-G-L-Y?"

In a former life as an instructor of advanced design courses, I would immediately fail students for using certain fonts from this collection. Remember "Lithos?" Barf.

semicharmed
Feb 23, 2008, 03:29 PM
Good points. I've never worked in a production environment where ads are created inhouse that don't need to conform to existing corporate guidelines; we're always supplied with external artwork. It didn't cross my mind at all about ad revenue... however, there is a lot of chaff in the Font Folio, last time I looked at it.

This is pretty much why we're looking into such a big collection, rather than just selecting 4-5 families. We're completely self-funded, and depending on the week, anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3s of the ads will need to be designed by us.
And while our own typefaces have been more or less consistent over the past 3 years, the last thing you want is ads looking like editorial content.
Quick example would be how we just designed a 16 page tabloid insert for the Career Center here, with all advertising and advertorial-style content... and the person who laid it out neglected to make sure its body text wasn't the paper's body text. It was fixed, but right now we're lacking in fonts appropriate for that kind of thing.
If the Font Folio has chaff, are there any other collections out there that are as comprehensive/varied on a similar (within $1000ish) price scale?
And if not, it's obviously going to be a managed collection, so the chaff will be weeded out. Hopefully.

WetToad
Feb 24, 2008, 08:23 AM
The Adobe collection is your best route. When we talk of "butt ugly" and "chaff," we're not saying that every font in the thing is a dog. If that were the case there wouldn't be mention of it here or anywhere else, as it would not survive in the marketplace.

Economically, this is the most viable solution for you. A college newspaper is not supposed to be the pinnacle of design, and in your environment ads need to be built efficiently in terms of time and legibility. Lots of wild fonts tend to attract undue attention to themselves, bogging down designers with too many choices - most of which young designers don't realize are just plain bad.

Go with staples of design. If clients require extremely specialized fonts, buy it and bill it separately. (You'll find you'll never need to do this for your business, as you're not a design studio.) Everything your paper needs is in the Adobe library, and other libraries are going to be missing some critical faces.

Be careful of what license you purchase. The Adobe Font Library comes with 5, 10, and 20 station licenses.

And beware of Helvetica Neue with 10.5. It bites.

semicharmed
Feb 24, 2008, 09:04 AM
Go with staples of design. If clients require extremely specialized fonts, buy it and bill it separately. (You'll find you'll never need to do this for your business, as you're not a design studio.) Everything your paper needs is in the Adobe library, and other libraries are going to be missing some critical faces.

Be careful of what license you purchase. The Adobe Font Library comes with 5, 10, and 20 station licenses.

And beware of Helvetica Neue with 10.5. It bites.

We're probably going to try to purchase the 10 station with some of the other media groups - yearbook, literary magazine, and the media advisor who does some print/web work for the University.
Thanks for the warning about Helvetica Neue & 10.5, I can't see us upgrading until we purchase new machines a few years down the road.
And I'm definitely going to check out your recommendations for font managers, especially FontAgent Pro. It's what I was looking for - something that will keep fonts synced between multiple machines.

design-is
Feb 24, 2008, 06:00 PM
And beware of Helvetica Neue with 10.5. It bites.

Sorry to be slightly off main topic, but what happens to Helvetica Neue with 10.5?

WetToad
Feb 25, 2008, 09:45 AM
Sorry to be slightly off main topic, but what happens to Helvetica Neue with 10.5?

http://www.macworld.com/article/61302/2007/12/helvetica-leopard.html

design-is
Feb 25, 2008, 10:02 AM
http://www.macworld.com/article/61302/2007/12/helvetica-leopard.html

Thanks very much :)