Typography programs similar to Fontagrapher?

stanw

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 29, 2007
838
5
From what I understand, Fontagrapher is the industry standard for creating fonts. Is this true?

Are there other programs out there that have the same features?

Thanks.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
Fontographer has been around for decades. Adobe acquired the application when it bought out Macromedia. Adobe let the application languish. In the meantime, FontLab developed and released FontLab Studio which supported all extant font formats. It was a much bigger font editor than Fontographer ever dreamed of being.

However, many developers fondly remembered Fontographer and did not want to see it fade into oblivion. Adobe was persuaded to sell it to FontLab. FontLab updated Fontographer to OS X-compatibility and added support for newer font formats. It is now marketed as FontLab Studio's little brother.

To your question about whether or not Fontographer is the industry standard, I don't see how. Fontographer came to market before Windows was a serious player. Most users acquired most of their fonts from either Apple or Adobe. Fontographer was popular among third-party foundries for in-house, freeware, shareware, and commercial fonts.

After Adobe acquired ownership, Fontographer could not have been the industry standard because it was a System 7 application that had not been updated to OS X. The fonts produced created using Fontographer then as now are in industry standard formats. If you want to create your own fonts or to learn the ins and outs of font design, then Fontographer is a good choice. The quality of your fonts is limited by your talent and skills, not by Fontographer.
 

stanw

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 29, 2007
838
5
Hi MisterMe,

Thank you for your response.

Just for clarification:

1. FontLab owns both Fontagrapher and FontLab Studio?
2. FontLab Studio is considered the higher end/more advanced of the two programs?
3. If a student needed to invest the time and money into learning one of the two programs, which would it be?

Thanks!!!!
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
1. FontLab owns both FontLab Studio, its namesake, and Fontographer, not Fontagrapher. There is no Fontagrapher.
2. FontLab Studio costs $150 more than Fontographer. It is also a much larger download. Make of that what you will.
3. In my post above, I included direct links to both the web pages on the FontLab.com website for both FontLab Studio and Fontographer. FontLab has free demonstration versions of both applications available. Download both demos. Try them both. Decide for yourself which editor you prefer.

You will find that FontLab is not a Johnnie Onenote. It sells several font editing applications and utilities in addition to its namesake editor and its Adobe acquisition. One of these is low-cost font editor, TypeTool.
 
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lucidmedia

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2008
702
37
Wellington, New Zealand
Fontographer still exists, it is owned and sold by Fontlab. It is no longer an industry standard, but it was for many years (certainly from 1992 - 1996) until it was phased out. In more recent years the Fontographer brand was resurrected by its new owner, Fontlab Inc., and it is sold as an inexpensive font design tool for the masses.

In terms of modern and professional tools for typeface design, you have three options (on the mac):

Fontlab Studio is the largest and most feature-rich, but it has not been significantly updated scince 2005. Fontlab 6 -- a complete re-write -- has been coming "any day now" for several years. The tool is being completely re-written.

Robofont is a very bare-bones editor, but is used by many professional designers. Robofont's strength is its scriptability and automation. While it does not come many "features" or much of an interface, you can do almost anything you want via python and there are a ton of plug-ins that have been written by the community that you can download and install.

Glyphs is the newcomer to the industry and I have seen a few professional type designers move from Fontlab or Robofont to Glyphs over the past few years. Glyphs is in the apple app store and is a modern, visual font editor.

If you have never designed a typeface before, I would suggest getting a copy of Glyphs app... it is user friendly and has good documentation... but is still powerful enough for professional use.

If you have some experience with type design -- or plan to go to school and focus on type design -- I would suggest getting a copy of Robofont. It has almost no documentation, but is the current "industry standard" among the professional type designers that I know.

Fontlab was the "industry standard" years ago, and is well documented but will change radically if and when a new version is ever released. I would not recommend it at this time.

If you are a design student, you can get a discounted versions. Contact the developer of Glyphs, Georg Seifert, directly via the Glyphs Website (http://www.glyphsapp.com). Fredrick Berlaen, the developer of RoboFont, is amazingly generous to students but you will need to have your faculty contact him via the Robofont website (http://www.robofont.com). In the past he has had faculty distribute and manage student licenses.
 
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superscape

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2008
920
214
East Riding of Yorkshire, UK
I'd certainly echo what's been said about Glyphs. Several years ago I did quite a bit of work in FontLab and whilst it got the job done I found it clunky and awkward to use. I didn't enjoy the experience.

After a long period of not doing anything font related, I recently downloaded a demo of Glyphs just out of curiosity. I *so* wished I'd had a copy of it back in my FontLab days. It's heaps easier to use and much more intuitive. And if it wasn't then it'd certainly still win out on value for money.

I should point out that I don't work for Glyphs..!

Rob
 

majus

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2004
55
26
Oklahoma City, OK
Glyphs is in the apple app store and is a modern, visual font editor.
You would be far better off getting Glyphs directly from glyphsapp.com. Updates and bug fixes are much more frequent because the appstore version requires clearance by Apple before updates can be made available.

There is also a Glyphs Mini on the appstore but it doesn't have all the functions of the regular version.

FontLab's FL Studio version 6, codenamed Victoria, does not have an announced release date although I think it may be nearing private beta. There may be a public beta but that isn't a sure thing yet. The app isn't likely to be released this year.