The in-house graphic designer with a limited number of corporate fonts to use on a daily basis may need nothing more than Apple’s Font Book app (if even that) to manage a small font collection. But the freelance designer with dozens of clients, the ad agency production studio and the print shop with hundreds of clients must have robust font management or dealing with fonts can become a full-time job. For those users, Extensis offers Suitcase Fusion 3.
Rather than contribute yet another blog post listing boat-loads of free fonts, I figured I would just shoot you a few quick links to other sites that list them.
There are plenty of other blogs out there that list fonts available for free, requiring only a Google search to find them. Of course, you could always start with the king of all font sites, DaFont.
It’s a little early to start searching for horribly frightening Halloween fonts, but if you grab them now, you won’t have to search for them later this year when you’re in a hurry to put together the office Halloween party flyer that you will no-doubt be stuck doing yet again!
Check out Hongkiat’s collection of 50+ Free High Quality Gothic & Horror Fonts.
A young application in the font management world, FontCase has gained critical acclaim due its stunning good looks, speed, stability and ease of use. The latest version adds to an already impressive list of useful features.
Version 1.5 of Fontcase brings the following updates to the program:
- Font auto-activation
- Duplicates Detection
- Automatic import of missing fonts
- Incremental export of both fonts and metadata
- Improved speed, launch time and cache size
I’ve not tried FontCase, I’ve been an Extensis Suitcase user for many years and had no reason to try anything else. But with font auto-activation finally making its way into FontCase, and the server-like font sharing feature built-in, it might just be time to give it a try.
FontCase requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher, and costs $56 for a single user license. A demo is available for download.
Chris Foresman over at ArsTechnica comments on the upcoming font changes to OS X Snow Leopard. Among the many under-the-hood changes to OS X are the removal of Strong and Light anti-alias font Display settings. Medium will be the only option. And much to the delight of many designers, Apple is apparently getting rid of their proprietary dfont format. Taking its place will be a number of fonts in the TrueType Collection (.ttc) format. How font management applications like Suitcase Fusion will support this remains to be seen – however the .ttc format has been supported by the Mac OS since 8.5, according to Ars.
Back in the 90s I spent some time working pre-press for a service bureau. It was a rough time to work pre-press because RIPs were horrifically slow, just starting to get full postscript level 2 compatibility, and more often than not, simply choked on a document with more than 4 or 5 fonts. Back then, I had to deal with TrueType, three different types of Postscript fonts, Apple’s GX fonts, and Multiple Master fonts. Each brought its own unique brand of hurt. By far, the most reliable was Postscript Type 1. Thankfully, type 2 and 3 never really caught on, nor did Multiple Master fonts. TrueType had a rocky start – most RIPs couldn’t handle the single font file format – but eventually the format received wide acceptance and compatibility. Salvation came in 1996… (more…)
I’m not much for gimmicky fonts. Sure, I like them, but I wouldn’t consider using them for anything beyond the family Christmas newsletter. But photo fonts are a different story. If done well, they can be creative, professional, and might be the cure for the creative cold-spell. HandMadeFonts is just what the doctor ordered. The site features over 100 photographic fonts. While some are cheesy at best, many are quite stunning, and might just fit in to your next project. Everything from lego pieces, baloons, and water drops to stitched leather, grass and animal fur. When you purchase these fonts, you’re actually not getting a font, you’re getting PSD files. Single fonts can be purchased using PayPal for as little as $13 each.
Sigurdur Armannsson has put together an exhaustive list of typography-related RSS feeds over at Font.is. Every site in the list has a brief description and a link to the RSS feed. If you prefer to grab them all, he has made an OPML file available for download.
Using proper fractions in your text can make all the difference when it comes to professional appearance. ¼ looks a whole lot better than 1/4. There’s an easier way than tweeking the size and baseline adjustment to regular text to achieve proper fractions. Both Quark and InDesign offer a Glyph palette which allows you to find the fraction glyphs contained in many fonts. Many times though, the font you’re using doesn’t contain the fraction you need. For instance, many fonts only contain ¼, ½, ¾, and so on. By far the easiest way is to use OpenType fonts though. You can simply type the fraction normally, then select it and choose Fractions from the OpenType menu from the Character panel in InDesign, or the Character Attributes tab of the Measurements palette in Quark XPress. In the image above, you can see how much better the fraction on the right looks as compared to the normal text version on the left.