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Indices: Tools/Software : Fontographer

Fontographer is design software; an application for designing fonts and exporting various Font file formats.

Sometimes people incorrectly refer to typographers and type designers as “fontographers” – an incorrect reference to the software and not the practice of designing type.

The program first appeared on the market in 1985, released by Altsys, a software developer from Texas. Altsys, who developed Fontographer from version 1.0–4.0 was bought during the early 1990s by Macromedia. Macromedia then released version 4.1.

Following version 4.1.x, Macromedia halted the development of Fontographer. For almost a decade, no serious work was done to the software, although several mysterious beta versions (Version 5) were floated to selected members of the type design industry. During the late 1990s, Fontographer began losing market share among professional designers, as FontLab became a more powerful tool. The lack of OS X support for Fontographer inflicted another serious blow to its market share.

On May 9 2005 FontLab Ltd. announced the licensing of the full Fontographer product line from Macromedia Inc. and its further development.

Many well-established (i.e. older) type foundries have built custom Python scripts that automate repetitive tasks in Fontographer. Thus some firms still use Fontographer.