Has anyone else dealt yet with the new LetterheadFonts.com method for installing/using fonts? I recently bought one of their new fonts since they converted their entire library over to OpenType in late December. And aside from the very nice font I must say I am quite dismayed. Here is what they've done:
1. You no longer receive an actual font file, at least not that you can see.
2. Instead what you download is an installer that installs an application called "Letterhead Fonts" (at least on Macintosh which is what I use).
3. The fonts are either embedded in this "Letterhead Fonts" application or somewhere else unknown/hidden from the user. No fonts are installed in the traditional Font folder locations.
4. Once installed, the "Letterhead Fonts" application activates the fonts permanently, at least as far as I can tell, like a font manager. You see them only in the font menus of your other applications, nowhere else. It also doesn't currently allow fonts to be seen or managed in font manager applications like Suitcase, Font Agent, etc., though LHF apparently plans to add this capability.
Aside from the obvious antipiracy objective, here are the biggest ramifications and problems I see for the user (myself, for one):
- You are completely prohibited from organizing the fonts like you want on your hard drive, such as for classification or other purposes. All your flexibility is taken away including any system or method that you might have had in place to manage fonts for your own needs.
- As mentioned, the LHF fonts can't be activated individually. It's an all or nothing proposition. (Unless/until they enable font managers to "see" the fonts perhaps, but maybe not even then, I haven't seen them say.)
- It means you can't add kerning pairs to a font, for example, or otherwise tweak the font yourself if problems are found or you have special needs.
- And of course, you can't really back up the fonts themselves. Your only recourse if something were to happen is a reinstall from the various installers you may have accumulated over time, or else go back to their site for the installers there. (They do make provision for downloading previous font orders you have made with their new shopping cart system.)
A real shame since this will probably make a lot of people think twice about buying additional fonts once they see how it works the first time. I know it has me, despite LHF's unique fonts. Lots of other good independent foundries around these days as alternatives. What do the rest of you think about where LHF has gone with this?