Poll: What OS and apps do you use for designing type?

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Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
Poll: What OS and apps do you use for designing type?
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A question raised by a recent discussion: what digital tools are type designers using today? Let's keep the discussion separate, and use this thread only for poll answers.

  1. On what operating system do you do most of your type design work?
    (Examples: Mac, Windows, Linux)
  2. In what application do you do most of your letterform drawing?
    (Examples: Illustrator, Fontographer, FontLab, Corel Draw)
  3. In what application do you do most of your font editing and mastering?
    (Examples: Fontographer, FontLab, DTL FontMaster)

Rules: Please, no discussion here. Only one post per user. Only one answer per question. "Both" is not a valid answer -- I recognize that many type designers use both Mac and Windows and more than one or two applications, but for the purposes of this simple poll, please only respond with the primary OS and apps (one for drawing and one for mastering) that you use for the bulk of your work.

Results and analysis will be published on Typographica.
Thank you for participating!

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Joined: 22 Jan 2004 - 4:19pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.2
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.2

4. Other tools: AFDKO

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Raph Levien's picture
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Joined: 8 Aug 2004 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. Spiro
3. FontForge

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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1. Windows XP SP 2
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FDKO (but Miguel does it)

4. Other tools: Tim Ahrens' RMX tools. I'll also do my own interim masterin from FontLab.

Karl Thomas ’Kristian’ Möller's picture
Joined: 22 May 2006 - 7:29am
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Rachel Roberts's picture
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Joined: 21 Feb 2007 - 12:23pm
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio
3. FontLab Studio

kris sowersby's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.2
3. -- (Chester masters.)

Juergen Weltin's picture
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Joined: 13 Jan 2006 - 6:31am
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Georg Seifert's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2005 - 10:23am
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Richard Kegler's picture
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Göran Söderström's picture
Joined: 15 Feb 2006 - 2:53am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.4

Pieter van Rosmalen's picture
Joined: 3 Mar 2005 - 3:23am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.4

4. Other tools: Bitfonter

Christophe Badani's picture
Joined: 8 Dec 2001 - 12:51pm
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Andreas Seidel's picture
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Joined: 8 Mar 2002 - 3:44am
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1. Windows XP SP 2
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. AFDKO

4. Illustrator 8, UltraEdit, InDesign 2, some MS tools, ...

MASTERING & EDITING are two very different tasks!
Of couse for editing of the outline data I use FontLab, but mastering is done with a lot of different tools and one main set of these tools is the AFDKO.

Nick Cooke's picture
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Joined: 25 May 2004 - 2:29am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. Freehand 10 / FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

paul d hunt's picture
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Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
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1. Windows XP SP 2
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. AFDKO
4. Other tools: TTX

Magnus Rakeng's picture
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Joined: 6 Jun 2004 - 1:50pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. Illustrator CS3
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.1

4. Other tools: FontLab Studio 5.0.1 (for drawing)

Malcolm Wooden's picture
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Joined: 30 Mar 2004 - 4:57am
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1. Windows XP SP2
2. a pencil
3. In-house s/w

4. Other tools: Epson Scanner, Photoshop, FontLab Studio 5.0.4 for drawing
FontLab Studio 5.0.4 for mastering

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2006 - 9:53am
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1. Windows XP SP2
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

4. Other tools: Illustrator CS3 (+ pencil/paper of course) for drawing

Brian Crick's picture
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Joined: 18 May 2001 - 10:10pm
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1. Windows XP SP2
2. Fontlab Studio 5.0.3
3. Fontlab Studio 5.0.3

isaias loaiza ramirez's picture
Joined: 10 Apr 2006 - 10:09am
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio (5.0)
3. FontLab Studio (5.0)

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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1. Windows XP SP2
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.4

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Paul van der Laan's picture
Joined: 4 Mar 2007 - 8:56am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.2
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.2

4. Other tools: BitFonter for drawing and mastering, RoboFab for editing and mastering

gaultney's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2007 - 5:13am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.2
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.2

4. Other tools: Photoshop CS2 for drawing (if hand-drawn), Robofab, a variety of other Python and Perl scripts for editing and mastering

Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
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_ _ I N T E R M I S S I O N / A L E R T _ _

Thank you for the response thus far. Most of you dutifully followed the poll structure, but some folks missed the one answer per question rule. If you'd like to list other tools you use, you may put them in a new list item called "Other tools". I have edited the offenders' posts. Feel free to change your response if my edit is inaccurate.

Again, please limit each answer to one primary app for this poll. We can dive deeper in a later survey.

_ _ _ _ _ _ G A M E _ O N _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Bert Vanderveen's picture
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Joined: 13 Jun 2004 - 8:19am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4
2. none
3. none

4. Still working on idea's and design with pencil, thin marker and lots of Moleskine notebooks and various bits of paper.
Mind you, I do have FontLab in it's latest incarnation on my Mac for that special moment when I am going to really start…

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Mark Simonson's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2001 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Ken Messenger's picture
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Joined: 23 Feb 2006 - 11:05am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4
2. Adobe Illustrator
3. TypeTool 3

Ray Larabie's picture
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Joined: 4 Aug 2006 - 5:54pm
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1. Windows XP
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Jesse Burgheimer's picture
Joined: 12 Aug 2003 - 4:46pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4
2. FontLab Studio
3. FontLab Studio

I can't really call myself a "professional," though.

Jean-aptiste Levée's picture
Joined: 10 Aug 2006 - 5:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.4

4. Other tools: AFDKO, Robofab, TTX, FileMaker Pro.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Joined: 10 Sep 2006 - 6:19pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.9
2. FontForge
3. FontForge

Christian Schwartz's picture
Joined: 18 Mar 2005 - 4:45pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. I don't do my own mastering, but I think it's done in the AFDKO

4. Other tools: RoboFab, Superpolator, FeatureProof, TextMate, various small and specific applications...

Joshua Erickson's picture
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Joined: 8 Oct 2007 - 3:48pm
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1 Windows Vista
2 Font Creator 5.6
3 Font Creator 5.6

Christian's picture
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Joined: 16 Apr 2005 - 10:57am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab
3. FontLab

4. Other tools: lots of python

Russ McMullin's picture
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Joined: 12 Apr 2007 - 11:02pm
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1. Windows XP
2. Illustrator CS2
3. FontLab Studio 5

John Boardley's picture
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Joined: 10 Aug 2007 - 11:00pm
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

other tools: a hammer

Nick Sherman's picture
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Joined: 5 Nov 2006 - 2:23pm
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab
3. FontLab

Andrew E. Boardman's picture
Joined: 2 Feb 2003 - 10:04am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. Illustrator CS3
3. FontLab

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Stuio 5
3. FontLab Stuio 5

Jos Buivenga's picture
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Joined: 19 Nov 2005 - 5:11pm
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.10
2. FontLab Studio 5.0.4
3. FontLab Studio 5.0.4

felix bonge's picture
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Joined: 17 Feb 2007 - 4:52pm
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1. Windows XP
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Kent Lew's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.3.9
2. Fontographer 4.7.2
3. Fontographer 4.7.2

4. On occasion I will use Font Lab Studio 5.0.2 for some tasks. I don't actually do my own final mastering. This is done by the foundry.

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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1. Windows Vista Business
2. CorelDraw 9
3. FontLab Studio 5

4. I export EPS outlines to Fontographer 4.1.5, generate a PS font, then open that font in FontLab.

Andy Clymer's picture
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Joined: 9 Jun 2002 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Patrick Griffin's picture
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Joined: 28 Aug 2007 - 3:04pm
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1. Mac OS X
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Justin Callaghan's picture
Joined: 10 Oct 2003 - 12:49am
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1. Windows XP
2. FontLab Studio 5
3. FontLab Studio 5

Peter Bruhn's picture
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Joined: 20 Sep 2001 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X (10.4.10)
2. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)
3. FontLab Studio 5 (5.0.4)

Grant Hutchinson's picture
Joined: 10 Jun 2002 - 11:00am
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1. Mac OS X 10.4.x
2. Illustrator CS2 *
3. Fontographer 4.7.2 **

* With some exceptions for legacy files, which just work better under AI7
** FontLab Studio 5 is used for any additional OTF shenanigans