Program related question.

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Faiyaz Kolia's picture
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007 - 10:06am
Program related question.
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I don't really know too much about typography but i really want to learn one day. I lurk around here alot and i notice that you guys use these programs quite abit; Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Fontlab. Just wanted to know what each of these programs help to do. Like what would you use to get something like this http://typophile.com/files/frankie2.gif or http://typophile.com/files/franklingothic-swash.png .

Thank you. I hope I'm not troubling you guys too much.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Hi Faiyaz,

the threads you mention show manipulated glyphs.
[[Type design]] isn’t [[typography]].
Some basic vector editing can be done with all of the applications you listed (maybe Photoshop isn’t really very suitable for that).

In a nutshell:

  • [[Adobe Illustrator|Illustrator]]: especially for vector-based drawing; also (limited) possibility to do text (type-setting) and layout (importing/arranging images, …)
  • [[Adobe InDesign|InDesign]]: main focus is extensive multi-page layout, type-setting, typography (e.g. book design). Some (limited) vector drawing capabilities.
  • [[Adobe Photoshop|Photoshop]]: image editing/creation, mainly pixel-oriented (so, not the best tool to do neither type design nor typography)
  • [[Fontlab]]: the tool for type design and font creation.

If all you aim for is to manipulate/draw a glyph or two, you break a fly on the wheel with Fontlab. Illustrator will do. If you want to make a functional font out of your glyphs (so that you can type with it), then indeed it’s the right choice.

You can also learn a about the [[software]] in the wiki or at the manufacturers’ sites (Adobe, Fontlab).

F

Faiyaz Kolia's picture
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Joined: 16 Oct 2007 - 10:06am
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Thank you very much Florian! That cleared up alot.

I think I will give Fontlab a try. I'm downloading the demo version right now. Is it hard to use? Are there any basic tutorials online?

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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There are a lot of threads about that, like this one . Please run a search. Or check out Typophile’s ‘Build’ forum – it’s not solely FL-orientated, but often quite FL-centric.

Gary Long's picture
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Joined: 27 Jun 2007 - 3:42pm
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TypeTool 3, a kind of a junior Fontlab, works very well for many basic font design and manipulation needs, and is easier on the brain and pocketbook.