FontLab or not?

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Christian Steen Jørgensen's picture
Joined: 2 Apr 2008 - 1:36pm
FontLab or not?
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Is FontLab studio the best program to start out? I have no experience with any font editing software like FontLab, only illustrator. But i have for quite some time wanted to get my hands dirty and dive into a program like FontLab (it's the only one i have ever heard of).

But i was wondering, is it the best program for a completely newbie like me? Is it just the one and only program? I have seen it, tried out a demo really quick, but it looks very old school and feels very counter intuitive. Doesn't feel like a modern nice piece of software.

Or are there som easier way to start? If not, what books do you recommend regarding FontLab and type design in general?

Thanks.

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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White chalk, black paper, 4 bit scanner and Adobe Streamline, ya can't get better than that!

Aaron Bell's picture
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Joined: 8 Apr 2009 - 3:50pm
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You may also want to consider Type Tool. It doesn't have all the features of Fontlab, but it is significantly cheaper and you can upgrade if you find that making type is really the thing for you.

But yeah, pencil and paper are definitely a good place to start too!

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Typetool and Illustrator isn’t bad if you don’t want to invest $700 in Fontlab right away, especially if you aren’t interested in designing complicated fonts or working with scripting. Just make sure to read the manual before you start trying to move to and from Illustrator. And if you want to upgrade to Fontlab with a few months, the Fontlab people are very accommodating about refunding the Typetool purchase price. And don’t forget that Fontlab does offer a hefty student discount on Fontlab!

Christian Steen Jørgensen's picture
Joined: 2 Apr 2008 - 1:36pm
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Thanks for your comments guys.

I think i will just stay low key and continue to use paper and illustrator for now. The $700 for FontLab will presumably be a very bad investment for me. I will have no idea what to do with, all too advanced and complicated for me at this moment. And i have no intension on working with scripts. Just playing around and learn with designing letterform and basic stuff.

But TypeTool might not be a bad place to start at some point, but at them moment pencil, paper and illustrator will be sufficent.

Type Design book? Any suggestion?

Thanks.

jonathanhughes's picture
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Joined: 19 Dec 2007 - 9:28pm
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Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Chapter 8 of this book is a great start, in addition to the books in the TypoWiki.

Aaron Bell's picture
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Joined: 8 Apr 2009 - 3:50pm
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Glad to hear that James. I just found that book in a used book store the other day and was hoping it was a good one! I'm also tempted to look into that one jonathan. It looks good too.

Kent Lew's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2002 - 11:00am
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> I found this book VERY helpful:
>http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300111509

From the YUP description: "As design clients increasingly call for original and custom typefaces, Designing Type is a superb reference for both students and professional graphic designers."

Nothing against Ms. Cheng and her book, but you gotta love that marketing angle: "As design clients increasingly call for original and custom typefaces, forget those professional type designers -- learn to do it yourself and pocket all the profit!"

Jan Schmoeger's picture
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008 - 5:39am
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What profit, Kent? :/