Author Archive

Thomas Phinney

Thomas Phinney is CEO of FontLab. Previously he worked at Extensis (web fonts and font management tools) and Adobe (as product manager for global fonts and typography). Thomas is also a type designer, teacher, writer, and consultant on fonts and typography. He has been consulted by Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Oxford University Press, a “big three” US auto maker, the US Treasury Department, and PBS “History Detectives,” among others. He teaches type design with Crafting Type and has been a repeat guest lecturer for MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading. Since 2004 he has been a board member of ATypI, the international typography association. His typeface Hypatia Sans is an Adobe Original with over 3000 glyphs per font.

Fix Fonts Fast for Half Off

OTMaster: 50% Off Summer Sale

From now until the end of August September 21, the incredibly powerful and useful OTMaster 3.7 font editing tool from our friends at Dutch Type Library and URW++ is 50% off! For even more savings, you can save 25% on Fontographer 5 in a bundle with OT Master at half off!

DTL OTMaster is a technical font viewer and editor that allows in‐depth examination and fine low‐level tuning of any OpenType font, TrueType font or TrueType Collection. Because of its non‐invasive nature, DTL OTMaster allows type designers and font developers to make small modifications to specific parts of an .otf, .ttf or .ttc font without changing other aspects of the font. It can also serve as an excellent font testing tool. Professional font users benefit from OTMaster’s ability to examine the fonts’ inner structures, and to fix some common technical problems. Software vendors and developers will find DTL OTMaster an indispensable tool that will aid their globalization and internationalization efforts.

Fontographer 5.2 is our font editor for designers, easier than ever to use, but with industrial‐strength FontLab technology under the hood.

Both OTMaster and Fontographer are available on both Mac OS X and Windows.

Preview new FontLab website

We’ve been working hard on a brand new web site for FontLab and its software, and would love your feedback on the work in progress. Your opinion matters to us, whether you are our customers or our colleagues.

Right now it is still a preview: the main page and the TransType app page are the two that are more‐or‐less done, and we have folks working on the rest of it. We hope you’ll agree that these are a much‐needed makeover and give us a modern look.

Check out the new design!

How to Create Multi-Color Fonts with FontLab Products

Multi‐color fonts are still bleeding edge technology, so no one format is universally (or even widely) supported. But they do work today in a number of places, especially if you can make a font that supports several of the competing would‐be standards! This YouTube video by our own Adam Twardoch shows how to create multi‐color fonts across multiple color formats, with existing FontLab apps.

Currently we support:

  • Microsoft OpenType COLR/CPAL fonts
  • Adobe/Mozilla (Firefox) OpenType SVG
  • Apple sbix

Size-specific Adjustments to Type Designs, 2nd edition

Until June 29, Tim Ahrens is offering a pre‐publication discount on the brand‐new and much expanded/revised second edition of his book, Size‐specific Adjustments to Type Designs.

This is not just the best, but really the only significant work on this intriguing and complex topic. Highly recommended for intermediate and advanced type designers, and anyone else interested!

Read more (and buy) on Tim’s blog.

How to Install (Free) Python & friends for FontLab Studio

I just added a big article to our Knowledge Base with step‐by‐step how‐to instructions for both Mac and Windows users!

Read the article here!

There are a host of utilities that can make the font making and editing experience easier and faster. Some work directly in FontLab Studio via the Python scripting language, and others are separate items. Here is how to install Python‐related tools, and the many scripts and things they enable, to work with FontLab Studio 5.1+ on Mac OS and Windows. (If you are using earlier versions, please upgrade to 5.1.x Mac and 5.2.x Windows. Upgrades from 5.0 and higher are free!)

You do not have to be a programmer to make use of these tools! While folks who are at least moderately geeky and technical will get more out of most of these tools, almost anybody who can use FontLab Studio will find value in tools such as TTX, and benefit from some scripts they can run “out of the box.” Once you get this stuff set up, you can install more macros/scripts just by dragging them to the FontLab macros folder, and restarting FontLab Studio.

Advanced FontLab Studio webinar with David Bergsland

David Bergsland’s first webinar on troubleshooting font creation in FontLab Studio got a standing ovation from the attendees! David’s no‐nonsense designer‐friendly approach is accessible to all. Now he is following it up with “Advanced Font Creation,” Tuesday June 10 at 9:00 am Pacific / noon Eastern / 18:00 CESTRegister now!

As Jim Gallagher, our tech support and instructional guru says, “Most designers won’t give these kind of tips away, but Dave spills the beans! You will wonder why you never saw some of these things before.”

Attendance at David’s previous webinar is not at all a pre‐requisite for this follow‐up with even more information and ideas about how to make font creation easy. However, you can still register for that previous webinar even now, after the fact, and watch the recording.

There will be a live Q&A session at the end of the webinar, when you can ask David about the things that puzzle you!

David Bergsland has been a type designer for 20 years, and is the author of both Fontographer and FontLab Studio editions of Practical Font Design. Read more about him.

There are a limited number of seats available for this webinar, so don’t be disappointed—register now!

FontLab survey font editor prize-winners

Soberana typeface sample

Soberana typeface sample

Thank you to all of you who took our latest survey — over 650 of you! We have been crunching numbers and reading your comments and feedback religiously.

We gave away three big prizes via random drawings!

Our First Prize winner is Dimitri Fontaine of Graphic Identité in Nantes, France. They are a design agency specializing in identity, branding and packaging, as well as industrial design — and yes, that really is his last name. They use Fontographer, more to modify, improve and complete existing fonts than design entirely new ones. They will use the prize to get an additional license for Fontographer, including future upgrades.

Our Second Prize winner is Iván Moreno of México. Ivan already uses FontLab Studio, so he is going to save his prize to use to upgrade to version 6 when it comes out. He looks forward to produce commercial and professional fonts for custom and retail use when he finishes his Master’s degree in type design from Centro de Estudios Gestalt, Veracruz, México (Maestría en Diseño Tipográfico), and says this prize is “just what he needed.”

Our Twitter Prize (for somebody who tweeted about the survey) goes to Cristóbal Henestrosa of Estudio CH, also in Mexico. Cristóbal is a graphic designer and an established type designer, having been recognized in the TDC competitions in 2008 and 2010. His last typeface was Soberana, a custom typeface for use throughout the Mexican government, created in collaboration with Raúl Plancarte, using FontLab Studio. He will also use his prize for a future upgrade.

Although we didn’t get to 1000 responses to trigger the grand prize, we were happy to see so many responses. Thanks again to everyone who participated and gave us useful feedback!

FontLab Survey: Win Prizes!

FontLab needs to learn more about our past, current and future customers, and their software needs. We are offering some  awesome prizes to induce you to take our survey. Click here to TAKE SURVEY, WIN PRIZES. The survey closes at 11:59 pm GMT, Wed April 17.

GRAND PRIZE, LIFETIME WINNER: If we get 1000+ responses, we will draw from all survey respondents a winner who will receive, for the rest of their life, a free single‐user license to any and all FontLab software products they want, including future upgrades and products we haven’t even imagined yet!

FIRST PRIZE: As long as we get 250+ survey responses, we will draw from all survey respondents a winner who will receive, for the rest of their life, a free single‐user license to any one FontLab product, including future upgrades. (In the event development on a product some day ends, we will happily substitute a license for a similar FontLab product.)

SECOND PRIZE: We will draw from all survey respondents a winner who will receive a free single‐user license to any one FontLab product of their choice, or upgrade for any FontLab product. (Yes, for those of you waiting for next versions, the winner may defer collecting until a future release, if desired.)

TWITTER PRIZE: Every person who tweets a link to this blog post with some encouragement to take the survey, using the hashtag #fontlabsurvey, will be entered into a draw for a free single‐user license to any one FontLab product of their choice, or upgrade for any FontLab product. (Yes, for those of you waiting for next versions, the winner may defer collecting until a future release, if desired.) If you think this sounds remarkably like the Second Prize above, you would be correct.  🙂

FontLab Studio font design workshop: Pune, March 3–5

There are still spots left! Just over a week until our intermediate‐level type design workshop with FontLab Studio 5 right after Typography Day in Pune India, with a coalition of expert font folks teaching. Join me, Adam Twardoch, Ted Harrison, Pradnya Naik and special guest Prof. Mahendra Patel for three days of intense font‐making goodness!