How to make stroke-only fonts in FontLab Studio 5 (& TypeTool)

People working with engraving machines and vinyl sign‐cutting machines sometimes ask for special fonts that are made with single‐stroke lines instead of closed shapes. Even though this is not legal in the font formats, it is possible to work around it in FontLab Studio 5 and TypeTool 3. Here’s how, and why you might be fooled into thinking you have failed even when successful.

Free FontLab Webinar: Typerobics Type Design Exercises

Please join us for an exciting new free webinar for beginning type designers!

Typerobics: Type design exercises
with Fábio Duarte Martins
Tuesday 16 June 2015
9:00 am Pacific / noon Eastern / 16.00 GMT / 18.00 CEST
Register now!

The video from the webinar is now available!

Are your letters feeling out of shape? Do you aspire to win the regional kerning championship? Typerobics is a type‐making workout regime intended to shape up your Bézier biceps. Every sport requires exercise, and so does type design. Typerobics is your type design fitness plan: pick a word, pick a typographic style, draw that word in under 40 minutes‐then repeat at least three times a week.

OS X 10.10.3 does not need FontLab Studio update!

Update April 8, 2015: OS10.10.3 shipped today, and as hoped, the final shipping version does not in fact break FontLab Studio 5.1.4 (or 5.1.2; earlier 5.0.x versions are probably also okay but not tested).

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our appreciation for our friends and colleagues at Apple: they proactively alerted us to the problem, and then later changed path to avoid triggering it with the actual shipping 10.10.3 update when it came. A class act all around!

As announced April 1, FontLab Studio 5.1.5 build 5568 (release candidate 1) is available (since replaced by FontLab Studio 5.1.5 build 5611, release candidate 2). Because it is possible that a future Mac OS X build will cause the same problem we previously saw, we will continue testing 5.1.5 and expect to make it available in the future.

Basics of Python scripting in FontLab Studio 5

Video tutorial


The 70‐minute tutorial Basics of Python scripting in FontLab Studio 5 has beed recorded in February 2015 by Adam Twardoch. The tutorial is primarily intended for users who have never written any Python code before, although some tips and tricks for more advanced users are given. Topics include: basics of Python, scripting‐related user interface elements of FontLab Studio, installing Python, RoboFab and FontLab Python macros, writing simple scripts that modify a font and speed up the type design process. See below for additional resources.

ScanFont & BitFonter prices plummet

Prices plummet precipitously on ScanFont 5 and BitFonter 3, and their bundles!

BitFonter

BitFonter 3 $499 $149
 — upgrade from older versions $99 $49.99

BitFonter screen shots

ScanFont

ScanFont 5 $99 $46.99
 — upgrade from older versions $29.95 $19.95

ScanFont screen shot

Combo Bundles

TransType + BitFonter bundle New! $209
FontLab Studio + BitFonter $999 $749
FontLab Studio + ScanFont $699 $679
TypeTool + ScanFont $123.99 $67

Note for Mac users: the Mac versions of BitFonter and ScanFont do not work natively on the most recent Mac OS versions; for those users we have created a special installer that runs the Windows version of the app in a WINE wrapper, on Mac OS. We find this works pretty well, but the Mac versions not being native is one of the reasons we are reducing the price.

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