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.
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 / 18:00CEST. Register 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.”
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!
Port Angeles, WA, May 1, 2014 — FontLab announced today that Thomas Phinney has joined the company as its Vice President. Mr. Phinney brings more than 15 years of experience in digital fonts, type design, product management and working with type designers to FontLab, where he will initially assume responsibility for customer relationships, evangelism and distribution for the company, as well as advising on product development and processes.
Phinney spent his last five years at Extensis as Senior Product Manager for Fonts and Typography, dealing with web fonts and font management solutions. Prior to that, he was at Adobe Systems from 1997 to 2008, ultimately as Product Manager for Fonts & Global Typography, where his work included evangelizing best practices for font creation and coordinating and evangelizing the OpenType font format standard. He is involved in the technical, design, historical, forensic and business aspects of fonts.
Phinney is also a board member of ATypI, the International Typography Association, a frequent speaker at font and typography conferences, and a regular contributor on fonts and typography to Communication Arts magazine. He has an MBA from UC Berkeley, and an MS in Graphic Arts Publishing, specializing in Design & Typography, from RIT.
“Thomas will be an invaluable addition to our team.” said Ted Harrison, President of FontLab. “His wide experience, extensive connections, effective management style, and depth of knowledge made him the best candidate for this job. We’re very happy to welcome him to Fontlab.”
For over 20 years, Fontlab Ltd., doing business as FontLab, has stayed at the forefront of digital font software by remaining devoted to developing advanced font editors and digital type products. Their full line of products is dedicated to solving the most complex digital type issues. These products include: BitFonter, FogLamp, FontLab Studio, Fontographer, ScanFont, TypeTool, TransType, FontFlasher, FONmaker, SigMaker and CompoCompiler. More information on all FontLab products can be seen at www.fontlab.com.
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 TAKESURVEY, WINPRIZES. The survey closes at 11:59 pm GMT, Wed April 17.
GRANDPRIZE, LIFETIMEWINNER: 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!
FIRSTPRIZE: 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.)
SECONDPRIZE: 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.)
TWITTERPRIZE: 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. 🙂
with John Downer & Paul Herrera March 11, 201411:00CST
The majuscules of Imperial Rome have obviously survived the test of time. In ancient times, the structures of capital letters followed a formula. That formula will be introduced by means of a demonstration, using a flat brush. The flat brush is believed to have been the tool used by Romans for writing on vertical surfaces. By seeing what kinds of marks the flat brush can make, observers will get a better idea of how capital letters acquired their shapes.
Questions which will be answered:
1. Can brush lettering be done without using a drafting table? 2. How long will it take me to learn brush lettering well enough to make money at it? 3. Have any of your former students become famous or successful? 4. Where do you get your brushes and materials? 5. Is it possible to run a profitable lettering business from home?
John Downer has been a journeyman sign painter for more than 40 years. He branched into the field of type design 30 years ago, and learned to use a Macintosh about 20 years after starting in the sign trade. His expertise in creating and critiquing letterforms is highly regarded. In addition, his best-known typefaces — Brothers, Roxy, Iowan Old Style and Vendetta — all have distinct structural elements which come directly from his knowledge and practice of professional hand lettering.
Paul Herrera’s calligraphy and lettering training was done exclusively with Reverend E. M. Catich. Beginning as an undergraduate in 1967 and after a short interruption of military service, Paul worked as inscription cutter and calligraphy seminar assistant with Father Catich until the time of his death in 1979. At that point Paul was invited to teach Father Catich’s classes at St. Ambrose and would continue to do so until 1989. During that time Paul also served as a faculty member of five international calligraphy conventions. They include; “The Calligraphy Connection” held at St. John’s University in Minnesota 1981 and 1984, “The California Experience” held at Scripps College in Claremont, California 1985, “Innovations” held at Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey 1986, and “Calligraphy Northwest” held at the University of Portland, Oregon in 1987.
During his forty year career Paul has conducted numerous lettering seminars for calligraphy organizations throughout the Midwest and Canada. He continued inscription work for Wichita State University and an architectural firm in Chicago as well as individual clients. Additionally, he was watercolor and calligraphy instructor at the former Davenport Municipal Art Gallery from 1973 – 1984. He retired from civil service in January of 2009 and now works full time in his studio and offers workshops in calligraphy.
Typography Day 2014 was so popular that the organizers had to cut off registration when they reached 600. The venue, Symbiosis Institute of Design in Pune, India, just couldn’t accommodate any more people than that. And the popularity was quite justified too, as we just finished three great days of workshops and presentations which were packed with type aficionados from all over India and the world. Fontlab did a “Type Design 101” workshop on the first day of the conference (as we have done at previous TypoDays) which was also sold out. On Sunday we presented our paper on research into the unique aspects of Indic type design and today (Monday) we’re kicking off a three day workshop on Advanced FontLab Studio. The highlight of the final day of the conference was the Lifetime Achievement Award given to Aurobind Patel.
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!