TypeCon in Portland is about two weeks away, August 1 – 5, 2018. FontLab will be there! I (Thomas Phinney) will be teaching “FontLab VI for FontLab Studio 5 users.” There are still a few spots left in this half-day workshop (Wednesday August 1, 9 am — noon), so sign up now!
If you’re not in the workshop, feel free to ask me questions any time you see me, get an impromptu demo of some feature, or just say “hi!”
Conferences — including TypeCon in particular — are a great way to meet people of all levels in the type community. Even many of the top folks in fonts are amazingly friendly and approachable! Not to mention all the amazing talks and panels. Highly recommended!
Until further notice, we recommend FontLab Studio 5, TypeTool 3 and TransType Pro 3 users consider the issues below before they update to macOS 10.13 “High Sierra.” Those using FontLab Studio 5 for axis-based (Multiple Master) type design, or who need the “paste special” function, should not upgrade to High Sierra — consider upgrading to FontLab VI.
Fontographer 5 and TransType 4 have no issues particular to High Sierra that we know of. FontLab VI being developed on an all-new platform is expected to be fine on High Sierra and beyond.
Older versions of FontLab Studio (5.1.4 and earlier) and TransType Pro 3 cannot be installed on High Sierra. If installed, they cannot launch on High Sierra.
If you installed one of these older appsprior to High Sierra upgrade, you will see this error message:
“Error while writing license file /Library/Preferences/[name of license file]. Please make sure that you have rights to write to the folder and that such a file doesn’t already exist. Otherwise your license will be lost but your Activation key will be marked as used.”
If installed fresh after High Sierra upgrade (or if the license file is removed), you will see this error message:
“Error initializing license system. Bad or missing or expired RLM license (-130)...”
The solutions for install problems are to install Fontlab Studio 5.1.5 (a free update for 5.0/5.1.x), or upgrade from TransType 3 to TransType 4
For FontLab Studio, be aware also of issues below!
FontLab Studio 5.1.5 and TypeTool 3.1.2 are affected. (FontLab VI is not.)
The problems occur only on macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”
In the Font Window, copy/pasting or appending glyphs does not work normally
The “paste” and “append glyph” options are grayed out (even after you “copy”), and the corresponding keyboard shortcuts also don’t work.
There is a good workaround, below.
Within a Glyph Window, copy/paste of contours is broken for multiple-master (MM) fonts—only one master gets copied and pasted.
Single-master fonts do fine with copy/paste within the Glyph Window.
There is no direct workaround for this problem.
The “Paste Special” function in FontLab Studio 5 does not work. There is no direct workaround for this problem.
We do not currently have any ETA on a true fix, nor any solution for MM font editing. However, this is a decent workaround for the first problem:
To copy one or more glyphs in the Font Window:
select the cell(s)
click and drag the cell(s) to their destination, but do not let go of the mouse button
Now press the Command key, and keep it pressed while you let go of the button
This works within a Font Window, or between two Font Windows.
You can let go in any empty slot. If no empty slot is available, let go in an occupied slot. You will get a dialog asking if you want to replace the glyph(s). If you say “no,” then the glyph(s) will be appended to the font instead.
We have officially approved the most recent v5714 builds of FontLab Studio 5 for general release: these will be the official 5.1.5 Mac and 5.2.2 Windows releases. Compared to the previous 5.1.4 / 5.2.1 releases, this fixes 40 bugs, including 24 bugs present on both platforms, 7 Mac-only issues, and 9 Windows-only issues.
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.
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 coördinating 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.
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.