Font management for a small studio

Bloom.Aar's picture

I've been working for a small design studio thats about a year old now and we are finally getting a server and some proper font management for the entire studio! Very exciting. I just wanted to ask about your favorite options, programs, and if you had any tips on making the transition.

Fonts stored on the server vs. fonts stored locally... Is it a good idea to have all the designers using fonts off of a server? Does this slow down font performance at all?

Thanks in advance!

George Thomas's picture

Fonts on a server? Absolutely, no question it is the best way. I also recommend the server be read-only to all clients so they can't add or delete font files on the server; it is the server Admin's job to keep it organized properly and maintain good DRM.

Slowdown? Nothing noticeable.

JamesM's picture

I used to work at a design firm where fonts were on the server and it worked well. As George said you need someone to manage it properly.

But if you have any office laptops that are used away from the network they'll need to have the fonts installed.

Stephen Rapp's picture

UTS Universal Type Server is probably a good place to look for a start. It's by Extensis. They used to have Font Reserve and that was not so great with lots of issues, but UTS seems pretty reliable. I think they have plug-ins specific to Adobe Illustrator, but I don't remember the details on that.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Universal Type Server has app-specific plug-ins for InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and QuarkXPress.

Extensis had two previous server-based font management apps (its own Suitcase Server and the acquired Font Reserve Server), and then started over again with a new codebase for UTS to rectify a variety of architectural errors. That was quite some years back; UTS is now on version 4.

The Universal Type Client is based on the same code as Suitcase Fusion.

noktulo's picture

Does Universal Type Server allow users to see what fonts look like without downloading the entire server library to their local machine? Part of the reason we're looking for a server solution is to allow users to more easily preview and utilize the fonts we already own. But we're currently running a trial of FontExplorer Server and it requires users to either download each font off the server individually or download the entire collection off the server before they can see what any of the fonts actually look like.

Thomas Phinney's picture

My recollection is, UTS can preview select fonts without downloading all of them, yes.

Better, the speed for synchronizing fonts with the server has just gone up immensely in the new release. “Up to 27x faster” it says.

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