Request for Utopian Technology

Quemadura's picture

I'd like to formally pose a question that's circulated through my working-mind for almost two decades:

if the only way I can verify a typeface is right for a given book is to set the much of the book with it and hone/adjust/print/dicker/tweak, how am I to do so if I don't own the typeface?

Ruse, for example. I've wanted to try it for years.

Can someone develop software that will allow a typeface to exist on my computer just for a day?

George Thomas's picture

Type these days doesn't cost that much and there are so many fonts around that come with software that are either what you may ultimately want to use or similar, testing should not be a problem.

Too, look for a book set in something you may think will work for you and look at it.

bojev's picture

Maybe fonts could be like music - you only pay when you use it commerically - (ASCAP or BMI)

riccard0's picture

There are various foundries which offer demo fonts of their catalogs, and now there are also cloud-based solutions. But, of course, ultimately it depends on the foundry.

nina's picture

This not utopian enough for you? http://www.fontshop.com/plugin/
Sure, they don’t have everything, but they have a lot.

One thing I’ve done is when I’m really, really getting to a point of wanting to see a font in my layouts (and the available specimen PDFs etc aren’t enough) is to buy just the regular weight. Usually that’s not too much of an investment (OK, Ruse might be an exception to that rule :) ), and even if it turns out not to be right, you still might be able to use it for something else down the road.

But also, talk to people. I’ve found that quite a few foundries actually will let you test fonts for free if they believe you’re not going to just steal them.

riccard0's picture

I also heard of foundries willing to set a test page for you (one even have an online tool for it, if I recall correctly).

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