TypeTool orFontographer?

jonathanhughes's picture

I bought Fontographer in the 90s, did some type design, then moved on to other things, and haven't touched FOG since. I want to get back into type design, so I'm wondering which makes more sense: upgrading to FOG 4.7 or getting TypeTool. Either option would cost me $99, and since it's been so long since I've used FOG, I'm not concerned about having to re-learn anything by moving to TypeTool. I know FOG should have some more features than TT, but after looking at the product comparison chart, they look really equal (with TT ahead in some features).

Since I'm more or less a beginner at this point, I don't need super advanced features, and TT seems like a more modern program, and maybe a bit easier to use, and if I ever decided to upgrade to Fontlab, I'd already know how to use the program.

Anyone have any recommendations?



cuttlefish's picture

Folks have asked similar questions before throughout the forums.
While I don't wish to cause the Fontlab people any grief, but do consider FontForge.
It's a little awkward and messy in some respects, notably that you have to get it working in X11 or Cygwin rather than native operating environments (unless you're on a Linux box), but the features are more than good enough and it's not going to cost you anything for trying.

Thomas Phinney's picture

It's a tough call because you already know Fontographer a bit, but you say you're not concerned about learning, so I'd pick TypeTool. It is a good stepping-stone to FontLab, which is the primary tool used by professionals these days, including us at Adobe.



Bert Vanderveen's picture

You have a valid Fog-serial? Consider upgrading to FontLab — it's 299,00 USD:

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

canderson's picture

Get TypeTool. If you need more functionality later, upgrade to FontLab.

blank's picture

I tried Typetool for about three months. It was really nice, but even for a total beginner like me it was just too limited, so I caved in and upgraded to Fontlab.

jonathanhughes's picture

Thanks for all the advice! I thought about making the jump right into Fontlab, but I'd rather only be out the $99 rather than the $299 if I end up sucking. If I get TypeTool, I can always use my FOG serial number to upgrade to FontLab (since it'scheaper to upgrade to FL from FOG than TT).

James, what limitations of TT caused you to upgrade to FL? After reading the comparison charts, and trying out the demos, I still can't quite tell what the limitations of TT and FOG are compared to each other.



1985's picture

Sorry I tried to post a new thread on this topic but I'm at home here in this thread. If I started work in TT can I transfer the work to FL later?


cuttlefish's picture

I'm pretty sure you can, although I haven't tried myself (having neither application). At worst you'd have to generate a font from one program and import it into the other.

bieler's picture


I'd recommend the upgrade to FOG rather than TypeTool. The latter has limitations, such s restricted transform effects (that for me make it quite useless). In that regard FOG has much more capability and is a far simpler program to use than either FontLab or TT. FOG can't create fonts in the OT format but if that is necessary FOG databases can be ported over to TypeTool Pro or FontLab with FogLamp.


blank's picture

Drawing in Typetool can be a big pain, especially when it comes to building up shapes from strokes. The lack of transform effects Gerald Mentioned can be bothersome. Lack of autotracing was a big problem, because what Livetrace generates is next to worthless for lettering, but Fontlab can be a huge timesaver when I want to build up a complex letter without using the pen tools. That might not matter to serious type designers who don’t trace, but I’m a student and have to cut corners when time is really tight. There were other things, but it’s been a few months and I can’t really remember them now.

On the upside, Fontlab will issue you a refund for Typetool to upgrade to Fontlab within three months of purchase. So you can always start with Typetool and upgrade later.

Gary Long's picture

"If I started work in TT can I transfer the work to FL later?"

I had no trouble opening TypeTool 3 files in Fontlab when I upgraded to FL5.

1985's picture

Thanks for your feedback folks. I think perhaps my understanding of the three programs in relation to each other is a little shaky. I will consult the website before I ask you too many tedious questions :)

As always, thanks.

dberlow's picture

There is one other thing to throw into ones hopper as one consider a purchase. If ones 90's experience with FOG was pre-4.0, there is no current upgrade to what you were drawing with. After 3.x, 'Macromedia' re-interfaced FOG to 'match' Freehand, the previous interface was discontinued, (So you may be starting from scratch, UI experience-wise, regardless of your choice).

russ_mcmullin's picture

My situation is similar to yours. I hadn't touched Fontrapher in years, and then I found out there was an upgrade. I just happened to be interested in doing a font, so I upgraded.

After upgrading there were a few things that bugged me about the program, like not being able to cut and paste from Illustrator very well. Maybe I needed a newer version of Illustrator, but I couldn't do a straight cut and paste into Fontographer. I also wanted the capability of making OpenType fonts. Lastly, I'm one of those very very rare people that spent years on Macs and got converted to the PC. I preferred to work in Windows, but the Fontographer upgrade was for Macs.

So, I upgraded to FontLab Studio and I'm really pleased with it.

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