Program related question.

Faiyaz's picture

I don't really know too much about typography but i really want to learn one day. I lurk around here alot and i notice that you guys use these programs quite abit; Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Fontlab. Just wanted to know what each of these programs help to do. Like what would you use to get something like this http://typophile.com/files/frankie2.gif or http://typophile.com/files/franklingothic-swash.png .

Thank you. I hope I'm not troubling you guys too much.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Faiyaz,

the threads you mention show manipulated glyphs.
Type design isn’t typography.
Some basic vector editing can be done with all of the applications you listed (maybe Photoshop isn’t really very suitable for that).

In a nutshell:

  • Illustrator: especially for vector-based drawing; also (limited) possibility to do text (type-setting) and layout (importing/arranging images, …)
  • InDesign: main focus is extensive multi-page layout, type-setting, typography (e.g. book design). Some (limited) vector drawing capabilities.
  • Photoshop: image editing/creation, mainly pixel-oriented (so, not the best tool to do neither type design nor typography)
  • Fontlab: the tool for type design and font creation.

If all you aim for is to manipulate/draw a glyph or two, you break a fly on the wheel with Fontlab. Illustrator will do. If you want to make a functional font out of your glyphs (so that you can type with it), then indeed it’s the right choice.

You can also learn a about the software in the wiki or at the manufacturers’ sites (Adobe, Fontlab).

F

Faiyaz's picture

Thank you very much Florian! That cleared up alot.

I think I will give Fontlab a try. I'm downloading the demo version right now. Is it hard to use? Are there any basic tutorials online?

Florian Hardwig's picture

There are a lot of threads about that, like this one . Please run a search. Or check out Typophile’s ‘Build’ forum – it’s not solely FL-orientated, but often quite FL-centric.

Gary Long's picture

TypeTool 3, a kind of a junior Fontlab, works very well for many basic font design and manipulation needs, and is easier on the brain and pocketbook.

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