A world-new calligraphic tool

01_AB's picture

"All-new calligraphic plug-in for Adobe Illustrator.
Really amazing features.
No analogues.
World-new standard."

editable split-pen line!

Link to site

blank's picture

I’ll provide my stock answer for this sort of thing: sounds like something I would love to use…if it ran on OS X.

clauses's picture

I for one have promised myself not to use Illustrator for sketching type again. Since it's so specialised they should have made it for Fontlab. Huge timesaver that would be, but in Illustrator the time one saves is eaten up moving the designs into Fontlab.

01_AB's picture

Before you answer, need be sure, that you are not wrong.
I'll try Live Pen before write this topic.
It much editable and simple, than tableet.
It much faster, then draw handby and scan.
It make less anchor, than AI and Fontlab.
Well, guys, you are really wrong.
Dont you?

clauses's picture

And how would I be wrong Mr. 01_AB?

blank's picture


That’s all irrelevant to type designers not wanting to create the glyphs in Illustrator and then move them into Fontlab, as doing so can be a PITA. It could be great for lettering artists, or designers who can letter but have limited time budgets and can’t take the time to clean up their own work for publication.

But it’s still irrelevant to the 50%+ of designers who don’t work on Windows.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture

I am curious about the tool.
I would like to compare this tool with the ongoing 'Kalliculator' (http://www.kalliculator.com/) and the soft Marc Antoni Malagarriga and Daniel Rodriguez Valero are developing (http://re-type.com/notaweblog/?p=71).

Sebastian Nagel's picture

This looks very nice, I often wanted a tool that can modulate stroke weight by numeric numbers.
It would be even better though, if it was in Fontlab than in Illustrator.
And of course, for myself I don't mind, but lots of people would like to have it on a Mac than on a Windows machine...

Edit: on the Download-page for the demo it says:
CS3 and CS versions and Mac CS, CS2 and CS3 version will be available soon.

Tim Ahrens's picture

The main problem seems to me that once you have made the step from calligraphic drawing to contours you cannot go back.

This means that you either have to develop the whole typeface with the calligraphy tool, which would be difficult if you cannot actually typeset (does Live Pen export fonts?).
Or, you would make the step to contours at some point but then you loose the advantage of making calligraphic adjustments unless you go back again, convert again and so on.

Ideally, you should have a tool that controls stroke weight and transitions according to a calligraphic logic but is implemented on the basis of outlines in the first place (and in FL, of course). That would allow you to work in both 'modes' at the same time.

Tim Ahrens's picture

I just tested this tool briefly and was quite disappointed:

1. I could not find any setting that allows to draw with a broad-nib pen.

2. Also, there is no setting that controls the transition between thin and thick, it is always linear.

In that sense, it is far inferior to Kalliculator. None of the Noordzijan logic implemented.

Of course, you can do all this by making up the letter with lots of individually adjusted nodes but then that is not quicker than drawing the contours straight away.

As I said, that was just a quick test, maybe I missed something.

k.l.'s picture

Mmmh, speaking of ideas only: combine this with the magnetism of elements as in Font Constructor, and put all this into FLS ...

typonautica's picture

My curiosity led me to have more time for the tool.

I am very surprised, that Tim Ahrens was not able to consider how can imitate the lines drawn by split-pen, in which no Kalliculator.

I am also surprised that no Tim drew attention to the number of points after expanding option. They were really little. Sorties when exporting to fontlab not found.

The only point - although the absence of any tutorial.

ralf h.'s picture

Andrei (or whatever nicknames you use here),
please don't try to fool us, that you are a random user of this tool. You have developed it and you want to advertise it here. That's fine, but please treat the people here with respect and be honest. You want them to be your customers, don't you?

Andrey Burdin's picture

Dear Ralf,
you are absolutly right: all people should be treated with respect and be very loyal to them. I totally agree with you.

I also belive that a person can be loyal to things: for example, I am not going to change my notebook yet, though it conflicts with passwords.

Loyal is everthing. To my great regret, in Moscow did not have feather to the left, and searches yhe Internet for video lessons left ended in failure. I had thought that perhaps no one I encounted this problem and this must be change. Than I decided to loyal.

I am very sorry that I have dissapointed you, but forgot to write that it was me. I am really sorry.

Best wishes,
Andrey Burdin.

RedGreen's picture

Is there anyone who has a demo version of Live Pen ? Cuz the website of 01 software is down, also, Fontlab purchased the software, but I've check with them and there is no release date for this year. This software is so hard to find on the web.

_null's picture

Apologies for sustaining a thread that should really be left to die quietly...

But does anyone have an opinions as to why none of these tools really became essentials? They are nice to fool around with, but it still does seem when the proper work needs to be done I still need my points and handles.

From my experience, using the real world tool, and analyzing the results provides something applications can't emulate...yet. Or is it that most of us are proper fussy sorts who get off on plotting the most efficient curve (MEC) for our glyphs?

blank's picture

But does anyone have an opinions as to why none of these tools really became essentials?

Because the people who create them usually don’t even understand how most type designers work. So something really brilliant like LivePen comes out as a Windows-only Illustrator plugin. But at least FontLab was able to buy it, and hopefully it will turn up in a future version of FontLab sometime around 2025.

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