Best Font Design Software for Mac OS 10.3?

amacedo's picture

Ok... I am finally using all my thousand of images to generate new typefaces... That would be my first time designing typefaces using a computer software. Do you guys have any suggestion regarding the best software to do this... to transform my Adobe Illustrator sketches in real fonts? It must be Mac OS 10.3 compliant... I know Fontographer but doesn't run on Panther... :-(... Thanks a lot!

kps's picture

If I were making fonts commercially, or money were no object, I would at present use FontLab, as John suggested.

As it is, I can't justify buying FontLab, and prefer not to use pirated software, so I use FontForge. It's a slightly unpolished work in progress, but certainly usable and reasonably capable. It is a generic unix program with an X11 interface, and although a native OS X interface will probably appear eventually, it won't be very soon. As such, you can't (for instance) simply drag-and-drop from Illustrator, but it will read EPS files, among others, and does read and write Mac font formats. It still suffers from the occasional crash (though it almost invariably recovers without losing any work) and other bugs (though the author responds very quickly to bug reports). There is a scripting system, but it is not nearly as good as FontLab's.

twardoch's picture

I would like to point out that Fontlab Ltd. offers two products:

* TypeTool 2 at US$99 -- offers the essential tools for designing a typeface (drawing, metrics, kerning). Creates high-quality Type 1 and TrueType fonts.

* FontLab 4.6 at US$449, and at $299 for registered Fontographer owners -- offers an extensive set of tools for designing typefaces (everything TypeTool offers plus effects, scripting, manual hinting, OpenType layout features support, extensive font info editing). Creates high-quality Type 1, TrueType and OpenType fonts.

In order to get the autotracing facility working, you also need ScanFont 4 (US$99) which works as a plugin for either TypeTool or FontLab.

The recent issues of the British magazines "Computer Arts" and "Computer Arts Projects" include full versions of TypeTool 1.3 (Mac & Windows) and ScanFont 3.2 (Mac) -- fully-functioning older versions of our products. They can be used without limitations, and can be upgraded to recent versions at reduced prices.

Adam Twardoch
Fontlab Ltd.

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