Graphics & design software

FontLab releases Fontographer 5

FontLab has released Fontographer 5, a new version of its font editing application. This version of the software—which lets you create, customize, fine-tune, fix, and convert fonts to different formats—is specifically designed for desktop publishers who need quick solutions to font problems.

“We’ve created Fontographer 5 with the designer in mind,” said Ted Harrison, president of FontLab. “FOG 5 provides the designer with easy, intuitive, and very efficient Bézier drawing tools. It is powered by FontLab Ltd.’s mature, state-of-the-art font creation technology, packaged in a simple, efficient interface.”

In addition to previously supported font formats, such as Type 1, Type 3, Multiple Master, and TrueType, Fontographer 5 can now read and generate OpenType fonts in both PostScript (.otf) and TrueType (.ttf) variations. It also features greatly improved Unicode compatibility, the company says.

Fonts generated with Fontographer 5 are automatically optimized for the screen using autohinting algorithms developed jointly by Adobe and Fontlab. Users can define OpenType layout features using the Adobe FDK for OpenType syntax, version 2.5.

According to Adam Twardoch, FontLab’s product and marketing manager, “The beauty of Fontographer is that it allows you to concentrate on the creative process of designing a typeface, without being distracted by the technical aspects of font making. FOG users always appreciated the speed, ease, and precision in which they could draw Bézier outlines in the product—so we’ve kept the drawing tools and implemented some longstanding feature requests, such as a larger zoom level or outline antialiasing. On the other hand, setting technical font parameters such as font naming or linespacing in Fontographer used to be cumbersome and did not consider recent developments such as OpenType—so we’ve redesigned those aspects from scratch with the goal of making them as easy to use as the rest of the product.”

Harrison explained the relationship between the company’s two major font editing products, Fontographer and FontLab Studio: “Any designer who can draw Bézier outlines can make a high-quality font using Fontographer. The software will optimize it for you. But if you’re a professional type designer, FontLab Studio gives you the ultimate control over all aspects of the font. With FOG 5’s ability to read and export FontLab VFB files, you can easily move your projects back and forth between both applications.”

The new version of Fontographer is available from FontLab for $399. Upgrades for version 4.7 users cost $149 and upgrades from versions 3.x and 4.1 are $199. Free demo versions are available. The software is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and above, and runs on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

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