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ktinkel
05-09-2005, 06:20 AM
So, the other shoe has dropped. As rumored, FontLab has acquired Fontographer and promises to update it. Furthermore, “FontMeister” Jim Gallagher — who has supported FOG on CIS and on the Macromedia web site for many years — will be involved.

Fontographer is being positioned as a low-end font-creation tool in the press release. Fair enough, as it does not have all the technical capacity of FontLab. But many old FOG users will be happy if we can continue to use its drawing tools, which are much more accessible than FontLab’s (or at least more familiar to legions of Fontographer and FreeHand users).

The software can clearly stand enhancement, over and above an urgent need to update it for modern computer platforms. (After all, FOG 4 came out in 1996, an eternity in software time.) A beta of FOG 5 allowed for much greater levels of zoom; let us hope that that will make it into an early update. Anyway, it is clearly time to dust off those old FOG wish lists (and I am pretty sure I can find a couple we developed on the old CIS forum) and send them off to Ted Harrison!

_____________________________________________
Fontographer has a new home at FontLab Ltd.
Fontlab Ltd. Licenses Legendary Font Editor,
Plans to Continue Development

Port Angeles, WA, USA, May 9, 2005: Fontlab Ltd. is pleased to announce the licensing from Macromedia Inc. of the Fontographer product line. "Fontographer is a respected name in the field of digital typography," said Ted Harrison, president of Fontlab Ltd. "We are proud to add this legendary font editor to our lineup of products." As of today, Fontlab will continue to sell the current version of Fontographer while beginning work on fixing bugs and preparing a new version - expected to be released early next year.

"With nearly two decades of presence on the market, Fontographer has gained a reputation as an easy-to-use and reliable tool for creating digital fonts, and continues to boast a strong and dedicated user community among desktop publishers, graphic designers and typographers. We feel that Fontographer will find a secure and comfortable home at Fontlab Ltd. Our team is committed to continuing the development of a brand-new version of the product," said Harrison.

Harrison continues, "With our TypeTool product we have a font editor for beginners, hobbyists and students. FontLab Studio and AsiaFont Studio are our high-end products with a certain degree of technical complexity, aimed at professional type designers. With Fontographer, we now have a tool that fills the gap between those products — a font editor for graphic designers and desktop publishers, powerful enough for real-world typography but without all the bells and whistles of our high-end products."

Fontlab Ltd. will offer upgrade paths from TypeTool 2 to Fontographer 4.1 (US$249) and from Fontographer 4.1 to FontLab Studio (US$299) and to AsiaFont Studio (prices to be announced.)

Fontlab will assume support for Fontographer version 4.1+ from Macromedia and will retain the services of Fontographer guru Jim Gallagher, who has nurtured Fontographer for the last ten years, and who will advise the Fontlab development team in their task of updating Fontographer.

For more information, contact Fontlab Ltd (http://www.fontlab.com).

###

ElyseC
05-09-2005, 08:46 AM
So I wonder if they still have us all in their database as registered users? Whatever address they have for me is dead, now that we've moved. I am pretty sure I can dig up the still-packed box that contains my FOG box & manuals, so I presume I'll find my serial number on same. Guess I should try contacting someone to at least register a change of address, but who? Macromedia (well, I need to do that anyway for all their other stuff I have) or Fontlab? Oh wait...Adobe for the other Macromedia stuff?

Gee, but this seems tangled...

Stephen Owades
05-09-2005, 09:57 AM
I received an email message from "Macromedia" today, addressed "Dear Fontographer user," announcing the acquisition of Fontographer by FontLab. Here's what message said:
Dear Fontographer user,

I am writing to inform you that Fontlab Ltd. has signed an agreement with Macromedia to become the exclusive distributor of the Fontographer product. This means that Fontlab will be assuming product support and sales for both the Macintosh and Windows versions of Fontographer effective as of May 9, 2005.

Fontlab is a leading developer of digital typography solutions and has expressed a commitment to continue to sell and support the current versions of Fontographer, while it begins work on updates and improvements to the product. After a long search, we are very pleased that we have found such a strong partner in Fontlab and that Fontographer is now part of an entire family of products focused exclusively on the needs of the typographic community.

The Fontlab site (www.fontlab.com (http://www.fontlab.com)) will have information on Fontographer support and sales. If you wish to hear more about the future plans for Fontographer, or to request new features, interface improvements, or other product changes, the Fontlab team encourages you to contact them at fog@fontlab.com.

Sincerely,
David Mendels
Executive Vice President, Macromedia, Inc.Although Mr. Mendels's message doesn't explicitly state that customer information is being transferred, it does seem that Macromedia has been maintaining a customer database which will be given to FontLab.

The announcement that Kathleen posted from the FontLab folks does make it clear that they're going to continue the Fontographer product as one of their offerings, and to offer upgrades and cross-grades to and from their other products. That suggests that they expect to get the Fontographer customer list from Macromedia as part of the producdt transfer.

ktinkel
05-09-2005, 10:45 AM
FontLab’s Yuri Yarmola posted this today on the Type Design list:

We [have] yet not finalized plans for Fog but it is clear that we will not discontinue it, it is not even discussed. What we want is intermediate OS X-compatible version and then new release which will combine FL and Fog code and features. But it is you, Fog users, who should tell us what to do.

FogNext should be:


Be simple and easy to use, even for non-font-designers, with clean UI which follows modern UI guidelines (for Mac and Win).
Be powerful enough to make good (at least technically) fonts.
Be in between of TypeTool ("quick and easy" and educational tool) and FontLab Studio ("pro" tool).
Best regards,
YuriIf we have other ideas, sounds as if it is time to express them. I found a bunch of old CIS DTP threads of FOG 4 and FOG 5 wish lists. Now I will start our first FOG Next wish list thread on this new DTP forum!

ElyseC
05-09-2005, 12:45 PM
Guess Fontlab folks will hear from me on our address change. Thx.

Stephen Coles
06-08-2005, 09:50 PM
Hello! This is my first post. Happy to be part of this group.

Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica (http://typographi.com/001001.php). He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.

As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.

ktinkel
06-09-2005, 12:03 PM
Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica (http://typographi.com/001001.php). He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.That makes sense. I am sure it will be well received.

As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.Since this thread began I have read further. It almost sounds as if some of FOG’s winning ways will make their way into FontLab as well. Sounds good to me.

The important thing is that Fontographer has a berth again. Real second chances are not too frequent in the computer world, especially when it comes to font software! (I’m still mourning the death of FontStudio! <g>)

Very nice to see you here, and glad to see that Typographica bounced back after its hiatus.

Christoph
06-25-2005, 12:23 PM
That makes sense. I am sure it will be well received.

Since this thread began I have read further. It almost sounds as if some of FOG’s winning ways will make their way into FontLab as well. Sounds good to me.

To me, too. Even if I never could really experience all the features of Fonto, never having it that much available (and affordable) during this Macromedia episod, and especially for Win/Intel PC.

The important thing is that Fontographer has a berth again. Real second chances are not too frequent in the computer world, especially when it comes to font software! (I’m still mourning the death of FontStudio! <g>)

…Not to talk about URW Ikarus, DTL or even FontMonger. And I much liked the ease of CorelDraw, despite its poor results, to draw Bézier curves! Well, FontLab is indeed very powerful, but not very user-friendly! Especially if one is used to, e.g., Corel (I'm even unable to use Illustrator that efficiently). So let's hope FontLab will inherit of a couple of easy-to-use drawing tools from FOG.

BTW: what happened to David Rakowsky who used to be a real Fonto fanatic? Stephen Moye, also BTW, designed some great fonts, too, that even served as a Fonto publicity support, unfortunately lacking, as a couple of "Uncle Davy's" fonts, too, accented characters. As far as I remember, we owe him "Good City Modern" as well as a bunch of other famous computer versions of great classics.

Of course, a new monopoly in the font design world isn't that much reassuring (that's why I wouldn't have mind Adobe to take part in the future of Fontographer, the more they already have the OTF FDK that, on the other hand, is quite tricky and sometimes impossible to use without advanced programming knowledge), but I still prefer a monopoly on several programs, maybe of which one day all the advantages could be merged into a single one, over simple disappearing of a concurrent.

The FontLab guys proved, during that last decade, that they are serious and do quite fine work. Let's hope that this new merger will be more profitable to the font fanatics community than the absorption of TypeDesigner by FontLab (or that of Aldus and especially PageMaker by Adobe)!

Regards,

Christoph

Christoph
06-25-2005, 12:28 PM
Hello! This is my first post. Happy to be part of this group.

Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica (http://typographi.com/001001.php). He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.

As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.

Good news! One should rather dream of Fontographerization of FL ;-), at least for drawing tools. Or, why not, just "Coreldrawerization" <g>? I'm still amazed by the ease of use of the latter, from version 2.0 to today's 12, with an almost unchanged ergonomic approach!

Best,

Christoph

twardoch
06-25-2005, 06:19 PM
Hello FOG users!

The Fontographer blog: http://fontographer.blogspot.com/ is operated by our friend Jim Gallagher and it is a good place to post suggestions for future Fontographer.

We at Fontlab Ltd. are very grateful for all the positive feedback that followed the takeover of the good old Fontographer by our company. We will do our best to make FOG even better.

Regards,
Adam Twardoch
Fontlab Ltd.

rakman4
11-13-2005, 04:52 AM
Okay, so it's six months later, but it takes me some time to catch up. I don't think Rakowski did "Good City Modern", because he is me. Where has he been? He has been speaking of himself in the third person singular, writing plenty of music, and he recently got FontLab and made a new font for the first time in 6 years.

ktinkel
11-13-2005, 07:09 AM
I don't think Rakowski did "Good City Modern", because he is me. Where has he been? He has been speaking of himself in the third person singular, writing plenty of music, and he recently got FontLab and made a new font for the first time in 6 years.Hey — hi! Delighted to see you here.

I didn’t say you designed Good City Modern, did I? Pretty sure it was by Andy Meit.

How did you like working with Fontlab? What’s the new font? C’mon — spill! :)

rakman4
11-13-2005, 01:38 PM
Oh, did I reply to you? I'm a little new at this interface. Sorry about that. I thought I was replying to a post that attributed it to me. This time, I'm trying to reply to you. I hope it works. I have been busy with academic stuff and writing music (3 symphonies now) and meanwhile Fontographer became useless with OS X. But I still get students tugging on me to help them create special symbols for their scores, and the most efficient way to do that is with fonts: so I've found computers that would start up with OS 9 so I could run Fontographer and done those as favors.

The "new" font I did to try out Font Lab (and Illustrator CS 2) is nothing that I can share -- it's an alphabet from an Erotica book I got at the Strand Bookstore (I always buy books with lettershapes I haven't seen before). Font Lab's main drawbacks are that the interface is different from Fontographer, and I got confused if I suddently got into TrueType editing mode, where suddenly I could have what looked like BCPs and no point to which they were attached. Figuring out kerning was a pain, too. And there was one character in my font where I'd deleted the old data and pasted in new data, but the font that it generated had the old data in it: deleting the new data in the font revealed the old data still there, so I deleted it again, and pasted, etc. I don't like a program that can show you you've made a "J" and it outputs a "V".

Last time I did fonts seriously I was doing a group of Dwiggins fonts I found in a 1939 specimen book in a used bookstore in Bangor. There are examples of them on my webpage ( http://home.earthlink.net/~ziodavino/default.htm ) and I tried to upload the GIF here, but since I'm new with this interface, who knows what happened?

In any case, I just raked 104 barrels of leaves, and boy are my arms tired.

-dzd-

ktinkel
11-13-2005, 04:30 PM
Oh, did I reply to you? I'm a little new at this interface.It’s not you — it’s the interface. We lack the ability to reply to a person. However, we can reply to messages, which sometimes has somewhat a similar effect, though not safely!

I have been busy with academic stuff and writing music (3 symphonies now) and meanwhile Fontographer became useless with OS X. But I still get students tugging on me to help them create special symbols for their scores, and the most efficient way to do that is with fonts: so I've found computers that would start up with OS 9 so I could run Fontographer and done those as favors.I find I can use fontographer in Classic (even though my computer is set up for Tiger OS X). But it is not what I would call satisfactory. FontLab says it will release a version of Fontographer that will run under OS X — I have stopped holding my breath, but still have residual hopes.

Last time I did fonts seriously I was doing a group of Dwiggins fonts I found in a 1939 specimen book in a used bookstore in Bangor. There are examples of them on my webpage and I tried to upload the GIF here, but since I'm new with this interface, who knows what happened?Looks okay to me.

Nice to have you. Please stick around.

ElyseC
11-15-2005, 10:28 AM
Hey there! Finally decided you'd better stop in and see who's taking your name in vain again, eh? ;)

Good to have ya!

rakman4
11-15-2005, 10:49 AM
Yow! Howdy howdy howdy!

Well, I admit it. I Google me on occasion because I find out about people performing my music that I didn't know about. On rare occasions I Google common misspellings of my name to see whassup whassup, and I found dtpforum. And my name being taken in vain and with the wrong spelling.

I think I still have that paperback volume about "Compuserve's DTP Forum" from around 10 or 12 years ago. Those were the days. I had hair.

-dzd-

ElyseC
11-15-2005, 11:04 AM
Well, I admit it. I Google me on occasion because I find out about people performing my music that I didn't know about. On rare occasions I Google common misspellings of my name to see whassup whassup, and I found dtpforum. And my name being taken in vain and with the wrong spelling.I figured that might be the reason, that or you'd set up a Google Alert to automagically email you whenever its spiders find a new page with whatever you've told it to watch for.

I think I still have that paperback volume about "Compuserve's DTP Forum" from around 10 or 12 years ago. Those were the days. I had hair.Having never seen a photo of you until finding out about your web site recently, I'll have to take your word about the hair. ;)

Reading your bio I did learn, though, that you landed in diapers a mere month and a half before me. Remember, they say that "50 is the new 30" and we haven't hit that yet. Such children are we. :D

rakman4
11-16-2005, 04:53 AM
The hair thing -- it's all in the camera angles. Compare with "do you really look like that"/"more pictures". You should see the ones I didn't use. Actually, no you shouldn't.

I still get "this inventive young composer" in reviews, so I don't know exactly where the bar is set. It used to be 50 at which you no longer were a young composer. For all I know now, it's 64. I think it's the preservatives in all the junk food.

As to when I was in diapers -- I have no memory of it. I may have started out in burlap for all I know.

And just so we stay on topic here -- I'm looking forward to the OS X release of Fontographer so I can get back to my learned habits. .otf is weird to me, but it's nice to be able to use the same file both in Windows and Mac. Want to see my Trafton as .otf? Just e-mail and I'll attach it in the reply.

-dr-

ktinkel
11-16-2005, 05:38 AM
I'm looking forward to the OS X release of Fontographer so I can get back to my learned habits.Oh, me too. I am getting worried, as I thought we would see it by now. I am still using FOG in Classic, but it is a bit flaky at times. And all the squinched type in the file listing and elsewhere is glaringly ugly now that I have grown used to OS X!

I have FontLab but don’t really cotton to it, at least not for drawing. Seems to me to be a post-production tool. Or I am just in a FOG rut after all these years.

ElyseC
11-16-2005, 08:48 AM
And just so we stay on topic here -- I'm looking forward to the OS X release of Fontographer so I can get back to my learned habits. .otf is weird to me, but it's nice to be able to use the same file both in Windows and Mac.Yes, it is.
Want to see my Trafton as .otf? Just e-mail and I'll attach it in the reply.You're on! Check mail in a few minutes!

Ian Petersen
11-16-2005, 09:20 AM
I am getting worried, as I thought we would see it by nowGive them a chance! It's barely six months since FL took over Fontographer, and there's been a major release of FontLab in the meantime. I doubt they've even had much chance to look at the FOG sourcecode, let alone do anything sensible with it. They've first got to find the bugs, fix them, test the fixes and build a stable app that wil run on both modern Mac and Windows systems. Not to be a spoilsport (and I'd love to be proved wrong), but I doubt we'll see anything in that quarter much before christmas 2006.

ktinkel
11-16-2005, 10:35 AM
Give them a chance! It's barely six months since FL took over Fontographer, and there's been a major release of FontLab in the meantime. I doubt they've even had much chance to look at the FOG sourcecode, let alone do anything sensible with it. They've first got to find the bugs, fix them, test the fixes and build a stable app that wil run on both modern Mac and Windows systems. Not to be a spoilsport (and I'd love to be proved wrong), but I doubt we'll see anything in that quarter much before christmas 2006.Of course they need time to do all that.

But what they said they could do quickly was just enough to get the Mac version of FOG to run in OS X (not in Classic). I wasn’t sure myself it would be all that easy, but they did sound pretty confident they could do it.

They said explicitly that there would be no enhancements beyond that until months later.

Ian Petersen
11-16-2005, 09:09 PM
I see. I hadn't seen that statement. But judging by past experience, the FontLab folks' notion of 'quickly' is, shall we say, usually somewhat optimistic. <g>

ktinkel
11-17-2005, 05:02 AM
I see. I hadn't seen that statement. But judging by past experience, the FontLab folks' notion of 'quickly' is, shall we say, usually somewhat optimistic. <g>Yeah, I guess so.

Suppose they will do their best.

Ian Petersen
11-17-2005, 09:29 AM
I've no doubt they will (eventually) get an updated FOG out the door. And I'm sure it will be worth the wait.