I Play One on TV

welovetypography2

Do you remember that old commercial with the line in it, “I’m not a doctor in real life, but I play one on TV”? Well, I am not a type designer in real life…but if I could, I would play one…anywhere! I am a font designer, but not a type designer. Is there a difference? To me there is, but I’m not really sure there technically is a difference between the two. To me, a font designer makes fonts and a Typographer spends YEARS studying type, letter forms, and how to make them (artistically and technically). A Typographer can literally spend years making a font and because of this, the fonts are perfect in design, form, technique, and technical information. Also because of the amount of time spent, these fonts are usually very expensive (my favorites to drool over are at Veer).

I LOVE looking at type and Typographers’ fonts. I compare and study the letters, the swooshes, the serifs, etc. it is even more fun for me when the fonts contain ligatures…(I’m showing my geekiness huh? haha!) So, for today’s “check it out” I thought I would share some of my favorite Typography sites with you. (As I re-read all the technical type jargon I just typed, I wonder if maybe a post on basic type terms might be good? Let me know.)

So, lets get started!

welovetypographyOur first stop is at my all time favorite type site I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY I have found some amazing discoveries on this site, including this one that I was actually able to track down and buy! One of their sister sites that launched not too long ago, is really fun! On WE LOVE TYPE You can search through Type related images and even sort them by color!

Check out this really cool photo of type in sculpture form on Upscale Type:

upscaletype

And what about a blog dedicated totally to the beautiful and varied form of the ampersand?

ampersand

Maybe you are someone (just like me) that can suffer from Typochondria (fear of using the wrong font). Well, you can read about it and learn about solutions here.

I am always inspired by the old, rustic images of type on this French blog with a very catchy name!

Misty Cato does a Typeface Tuesday on her blog where she finds a few GREAT fonts, shows us a sample, and links us up! 🙂

typefacetuesday

Typographica is a site most graphic designers depend on to find some of the best type and type resources out there.

I LOVE type posters! What are they? Posters with amazing type of course! Check out this one:

levistypeposter

Huge Type is a site where people can take photos with an iPhone (although there are alternate instructions for those without an iPhone) of….you guessed it…HUGE TYPE and upload them to the site to share.

hugetype

Speaking of iPhones, Typenuts is a site where you can download free type related wallpaper for you iphone (or desktop). I received a new iPhone for Mother’s Day and was really excited to play with What The Font, an app where you can take a photo of type with your iPhone camera and in one click it will tell you what font was used! I loved the idea, but wondered if it would work for ME…it did! YAY! 🙂

Last, but certainly not least in my book, is this great Flickr group called Type Sketchbook where real Typographers (not just people that “play one on TV”) upload images from their type sketchbooks!

typesketchbook

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Font Organization

wheretostart31

We love our fonts as much as we love our scrapbooking goodies, but did you know that each time you install a font, it takes resources away from other parts of your machine? Each system comes with a set of basic fonts installed on it, but too many fonts above those, will cause some slow-down. Sometimes, it is very noticeable, but sometimes it’s just the time it takes to start up your machine after a shutdown, or maybe Photoshop taking a long time to load because it has to read through all of those fonts and load them (as does every program that uses fonts). A great solution for this problem is a font management program. A font management program allows you to leave your fonts uninstalled, but be able see a preview of them as well as easily install and uninstall them when you want to use them, with just one mouse click. By having less fonts installed at any given time, your machine will run more smoothly.

Here is a screenshot of my font manager to give you an idea of what it looks like:

fontmanager

There are many font management programs out there to choose from and weighing all of the different features can be daunting. I have been researching and considering which management tool to use for a few months now. I wanted a program that could:

1) look in mulitple folders at one time

2) not crash my system or be slow

3) view True Type Fonts (TTF) and Open Type Fonts (OTF)

4) be able to temporarily load the font (so I don’t have to install and then uninstall).

5) be able to customize the text in the preview window

During my search, I found this indepth article and this more simple article. I have tried a few different font managers during my search, some mangers were pay and some free. For one reason or another, I stopped using them. They were too slow, too much of a pain. After revisiting the latest versions for Mac and Windows, here are a few of our recommendations:

FOR WINDOWS

Extensis Suitcase, and Font Expert

I really like the interface on AMP Font Viewer and I like that it gives you some technical information about the font there as well. I like that you can change the preview to bold, italics, as well as changing the color. In Font Xplorer, uninstalling fonts and moving them to a new folder was very easy, I just highlighted the font, right clicked and selected uninstall and then the program gave me a window with choices to uninstall and move it to a folder of my choosing (along with a few other options).

FOR MAC

Extensis Suitcase, and FontExplorer. Neither are not free, but you can download a free trial.

NEXT STEPS

Once you install your font management software, you will need to go through your fonts folder and weed out the non-system fonts. (DO NOT DELETE YOUR SYSTEM FONTS, OR YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM WILL NOT LOAD AND YOUR COMPUTER WILL NOT RESTART.) You can find a list of standard Windows system fonts HERE and a list of standard Mac system fonts HERE. If your chosen font manager doesn’t allow you to move the fonts from within it, then you can go to c:>windows>fonts, select the non-system fonts and copy them to a new folder. When the fonts are safe in a new folder of your choosing, then you can delete those fonts from your system font folder. It only takes a few minutes, but your computer will thank you for it! 🙂

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