Font Management

For me, fonts are kind of like t-shirts. They tend to accumlate over time and, although they’re all fun to wear, I don’t necessarily need all of them them in my closet all of the time. As a designer, I use a ton of different fonts for the work I do (and clearly, metaphors as well!) If you’re loading a lot of fonts into your system every time you start your machine, you may find that it needlessly slows your computer down. That’s why I’ve been trying out some font management software lately to help alleviate the problem. These software programs allow you to install your fonts into their interface and then turn them on and off as you need them. They can also scan your computer for damaged fonts that might be causing problems.

If you are a Mac user, there is a program that comes pre-installed on new machines called Font Book. To be honest, I haven’t had much luck getting this to work the way I need it to. If you want to give it a try, I’d definitely recommend reading the help documentation before giving it a shot.

Another program that I’ve been using for a few years now is called Extensis Suitcase (now called Fusion 2). This piece of software is relatively inexpensive ($99) and works extremely well. The interface is very simple and it even interacts with some pieces of software like those from Adobe. They have software available for Mac and PC.

A third option is one that I just started using a few days ago. It’s a free program called Linotype Font Explorer X created by the Linotype Font Foundry. The interface is similar to iTunes and the setup is extremely easy. They even have a “store” so you can buy fonts that you need directly from them much like buying music in iTunes. After just a few days of using it, I’m extremely impressed.

If any of you have had similar problems or successes with fonts, be sure and leave a comment below!

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David Gnojek

I'm the art director/designer for the KU Center for Research on Learning. I also enjoy photography and music.