Which Mac typeface font design software do you prefer?


Which Mac typeface design software do you prefer?

I have used Fontgrapher (a long time ago), FontLab, BirdFont, FontSelf thru Adobe Illustrator and Glyphr Studio. So far, I like FontLab 7 and FontSelf because I know FontLab the most and FontSelf is easy.

Which app would you recommend for a beginner or intermediate user? 

I have designed typefaces before but just the main capital glyphs for titles and headlines. I want to build out the entire font and include alternative glyphs. 



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    James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,974
    I like Glyphs because:
    • Having most of my workflow in one app makes my life easy (and it will be easier when I get around to using Kern On instead of MetricsMachine).
    • I love that there are hundreds of great scripts and plugins available (Hello Mark Fromberg!).
    • The drawing tools are excellent.
    • A stripped down UI makes it a lot easier to just find what I need, as opposed to the FontLab UI which has so much going on that I used to have trouble remembering what button did what.
    • Self coding OpenType features save me lots of time when I’m just throwing stuff at a wall and I might forget something.
    • It’s easy to implement TrueType hinting without stuff breaking because I change the outlines.
    • The Glyphs team provides excellent support (Which is important because Georg has a tendency to move fast and break things).
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    Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,657
    Glyphs has been my favorite since about 2015*. It can't do everything that FontLab or RoboFont can do, but it does what I need in a way that fits the way think about type design and doesn't get in my way. There is a beginner version called Glyphs Mini. I don't know enough about it to know whether or how well it supports alternate glyphs.

    * In the past I've used Fontographer, FontLab Studio, and RoboFont.
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    John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 3,007
    I have mostly settled on FontLab 7. I tried to like Glyphs—and think perhaps if I were just starting out it might appeal more—but it required me to change too many ways of working that I have developed over almost thirty years. I do like some of the scripts and plugins available for Glyphs, though,—especially Kern On—and thankfully FontLab 7 reads and writes Glyphs files quite reliably.

    I still do almost all my OpenType Layout work in MS VOLT on Windows, because 20+ years on it is still better than anything built on top of Adobe’s half-baked AFDKO.
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    stevensteven Posts: 10
    I've used Fontlab, Font Forge, Glyphs, RoboFont, Fontcreator, etc.

    But prefer DTL FoundryMaster, whether it is a novice or a professional font designer, he is easy to get started and has excellent support for working with multiple font files at the same time;

    FoundryMaster is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux;

    Support different systems to work, can be unconstrained by macOS.


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    Thanks for all the ideas. I might give Glyphs a try. I do like FontLab7.
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    Glyphs 4 Life ✊
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    Nick CookeNick Cooke Posts: 183
    I started with Fontographer then moved to FontLab, which was great until FontLabVI where the whole UI changed into something unintelligible and so frustrating that I tried Glyphs. I haven’t regretted it, as it’s much easier to use (once you get the hang of it) and my workflow has increased dramatically. 
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    Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,657
    edited March 2022
    Font Studio was a great app. I did the final production for my first commercial release with it (started in Fontographer). I loved the way it presented the structure of fonts in such a logical and organized way. The drawing tools were also nice—very similar to Illustrator in feel (back when that was a compliment). Too bad it was abandoned and never updated or maintained after the initial release or so.
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