Introducing Font Proofer!

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peternowell
peternowell Posts: 10
edited February 2023 in Type Design Software
After 3 years in the making, I’m thrilled to launch Font Proofer: a tool for typeface designers to test their work-in-progress fonts. For too many years (decades?) the process of making, editing, and reusing proof documents has been tedious, error prone, and reliant on an unwieldy assortment of tools and scripts.
Font Proofer has already been used by a small group of designers and foundries for the past year, and it’s rapidly improving (see the public roadmap). There are tutorials and learning resources available, and I’ll be hosting some upcoming webinars.
One of my main goals is for Font Proofer to become a sustainable, community-supported project. I’ve self-funded its develop­ment so far, inspired by the overwhelming enthusiasm in response to my demos at TypeLab and ATypI Tech Talks—while aware that sustainability is rare in our small industry. Too many font production tools end up abandoned. I want to ensure that Font Proofer can exist for many years to come—not scraping by as a side project, but as a well-maintained, constantly-improving tool that you can depend on.
I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Peter

Comments

  • PabloImpallari
    PabloImpallari Posts: 783
    edited February 2023
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    Great Tool Peter! Looks fucking awesome! Congratulations!
  • peternowell
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    That means a lot coming from you, Pablo! 🙏🏼
  • Thierry Blancpain
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    Grilli has been working with the beta tool for a while and I just wanted to comment that it’s been super helpful and useful to our workflows. Thank you!
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,017
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    Congratulations on the launch. Looks very interesting.

    Disappointed that it doesn’t work on Big Sur.
  • Miles Newlyn
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    This looks great Peter, I'll be signing up.
  • peternowell
    peternowell Posts: 10
    edited February 2023
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    Thanks, @Thierry Blancpain! Grilli’s input has helped shape the tool in exciting ways, and it’s a joy to see it helping your projects!
  • peternowell
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    @John Hudson I agree, but I had to make some tough choices about which APIs and developer tools I used to make this. Otherwise it would have taken a small team to even get this far, and the ambitious product roadmap would be out of reach.

    Personally I found the upgrade from Big Sur to Monterey was pretty seamless, even for an older Mac.
  • PabloImpallari
    PabloImpallari Posts: 783
    edited February 2023
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    Peter, if you also want to add kerning tests to it at some point in the future, I can help. I think I have something for you.
  • peternowell
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    Awesome! Send it over @PabloImpallari! contact@fontproofer.com
  • jeremy tribby
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    Congratulations on the launch Peter, I know this has been in the works for some time! Just downloaded the trial and looking forward to kicking its tires
  • peternowell
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    Thanks @jeremy tribby! Can't wait to hear what you think!
  • I'd love to try it, but I'm not a friend of the subscription model. 
  • Stephen Coles
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    You can try it for 2 weeks for free. Determine if it's worth a subscription after that.
  • peternowell
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    For anyone curious to learn more about Font Proofer, I’ll be hosting some free webinars starting tomorrow! I’ll go over the essentials, workflow tips, and answer your questions. You can sign up here:
    https://calendly.com/peternowell/font-proofer-webinar
  • Aaron Bell
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    @peternowell This looks fab! Out of interest, might you be able to do a webinar in the middle of the day? I'm in PST and 6am / 7am is too early, and 5pm too late.
  • peternowell
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    @Aaron Bell Sure thing! It’s been hard to know which days/times would make sense for various time zones. I can add a 2 PM PST time next Thursday, Feb 16. Contact me directly if that doesn’t work for you and we’ll figure out a time that does.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,017
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    2 PM PST time next Thursday, Feb 16.
    Perfect. Will you post the webinar link here? Or?
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,017
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    Ah, thanks Aaron. I had seen the calendar link previously, but hadn’t made the mental step to realising that it was a kind of booking system. Doh!
  • Rob Barba
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    Looks at it...

    Looks great!

    Requires Macintosh...

    Le sigh....

    I'd be happy to test and purchase a Windows version.  But alas, I can't really use this.  Best of luck, though; it looks gorgeous.
  • Claudio Piccinini
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    It looks interesting, felicitations on the achievement. But personally, like Oliver, I am totally against subscription models.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,017
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    I am not opposed to subscription models on principle, but I think they need regular, significant, and frequent content updates to justify.

    Font Proofer looks like a useful tool, and the website indicates a lot of future feature plans. Is it worth $240 US per year? I don’t know yet.
  • James Puckett
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    $240 a year sounds expensive but if it saves one hour of work a month I’d say that’s probably worth it.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,017
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    Looked at that way, yes.

    Eagerly anticipating the webinar on the 16th.
  • peternowell
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    That's a good point @James Puckett. Most of the type designers who have used Font Proofer this past year have found that it saves them, on average, an hour a week. Some weeks more, and some weeks their work might not involve much proofing. That means the tool typically pays for itself multiple times over every month.

    And I agree about the frequent updates, @John Hudson. The tool today is only 1/3 of what it has the potential to be, and a subscription incentivizes those ongoing improvements. I've tried to set everything up so the ambitious roadmap can become a reality if there are enough designers who join me on this journey.

    If Font Proofer was only going to improve incrementally over the next year or two, a fixed cost could make sense. But imagine buying iMovie today, then in a year or two it evolves into Final Cut Pro. If you have a perpetual license, does that mean you should pay the Final Cut Pro price now? No way. I can't sell what doesn't exist yet. That pricing model just doesn't fit a product during a growth spurt. And it doesn't incentivize improvement.

    I know that doing things differently can be uncomfortable, but the status quo for font tool pricing is simply not working most of the time. Most toolmakers can barely justify the time to work on their project. Font Proofer is an experiment to try some new approaches to sustainability, and if you believe in the vision and roadmap, I hope we can make that future a reality together. :smile:


  • PabloImpallari
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    Hi Peter!
    I added a link to FontProofer in the testing page footer (also increased the font size from 10 to 16px) so more people can know about your app.
  • peternowell
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    That's incredibly kind of you, Pablo! 🙏🏼