80s / 90s font production software and workflow?



  • Speaking of early 90s Emigre, @Claudio Piccinini or anyone happen to have copies of those old Emigre HyperCard stacks?
    I don’t recall, as I changed my Mac I think three times. I still have CDs/DVDs with older material, but it was not sorted so when I migrated I just picked what I found more relevant for my present situation to migrate to the new disk(s).
    A thing I am sure of is that I still have a 3.5" floppy disk with the "Now Serving!" software, around 1995, and then I do have 4-5 original releases on 3.5" floppies (at least one still sealed!). :)
  • Noah BurneyNoah Burney Posts: 26
    Ha, yeah @Claudio Piccinini honestly I'd have a hard time telling you where some files from 10 years ago are. If you do have some stuff that e.g. @Stephen Coles doesn't already have, it would be cool to archive those somewhere while the disks still work.
  • Noah BurneyNoah Burney Posts: 26
    Definitely have to be a very specific type of nerd to be excited about this, but I did happen to find Fontographer 4 on eBay for a reasonable price. Just arrived this afternoon, and seems to run just fine.

  • That is pretty wonderful. I actually worked briefly when I was in a typesetting bureau composing pages on that SE 30!
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,572
    Good City Modern. I'd forgotten about that. The FOG demo font. (In case it's not obvious, Good City = Gutenberg.)
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,933
    Froyo Tam would be a great person to ask about this. She’s been researching early eighties digital fonts, collecting hardware and software, creating her own fonts, and distributing her fonts on floppy disk. 
  • Froyo Tam would be a great person to ask about this. She’s been researching early eighties digital fonts, collecting hardware and software, creating her own fonts, and distributing her fonts on floppy disk. 
    It seems she has been focusing on mid-to-late 1990s, however, not early 1980s. Early 1990s aesthetic was a turmoil, and different from what tended to become pretty uniform in the late 1990s, anticipating the "minimalism" and schematized approach of the early 2000s (Process Type Foundry quite embodied this change, with a simple and clean approach quite in contrast with the tumult of the previous decade).
  • RodiRodi Posts: 3
    Ares Fontmonger was a po-man's Fontographer. They also made Font Chameleon, a sort of early MM implementation that Adobe bought to remove from the market. There was also a tool named Softy.

    I loved Ares software. Wish I had bought Font Chameleon 1.5 pro when it was out. I think though Adobe bought Ares out for the font descriptors (Type 42 fonts) for laser printers. All the Ares font programs were great, though I never really used FontMonger as I had FontStudio which was much better, in my view.

    When Adobe bought em out, they ceased any marketing of the programs and dustbin. Very bad for the type business.

  • John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 126
    edited March 13
    Please see Thomas’ correction to my post, above. Whatever Adobe’s intent was with the purchase, I agree the end result is regrettable from an end user perspective, though I don’t claim to know what kind of financial shape Ares was in at the time they agreed for Adobe to buy them out. Presumably there are worse things that can happen to one than to suddenly become an Adobe employee. (Yes, that’s understatement; Adobe was long regarded as the best possible technology employer for years if not decades.)
  • At any rate, Fontchameleon was so-so, in terms of interpolation.
  • Cory MaylettCory Maylett Posts: 243
    BTW, I still have the FontStudio box, manuals et al., in perfect shape. I loved it so much that I never got rid of them! :-)
    This last winter, I went on a cleaning spree. I threw away all my old software boxes, discs, and manuals from the '80s and '90s of every kind, including FontStudio, Fontographer, and all the old boxes of Altsys, Macromedia, Corel, and Adobe software from Freehand, to Director to Creative Suite. 

    Despite the nostalgia, I finally decided I needed the bookshelf space more than old software that I can't even run on any computer I have and wouldn't want to run if I could.

  • Noah BurneyNoah Burney Posts: 26
    Felt a bit queasy reading that @Cory Maylett, ha.

    If anybody else reading this has any unwanted old (somewhat uncommon, design) software taking up space, feel free to send it my way ;)
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,572
    edited March 21
    Felt a bit queasy reading that @Cory Maylett, ha.

    Same here  :#
  • I’ve been enjoying this thread, covering a time I remember well. It was the era of the democratization of font technology (at least for the hegemonic Latin alphabet); its (necessary) successor, the OpenType era, has been more like “The Revenge of the Nerds.”

    I always felt badly that Andrew Miet, the very good fellow who worked at Altsys and made the font Good City Modern, didn’t have much knowledge of the German language. “Berg,” as in Gutenberg, means “mountain”; to get to “city,” the name would have to end in “burg” (“walled city” or “fortress”). Mark, living in Minnesota as you do, you must know the Lutheran hymn “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.”

  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,572
    Haha... Thanks for the insight, @Scott-Martin Kosofsky . I barely know German, so Andrew's mistake was lost on me. Also, although I was raised Lutheran in Wisconsin—which has a lot of German heritage—our hymnals were all in English.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,441
    Those of us from Pittsburgh know the spelling ;-)

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