TypeTool 3

For the past ten years or more I have been very happy using TypeTool 3 for my typeface design work. It is simple, easy to use and very cheap to purchase. I feel very comfortable with it. Though sometimes I wonder if I should move on to a more professional piece of software? What is the consensus amongst typeface designers?


  • The good thing is that there is no consensus any more. There are several great options now. And all have a trial version so you can find the one that fits you best.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,078
    I have a friend who's a full time type designer and he also uses Typetool and I've been trying to convince him to upgrade to FontLab for years.

    If you're not planning to make multiple master fonts, you're not missing anything critical by not using the full version of Fontlab. If you want to add OpenType features, you don't need FontLab for that.

    Here's the critical ingredient you're missing out on: class based kerning. It's something that takes less than an hour to learn and it'll cut your kerning time down dramatically while reducing errors. It's one of those things that, once you try it, you can't imagine not having it. I think it's possible to set up kerning classes externally but it's nice to be able to do it in software so you can see what you're doing.
  • Thank you Guys!
  • investing the time to learn Fontlab now is probably not a good idea. It is not the most productive app for beginners and there will be a completely new version. If you don't need OpenType features or interpolation, Glyphs Mini might suite you, otherwise try RoboFont and Glyphs. (Disclaimer: I’m the developer of Glyphs).
  • Its common for designers in Asia to use TypeTool or FontCreator for glyph development and FontForge for OpenType Layout development.
  • Great, I will look at the other packages like RoboFont, Glyphs and FontCreator.
  • Alternatively, you could have a look at the Fontographer + DTL OTMaster (OTM) combi (it’s offered as a bundle by Fontlab Ltd.). IMHO, there isn’t a more convenient way to generate OT Layout features than the subsetting one in OTM. And Fontographer is one of the most convenient glyph editors still.

    The upcoming OTM edition, which will be released within a few weeks, contains quite some new functionality. For instance, it includes Harfbuzz now for the interpretation of OT Layout features (in the text window one can toggle on/off the individual features).

    BTW, registered OTM 3.7 users are entitled to receiving a free upgrade.

    (Disclaimer: ah well, you know I’m biased ;-)
  • I find it really difficult to choose from all these different products.
  • At the end the only things that count are whether the result is good, the process was pleasant, and hopefully also economically satisfying for you. It could well be that the most pleasant route is not the most economical one or vice versa, but if you’re happy with the workflow, well that’s enough. The customer does most probably not care which tool(s) you used and will only look at the result.

    TBH, I can only tell you what works for me and others here will come up with different suggestions. But all roads lead to Rome. Tonight I was listening to the radio and I heard Jauchzet, frohlocket from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The presenter said that the music was excellently following the text of the Christmas gospel and suggested that it was utterly suited for it. Ah well, Bach originally wrote the music for the opening chorus of another cantata and it supported the text ‘‪Tönet, ihr Pauken!‬’ We hear what we want to hear, see what we want to see, and believe what we want to believe.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,322
    To add to what Frank just said, I prefer Bach on a modern pianoforte instead of authentic period instrument. What I mean is, I don't find it to my liking to stick with the conventional wisdom in either music or type design. I move around between font tools and do what I think they do best for a certain job. Your results may differ. The only way to know is to try them and see for yourself.
  • Thank you gentlemen for your advice. I think it is time for me to step out of my TypeTool 3 comfort zone. It helps that I always blame myself and never the software if the result is not good. A craftsman should never blame his tools.
  • A craftsman should never blame his tools.
    I blame Fontlab for everything, including the weather. And I don't even use Fontlab anymore.

    FWIW, I've found Glyphs terrific for maximizing design time and minimizing software-wrangling time.
  • James MontalbanoJames Montalbano Posts: 975
    edited December 2014
    I must be from another planet. I've been using FontLab since v2.5 and have never had to wrangle anything. 1500 fonts made with FontLab, no problems here.
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