Font creation tools

What tools do you use for font creation? I am partial to FontLab Studio 5, but don’t know much other then that.

I’ve used FontLab Studio 5 to make all the fonts currently in my library. Though I own licenses to FontLab 7, Glyphs, and RoboFont—because I like to support makers of font tools—I never got very far with them because I didn’t find their spacing / text-preview windows to be especially ergonomic for the way I like to work. Thus, over the last couple years, I’ve been working with Antonio Cavedoni on a new GUI font editor called Archetype. I am progressively transitioning all my type-design work into Archetype, and plan to sunset my FL5 toolchain over the coming 12 months.


Is it or something else?

No, that’s a different (and possibly abandoned?) tool. My Archetype font editor is not publicly available.

Whenever I need to make a font for one of my constructed scripts, I use FontForge, but I’m an amateur so it might not work well for you.

I bet I used FontForge about 11 years ago to create a cryptic font for making cyphers but the details escape me. Maybe it was something else.

Is the Archetype tool you’re referring to intended to be in-house use only?

I learned a lot using FLS5; versions 6, 7, and now 8 seem to be focused on typeface design instead of production-facing tasks. I spent a lot of time turning custom typefaces into fonts for various brands for high-volume product customization.

Are there tools that are especially good at kerning tasks?

For now, I’m the only person using it. Though I’m sure other FL5 fans would appreciate it, I’m not sure how I would go about commercializing it. I think it would have to be held out as a companion to Fontlab 8 rather than a standalone tool. It is very focused around my own type-design priorities (e.g., spacing) and completely omits things I don’t care about (e.g., interpolation, variable fonts).

I reuse many kerning pairs between weights and liberally use kerning classes. Between the two, I’ve never found it to be as much of a chore as some claim. Some time ago, I worked on an auto-kerning algorithm, which maybe I’ll return to. I’m a lot more interested in auto-generating glyphs than kerning, however.

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