Ah, the glory days of the font collection back when the internet was young.
Not so many years ago, the phrase of the time – at least amongst web designers was, “he who dies with the most fonts wins”, and everyone had a growing font collection stashed on their computer. Whether purchased legitimately or bootlegged from one of the free font download sites (also a huge source of malware for Windows users), everyone had fabulously awesome, albeit rather cheesy in hindsight, typefaces to use on stuff.
If you know any of my history, then you’ll perhaps recall that I’ve been doing this internet thing for a LONG time. And you might also know that I’ve bounced back and forth between graphic design, some coding (some less successful attempts at coding than others, I readily admit!), marketing, traffic management, etc and so on. All the stuff that’s been necessary to get the job done over the years.
Recently though, I’ve started tinkering with side projects; these are the types of projects that involve what you might term ‘typography art’ or something along those lines. Thus the need for a font collection! Whether it’s pithy sayings on pillowcases, quotes that stick right on the wall, or just putting together all the bits that go into Pinterest and Instagram posts for these various and sundry goods, one thing is for sure – people are paying more attention to fonts and typefaces than any other time I can recall.
What’s the big deal about type faces, anyway?
Interestingly enough, typography is one of the primary drivers in conveying brand messaging – whether we are talking book covers, product and corporate logos, or website design and execution. This isn’t a new situation, but with tools like Procreate that enable the masses to create fonts almost without effort, the idea that typefaces convey meaning has never been more prevalent than it is right now.
Think about, if you will, the KFC logo. If you’re past the age of 40, you will recall that the current iteration of the restaurant is not the one that we grew up with – the name isn’t even the same! It was Kentucky Fried Chicken for the most of its existence, and it had it’s own Kentucky Fried font face to go with it.
Typography and print have gone hand in hand since Gutenberg showed up.
Makes sense eh? The guy that invented movable type also invented the first type face used on it. That was way back in the 1400s, and over the next 400 years there were all kinds of revolutions in font collections. Italics, serif, slab, old style, you name it. Interestingly enough, we still use some of these fonts like Didot, Caslon, Bodoni, and Baskerville.
Enough of history, back to me! So at this point, I’ve got around 1500 installed fonts. Keep in mind that the font collection count includes each version of a font – so if there are 5 weights, plus italic, plus bold, black, or thin (I’m sure you get the idea) – then you could have 25 or 30 inclusions just for a single type style.
I also have my Adobe Typekit subscription – although that’s kind of bullshit since the moment you cancel your Adobe subscription you lose access to everything in that font collection. This means that if you are an aspiring web designer, do yourself a favor and DO NOT EVER use embedded Typekit fonts to build a website. Don’t let your clients do it either. If they cannot buy the type outright from the foundry or the license holder, make them use something else. Google, for instance, offers more than 600 fonts as open source distribution the last time I checked. That’s enough fonts for pretty much any small business, life coach, or marketer to choose from if you ask me.
Which you technically didn’t ask, but there’s my answer any way.
Again, back to my issues… all these typefaces in my font collection are causing my s**t to run slowly. My Adobe, my word processing and spreadsheets, they are slowing down proportionately to the number of fonts I have installed on my laptop. Ugh.
So I’m going to be looking for a font manager program to install and test out. I have a couple of recommendations already from some Facebook groups I belong to, but I haven’t settled on anything specific. Or even really started checking out the options yet, since I’ve been traveling a lot during the past few weeks, and I’m way behind on all the projects I had planned to start on as soon as it cooled off at home.
So if you have ideas about font manager programs for Mac, I’m all ears!!!