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Old 05-09-2005, 07:20 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Fontographer does go to FontLab!

So, the other shoe has dropped. As rumored, FontLab has acquired Fontographer and promises to update it. Furthermore, “FontMeister” Jim Gallagher — who has supported FOG on CIS and on the Macromedia web site for many years — will be involved.

Fontographer is being positioned as a low-end font-creation tool in the press release. Fair enough, as it does not have all the technical capacity of FontLab. But many old FOG users will be happy if we can continue to use its drawing tools, which are much more accessible than FontLab’s (or at least more familiar to legions of Fontographer and FreeHand users).

The software can clearly stand enhancement, over and above an urgent need to update it for modern computer platforms. (After all, FOG 4 came out in 1996, an eternity in software time.) A beta of FOG 5 allowed for much greater levels of zoom; let us hope that that will make it into an early update. Anyway, it is clearly time to dust off those old FOG wish lists (and I am pretty sure I can find a couple we developed on the old CIS forum) and send them off to Ted Harrison!

_____________________________________________
Fontographer has a new home at FontLab Ltd.
Fontlab Ltd. Licenses Legendary Font Editor,
Plans to Continue Development


Port Angeles, WA, USA, May 9, 2005: Fontlab Ltd. is pleased to announce the licensing from Macromedia Inc. of the Fontographer product line. "Fontographer is a respected name in the field of digital typography," said Ted Harrison, president of Fontlab Ltd. "We are proud to add this legendary font editor to our lineup of products." As of today, Fontlab will continue to sell the current version of Fontographer while beginning work on fixing bugs and preparing a new version - expected to be released early next year.

"With nearly two decades of presence on the market, Fontographer has gained a reputation as an easy-to-use and reliable tool for creating digital fonts, and continues to boast a strong and dedicated user community among desktop publishers, graphic designers and typographers. We feel that Fontographer will find a secure and comfortable home at Fontlab Ltd. Our team is committed to continuing the development of a brand-new version of the product," said Harrison.

Harrison continues, "With our TypeTool product we have a font editor for beginners, hobbyists and students. FontLab Studio and AsiaFont Studio are our high-end products with a certain degree of technical complexity, aimed at professional type designers. With Fontographer, we now have a tool that fills the gap between those products — a font editor for graphic designers and desktop publishers, powerful enough for real-world typography but without all the bells and whistles of our high-end products."

Fontlab Ltd. will offer upgrade paths from TypeTool 2 to Fontographer 4.1 (US$249) and from Fontographer 4.1 to FontLab Studio (US$299) and to AsiaFont Studio (prices to be announced.)

Fontlab will assume support for Fontographer version 4.1+ from Macromedia and will retain the services of Fontographer guru Jim Gallagher, who has nurtured Fontographer for the last ten years, and who will advise the Fontlab development team in their task of updating Fontographer.

For more information, contact Fontlab Ltd.

###

   
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:46 AM   #2
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So I wonder if they still have us all in their database as registered users? Whatever address they have for me is dead, now that we've moved. I am pretty sure I can dig up the still-packed box that contains my FOG box & manuals, so I presume I'll find my serial number on same. Guess I should try contacting someone to at least register a change of address, but who? Macromedia (well, I need to do that anyway for all their other stuff I have) or Fontlab? Oh wait...Adobe for the other Macromedia stuff?

Gee, but this seems tangled...

   
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:57 AM   #3
Stephen Owades
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I received an email message from "Macromedia" today, addressed "Dear Fontographer user," announcing the acquisition of Fontographer by FontLab. Here's what message said:
Quote:
Dear Fontographer user,

I am writing to inform you that Fontlab Ltd. has signed an agreement with Macromedia to become the exclusive distributor of the Fontographer product. This means that Fontlab will be assuming product support and sales for both the Macintosh and Windows versions of Fontographer effective as of May 9, 2005.

Fontlab is a leading developer of digital typography solutions and has expressed a commitment to continue to sell and support the current versions of Fontographer, while it begins work on updates and improvements to the product. After a long search, we are very pleased that we have found such a strong partner in Fontlab and that Fontographer is now part of an entire family of products focused exclusively on the needs of the typographic community.

The Fontlab site (www.fontlab.com) will have information on Fontographer support and sales. If you wish to hear more about the future plans for Fontographer, or to request new features, interface improvements, or other product changes, the Fontlab team encourages you to contact them at fog@fontlab.com.

Sincerely,
David Mendels
Executive Vice President, Macromedia, Inc.
Although Mr. Mendels's message doesn't explicitly state that customer information is being transferred, it does seem that Macromedia has been maintaining a customer database which will be given to FontLab.

The announcement that Kathleen posted from the FontLab folks does make it clear that they're going to continue the Fontographer product as one of their offerings, and to offer upgrades and cross-grades to and from their other products. That suggests that they expect to get the Fontographer customer list from Macromedia as part of the producdt transfer.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:45 AM   #4
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FontLab’s Yuri Yarmola posted this today on the Type Design list:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Yarmola
We [have] yet not finalized plans for Fog but it is clear that we will not discontinue it, it is not even discussed. What we want is intermediate OS X-compatible version and then new release which will combine FL and Fog code and features. But it is you, Fog users, who should tell us what to do.

FogNext should be:
  1. Be simple and easy to use, even for non-font-designers, with clean UI which follows modern UI guidelines (for Mac and Win).
  2. Be powerful enough to make good (at least technically) fonts.
  3. Be in between of TypeTool ("quick and easy" and educational tool) and FontLab Studio ("pro" tool).
Best regards,
Yuri
If we have other ideas, sounds as if it is time to express them. I found a bunch of old CIS DTP threads of FOG 4 and FOG 5 wish lists. Now I will start our first FOG Next wish list thread on this new DTP forum!

   
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:45 PM   #5
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Guess Fontlab folks will hear from me on our address change. Thx.

   
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Old 06-08-2005, 10:50 PM   #6
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Hello! This is my first post. Happy to be part of this group.

Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica. He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.

As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Coles
Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica. He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.
That makes sense. I am sure it will be well received.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Coles
As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.
Since this thread began I have read further. It almost sounds as if some of FOG’s winning ways will make their way into FontLab as well. Sounds good to me.

The important thing is that Fontographer has a berth again. Real second chances are not too frequent in the computer world, especially when it comes to font software! (I’m still mourning the death of FontStudio! <g>)

Very nice to see you here, and glad to see that Typographica bounced back after its hiatus.

   
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Old 06-25-2005, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
That makes sense. I am sure it will be well received.

Since this thread began I have read further. It almost sounds as if some of FOG’s winning ways will make their way into FontLab as well. Sounds good to me.
To me, too. Even if I never could really experience all the features of Fonto, never having it that much available (and affordable) during this Macromedia episod, and especially for Win/Intel PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
The important thing is that Fontographer has a berth again. Real second chances are not too frequent in the computer world, especially when it comes to font software! (I’m still mourning the death of FontStudio! <g>)
…Not to talk about URW Ikarus, DTL or even FontMonger. And I much liked the ease of CorelDraw, despite its poor results, to draw Bézier curves! Well, FontLab is indeed very powerful, but not very user-friendly! Especially if one is used to, e.g., Corel (I'm even unable to use Illustrator that efficiently). So let's hope FontLab will inherit of a couple of easy-to-use drawing tools from FOG.

BTW: what happened to David Rakowsky who used to be a real Fonto fanatic? Stephen Moye, also BTW, designed some great fonts, too, that even served as a Fonto publicity support, unfortunately lacking, as a couple of "Uncle Davy's" fonts, too, accented characters. As far as I remember, we owe him "Good City Modern" as well as a bunch of other famous computer versions of great classics.

Of course, a new monopoly in the font design world isn't that much reassuring (that's why I wouldn't have mind Adobe to take part in the future of Fontographer, the more they already have the OTF FDK that, on the other hand, is quite tricky and sometimes impossible to use without advanced programming knowledge), but I still prefer a monopoly on several programs, maybe of which one day all the advantages could be merged into a single one, over simple disappearing of a concurrent.

The FontLab guys proved, during that last decade, that they are serious and do quite fine work. Let's hope that this new merger will be more profitable to the font fanatics community than the absorption of TypeDesigner by FontLab (or that of Aldus and especially PageMaker by Adobe)!

Regards,

Christoph
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Old 06-25-2005, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Coles
Hello! This is my first post. Happy to be part of this group.

Stephen Moye, author of Fontographer: Type by Design, has posted his reaction to the news at Typographica. He plans to revise the book for the new version of FOG.

As to your concerns, Kathleen, Adam Twardoch of FL assures me that the drawing tools in FOG will remain unchanged for the most part. They are quite pleased to add another set of drawing tools to their collection. So they won't be FontLabicizing the environment so familiar to longtime FOG users.
Good news! One should rather dream of Fontographerization of FL ;-), at least for drawing tools. Or, why not, just "Coreldrawerization" <g>? I'm still amazed by the ease of use of the latter, from version 2.0 to today's 12, with an almost unchanged ergonomic approach!

Best,

Christoph
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Old 06-25-2005, 07:19 PM   #10
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Default Fontographer Has a New Home at Fontlab Ltd.

Hello FOG users!

The Fontographer blog: http://fontographer.blogspot.com/ is operated by our friend Jim Gallagher and it is a good place to post suggestions for future Fontographer.

We at Fontlab Ltd. are very grateful for all the positive feedback that followed the takeover of the good old Fontographer by our company. We will do our best to make FOG even better.

Regards,
Adam Twardoch
Fontlab Ltd.
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