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Author Topic: Font Creator Mini Review  (Read 20355 times)


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Font Creator Mini Review
« on: October 12, 2006, 12:23 AM »
Basic Info

App NameFont Creator Pro
App Version ReviewedRevision 5.5
Test System SpecsGateway CX200X running Windows XP Pro with all updates, 1 GB RAM, Pentium M Processor @ 2.13GHz, 2048KB L2 cache
Supported OSesWindows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, 2003 and XP
Support MethodsWeb (Support page and Forum), E-mail
Upgrade PolicyMinor updates free. Major revision updates appear to cost slightly less than 1/2 the price of a new purchase. A discount is also available for purchasing multiple copies.
Trial Version Available?A fully-functional trial version is available which will work for the usual 30 days
Pricing SchemeThere is a standard version ($79) and a professional version ($149). A comparison chart for them can be found at http://www.high-logi...comparisonchart.html

Screenshot - 10_11_2006 , 9_59_36 PM_thumb.png


Font Creator and Font Creator Pro are from High-Logic Software. They make two applications, Font Creator (for creating fonts) and MainType (for managing them). MainType just grew up into it's second major revisions, but Font Creator is well into it's 5th and well seasoned. Both of these applications (inluding standard and pro version of Font Creator) are on sale for DC members for 50% off (at least until 11/1/06).

Who is this app designed for:

Font Creator (both standard and pro) are designed for anyone who wants to design fonts. The standard version might be perfectly adequate for your needs and I would again refer you to the aforementioned comparison chart. I have seen other application similar in function that cost several hundred dollars more than Font Creator. All of the reviews I remember seeing on Font Creator rate it 5/5. Hence, it's one of the least expensive, very capable font development applications you can obtain.

The Good
The best thing about the program is it's feature set. I previously used another font program designed for Tablet PCs. It let me quickly and easily create a font by simply writing characters on my display. The font looked bad and nothing like my hand writing, however. After studying the display, I realized the problem was spacing. While it was easy to create characters, editing them was another matter. In contast, Font Creator comes with a very complete set of tools for shaping, moving, designing, etc. font characters. These built in tools will help you manipulate and modify your font characters in ways that you might (for me definitely) not have even considered. So after creating the characters, I used Font Creator to modify them by rotating them small amounts (either backward or forward), aligning them all so their bottom, top, and centers (moving up, down, left, or right), and resizing to create a consistent set of font characters.

Modifying a character is very simple. You simply double click on the one you want from the main window. The character will come up in it's own window for editing and a transform window will open up as well that allows you to make very subtle or large changes to the character. You can adjust it manually or specify parameters, such as writing the size you want in a box. If you don't like the outcome, you simply click on the undo arrow and the last change will be undone. You can lock the aspect ratio (when this makes sense) so changes on one axis cause an appropriate modification to the other axis. Again, the features/tool found in Font Creator are extensive and roughly comparable to other programs that cost hundreds of dollars more.

The second factor is support, which is fantastic! I have nothing but positive things to say about High Logic and Erwin Denissen who has been my contact there. I have spoken with him via e-mail numerous times over the last several months. He has consistently gotten back to my quickly and been very helpful. In addition to the usual faqs, forum, and e-mail assistance, there are also written tutorials for basic and advanced tasks, which can be found at Another tutorial I was referred to at also recommends using Font Creator. There is also a downloadable template there which you might find useful in creating fonts.

I believe the above is particularly important because having begun to develop fonts, I have learned that is difficult, time consuming, and fairly complicated. Likewise, font development applications are quite complex. So it is important (or at least REALLY HELPFUL) to have guidance and assistance to help you over the rough spots.

Cost (particlularly with the current discount) is the third factor which makes Font Creator a very attractive option. With the DC discount, you could get the standard copy for only $40.

The needs improvement section

I have nothing against the program as it currently exists. As I said, the program revision is 5.5 and it is very mature. It should be remembered, however, that the program is relatively complex, I am fairly new at using this program, and it will likely take me weeks to months to discover things about the program I wish were different. I have not identified any bugs yet.

Why I think you should use this product

Perhaps the more important question for you to answer is "Do you want to create fonts?" It takes a considerable amount of time and you can get 10s of thousands of them free. If your answer to this question is yes, then you should use this product because of company  support, cost, and the program's feature set. It's a fantastic program comparable to others costing hundreds of dollars more. Plus, to sweeten the deal even more, with the generous (50%) discount they are currnetly offering, you can get right now for 1/2 off the usual price.


High-Logic software is some of the most complete, well-written, and thoughtful programs I've seen. They have two programs (Font Creator and MainType) and I own and love them both. Personal support is top-notch, they have helpful faqs and a good forum, and numerous tutorials to teach you how to do numerous tasks. Although Font Creator isn't cheap, it's far less than other comparable programs - at least the ones I have seen. Finally, while creating a font takes a lot of time and patience, Font Creator has many features that will make the task far easier and help you create exactly what you wanted. As usual, you don't have to take my word on this. Download the 30-day trial, do the tutorial I mentioned above, and see if you want to design fonts. If you do, you'd be hard pressed to do better than Font Creator or Font Creator Pro.
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546


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Re: Font Creator Mini Review
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 02:45 AM »
nice review, KenR.  :Thmbsup:


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Re: Font Creator Mini Review
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2006, 10:12 PM »
Great review, Ken! I purchased MainType from High-Logic after Ken recommended it to me. Good tastes! As Ken notes, however, the current discount is a steal for this program if you work with fonts at all. I have in the past and trust me, it's highly addictive!


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Re: Font Creator Mini Review
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2008, 09:13 AM »
Seems like a pretty cool product...I've always wanted to make my own fonts. And unlike other programs, the price seems right. Thanks for the review!  ;)

Bhikkhu Pesala

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Re: Font Creator Mini Review
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 11:30 PM »
I found this old review with a Google search, and thought you might like to know about the latest version.

FontCreator 5.6 has been out for well over a year already (Released: May 16, 2007) and a new version should be on the horizon before long. There have been big improvements, especially to the Professional Features such as Complete Composites. You can read my own reviews of both FontCreator 5.5 and 5.6 to see what is new. I have been developing my own fonts for many years — first with CorelDraw 3.0 (yes, that long ago), and then with FontCreator 4.0. I tried Fontographer, which is OK, but I find FontCreator much easier to use.

The only downside is that it doesn't support Automatic Hinting. This is required to make fonts look good on screen at small sizes (greyscale smoothing helps a bit, but it is not as good). Hints are dropped when printing. Being a bit old and short-sighted, I don't like to read on screen at small sizes. If you zoom in to 150 or 200%, again the lack of font hinting becomes irrelevant. My own fonts were hinted using FontLab's TypeTool.

Font Editing is quite a complex task — much harder than most people imagine. If you want an easier way to create fonts, take a look at Scanahand 2.0, which is from the same program author. Creating Fonts doesn't get easier than that. As long as you can write neatly, you can get a decent font within a few hours. Once you have mastered the program, you can churn out new fonts in five minutes.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 01:28 AM by Bhikkhu Pesala »


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Re: Font Creator Mini Review
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 11:43 PM »
welcome aboard! nice page on fonts you have there.. Scanahand's author also frequents here, check out this thread. :)