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Confessions of a font hoarder. I need help.


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To be completely honest, I am a font hoarder but I AM DETERMINED to purge and organize my "font" life. I know I am not the only person in this world with this problem, so I'm asking for help for all of us who have too many fonts on our computers.

Now, just so you know, I download fonts and keep them organized in folders titled by the Author's name. Now, I'm organizing those fonts into folders with appropriately named font type categories. (PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHMENT - it is a work in progress.) In some of the folders that you see on the screen capture, I have created sub-folders, for example:

Serif_Classic
  a - Font Family
  b - Single Weight
  c - Multiple Weights
  d - Extended
  e - Contemporary_Modern
  f - Slab_Square
  g - Soft Round & Partial Round Terminals
  h - Condensed_Bold_Heavy_Black
  i - Unique

To achieve my font organizing goals I am using FontBase. In FontBase I organize my fonts by:
1. Adding an author's folder.
2. Placing fonts from the author's folder into an appropriately named collection folder.
3. I then zip up the collection folder and export it to my document's folder.

Here is my ask...
The font "Favorites" folder has been very helpful but for a "font hoarder" it's not enough. One of my favorite features in Affinity is organizing graphics into ASSET folders. Would there be any way to add "LINKED FONT FOLDERS" to the Affinity ecosystem? I can organize my "font" life all day long but I turn into a mess again when I can't keep my fonts truly organized by "categories & collections" in the software.

Oh my. I can't believe I have made this confession on a public forum. If you are a font hoarder, please commit below so I don't feel ashamed and alone here. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Angela

Font Categories_Screen Capture_AR-09022023.png

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Why do you need so many fonts, when you probably aren't using any more than twelve? You don't need that many. All they do is slow you down and slow down your computer when you need to pick a font. Having more fonts does not make you a better designer.

You should not be trying to organize them by the designer; you should organize them by font family and type. You can and should make a waterfall printout of each font and weight, and put those in a notebook separated by Serif, Sans Serif, Slab Serif, etc. Pick the twelve fonts you consistently use and put everything else onto two different backup drives in different locations in case the worst happens.

Other than that, you should probably seek therapy.

 

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Therapy? Yes! I agree. Here's the thing...

A brand is your face to the world. Fonts carry a message. They speak to a lot of who you are as a company or as a person.

The reason I organize fonts first by the author is because some authors have their own style and design quality. I look for designers who know how to build beautiful fonts with technical excellence. I can't tell you how many times I've loved a font but I've had to go in and fix it because of technical difficulties. And, if an author's style fits the brand or project I'm working on, I will go back to that author to look for similar fonts that will visually work with the brand.

As a freelance designer, I've worked with all kinds of companies. Medical and aesthetic packaging to youth and children's ministry. I'm always looking for the right fit for things. There are days I'm in the mood to search the web and days I'm not. To tell you the truth, the library of fonts I've gathered over the years has helped me tremendously. My library has saved me countless hours from having to search the World Wide Web for the right font fit when a project is due.

Just so you know, my font library is not stored on my main drive. I just purchased a new computer and I think that purchase has inspired me to take my organizational skills to another professional level. Creatively fonts have become so convoluted you can't tell what category you should place certain fonts in. Therefore, I've done a lot of research and have had to figure things out for myself, hence the "over the top" font category list!

In other programs such as Ink Scape, you can link fonts to the software instead of having to install more fonts to your main hard drive. As you probably know, some Affinity projects can get quite heavy. Linking fonts and adding customizable organization folders to the character window will help keep the document size light and save us from having to scroll through fonts that can only be sorted by name.

With all that being said, the title of this post, "Confessions of a Font Hoarder" was to get Affinity's attention. Yes, I was being dramatic but for a good reason!

Mulder, thank you for your response to my post. You're the only one who responded to my theatrical attempt to gain interest in my software enhancement request. Your concern for my well-being is much appreciated. ;) I'm hardly ever on this forum unless I need something but I hope our paths will cross again.

Good luck with everything you create.

Angela

 

 

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@angier
Dear Angela,
You're gonna make yourself crazy(ier)... trying to do this using folders.
This multi-view categorization should be done in the font manager application.

While the Affinity applications could do some basic font management better,
this multi-view thing is never going to happen in a graphic design application.

Have not looked at FontBase for quite awhile but if I remember correctly it moves all your fonts to its collections - hate font managers that move the font files.
And it does not have much in the way of making categories, tags, views, etc.

Just looked at size of the two folders where I keep fonts - 117GB and 192GB.
Almost all of that is "organized" by folders of the Font Family Name.
Alphabetically.
Some are also in collections folders - by collection name, by foundry, etc.
The folder structure is so I can find things quickly by name.
Do I have that family or not? What version(s) do I have? etc.

For categorization, previews, info, etc. I use both MainType and FontExpert.
You should probably look at Proxima FontExpert for what you are trying to do.
It has Groups - which can be created automatically by folder structure.
It has Categories - predefined like Serif, Sans Serif, Stencil, Decorative, etc.
And you can add your own categories. And search by Categories.
It has Tags - which you can use to categorize - and search by.
It has Keywords - which you can use to categorize - and search by.
It has Properties - from settings inside the font - which you can search by.
It has Panose characteristics - from inside the font - which you can search by.
It has Foundry - from inside the font - which you can search by.
It has Caption - which you may enter for a font - which you can search by.
And obviously search by Font Name.

You just point it at the folders, and select create groups, and get started.
Add your Categories.
Add your font designer names to Keywords, or Tags, or Caption.
And away you go...

Worklist - useful feature - can be your just current project fonts, or whatever you are doing.
I also found it useful when comparing different versions of a font family.
Or comparing various fonts to decide...

You get the idea.
You can keep your font file folders organized in a much more simple way.
And be able to categorize and search your fonts a million different ways.
Does all the standard stuff - Activate, Activate Temporarily, etc.

MainType also has multiple ways to categorize your fonts, but not quite as flexible.
You may like it better. Take a look at it too.

So organize your folders in an easy to maintain structure.
And then use a decent font manager to categorize them to your hearts content.

You may still be crazy, but your fonts will not be the cause.

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@angier

Here is another who understands perfectly
why you can never have too many fonts 🙂

Worked in digital printing and many customers had their own fonts.
At that time I used the font manager that was part of the CorelDraw suite
to keep track of that fonts.

For all font lovers, some time ago I found a video about Paula Scher
that you might like. Here the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCfBYE97rFk&list=PLuctemCzX-m4svPpBctWUp0oG__Lhglq9&index=6
 

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23 minutes ago, prophet said:

I'm a recovering font addict myself. I switched to using Typeface recently and did a deep purge of my collection to weed out the old Postscript fonts that are being phased out. I'm happy with the app. It has a lightweight feel to it, but doesn't skimp on features. And it seems to have regular updates and improvements.

For Mac users, I'll second Typeface.

I have Suitcase Fusion on my older Macs, but dropped them for newer Macs when they went full evil, er, I mean, subscription, though I did partially enjoy their humorous eMails trying to explain why paying them a subscription benefits my budget somehow.

After that, I switched to another font manager which I didn't find worked as well and ended up with Font Explorer X which wasn't bad but is no longer available.

So, now it's the Typeface App for me.

I'm not really weeding out any Postscript fonts but rather searching for their TT versions if available and switching.

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FontExpert is the only one I have seen which is a font database application.
Ideal for the hopeless font addict who is compelled to organize.
(lookin' at you Angela) 😁

I do not need, or want, a font manager that takes complete control of all my fonts.
Too much going on with multiple fonts daily; it just becomes a complete mess.
Use MainType to see what is installed, version installed, and un-install fonts.
Use FontExpert mostly as a font browser - you do not have to make a database, or manage all your fonts, etc. - just right-click a new folder of fonts, preview all of them, look at the info, temp. activate, run some tests, de-activate, and move on...
Constantly installing and un-installing fonts can create quite a mess - especially when the fonts being tested are broken in some way. Too much going on.
So my needs are different than the graphic designer who needs to manage some fonts.

Most of the other apps are more like a work-flow font manager for graphic design users just trying to get stuff done efficiently. With some categorization and search features.

I think Typeface is mentioned the most for Mac users.
Being on Windows I have not tried it, but have seen lots of recommendations.

I have tried both Suitcase Fusion and Font Explorer X on Windows.
Been quite awhile (years), but if I recall correctly...
Did not like Suitcase Fusion at all, and un-installed it right away.
Font Explorer X on Windows was 2-3 versions behind the Mac version, and had zero documentation. And it did not work properly. Gone.

And FontBase is just so basic. Just took a quick look, and then deleted it.

Both MainType and FontExpert have tools to clean-up/fix Windows registry errors for installed fonts. Very useful on Windows. Good font housekeeping tool.

And FontExpert is the only one I have ever seen which can display and edit the Windows operating system font substitutions, which most people should never mess with anyway, but it is interesting. I suspected this was perhaps related to a LibreOffice fonts issue, but have not tested that theory yet (forgot about it until now).

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On 9/5/2023 at 12:08 AM, Mulder said:

Why do you need so many fonts, when you probably aren't using any more than twelve? You don't need that many. All they do is slow you down and slow down your computer when you need to pick a font. Having more fonts does not make you a better designer.

Whilst it might take more time to have to look through a long list, having more fonts won’t actually slow down your computer.

As a designer, I am often called upon to have a range of different fonts from different companies so again, I disagree with the above comment.

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1 hour ago, Catshill said:

Whilst it might take more time to have to look through a long list, having more fonts won’t actually slow down your computer.

There are older reports observing slow startup times for all Affinity apps due to loading all fonts.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/search/&q=Slow startup fonts&quick=1&updated_after=any&sortby=newest&search_and_or=and

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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I made a simple example graphic of my software enhancement request. Check it out y'all. Affinity has really put a lot of work into the Publisher program. Don't you think adding some more typography organization features would be helpful? I hope something like this would be easy to add. I can't imagine the amount of work the software engineers have to deal with.

 

Typography Organization Request.png

Edited by angier
Changed folder to category on the graphic
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11 hours ago, Catshill said:

Whilst it might take more time to have to look through a long list, having more fonts won’t actually slow down your computer.

As a designer, I am often called upon to have a range of different fonts from different companies so again, I disagree with the above comment.

You can disagree, but you would still be wrong. Every time your computer has to redraw your font list for the font menu, it slows down your computer. Add in the time it takes you to pick a font from that long list and the slowdown is even greater. This is long-established fact.

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Mulder, my eyes aren't what they used to be and I get motion sickness when I have to scroll too much to find something. That's one of the reasons why I want more organizational tools. I want to get to where I'm going without having to scroll up and down a long list.

 

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On 9/6/2023 at 1:26 AM, kenmcd said:

While the Affinity applications could do some basic font management better,
this multi-view thing is never going to happen in a graphic design application.

If Affinity applications don't do a lot as font manager, they at least give access to the various font collections I've defined in macOS FontBook (accessible via the menu in the Character panel, not in the Context toolbar). 

FontBookfontcollectionsinAff.png.60c0f864f57b7548c752d6ddbc483d5e.png

This is also not very much but it is helpful though if you care to organize it… 

I don't know how it behaves with other font manager software or on Windows?

Affinity Suite 2.3.1 – Monterey 12.7.2 – MacBookPro 14" 2021 M1 Pro 16Go/1To

I apologise for any approximations in my English. It is not my mother tongue.

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I don't know why we cannot access the font collections from Font Book in the Context toolbar but we can access then in the Text Styles and Character Panels.

ScreenShot2023-09-08at7_06_50AM.png.f2d89082aaf3185bff6ca8111ed34f41.png Font Book Collections

ScreenShot2023-09-08at7_05_53AM.png.a8ac1442bf0afaaab12145c8c2162a88.png Character Panel

ScreenShot2023-09-08at7_05_41AM.png.178b20f03d67f4729397f463d866887f.png

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 12.7.2 
Affinity Designer 2.3.1 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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