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Dave Vector

*Missing!? - Affinity Type & Font Persona

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@TonyB, @Andy Somerfield, @Dave Harris, @Ben, @Ash, and the rest of the Serif team, this is a big one...

 

Why let 3rd-party software run the show?

It’s astounding that Adobe Illustrator, Indesign, and other such software have never taken font management and font composition seriously.  They relegate the tasks to poorly integrated 3rd-party software, essentially turning their back on letter forms and typeface, one of the pillars of great design.

The Affinity Suite could change all that.

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Affinity Type

Integrated Font management – Point Affinity Type to your local or online fonts, Affinity Type takes care of the rest. Whether you have 100s of local fonts, or fonts in the cloud (like Google Fonts (Free) and Adobe Typekit) Affinity Type will manage them all, allowing you to see them aggregated in one place.

Keep your system fonts lean – All fonts are temporary “activated” and not installed.  When you load an affinity file that includes fonts, Affinity Type will automatically activate those fonts, and not install them as system fonts.  The automatic activation means you never have to chase down those “missing font” errors.

What the use of having 100s of fonts if you cannot find the right ones?  – Affinity Type’s Database keeps track of all your font locations: locally, installed in the system folder, on the network, or in the cloud.   Create custom font albums. These virtual folders give you the freedom to collect and organize fonts by job, by license, by client, by task, free, or any way you wish to slice and dice your library when you use filters to efficiently refine your decision.  The database will be fast and lean – speedy previews, and fast activation. 

Categorization algorithms – Using cues from each font’s glyph anatomy – Affinity Type can identify typeface and automatically classify them, so you don’t have to.  e.g. Modern Serif, Old style Serif, Slab serif, Humanist Sans, Geometric sans, Display faces, Handwritten, Calligraphic, etc.  This feature can also help suggest a well-contrasted font palette for you from inside the Affinity tools.

 

How you use it

Affinity Type – The Font Curation App – Affinity Type allows you administrative access to your font library database.  Here is where you can organize your fonts into albums, select favourites, slice and dice your font library with powerful filters (including installed system fonts) and organize them into filesystem folders of your choice.  Tools to identify duplicate typefaces and corrupted fonts.  See total number of fonts sorted by different filters, as well as total sizes in MB.  Flag and tag your fonts here as well.

Affinity Font Persona (Font Selection Interface) – Embedded in all three Affinity programs is the selection interface.    Perhaps it is a new persona (Font Persona?).  The most powerful feature of the Font Persona is the Type Palette Composer.  A clean and nimble interface to compare or contrast your font choices.  The Type Palette composer allows you flexible brainstorming when it comes to font composition. Here you can gain access to your whole database.  Refine your choices with your powerful filters.  See the total number of fonts for each filter, as well as which ones are currently installed or temporarily activated. 

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These ideas and the interface mockup are rough concepts to help generate more brainstorming.  I know that the Serif team will greatly expand upon the concept of Affinity Type and greatly improve it. 

 

Affinity Type would unify the powerful triad of Affinity tools when it comes to typefaces.  It’s time someone in the industry took font management and selection to a more professional place.  I hope it will be Serif.

 

Thanks,

Dave

 

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Gotta admit I have been lost at the sea of font management since the demise of Adobe Type Manager. Now Affinity Type Manager might bring the good days back. (Seriously, there is no obviously superior font management system available. Question is if Affinity would/could make it.. after all most users make do with FontBook or some similar solution. Computers are so powerful today that they do not choke if you have some thousand fonts active, it is more question of finding the right one from the endless lists. Oh, and families! No current system can pack fonts to handy family submenus... list is so long that I have to scroll for days just to get past Amplitude family...)

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5 hours ago, Dave Vector said:

 

Affinity Type

Integrated Font management

 

 

Dave,

I appreciate your time and effort for this idea, mockup and description texts. That must have been some work :)

You are hitting a software category that is overlooked by many.

 

In the long run maybe Serif is picking up this idea. For the near future I expect that we have to use what we have. Personally I use High-Logic's Maintype, which works quite well for me. It has no integration with Affinity and I have to manage my project fonts manually. But that is OK for me.

 

d.

 


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

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@Fixx

 

Ever tried FontExpert  ?

Works great for me and has a search function for its library and folders in windows.

Have you ever tried to get past the Noto font? O.o 296 weights/styles

 

_Hans


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@Fixx, @dominik, Thanks for your feedback and support.  I would love to hear if other's think it would be valuable, and if they can dream up any "must have" features.

Also, interesting to hear what other people are currently using to manage fonts and make their font selections.

 

-Dave.

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5 hours ago, dominik said:

Personally I use High-Logic's Maintype, which works quite well for me.

 

Same here, and it addresses the problem of font families that @Fixx mentioned: you can group fonts by family and collapse the groups so that you only see the names of the typefaces, not the individual fonts. However, MainType is currently only available for Windows.


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On 2/6/2018 at 0:20 PM, dominik said:

 

Personally I use High-Logic's Maintype, which works quite well for me. It has no integration with Affinity and I have to manage my project fonts manually. But that is OK for me.

 

d.

 

@dominik  Last weekend I purchased, and set up High-Logic's Maintype, organizing all my fonts and tagging them.  What a wonderful tool!  Much better than Suitcase Fusion.  MainType actually allows the user to really get control of their font collection.  Full of robust and practical options.  I can actually SEE what fonts I have!  Thanks, dominik for the suggestion.  It works brilliantly!

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1 hour ago, Dave Vector said:

@dominik  Last weekend I purchased, and set up High-Logic's Maintype, organizing all my fonts and tagging them.  What a wonderful tool!  Much better than Suitcase Fusion.  MainType actually allows the user to really get control of their font collection.  Full of robust and practical options.  I can actually SEE what fonts I have!  Thanks, dominik for the suggestion.  It works brilliantly!

 

Hello @Dave Vector,

I'm glad my mention of High-Logic's Maintype has helped you with your font collection. Have fun going through your fonts :)

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

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18 minutes ago, dominik said:

 

Hello @Dave Vector,

I'm glad my mention of High-Logic's Maintype has helped you with your font collection. Have fun going through your fonts :)

d.

I see they have a FREE version.

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2 minutes ago, InfoCentral said:

I see they have a FREE version.

 

Just check the comparison page to see if the features of the free version fit for you:

http://www.high-logic.com/font-manager/maintype/comparison.html

 

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

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39 minutes ago, dominik said:

 

Just check the comparison page to see if the features of the free version fit for you:

http://www.high-logic.com/font-manager/maintype/comparison.html

 

d.

Really the only difference between the Standard and Free version that might be limiting to me is the Maximum number of fonts allowed in the font library. I hope that figure is talking about individual fonts?

 

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1 minute ago, InfoCentral said:

Really the only difference between the Standard and Free version that might be limiting to me is the Maximum number of fonts allowed in the font library. I hope that figure is talking about individual fonts?

 

 

The maximum numer of fonts allowed and commercial use. Since I am earning money with (some) of my graphic work I found it appropriate to pay for it.

And ... font collections tend to get big over time :)  I am above the maximum of 2500 fonts in my library (not all activated, though).

 

But for a start the free version is certainly worth a try.

 

If you are looking for a realy free program you might want to look into nexusfont at http://www.xiles.net/.

Some others here in the forum use it successfully.

 

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

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What I am talking about is when it says "Maximum number of fonts allowed in the font library" are they saying each individual font or a whole alphabet counts as 1 font?

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4 minutes ago, InfoCentral said:

What I am talking about is when it says "Maximum number of fonts allowed in the font library" are they saying each individual font or a whole alphabet counts as 1 font?

 

I understand.

Usually a font is considered a file that includes a set of letters, usually an alphabet plus a couple of other signs (to describe it simple).

So, it is not limited to 2500 single letters but rather to 2500 different font faces.

d.

 


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.1.404) - Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

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8 minutes ago, dominik said:

So, it is not limited to 2500 single letters but rather to 2500 different font faces.

 

It's a good thing, too! Some fonts comprise many hundreds of letters, numbers and symbols. Alexander Lange's Quivira font includes a total of more than eleven thousand glyphs.

 


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A dedicated font management solution would certainly be nice to have. It is indeed a missing piece, just like a dedicated Preflight app or Preflight Persona. But to be honest, I don’t see much use for a Font Composition Persona, at least in the form envisioned above. How is that supposed to work? Not all documents are structured according to the scheme “Title – Heading – Subheading – Body.” So should the respective framework be dynamic? But what would be the difference to using styles then? Just assign a style to each part of your text, engage Apply Style to Selection, and you can scroll through your font list while seeing your changes immediately applied to your text. In short, I don’t think the difference would be large enough to warrant the introduction of a new Persona.

 

An option for managing style sets … that would be nice to have …

 

Sorry for being so critical. It’s always great to hear of new ideas … :)

Alex

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@A_B_C

I see the Font Composition Persona like an artist's colour mixing palette, except for fonts.  It is important to be able to efficiently compare and contrast a number of typeface choices so the designer can narrow them down to their ultimate choices.  I emphasize the word efficiently, because the tool must help the designer do this quickly and thoroughly.  I see the "Title-Heading-Subheading-Body" idea as a neutral and effective template for this task, but really it could be any number of layout ideas.  I also suggested that there is a way to "Use Current Artboard", assuming the designer had an existing layout already in place with 4 or so fonts, it would allow the quick swapping of the fonts dynamically to see how it impacted the design.

 

On 2/20/2018 at 10:38 AM, A_B_C said:

But what would be the difference to using styles then? Just assign a style to each part of your text, engage Apply Style to Selection, and you can scroll through your font list while seeing your changes immediately applied to your text. 

I have tried using Text Styles to accomplish this, but Styles are not quite dynamic or quick enough to see dozens of choices between the different fonts.  From the Text Style browser, you have to double-click on the Text Style you wish to change, click on the "Font" menu item, click on the font family field, then start scrolling through the un-filtered font list.  You would have to do the same click procedure for each style.  My suggestion would allow you to dynamically change up to four fonts, with a click and a scroll very easily, and from precisely filtered lists.

 

I may have been too hasty in attempting to create a solution, and to reiterate, I was most interested in brainstorming ideas for tools to make typeface selection more flexible, efficient, and effective.  Typeface selection is an important part of the design process and I would love Serif to be a leader in making it an industry priority and consider it in their harmonized suite of tools.

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Personally I like the idea as spec'd above.

 

It is akin to one of my color palette applications I used back when I was building web sites. One could open a dialog box with several options of web layouts and colorize the basic parts, then save the palette out.

 

capture-001737.png

 

While CorelDraw now has a truly integrated font manager, it is kind of slow so I don't use it.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Is there no way to add fonts to Publisher/Photo/Designer in the programs themselves?  Is the only option Maintype? And, if so, does the fact that I self-publish books mean that I have to buy the full version?

I really think it's a pity that Affinity hasn't taken up Dave Vector's idea of Affinity Type.

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9 minutes ago, Anairb said:

Is there no way to add fonts to Publisher/Photo/Designer in the programs themselves?

On both Mac and Windows you install new fonts for use in any program, rather than installing them in individual programs. You don’t need any kind of font manager, free or paid, but it makes life a lot easier for those of us who have thousands of fonts which we only want to load occasionally.


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Is the font in question American Typewriter, as mentioned in another of your recent posts? If so, it might be listed as ‘ITC American Typewriter’, in which case you won’t see it grouped with fonts beginning with ’A’.

 


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