Varian's Dreamfonts

Font-Building Tech Details

Many tools come in handy
for the creation of font files.
Here are the items I rely upon most.

Type-Designer 3.1:
This is where I spend the most time with the points and beziers. TD is very easy to work with, and even after a few years, I'm still learning new tricks with it. A little buggy, but was affordably priced. DS Design used to distribute it but does so no longer, and it appears that the author has ceased to support it. A real shame to sunset this great program; I hope someone will be able to pick it up.

FontLister 2.0:
Freeware utility for viewing, printing and comparing fonts, installed or not. I get a great view of my full work in progress using FontLister alongside TD. I set it to 12-point so I can keep an eye on how the font is going to appear on the Web, and FontLister lets me adjust text and background colors too, so I can watch it light on dark, dark on light or anything inbetween.

Fonts and Characters
Shareware utility for viewing, printing and comparing installed fonts. The comparative features on this one are especially helpful, so I can watch the same face in progress at two different sizes, or hold it at 12 pt. and compare it alongside Trebuchet MS for Web sizing and legibility. Well worth the $15.

PhotoFinish 3.0:
Used for doodling, experimenting and designing. Any paint program would work but wouldn't do it as nicely as PF3. Around $10 or less since the radically different version 4.0 came out; I prefer version 3.0 because it's more intuitive and easier to work with.

Fontographer 4.1:
If you enjoy the look and feel of a Mac, you might like the features on this one. I use it mainly for the auto-trace ability, which TD unfortunately doesn't have. It also has a cool "blend fonts" element that can result in some interesting things. Way expen$ive and learning-intensive.

Font F/X:
Once the font is made, it has to be played with because that's where the fun is! Besides viewing new fonts on a web page, what better way to play than to shine lights and textures onto it in 3D? Great price; great program.

Dover Archives Publications:
Not a program, but a wide hardcopy array of excellent reference resources for typography and other artistry. Books are priced from $1 on up; most around $10, and most contain copyright-free content.

If you're like most folks, you'll probably also want a good scanner hooked up. I don't use one myself, not even when creating derivative works like the Yesfonts. It's just part of the challenge for me to use eye-to-hand.





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Varian's Dreamfonts

Varian's Dreamfonts is a portion
Varian's Dreamcatcher
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