What is a font manager? An introduction to font management
What is a font manager, and why is it a beneficial tool for creative professionals and designers? These might be some of the questions you’re asking if you’ve begun to collect quite a vast library of typefaces to use in your projects.
Fonts are some of the most critical tools a graphic designer has in their arsenal. They’re essential to creating attractive documents, websites, and even logos. What’s more, the right font choice can hugely influence the aesthetic and personality of a brand.
Some options are ideal for conveying a professional image, while others are more fun and light-hearted. Every creative project requires a specific style of font or typeface to send the correct message, which often means designers build libraries made up of thousands of different choices.
Sorting through all of these choices can take a lot of time and effort without the right tools. That’s where font management software comes in.
Here’s everything you need to know about font management systems.
What is font management? An introduction
Font management software is a digital tool designed to organize all of the “fonts” or typefaces an individual might use into one aligned environment.
Rather than having to search through all of the distributed libraries both on your computer and in the cloud to find the font you need, you can store everything in one convenient location. These tools are often far more than just a simple storage solution for creative professionals.
Font management systems can also help users to organize their creative assets better.
With font organizing software, you can create “collections” of different styles or types of fonts that might be best suited to particular projects. You may have one collection for “sophisticated” serif fonts and another for playful decorative typography.
It’s also possible to use font manager software to preview and compare different font styles before adding them to a project.
If you’re struggling to determine which text options will work well together on the front page of a magazine, you can compare and contrast a variety of options in one space before downloading new fonts to your computer.
What does a font manager do?
An accompanying question to “what is a font manager” is usually “what does a font manager do?”
Many different types of font management tools are available for professionals today. Some operating systems even have their own dedicated font-organizing software.
For example, Mac users can access Font Book to check out all the fonts they have downloaded to their system. However, these tools can make it harder to align online and offline libraries.
A comprehensive font manager software solution can store, preserve, and categorize thousands of different fonts. Some of the most common features included with these tools are:
Font management tools often come with many ways to organize your fonts. For instance, you can import font libraries from different environments, segment them by weight, style, or format, and create collections.
You can even build lists of your favorite fonts, so you can access them quickly.
Activate and deactivation
Activating and deactivating fonts in your collection can save you time and energy when working on projects. It can also be an excellent way to ensure the fonts in your library aren’t taking up too much space on your computer.
Some font management tools have features that automatically track down corrupted or broken font files. These solutions can repair missing code and allow you to delete fonts that might need to be fixed.
Preview and comparison
A font management tool can allow you to preview what different fonts look like in various weights and sizes. You can place fonts alongside other typefaces to see how they work together and even compare multiple options.
Manage font licenses
If you use a lot of premium fonts in your work, you’ll need to ensure you’re keeping up-to-date with license renewals. Updating different licenses manually would be a time-consuming task. However, font managers make this process quick and straightforward by tracking your licenses in one place.
Many font management software solutions also come with ways to share font collections and tools with other members of staff in your team. This is ideal when you’re working on a brand identity with other professionals.
It is also an excellent way to ensure everyone uses the same font styles for consistency.
How do I use a font manager?
The way you leverage font management systems will depend on your workflows and personal requirements. Some professionals rely on their font managers to help them keep track of all the common fonts they prefer.
Branding specialists and experts can also use these systems to ensure they consistently use the same fonts for specific projects.
An agency offering branding materials to various companies could use font management software to create collections of fonts specific to each client they work with. This allows for greater consistency when building assets and streamlines workflows.
Font manager software can also be ideal for keeping everyone in a creative team on the same track by providing them with access to a specific selection of fonts they can use. Some font managers also make it easier to keep track of your fonts and ensure you don’t lose essential assets.
Cloud-based font management systems can give you another location where you can back up and store the creative assets you use regularly. You can always access fonts from the cloud if anything goes wrong with the collection on your computer.
Why is font organizing software important?
Used correctly, font management software can be a fantastic way to save yourself time, effort, and even money as a creative professional. You can store all of the fonts you need to use for each project in one place, arrange assets into collections, and organize fonts however you choose.
Font management software reduces the time professionals spend searching for the creative assets they need at the beginning of each project so that they can work without disruption. It can also come with a range of advanced features designed to suit each designer’s or agency’s specific needs.
Font management solutions simplify everything from version control to font comparison and activation so that you can get the most out of your typography.
While font collections can be notoriously difficult to manage manually, font management software eliminates the stress most experts face.
Where can you find a font manager?
Now you know the answer to “what is a font manager,” you might be wondering where you can access your own font management systems.
The good news for today’s design professionals is getting your own font management solution is easier than you’d think. As mentioned above, most operating systems on standard computers come with built-in solutions for basic font management.
Mac has the Font Book application where users can sort through options and create smart collections.
You can access the control panel as an ad-hoc font manager on Windows devices, as it automatically categorizes fonts into families for users. However, if you want a more advanced solution, it’s usually a good idea to seek out specialist font management software.
There are downloadable options, cloud-based services, and a range of SaaS models available on the market today. You can even find some free-to-use font managers.
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