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Making Your Own Fonts

Many of the tools typeface designers use for creating Mac fonts are themselves Mac programs you can buy and use.

Typeface design and font manufacture are complicated jobs. None of these programs will teach you how to design a typeface, for example, or how to create the character spacing that makes type look good on the page. But you may have reason to use these programs even if you never design a typeface of your own. Because they can import artwork created in other applications, you could use the programs, for example, to add your company's logo to your house font.

Fontographer (www.macromedia.com; $349.00). Still popular with small and independent font foundries, Fontographer from Macromedia has been virtually neglected by Macromedia since that company bought Altsys some years back (mainly to get its mitts on the rights to the FreeHand drawing program, which Altsys developed). It's still a solid program and fairly easy to use considering the complexity of the task.

FontLab (www.pyrus.com; $399.00). Pyrus has aggressively continued to upgrade FontLab, which migrated from Windows to the Mac. It is particularly good at hinting TrueType fonts, but it can also do everything that Fontographer can do with PostScript fonts, including creating Multiple Master fonts.

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