“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” wrote Charles Dickens, in a sentence that happens to sum up almost every human experience in my opinion. But for technology, the one thing that brings that quote to mind most is eBooks. See, eBooks are a brilliant idea. With a simple tap, you can download a full book that’d otherwise have taken a trip to a book store or a wait of a few days from Amazon. That downloaded book can be read on your phone, tablet, Mac, or eReader, devices which you already cary around and most of which weigh less than the average hardback — and which can also hold hundreds and thousands of books. It’s a bookworm’s dream come true.
And yet, eBooks are far from perfect. For every beautifully detailed eBook, like those made for iBooks with iBooks Author, there’s a horribly formatted Kindle book that doesn’t do justice to any text. Or, there’s the low-quality scanned PDFs of books that you’ll find online from questionable sources, that’ll quickly convince you eBooks are a terrible idea.
But eBooks shouldn’t be a bad idea, and you shouldn’t need an interactive, multimedia eBook to make it nice. Enter Vellum.
There’s people who know that using Comic Sans is an invitation to mockery and that Helvetica Neue is the official designer font of record, and then there’s people who have meticulously curated libraries of hundreds and thousands of fonts. For the former, the built-in Font Book app has typically been enough — there’s the tools to add and preview fonts that most people need. There’s more advanced font management tools, but they’re simply too much for most of us.
Bohemian Coding, the team behind the incredibly popular design tool Sketch and the now-unsupported font management tool Fontcase, has just released a beautiful new font app aimed at the casual user and designers alike: Fonts. It’s the first font app that’s designed for the vast majority of Mac users, with a UI that’s reminiscent of what we can only imagine an iOS 7 inspired OS X redesign would look like.
When we first reviewed Fontcase over a year ago, one of the things we said we’d like to see was auto-activation. If you take a look at the comments on that review, you will see that several readers agreed, and one or two said very plainly that this was a deal-breaker for them. So long as Fontcase, for all its obvious beauty and other great features, didn’t offer auto-activation, they would stick with whatever they were using already.
Well, happy day! Bohemian Coding have recently released a new version of Fontcase, which includes a few important changes and improvements.
Whilst OS X ships with a huge array of stunning software, one area lacking is that of font management. The basic tool shipping with Leopard is Font Book, a very straight forward and simple app with few advanced features. A few tools have appeared to fill this gap in the market, notably FontExplorer X and Suitcase Fusion. Another competitor emerging in recent months has been Fontcase, developed by Bohemian Coding.
Fontcase aims to replicate the ease of use found in an application such as iPhoto, applying it to the task of managing your font collection. The interface is uncluttered and intuitive, sharing many innovative user interface design features found in Apple software. A few feature-highlights include versatile metadata support, the ability to share fonts on your local network and fantastic ways to preview all your fonts.
This review will provide an overview of what Fontcase has to offer, along with why it may be worth giving a try over your existing font management app. It isn’t yet perfect, but breathes fresh air into this area of software.