Typography on the Mac has changed dramatically since our favorite personal computer was launched back in 1984. The original Mac was thin on fonts and it took a couple of years before the font industry began to give us what every designer and desktop publisher craved. More fonts.
Today, we have more fonts than we can count. Back in the day I used an app called Fontographer to create laser printer fonts from bit mapped fonts. That was a tedious, time-consuming process, but for awhile, was the only way to get more fonts.
Today, there’s a better, less expensive way.
More Fonts, Less Money
Creating fonts by hand on the Mac was an exercise in humility. Today, my Mac has many thousands of fonts, many of them free or very inexpensive.
What I haven’t been able to afford are the classy Adobe font packages, but thanks to the Mac App Store, there’s yet another way to add inexpensive fonts to your Mac.
This weekend I came across a handful of Mac font packages on the Mac App Store.
The Classic Collection feature 10 fonts in OpenType format, so they work on both Mac and Windows PCs. At 99-cents for the package, that’s less than a dime a font.
There is a difference between Adobe’s best fonts and those that are a dime a dozen (or, less). Still, you can never have too many fonts. Here’s a look at a few of the fonts in the Classic Collection.
For a similar price (less than a dime a dozen), there’s the Comic Collection (goodbye, Comic Sans).
These are not likely to win any typography design awards, but there’s still the axiom: you can never have too many fonts.
If that’s not enough, there’s another Mac App Store collection called Contemporary Fonts.
If that’s not enough to satiate your desire for more fonts, there’s also the Essential Collection of 84 fonts for less than $10.
If you really need more fonts for less per font, there’s the FontsPro 2 package of 1,900 fonts for less than $38. That’s pennies per font, but you’d better brush up on your German.
Installing more fonts on your Mac is straightforward. Many font packages feature an installer, which automatically places new fonts in your Mac’s System Library > Fonts folder, or in your user Fonts folder.
Use the Mac’s FontBook to install (but not manage) fonts. Otherwise, drag and drop still works, though there’s no need to drag the fonts into the Fonts folder because in Mac OS X Lion, the Library folder is hidden.
You can also use an app that manages fonts, such as Font-Wizard, one of the least expensive font managers that also handles both installed and un-installed fonts.
As with most font managers, Font-Wizard lets you view all the fonts with different text, colors, and backgrounds; and activate only those fonts you need at the time.