Raised to a state of art by every trending article since the beginning of the year, when it comes to design matters, typography is unarguably both beautiful and powerful when chosen wisely.
Being one of the most important aspects of the design, typography also remains one of the most challenging matters – so having the right tools makes a world of a difference.
Since the World Wide Web is a jungle swarming with well hidden font books and free beautiful typography libraries, where finding the fonts Holy Grail is just a couple of secret paths and clicks away, and where you can build a small kingdom pixel by pixel, sometimes you might feel a little lost.
So we searched and put together a slate of great typography tools that will help you organize, identify and compare fonts, tools that will allow you to find and download hundreds of beautifully crafted fonts and tools that will let the adventurous designers create their own fonts from scratch.
Here are a few incredibly useful tools that will help you organize your libraries and help you always find or build the perfect font.
Where the font are you?
Every respectable designer hides in his computer an unimaginable font circus, where most of the time is almost impossible to find what you are looking for, kind of akin the needle in a haystack scenario… but we got tools.
Flipping Typical is a small app that aims to detect all the fonts you have installed on your computer and to let you preview them in an easy and elegant way, without having yo install anything on your computer. It might not narrow down every single font you have out there, but you can simply add the forgotten one to the list and then admit is still a very useful tool, just perfect for a quick comparison.
Font Picker is a free Adobe AIR app, designed as a simple tool for a quick browsing through the great amount of fonts installed on your computer over the years. All you need is Adobe AIR framework and then you can start the search: view all the collection, mark your favorites and remove the ones you got tired of… and just find the one that fits your project best.
So after you finally discovered a couple of typefaces that you think in theory might come out nicely, what better way to finally pick a winner than making a direct comparison? Displaying font in three columns of text, this web application will give you a pretty accurate image of how your website will look like.
Find that font!
Have you ever stumbled upon some great typography example while searching for inspiration for your next web-based project and try as you might, in the end you couldn’t find the font? We know you did…
So you’re hopelessly in love with a font that you discovered while randomly browsing the Internet, but you have no idea how to get it for your web projects? WhatTheFont is a web application that lets you scan or provide the URL where your precious font can be found, and it will shortly tell you what it is…
But what if you can’t remember the website nor you can’t find a sample of your mystery font? Everything’s not lost…Unlike the previous application, Identifont is less automatic and more of a treasure hunt. Identifont will step by step lead you through a series of questions about particularities of the font, from shape and style to twirls and twists, and at the end of the 15th question you’ll probably get a match… Or at least one that will have a significant resemblance.
What to choose, what to choose…
The Internet is literally swarming with font collections and libraries – some of them free, some of them pricey… the challenge here is finding the collections with fast comparing and intuitive search, that will allow you to easily decide the best choice for the matter.
From old classics to the new designers’ favorites, Typekit displays a very well stocked collection of high-quality fonts ready to use on the web, being built around web standards. One of its many advantages, is that Typekit is being integrated on other platforms, like the already popular WordPress.
Another already popular library among web designers is Typechart. Allowing you to browse through different typographic styles, this web application lets you browse, compare and preview typography, while retrieving a style ID for each typographic element.
Recently acquired by Monotype, Typecast is another giant in the typography jungle, providing a platform with more than 23,000 web fonts to choose from, allowing you to easily style a typeface as you design. It also offers access to web fonts from Typekit, Fontdeck and Google Fonts, being an almost indispensable typography resource.
Saving it a place in the typography hall of fame, FontDeck is one of the most resourceful web application, allowing you to preview fonts on your browser, offering an extensive catalog of very professional fonts. It works on all web browsers supporting CSS and it also offers the benefits of a free WordPress plugin, making it incredibly easy to add all of your favorite fonts to the WordPress-powered websites you are developing.
With all these online libraries and web applications it became obvious that finding the perfect typography for our web projects is not as complicated as we thought… but what if every letter needs to be uniquely styled? As every designer already knows, CSS doesn’t offer the possibility of controlling every letter – so this jQuery plugin was created to allow designers to style each letter in part, improving the look and feel of a website.
Being one of the largest online font libraries, FontFont Library offers an impressively large variety of typefaces: from old, conservative styles to fancy and notorious ones, and from Gothic to funny and childish, including typefaces from some of the most famous typography designers world wide and displaying an unique high quality collection.
With a vivid resemblance to a bazaar, the Google Fonts library displays a mixture of popular typefaces and obscure ones, being a place where if you dig deep enough you might find a hidden treasure. So if you have a little time on your hands, you might actually be surprised to find some pretty amazing typography examples.
With online preview and separate versions for both Mac and Windows, this website will charm you with – oh, no surprise here – 1001 well designed, well categorized and of course, free of charge typefaces.
The Font Book – the world’s most comprehensive typographic tool – aka the Font Bible, has gotten out of its hard covers and turned into a must-have application, FontBook 3.0. So get ready to organize, validate, enable and disable fonts and to explore the very nicely laid out tree of subcategories.
Make that font…
So you finished searching every corner of your font collection and every little dark place of the Internet but the perfect font still refuses to show up? There is still hope for you too. If someone else’s font just doesn’t seem to be good enough for you, you can make one to match all your expectations…
This web application allows you to create a new font from your own handwriting, offering a quite exciting alternative for business cards, party invitations and many more printing and web projects. Just scan a sample of your handwriting and Fontifier will transform it into a TrueType font that can easily be edited with FontLab or TypeTool.
Finding type design quite seductive and challenging, the more adventurous designers enjoy creating their own inspirational typefaces from scratch.And while theoretically fun to experiment with, for those seeking for a fast, fulfilling result, FontLab can turn out to be a rather humbling experience…
What about fonts?
Covering everything about new fonts, professional type design, typography news and many other related topics, I Love Typography is – according to many designers – the most popular typography and fonts’ related blog at the moment. So if you’re interested in crafting some typefaces or just being up to date with the latest trends, don’t forget to bookmark this website.
Curated by the notorious Font Shop, The FontFeed is providing daily updates from the typography world, showcasing inspirational examples and useful tips on working with type, turning out to be a very resourceful website, helping you discover some typographic hidden treasures.
But wait… What’s a glyph, you asked? Check out this very useful glossary of typographic terms at Canva.
In the end…
In the end, we hope these tools will help you make your life easier when it comes to typography matters… And since we’re sure there are many other resourceful applications on the web, we’re counting on you to help us extend the list. So leave a comment about your favorite apps in our comment section below.