Font Studio from Paolo Quadrani is a Mac app that allows you to modify and customize fonts. It provides you with the ability to create a range of font styles. It also includes in impressive collection of fonts that can be customized, saved and organized. In this article we will discuss scenarios in which this app can be useful, how the app works, and what you should expect if you purchase it.
OS X Mavericks ships with 248 fonts, which are stored in an app called Font Book. When you launch Font Studio it opens to a list of 598 fonts, and displays the message “Welcome in Font Studio” in each of the included fonts. When you mouse over a font, the name of the font and the number of times it has been used is displayed. To the right of that, there are 3 controls; five star icons for rating, the letter “i” icon which brings up information about the font, and an “eye” icon which hides or shows the font.
If you hide a font, you can click the larger eye icon at the top of the app, and all hidden fonts are displayed. If you click on the eye icon next to the font again, it is no longer hidden. Clicking on the information button shows the specifications of the font, including whether it was imported or came pre-installed with the app.
Clicking on the wrench, or Style Editor, icon allows you to change the size, outline, kerning, and expansion and skew factors. If you place the cursor in one of those fields and scroll up and down on a mouse or trackpad, the font is adjusted, and the range of values for that field conveniently becomes apparent.
The app has three tabs at the top that allow you to organize the fonts by name, rating, or frequency of use. Additionally, they can be searched by category, tag or using custom search criteria.
Overall, I would say Font Studio is a fair value at $4.99 as long as you have a need for custom fonts, and understand the capability of the app. For example, the app does not give you the ability to control ligatures like Pages and Keynote do. (Notice the differences between the “t”, “h”, and “s” first image below from Pages.) However, Font Studio does give you much greater control with kerning, which controls the distance between the characters.
The latest update of the app gives you the ability to import fonts from custom directories, and drag and drop customized text into the latest version of Pages. It’s also possible to drag and drop text into Adobe products like Illustrator and Photoshop. It seems like a good fit for people who build websites frequently or do occasional graphic design and want more font options.
The customizability of the app gives one the ability to create a logo for a new brand, or a truly unique text style that can be used in personal and marketing situations.
Paolo Quadrani is an individual developer from Bologna, Italy. This is his debut app in the Mac App Store.
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