In any given month three or four designers ask us for a good way to print type specimen books. While several tools offer this ability, here are our current favorites:
Vennix’s Font Tools 6.0 (screenshot shown here) prints meaningful font specimen pages, not only from active fonts, but from inactive
fonts as well. It sports an attractive interface including a special type book creator which allows you to easily select and print font samples in a variety of layouts. Font Tools can also scan Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign documents for used fonts, and collect the results to help aid archiving. [Cost: $50]
Lemke’s FontBook 4.4 has a much wider selection of layouts available for printing books. However it offers few options to select which fonts you wish to print, which can waste a lot of time (or paper) when printing larger type collections. The software itself feels less polished than Font Tools, however the choice of layouts and lower price may appeal to some designers. [Shareware: $10]
Note: We borrowed heavily from a recent review of Font Tools 6.0 in the October 2006 issue of Design Tools Monthly for this tip.
Source: This tip inspired by a recent question from Seattle’s Experience Music Project — a fun in-house creative team that also holds the record for CreativeTechs’ largest single font tune-up project. Consultant Jasson Lewellen wrangled a huge collection of CDs with over 10GB of fonts into a single, organized font library.