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It seems that Illustrator is the flavor of choice when designing typefaces. Users seem to have a strong grasp on Illustrator and prefer the design tools in the software over others. Typography is a huge part of what makes Illustrator so accessible to a designer.

As someone who has designed typefaces from hand using illustrator and then having to lug everything over to fontLab I'm confused as to why Adobe hasn't built in the features of fontLab into illustrator, or why they haven't built something better.

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closed as not a real question by Farray Feb 1 '13 at 20:50

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Ryan- I closed this question because, unless we have some Adobe team members here, the question "Why hasn't Adobe..." cannot reasonably be answered here. Is there a chance you could rephrase the essence of your question? –  Farray Feb 1 '13 at 20:51

2 Answers 2

Tiny market. Tiny markets don't make Adobe's priority list. Just like bug fixes that most people won't notice doesn't register with them either.

There would also be a lot of additional code to make that happen. Since very few people need it, the program would just be bogged down by it.

I'm a big fan of the concept, though. I'd love to see FontLab implement their program as a plug-in or at least have a very clean transition tool to take things back and forth.

Adobe also has their own in-house tool for font development. Maybe they could make that a plug-in.

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Honestly I don't see how the market is too small. At my school alone we have 2 type design classes and 7 typography class. In the type design classes we design an entire typeface using illustrator and then compile/produce the font using fontLab. I'm sure other institutions follow a similar structure. With the expansion of web fonts I feel that not catering to this field is a mistake on Adobe's part. If there's enough of a market for dedicated software like glyphs and fontLab why not an Illustrator feature? –  ryanSrich Feb 1 '13 at 20:28
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It's more than a feature, it's a whole new sub-division of the app. The outlines are more or less there but the rest of the programming would need to be incorporated. It's absolutely a logical extension but, the commercial market isn't big enough (education doesn't matter all that much). Font development takes time and it's not something the average designer is going to jump into regularly. –  plainclothes Feb 1 '13 at 21:56

I don't think Illustrator necessarily is the flavor of choice for type design. With several dedicated products for this on the market, I think those that do type design for a living tend to work within those apps. Glyphs seems to be a popular one these days.

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The programming and metrics are handled in dedicated apps but there are many people who prefer to do the initial drawing (or digitisation of the initial drawings) in Illy. It's just a matter of preference. –  plainclothes Feb 1 '13 at 22:00
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I agree. But when on type-design-centric forums, it seems as if most people are using type-centric apps for creating their typefaces. –  DA01 Feb 1 '13 at 22:02

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