• I want to thank all the members that have upgraded your accounts. I truly appreciate your support of the site monetarily. Supporting the site keeps this site up and running as a lot of work daily goes on behind the scenes. Click to Support Signs101 ...

Couple of Questions on Fonts


New Member
1. How many Fonts do you all have?

2. Whats a good collection to start with?

I've seen tons of CD Collection, but being new to this, I don't know whats really good or just crap...

I see collections with as small as 9 fonts or 100 Fonts then collections with like 80,000.... It makes me wonder how many duplicate fonts or just poor quality ones...

Seems like Extensis Suitcase is a pretty popular Font manager, I'd like to get that to keep track of my fonts and Portfolio to keep track of all my images that I get or make...

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
To answer you questions directly:

I own licensed copies of most or all the following libraries:

The Font Bureau

and useful fonts from about 60 other design foundries. As a starting point you might want to spend a day or so browsing through the weblinks section of Signs 101. GEB and I have posted a fairly complete group of links there of type sources.

I use very little of what has come to be called cloned fonts partly because they are very difficult to use efficiently and because they are stolen from legitimate producers of fonts.

Fonts fall into two categories:

Those which have been designed, developed and brought to market by professionals in the business. Fonts like these typically sell in the range of $15 to $40 each with discounts for buying in quantity.

Those which have been opened, had their names changed and copyrights deleted or replaced and regenerated ..... usually as Windows TrueType by people taking advantage of a very bad court ruling about 15 years ago. Fonts like these have very little cost or value to the publishers (they are in every sense of the word stolen) so they are sold for whatever the market will bear with no concern as to quality or usefulness. The same sorts of things also happen with clipart like you purchased on e-Bay.

Most signmaking software comes with a large selection of professionally prepared fonts as does CorelDraw. If that doesn't satisy, my company offers a very nice CD collection about which you may contact me by email if you'd like to know more about it.

Jen Goodwin

New Member
I have about 1650 loaded on my computer with no manager as of yet.

Starting off with those that Fred mentioned is the best idea. I also recommend Letterhead fonts - they are great; as are SignDNA and Signfonts. Yesterday I purchased the 'county fair picnic' pack from Font Diner; very fun fonts for banners! I also like typesetit.com, really nice calligraphy fonts and Nicks Fonts has some cool fonts.
I used to download alot of free true type fonts, but I stopped doing that and have been leaning lately towards the high quality fonts. I think alot of those free ones will screw up your font folder.


New Member

I have thousands and use under 100. The other 3,899 fonts are only for matching existing fonts.

I am with Chris. Letterheads, SignDNA, Signfonts. Also if you have any graphic designer friends, proficient webmaster friends or art director friends in ad agencies - pick their brain for HOT FONTS currently in use in high profile mediums.

The hottest fonts are often in national print ads in NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, SF Examiner and any big name fashion magazine.

Another tip for color is - use color combinations as set forth by high paid art directors who created PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LOGOS, Fortune 500 company logos and name brand packaging logos. These colors are tied together by their ability to evoke emotion and passion for a team or company.

I say - Let high paid pros help us design signage and graphics at zero cost!

Need a cool logo design and effect? Take a stroll down the cereral aisle! ! !


Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
Excluding grunge and grafitti fonts the best guess is that there are somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 separate and distinct fonts with lots of renamed clones to confuse the issue. I have approximately 25,000 fonts from legitimate foundries archived.

For a font manager I recommend Typograf - Shareware $35.00


For identifying fonts that clients want matched - FontExpert ($149.00) in conjunction with Typograf.



Certified Enneadecagon Designer
I am not into freebie fonts or the million font collections, most are bad knock off or themed fonts that I have no use for.

Besides Letterhead Fonts, Sign DNA and Sign Fonts, there are hundreds of Type Foundries large like Fred listed to smaller like House Industries and T26.
To get an overall feel get Signcraft, Signs of the Times, AMAL, for typography in signage ideas, and How, Print and Communication Arts for typographt in graphic design-the graphic design being a step or 2 ahead.

Like Barry said I to have thousands of fonts and use less that 100 regularly, probaly more like 50.....

I have noticed newbies using fonts that are really font that are long past popular. Take cues from what is going on in signage and graphic design, and apply it to how you conceptuaize and layout.

Steve C.

New Member
Fred, thanks for the tip about typograf. I will include a link to them on my web site.
I am amazed how many sign makers are trying to work with no font management at all.

Steve C

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
I guess I'm cynical Steve because I figure that so many don't use font management because they only or mostly only use what came with their software and what is found for free on the internet.

We have people tell us everyday how much better they like our work than whomever they had dealt with in the past. Often the only discernable difference is the extra couple of minutes we take to select our fonts for any given job and then paying attention to spacing and kerning.

I've had many sign people tell me they don't ever need to match fonts to established selections with their clients ..... they just use something close. I've never been able to buy that since 98% or so of what we do is letters and typesetting. Type matching and thoughtful creative type selection, to me, is central to what we do and how we set ourselves apart from our competition.

Our nearest competitor is a Fast Signs store whose setup person sees no value in varying his type selections and uses Helvetica for everything ..... stretched or squeezed to fit. This makes us happy since lots of his customers end up here and end up repeaters with us.


New Member
On a slightly different vein, what are the reputable affordable font suppliers out there. I need to buy "Bradley Hand ITC" for a specific job and don't want to waste my money on a poor quality version.


Just Me
Welcome Susan!
I use myfonts.com when I have to get a specific font for a job.

Fred - you raise an excellent point. I cut my teeth in a typesetting environment it and it makes me crazy when so-called "designers" use only the fonts that came with their operating system. I own thousands of fonts... many of them originally came on floppy disks from Linotype. Boy were fonts expensive back then!! I love Steve's signfonts and alot of the Letterhead fonts, but I also have some very cool original free fonts that I like. I consider fonts be a very necessary expense for my business... at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it... In reality I buy fonts like most women buy shoes :biggrin:

Edited to add: I have lots of the free font collections out there and some of them I NEVER use - they don't reproduce well - just not good fonts. I have probably rejected more free fonts than I have kept - but I always look.


Certified Enneadecagon Designer
Who resurrected this 2 1/2 your old post?

Just stay away from that Distorting Text thread and we will get along just fine......


Just Me
Didn't even catch that Rick lol - just clicked on the new post so never even caught how old the original post was when reading back in it. Just shows she was searching before asking! :smile:


New Member
new (silly) user

hi Guys,
yes I don't know how best to use this great resource as I am new (first post).:Oops:
Sorry if I have mucked anyone up.

I was wondering if Myfonts or Linotype are reliable providers or is it best to stick with the more expensive font merchants.

Also, I use mainly Coreldraw fonts (TT), but noticed that you can get postscript as well. Do you think for one off jobs, it is better just to get the TT version?:thankyou:

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
I was wondering if Myfonts or Linotype are reliable providers or is it best to stick with the more expensive font merchants.

Also, I use mainly Coreldraw fonts (TT), but noticed that you can get postscript as well. Do you think for one off jobs, it is better just to get the TT version?:thankyou:

MyFonts and Linotype are both highly respected names in the business as is Fonts.com. MyFonts is operated by Bitstream, Linotype by Linotype-Hell, and Fonts.com by Agfa-Monotype.

If your applications will use the Postscript versions than you may find them preferable to TrueType. There are a few issues to consider.

  • Postscript versions are higher in quality technically because the standard supports less control points (nodes) than does TrueType. A perfect circle using the Postscript standards, for example, requires just 4 control points to define the vector path while TrueType requires 8. This makes for smaller files, quicker plotting and less chance for a node to create a path error.
  • Pretty much all fonts are originally created and refined under Postscript standards and viewing. It is my understanding that some finer aspects of a Postscript font get lost in the conversion to TrueType, even when done by the manufacturers.
  • Lots of TrueType fonts are copied or created by amateurs. They may lack kerning schemes, original spacing tables and other nice stuff to have. While a TrueType font from a major foundry will generally be okay, a Postscript version often translates to a greater assurance that you are getting a first quality font.

Steve C.

New Member
I am tempted to buy some of those fonts for Colon....
:Big Laugh :Big Laugh :Big Laugh :Big Laugh :Big Laugh :Big Laugh :Canada: