Bram Pitoyo, Portland Creative/Tech Event Review

Portland Mac Creative User Group (PDXMUG) – Kelly Guimont Talks Font Management: An Event Review

Portland Mac Creative User Group (PDXMUG) – Kelly Guimont Talks Font Management

When: Tuesday, April 15th, 2008, 6:00-8:00 pm

Where: The MacForce store, whereupon I, being the overconfident fellow of the road that I was, thought could I find conveniently perched four–five blocks away from the Hawthorne bridge, which it was—if you take the right exit to the bike trail prior to exiting the bridge. Inside: appropriately themed decor—if you’ve seen their print ad on the paper—leaving nothing to the imagination down to the appearance of 50’s sci-fi movie and Apple ][ computer, perched atop a giant striped rocket ship. Okay, I was just kidding about the rocket ship, but that would be extremely cool, wouldn’t it?

What it’s about: Kelly Guimont, while being the online persona @verso, is secretly a type geek who work with Extensis. She gave a presentation on organizing a computer’s font collections, whether you’re a typophile who reads specimen before bed and gets high on printer’s ink or someone who just like to see his/her TTF/Type1/OpenType files sorted by names for easy usage. BONUS: I learned that the speaker had “seven to eight thousand” typefaces. If that isn’t typographically awesome, I don’t know what else is.

This presentation is well-suited to any designer or creative person, especially if he/she works freelance, since, like me, most freelancers have 1) a lot of typefaces installed in their systems, and 2) some forms of ADD or OCD that will cause them to misplace or mismanage their font library from time to time.

A very short summary of insights that I got from the event is thus:


While fonts are files, it’s best to not think of them as files, but as little programs that consume memory every time you load up.

Therefore, to make your computer run in its full snappy-performance glory, it’s in your best interest to only enable fonts that you and Mac OS X are going to use, which in most cases would be almost no font at all if you’re just going to browse your Facebook for 6 hours that day. This is where a font management program can come in handy, because hello, you don’t want to remove and reinstall fonts every time you’re using it, and besides, don’t even try to argue about how FontBook is a full-fledged font management program because when you have the entire Adobe FontFolio 11 installed in your system, you do not want to Ctrl+highlight+click 2,300 fonts to temporarily disable them, only to have them enabled again when you restarted your Mac.

NOTE: I feel that, since Mrs. Guimont wore a BATTLESTAR HELVETICA T-shirt that night, she will have more authority to explain the rest of the presentation.


Technicality: ☝ ☝ ☝
Translation: You can participate, even though you don’t know that the name Mrs. Eaves implies a saucy, illicit, decades-long dalliance that involved many nights of hot letterpress action in the studio basement.

Interestingness: ☝ ☝ ☝
Translation: the font format and management talk can be technical to some people, but the QuickType™ is sure to wow any client.

What I Learned From The Event In Six Words:
Installing 300 fonts will PWN OSX.