Quick font survey

Calling all designers! Do you use Adobe’s Postscript Type 1 fonts? Maybe you do, and you don’t even realize it? With Adobe soon to discontinue support for Postscript Type 1 fonts, it could have a major impact on your work. I’d love to learn about your experience in this short questionnaire so that I can better support you for this upcoming change.

I skipped the last two questions :wink:

and I’ve also read this:

Most people will not be affected by the retirement of Type 1 fonts. As stated above, Adobe had stopped creating Type 1 fonts in 1999, and most developers had moved to more robust formats in early 2005. Many developers had even converted existing Type 1 fonts to OpenType and TrueType formats in the early 2000s.

However, there’s a chance that you may still have some Type 1 fonts. This is especially true for designers working with in-house fonts developed explicitly by their company, especially if their company has been active since the 1990s.

If this applies to you, you’ll want to discuss either converting an existing Type 1 font to an OpenType or TrueType format or creating or licensing a new font altogether.


I’m thinking the only options are get another font or convert it.

Adobe are discontinuing use of type 1. I’m surprised people are surprised.

Website and mobile OS don’t support type one fonts. Haven’t done for years.

Adobe is simply moving with the times.
They are not ending support until 2023.

More here

It’s not a kick in the teeth from Adobe. It’s just time to move on to fonts that work across different workflows and devices and are cross platform compatible.

Plenty of time to get things sorted.

I’ve used this before and it’s excellent.

Most anyone working with digital fonts since the 1980s (like me) probably has a whole collection of Type 1 fonts from the time when they were new and when nobody paid much attention to software licensing.

The newspaper where I worked bought the entire collection of Linotype and Bitstream fonts. No one thought anything at all of making copies of everything. Somewhere, tucked away in a drawer in my house, are some old Zip drive cartridges with thousands of those Type 1 fonts that I probably would have no way of retrieving even if I wanted to. I suppose they’d still be helpful for particular purposes, like type to accompany a logo, but that’s about it. Mostly, though, I use the same dozen or so typefaces repeatedly, so I don’t need them anyway.

It’s probably worth mentioning that converting the Type 1 fonts to OpenType or TrueType will only make them compatible with newer software. Doing so won’t magically expand the character set, increase the quality, or make OpenType features appear. They’ll still be the same old Type 1 fonts but in a new wrapper.

Indeed - sorry I didn’t mention that I was lying in bed struggling with listless sleep.

Best option is to visit the font foundry website or call them and ask if they have an open type version. And buy that.

Converting the font is a last resort. And of course, there is no magic new character sets etc.

At the end of the day it’s not a bad thing. But I can understand why some are upset. But then nobody said anything about it when Web and Mobile OS dumped Type 1.

It’s all those people with thousands-of-fonts collections that are complaining. I’m sure somewhere in their font management software there is an option to select by software type. Look at the list. If you can’t live without some of them, update them. If you don’t recognize some of them, delete them. It’s part of the job. People collect fonts like baseball cards. Most of them are worthless and will always be worthless. Those few special ones, hold onto those and offload the rest.

Typefaces should always be job specific and if a special one is needed, purchase it on the client’s invoice. Holding them forever until you have no idea where they came from or why you have them? Not so productive. And worse, a project that relies on a face found somewhere online in a long distant past can come back to bite you. Not too long ago I had a bid package sent to me. I didn’t recognize a single type used on the samples page so I did a quick query (as I’m a printer and would have to license said fonts to work on the project.) All of them were freeware. Some of them had commercial use restrictions (as in “for personal use only”.) One of them had one of those new weird licenses that prohibit “manufacture” of items using the letter outlines (ie I could not cut them out of solid acrylic without getting an extended license,) and two of them the creators were nowhere to be found. Gone. No way to contact, no way to license.

I have mine all in UTC and every font I have been handed is in a folder for that Client.
I must have about 500 different versions of Helvetica.
But Helvetica for one client is not the same as the Helvetica used by another client.

I organise all my fonts this way. Usually, with no contact from a client after trying for 12 months the fonts get archived along with all their jobs, and I clear out the UTC folders and tidy up.

Basic file management really.

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Yup. Same here

I have thousands of Type1 fonts - I better get busy with the converter …

Converter will batch convert.
You have 2 years :slight_smile:

Plus previous versions of InDesign won’t have that problem, so hold on to older version of InDesign for as long as you can (or any Adobe apps)

Ya-but if you do an update on those older CC versions, beware. They may just update the type engine on you. Sometimes they might even tell you waht they are updating if you follow the link, but a lot of times it just says “security and performance updates.”

Type engine regularly changes per version, but I have not seen a text reflow because of it. But it can happen.

I was thinking more they update the type engine on you so that it no longer recognizes Type 1, regardless of the version number.

I don’t think that will be the case

Ok, this just hit me from a different direction.
I was pulling up some older archive files for a client and now Adobe is popping an onscreen warning “This document contains Type 1 fonts that are due to be discontinued in 2023.”

Hmmm…lot’s of archived work out there suddenly is gonna be very hard to unarchive. Sure the typefaces can most times be replaced, but that will now come with a charge on top of the de-archive fee, plus any desktop services to fix your word wrap issues.

(Bear in mind, I’m a printer, and these files I speak of are designer supplied and often times were left for their end-clients to re-order on demand. On some of them the designers have moved on in life.)

So maybe do some backchecking if you have legacy client work, so you aren’t scrambling on some important thing in 2023.

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Yikes we get orders all the time for reprints from years ago - just yesterday I had a re-order for a job we did in 2014. No Type1 fonts in that but that’s not the oldest job we’ve had a re-order for, even this month. Most of our archive never comes back to haunt us, so I won’t be going through everything and substituting fonts just in case, but this is a useful heads-up.

Yeah, that’s why I mentioned the up-charge. I’m not gonna go digging either. It’ll be done on a case by case basis.
That last was aimed at the designerfolk here. :slight_smile:

I’m not even sure one-to-one replacements will be possible in most instances.

Most of the old “free” Type 1 fonts were never updated. Many of the commercial fonts from back them were from separate foundries that no longer exist due to Monotype gobbling them all up and consolidating the offerings into a few standardized versions of all those fonts. For example, good luck finding any updated versions of Bitstream fonts.

When updating fonts, foundries are usually careful not to change the glyph widths, sidebearings or kerning pairs since doing so will cause reflows in already existing documents. When TrueType came along, foundries used this as an opportunity to revamp and improve their fonts without being hobbled by backward-compatibility issues.

In other words, a TrueType or OpenType version of the same typeface from the same foundry will likely differ enough from their Type 1 predecessors to cause reflow issues. That “on top of the de-archive fee” charge could be awfully expensive when it involves tracking down and trying out equivalents in addition to purchasing those newer fonts.

More often than not, the best way to deal with might be keeping a good font converter on hand to convert the archived Type 1 fonts to TrueType as the need arises. I’m not at all sure how many of those old Type 1 fonts will cause font converters to choke. It seems that half the time I install an old Type 1 font on my Mac, I get an operating system error message warning me that the font has issues.

Most of the stuff I have used fairly common Type 1 fonts. And quite often these days I have to smack a designer upside the head when they send me a file with more than one format of the typeface used because they have two formats installed on their machine. Ruins the work flow, LOL.

Type 1s were also fairly regular at corrupting themselves. I always had a master font folder for just such emergencies (still do, but used less and less these days as file packaging and needing to purchase licenses has prevailed.) I did just check my machine here and still have about 20 licensed Type 1s installed. I bet my at work machine has twice that. Most have been discarded over the last several years for causing conflicts.

Yeah, and I never understood that. There were even applications available to fix them. I have no idea how a read-only file corrupts itself, but I do remember that problem.

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