Fonts are a really exciting part of design, so most people who do any sort of design work have way too many of them floating around their computer. If you’ve ever designed anything you know what I mean when I say you can spend way too much time scrolling through fonts trying to find the perfect one for your project. You don’t want to have to filter through them one by one every time you have to choose, so sorting them right when you download them is a good idea.
For a while I was doing it the wrong way – every time I had a new project and was looking for a font, I would scroll through them one by one until I found one I liked. Now I use Font Book. I never thought to try it because it is one of the native Apple programs so I never gave it a second thought. But lately I’ve realized it’s a really great tool, and the fact that it’s free is just a bonus.
Now, every time I download a font, I just open it, and it automatically installs on my system and gets added to Font Book. Then I just add it to one of the collections that I have created to sort my fonts.
Right now all I have is serif, sans serif, and cursive, but I’m thinking that I’m going to add some more to make finding the right font even easier. Of course, I only include fonts that are free for commercial use in my folders, so that I know I am always using a font that is legal.
Another great part of Font Book is that you can type the text you want to use into the program, so as you scroll through the fonts you can see each in the text you need. You can also choose to view the fonts by their entire library, so that when you scroll through them you see ever letter and number written in that font.
If you want to get even fancier, you can create ‘Smart Collections’ which sort your fonts automatically based on characteristics that you select. Similar to mailboxes in Apple mail, where you can set all emails with a certain keyword to show up in a Smart Mailbox, these Smart Collections can be configured exactly how you want them, so that you can see a very specific range of fonts in them.
This kind of sorting system takes only a few extra moments when you download a font, to sort and categorize it, but will save you endless time in the long run, and will make finding a font perfectly suited for every design project a fun task, rather than a dauntning one.