For New Fonts, Look to the Sky

Your email, photos, and even Adobe’s Creative Suite have all drifted off into the “cloud” – that magical land where all your digital items can be downloaded from just about anywhere. So it’s no wonder that your fonts are skyward bound, too.

Montotype’s new font-cloud service, SkyFonts, recently emerged from beta testing, and promises to drastically change the way you manage your fonts – IF it can overcome some minor hurdles.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Register for a free account and download the software client to your computer. (You can use your SkyFonts typefaces on up to five workstations.)
  2. Browse through the 8,000-plus fonts currently in the SkyFonts library.
  3. Purchase SkyFonts credits for $3 per credit when you purchase a pack of 15 credits for $45. The more credits you buy at once, the greater your discount.
  4. You can then rent a font for 24 hours (1 credit) or 30 days (3 credits). If you just want to see how the font would look (without watermarking) in a document, you can use a font for free for 5 minutes before deciding whether to buy.

Also in the works – an Adobe Creative Suite plug-in to allow you to browse and try out fonts within your CS document.

However, there are still a few stumbling blocks that need to be addressed:

  • SkyFonts currently can’t be included in your font manager of choice
  • The five-workstation limit seems confining for larger offices
  • Fonts are for desktop use only, presumably because online use poses some headaches when it comes to managing rights.

Finally, you can use the fonts when not connected to the Internet, but only for up to 30 days before they disappear from your computer.

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