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Best option for upcoming loss of support for Type 1 Fonts

Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2022 Dec 15, 2022

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Hi. I'm simply looking for opinions on best options for how to handle the loss of Type 1 Font support coming in January 2023.  Adobe support seems confident that any unsupported fonts will be easily covered by their 'suggested' fonts.  Personally, I'm skeptical but paying for new licences for updated fonts might also be an issue financially.  I've got approximately 25000 customer files all using Helvetica font family that will all lose support.

Should I trust Adobe's suggested font replacement or bite the bullet and pick up an updated license for Helvetica?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Dec 21, 2022 Dec 21, 2022

For Helvetica I think it's worth the cost. If you have a Mac, it's not so much an issue as it has had the TrueType version of it since the beginning of OS X which uses the same metrics as the Type 1 version, but that is of no use to Windows users. If you want a match to the old Type 1 version, Linotype/Monotype's version is a direct metric/outline match to the old ones. This is the version (Helevtica LT Std) that appeared on all OpenType versions included with Adobe Font Folio from way back. Of

...

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Community Expert ,
Dec 15, 2022 Dec 15, 2022

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Keep an older version of Illustrator on an older system separate from your current one. It won't take long and operating system won't support Type 1 either.

Whenever you have to edit an old file, use the old system.

For new files, use a new OTF version of the font. And then phase out your old fonts one by one. You will need to replace them anyway sooner or later for several reasons.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 15, 2022 Dec 15, 2022

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Keep an older version of Illustrator on an older system separate from your current one. It won't take long and operating system won't support Type 1 either.

Whenever you have to edit an old file, use the old system.

For new files, use a new OTF version of the font. And then phase out your old fonts one by one. You will need to replace them anyway sooner or later for several reasons.


By @Monika Gause

Thanks for that one.  I like this plan.  A slight wrinkle for me is that I work remotely from home so I only have the one system.  I'll have to look into ways around that.

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Explorer ,
Dec 15, 2022 Dec 15, 2022

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If your font licenses allow it, you could convert them to OpenType with TransType.

 

https://www.fontlab.com/font-converter/transtype/

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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If your font licenses allow it, you could convert them to OpenType with TransType.

 

https://www.fontlab.com/font-converter/transtype/

 


By @leighr

Thanks for that option.  Is there a way to find out before buying this if the font(s) in question allow this?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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Of course there is: you could read the license agreements. Every font comes with this.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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Of course there is: you could read the license agreements. Every font comes with this.


By @Monika Gause

 

Not sure if you were trying to sound smug with that reply but thanks.  I'm just an illustrator trying to find answers for my employer here.  I don't really have a say in finances, purchasing or licensing for the computer I use so as far as licensing agreements so perhaps you'd like to point me in the right direction as to where I can look to find that?  Sorry if I'm too stupid. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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The license agreement is the only place where you can find that information. Every foundry might handle it differently and also nobody knows which fonts you have.

 

For the big foundries I think it's safe to assume that they don't allow it.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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Thank you.

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Guide ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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"I've got approximately 25000 customer files"

You should be able to invest in OTF versions then...

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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"I've got approximately 25000 customer files"

You should be able to invest in OTF versions then...


By @Met1

 

If you're trying to imply I personally can afford it, no, I'm just an employee here.  I do agree with you though.  My employer should be able to afford it but instead, they sent me here for alternatives.

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Guide ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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US$ 438.99, less than 2¢US per file, they can afford it...

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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US$ 438.99, less than 2¢US per file, they can afford it...


By @Met1

Yes. I agree.  Thank you.

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Advocate ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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Even if someone has over 25,000 customer files built up that doesn't mean they can afford to splurge on OTF versions of every old Type 1 typeface or type family they have. I don't work for a major firm, but nearly 30 years of work has built up nearly 50,000 files in my own archives. I spend a decent amount of money on commercial typefaces. But there are limits on how much I can spend.

A lot of these old Type 1 typefaces are pretty expensive to re-buy in OTF format. For example, the Akzidenz Grotesk "BE" family was a bonus goodie in Adobe Illusrator 4.0 and made up a big chunk of the 200 Postscript Type 1 fonts that were bundled in with the application. Not long after that release Berthold stopped licensing some of their fonts to be included with Adobe applications. Berthold is not a partcipating foundry with Adobe Fonts. Last time I checked the OTF version of Akzidenz Grotesk cost around $1100 to buy. Akzidenz Grotesk Next costs around the same amount. The W1G version costs close to $1300. I think I would much rather make OTF conversions of those old T1 fonts using TransType.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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Even if someone has over 25,000 customer files built up that doesn't mean they can afford to splurge on OTF versions of every old Type 1 typeface or type family they have. I don't work for a major firm, but nearly 30 years of work has built up nearly 50,000 files in my own archives. I spend a decent amount of money on commercial typefaces. But there are limits on how much I can spend.

A lot of these old Type 1 typefaces are pretty expensive to re-buy in OTF format. For example, the Akzidenz Grotesk "BE" family was a bonus goodie in Adobe Illusrator 4.0 and made up a big chunk of the 200 Postscript Type 1 fonts that were bundled in with the application. Not long after that release Berthold stopped licensing some of their fonts to be included with Adobe applications. Berthold is not a partcipating foundry with Adobe Fonts. Last time I checked the OTF version of Akzidenz Grotesk cost around $1100 to buy. Akzidenz Grotesk Next costs around the same amount. The W1G version costs close to $1300. I think I would much rather make OTF conversions of those old T1 fonts using TransType.


By @Bobby Henderson

 

I hear you there and in all honesty, if these were my own files, I'd be cringing at the cost of updating fonts.  Thankfully, for my purposes, there's really only 1 BIG one that got used because our customer has a specification that calls for it.  I already looked at the cost of updating and it's really not a huge cost (as far as I know) for my employer to absorb.  But what do I know?  Maybe my employer is on the brink of financial ruin and I just wasn't told. *knock on wood* 

I am very certain though, that if the license for this font doesn't allow for a conversion, my employer will cough up the funds.  They're pretty strict in the legalities department.

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Advocate ,
Dec 20, 2022 Dec 20, 2022

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A long time ago I got into the habit of converting any live text objects to raw outlines in my sign design project files. That way I didn't have to worry about any font substitution issues if I needed to re-open the file many years later. I'll only leave live text objects intact if the layout has a lot of text. In those cases I'll at least make notes about the font files used in the project and where those font files can be located.

Live text objects in old archive files depend on the same exact font files to be installed on the computer in order for the archived file to re-open accurately. That's not always easy to do. People change computers every few years and operating systems change. Both are opportunities for commonly used fonts to change. The version of Arial bundled in Windows95 isn't the same as Arial in WindowsXP or Arial in Windows 11. The letters in various typefaces can be tweaked or completely re-drawn. Spacing may change. New characters or entire alphabets may be added.

In the case of Helvetica, there are many builds of it. There's the original 1957 version. PageMaker had 4 basic styles of it included in its "Collection 220" fonts package in the 1990's. MacOS and iPadOS have a mix of 1957 Helvetica and 1983 Helvetica Neue styles included as system fonts. The "Neue" version of Helvetica has all kinds of subtle differences to the 1957 cut. And then there's the recent Helvetica Now packages in 2019 and 2021. The letters have been further refined. A variety of alternate characters were added. And new "text" and "micro" style ranges were added. The OTF Variable version Monotype released in 2021 is arguably incomplete. Its width axis only goes from normal to condensed. I imagine Monotype may release a second Helvetica Now variable package with a variable axis going from normal to wide in the next year or two. I almost forgot about all the copycat variants of Helvetica, typefaces some jokingly call "Helveti-clones." There's Nimbus Sans, Swiss 721 BT, CG Triumvirate and on and on.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 21, 2022 Dec 21, 2022

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For Helvetica I think it's worth the cost. If you have a Mac, it's not so much an issue as it has had the TrueType version of it since the beginning of OS X which uses the same metrics as the Type 1 version, but that is of no use to Windows users. If you want a match to the old Type 1 version, Linotype/Monotype's version is a direct metric/outline match to the old ones. This is the version (Helevtica LT Std) that appeared on all OpenType versions included with Adobe Font Folio from way back. Of course now they offer the even better Helevtica LT Pro version with all the added glyphs used these days, so you're actually ahead of the game. You still have to do a Find/Replace in every file as the Postscript names are different (by necessity).

What I would like to see from these foundries is a special package price for all the "Basic 14" that used to be part of Adobe's bundling. I'd buy that.

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Advocate ,
Dec 21, 2022 Dec 21, 2022

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I bought copies of the static and variable releases of Helvetica Now when they were first introduced in 2019 and 2021. They had heavily discounted introductory prices when they were first released; $99 for the static version and $199 for the variable version (normal prices are around $350 and $550 respectively).

Over the years I had grown pretty tired of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue. The Now version convinced me to like Helvetica again.

My memory is foggy about it (since so many years have passed), but I could have sworn Adobe had a fonts bundle included with Adobe Type Manager Deluxe where some weights of Helvetica were part of the package. There might have even been one or more Type I Multiple Master fonts in the package (Nueva MM maybe?). I could be wrong about that though. I do wish Adobe would revive some of their old T1 MM typefaces in OTF Variable format. It would be nice to have a variable version of Penumbra.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 21, 2022 Dec 21, 2022

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"Helvetica Now"

Agreed. I like! In fact, I use it the most these days, but for existing documents, the spacings have changed so incur much reflowing and tweaking, which is why I've always substituted my old files to Helevetica LT (since I had it from Font Folio since 2003), but anything new going forward, it's Now all the way.

 

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Advocate ,
Dec 21, 2022 Dec 21, 2022

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Oh yeah, Helvetica Now is certainly not interchangeable with the previous '57 and '83 versions. Not at all. Both Helvetica LT Std and Helvetica Neue LT Std had somewhat similar metrics. With Helvetica Now the line spacing is more generous with all three of its "display," "text" and "micro" sub categories.

At first glance I might have guessed the 16 display fonts in Helvetica Now would consume less column space on a page. The display fonts definitely fit more characters per line than '57 and '83 Helvetica due to the tighter tracking. But the line spacing is noticeably more loose. The "text" fonts have some slightly angular cuts on certain letter stems; normally Helvetica has a very horizontal stress. The "micro" fonts add ink traps to certain glyphs like "t" and "f." It's pretty interesting playing around with the optical axis slider of Helvetica Now Variable to see how the letters "morph" their way from the micro to display optical settings.

When I use Helvetica Now it's mainly for outdoor sign work. Most of the time that means using the display fonts since the letters are going to be great big. Depending on the application I might have to loosen the default tracking to improve distance legibility.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 06, 2023 Jan 06, 2023

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Very curious now that Jan 1 has come and gone yet the functionality of the Type 1 fonts is still working.  Is this just a delay or is the deadline actually the end of the month?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 06, 2023 Jan 06, 2023

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Very curious now that Jan 1 has come and gone yet the functionality of the Type 1 fonts is still working.  Is this just a delay or is the deadline actually the end of the month?


By @CmdrTomalak6330

 

Do you still have an older version installed?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 06, 2023 Jan 06, 2023

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Not that I'm aware of. Creative Cloud app says no updates available so I assume I'm up-to-date.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 06, 2023 Jan 06, 2023

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Could you tell us the version number in "About Illustrator"?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 06, 2023 Jan 06, 2023

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27.1.1

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