FontBook Now Also Available For iPhone

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News | Yves Peters | December 21, 2012

Yesterday the new 3.0 update version of the FontBook became available in the App Store, and is now compatible to all iOS devices. In response to numerous customer requests, the new update also includes new features such as list-views, editable sample-texts, search filters and an additional class for Non-Western fonts. The update is free for everyone who already owns the iPad version. For new customers it will cost $4.99.

An overview of the FontBook 3.0 app.

In its last printed incarnation, the “Yellow Bible” weighed 3 kilos and cost $99.00. Then in July, 2011 it became affordable to all typography fans, in the form of an iPad app. Now it’s so compact you can fit it in your back pocket. Starting with version 3.0, the typographic encyclopedia will be universal, and will work not only on all Apple tablets (iPad, iPad Mini), but also on other iOS devices such as iPhone and iPod Touch. To enable use on small handheld devices, the developers added a completely new user interface that was specially re-designed for tiny screens.

The FontBook app provides numerous entry points, shown in the left screen: looking up typefaces by Class, Designer, Year, Foundry, Usage, and your own list of Favorites. Filters supply even more precise search results, for example “All geometric Sans typefaces from Font Bureau, please!”, as displayed on the screen on the right.

“The iPad version is and remains a typographic atlas with lavish type samples that are meant to inspire you to browse, explore and play,” says Development Team Leader Jürgen Siebert in describing the focus of tablet version. “For the iPhone, we completely re-invented the FontBook navigation: now it’s lean and mean, with list-views and new filters,” he adds. This makes the FontBook a speedy tool that’s always on hand wherever you go, at the office, at your client’s, or at home.

One of four type sample pages of a selected type family, in this case the sans serif Nobel. On the right, all typefaces marked as favourites at a single glance, with editable sample text.

There are a number of new features that are only available on the iPhone version. These include editable custom texts for the rendered list-views, which now make it perfectly easy to compare fonts for corporate design jobs. In tandem with the “favorites” list and the new additional filters (Class, Designer, Foundry, Year), it’s now easy to steer right to the desired typefaces. The new filters can even entice you to play an entertaining game of quiz. In seconds, the FontBook can now find answers to questions like “Which foundries have published fonts by designer Christian Schwartz?” (six) or “Are there any script fonts from designer Adrian Frutiger?” (yes, three). With the help of the genre-lists, it’s now easy to identify even typefaces used in printed matter.

It’s now easier than ever to explore the world of typography. “In addition to design professionals, there are thousands of font-lovers out there who simply want to play around with the FontBook App. Now they can consider this wish granted,” envisions Siebert for the 3.0 update.

Get the app for $4.99

The new FontBook icon abandons the book concept in favour of a compass, emphasising the exploratory aspect of the app.

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  1. Love the app–I bought it back when it was the “steep” price of five bucks–but the only downside is that you can’t see the whole glyph chart in the app. Does it matter? Prolly not. The search tree is amazing, and it’s enough for my purposes as a hobbyist to be able to interact with all of those different type faces. Anyway.

    Posted by Mentioner on Dec. 29, 2012
  2. I just bought the app, but there is no option to work offline in settings, and the compare fonts function doesn’t work – the options are all blank. What’s up? It’s frustrating not being able to use the app as it’s supposed to be. Any ideas? Thanks.

    Posted by Gretchen on Feb. 2, 2014
  3. Dear Mentioner,

    thanks for your feedback. Just let me give some first aid advices … feel free to mail me for individual support (jsiebert-ä

    1) You are right: The app needs an Internet connection to receive the font sample images. We had to do that because with embedded samples the app would have a size of 6 – 9 GB. The good news is that once downloaded samples are cached in the app. This—for example—gives you the opportunity, to discuss a bunch of typeface alternatives with a client (on the road, at his office, anywhere …) as long as you’ve prepared a selection and explored it via WiFi before. In the apps settings you have the option to increase the cache size as you like, what gives you the freedom to preload 1000s of type specimen.

    2) Compare section (iPad only): Before you compare typefaces, you have to mark them before with the Compare-stamp. that is the gray icon in the menu bar at the left side of the Favorite star,

    Posted by Jürgen Siebert on Feb. 3, 2014

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