With a nice 3 week vacation before starting school again, I've rationed a bit free time to get around to doing some things that I've been meaning to get around to. Part of this list includes putting up some recently acquired posters, reformatting my hard drive, and finally finishing up my portfolio section for this site.
And yet there's one thing that I'm most eager to do—organize my jumbled typeface collection.
If you couldn't tell by the huge headers, I'm a bit of a type nerd. Ok, that's an understatement, but you get the point. One of the most challenging—and possibly most exciting—parts of any design project is finding the right typeface for the job. I usually start with a rough idea of what kind of face I'm looking for (slab-serif, old style, etc.) but it's almost always open from there. I've found that browsing through a list that's already organized is super-efficient. Conversely, there's nothing more frustrating than starting from “A” and browsing one-by-one, which begs the question: what's the best way to organize a typeface collection? (Sorry to anyone who thought this was going to be a “How to choose the right typeface” discussion; it's coming soon.)
At home, I have a PC and a Mac mini, which I can't avoid working on simultaneously. Both are equipped with Extensis Suitcase (version 9 on the PC and version X1 on the Mac), which still leaves a lot to be desired but it's the best solution that I've found. My Mac fonts aren't organized yet, but on the PC, I have my sets organized into these categories:
- Slab Serif
For now, I think I want to stick to this same convention, with some minor tweaks. I would like to have sections within sections, like splitting “Serifs” into further categories like Old Style, Transitional, Humanist, Slab, etc. My “Projects” contains sub-sections of typefaces used for specific products, so that I can activate sets per project.
I have seen some other ways that other designers classify their fonts, like organizing by foundry or designer. What works best for you?