Much ado about fonts

Pull up a chair and grab some popcorn, folks! Drama is unfolding in the world of typography. Remember when Tobias Frere-Jones and Jonathan Hoefler broke up in 2014? What about when Monotype announced that they were giving a facelift to (arguably) the world’s most popular typeface, Helvetica? How ‘bout when GAP tried to launch a new logo and the internet talked them into reverting back to the original?

Not ringing any bells? Well, no matter, because what I’m about to tell you is much bigger. Here it is:

Adobe is discontinuing support for PostScript format fonts.

I know. Take a deep breath. I promise it will be okay. We’ll get through this together.

Ok, but seriously speaking, this can be a big deal for your brand. Let’s start with the basics.

What’s going on?

Adobe is discontinuing support for PostScript format fonts in their Creative Suite software. This includes Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. This change will largely happen in January 2023, though Photoshop is ending support this year.

What is a PostScript font?

PostScript is a type of font file created by Adobe in the 80s. Just as JPG is to an image, PostScript is to a font. There are two other main font formats: OpenType (created by Adobe and Microsoft) and TrueType (created by Apple).

Why does this matter?

Let’s say you’re not a typography geek, (which, if you’ve read this far, I’d argue you’re at least a little geeked out!). Why is this important? Well, you don’t have to be an art director to know that a typeface can be an important part of a visual brand. Your company likely has a preferred font family to use across all marketing materials, and if your version of the font is PostScript, you won’t be able to continue using it in the Adobe Creative Suite programs.

Well now I’m scared. What do I do?

Don’t worry, there are a lot of great options!

  1. First, there’s Adobe Fonts. Likely the reason for this update in the first place, Adobe Fonts is an online, subscription-based library that allows users to activate and sync fonts across their Adobe programs. You must have a Creative Cloud subscription, but that likely isn’t an issue if you’re using Creative Suite in the first place.
  2. Alternatively, there’s Google Fonts, a similar web-based, download-and-go library of fonts for use across projects, digital or print.
  3. You can purchase a different format of your font through a foundry like Linotype or Monotype.

Finally, you can always contact your friends at akhia communications for help. Our art directors have been through font changes like this before and know what to expect and how to react. We can work with you to audit your brand fonts, determine how they may be affected and create a custom plan of action to keep you ahead of the change.