Happy 4th Birthday, Glyphr Studio!

Well, way back in April, 2010, I started a little JavaScript investigation to see if I could use HTML5 Canvas to do vector editing.  I quickly moved to find a use for this… since I was also interested in trying my hand at font design, I decided to start Glyphr, the HTML5 Font Designer we all know today.

I thought it would be fun to share some embarrassing baby pictures, here is a screen grab from that first vector editing test:

Glyphr_Baby_Picture_2010_04

About a year later, some more distinguishing features started to show up:

Glyphr_Baby_Picture_2011_05

It hasn’t been 4 years of non-stop development, but for a little side project, it’s coming along nicely.  Stay tuned for Beta 4, it’s in the final stages of testing now!

 

Call for SVG Samples

We are well on our way developing Beta 4, a major feature of which is Import SVG Outlines.  At a high level, the new feature will allow you to select a character, specify some scaling options, and paste SVG code to import.

To test this new feature, we need sample SVG to try out.  So (Pretty Please!) send us some characters that you have designed in SVG, and we’ll see if Glyphr Studio can convert them accurately.  It would also be great if you said what tool you used to create the outlines (Illustrator? Inkscape? Other?).

Send SVG code or files to mail@glyphrstudio.com – the more examples we get, the better the feature will be!  Thank you for your participation!

 

Beta 3 Launch Day Retrospective

The week of March 3rd was the launch of Glyphr Studio Beta 3, and it turned out to be a little more exciting than anticipated.  The Beta 2 launch was much different – it was only communicated in a Typophile community forum in October 2012.  Typophile is a great source for technical or professional font designers… and, because of that, Glyphr received a luke-warm welcome.

No bother.  Feedback was taken, probably the largest of which was to focus on hobbyist font designers (if such people existed).  In software design, and engineering in general, having a clear idea of your target audience is crucial.

So, fast forward to March 2014.  Beta 3 was done, and I wanted to get feedback on the shiny new set of features.  This time around, I decided to go a little bit more low-brow – I started a thread in Reddit’s Typography sub-Reddit.  Considering the Beta 2 launch, I was expecting middling results – maybe a few people commenting and giving feedback.

But no!  Here’s a rundown of that week:

  • 23 comments on Reddit and 50 comments on Hacker News
  • 250+ new Twitter followers
  • 200+ unique visitors to the source code hosted on GitHub
  • 80,000+ unique visitors to glyphrstudio.com

I spent a ton of time that week answering forum posts, emails, and tweets… the whole time completely flabbergasted by the volume of the response.  There were still some comments along the lines of “This could never be a professional application” – but overall comments were quite positive, excited and surprised that something like Glyphr Studio existed.

So, with renewed energy I took all the feedback I received and plotted a course for Beta 4.  The feeling of momentum is amazing, and it’s all because of the amazing interactions I’ve had with the not-so-little niche market I wasn’t even expecting to exist: the noble Font Design Hobbyist.

Stay tuned!

Beta 3 Now Available!

The latest-and-greatest version of Glyphr Studio has arrived: Beta 3.  Glyphr Studio can be downloaded from the homepage at glyphrstudio.com.  Here is a rundown of some of the new features:

  • Enhanced UI Usability and Aesthetics
  • Better vector glyph editing for font characters
  • Linked shapes that can be added to many characters, but edited in a central location
  • Test Drive font characters as they are typed
  • Save Glyphr project as a text file
  • Export Glyphr project to TTX / Fonttools compatible XML file
  • Help Docs

Additionally, Glyphr Studio was entirely re-factored from a code perspective.  These updates will not be very noticeable to users, but it will make adding new features much easier, and using the editor much more stable.

Make sure to drop us a line @glyphrstudio or mail@glyphrstudio.com and tell us what you think!