Release of FontExplorer™ Version 1.0 for MAC OS X – March 14, 2006

Open standard font management – tried, tested and for free.

Bad Homburg, 14. March 2006. Linotype is pleased to announce the official release of FontExplorer™ Version 1.0 for Mac OS X. Following a discrete pre-launch towards the end of 2005, the revolutionary new font management tool has already become an overnight success. Word about the free beta download spread fast and soon typography blogs and forums around the world were raving enthusiastically: “This is best thing to happen in the software world since OS X!” And it’s hard to disagree. Incredibly intuitive, efficient and fast, FontExplorer X is certainly one of the most powerful font management tools available today. Yet Internet opinion is still sceptical: “Linotype has clearly spent some serious money developing this, they will surely start charging for it soon.” In conjunction with the official launch, Linotype Managing Director Bruno Steinert dispels these concerns once and for all: “Our philosophy is to raise awareness for the legal licensing of fonts. With its integrated licensing feature, it makes plain business sense that FontExplorer X is and remains freeware for font users everywhere.”

Since the pre-release of FontExplorer X on September 15, 2005, the software has spread like wildfire throughout the Internet. Within only a few months, over 50,000 copies of the beta version have been downloaded from the Linotype website and a Google search for “FontExplorer” already turns up some hundred thousand finds. As Linotype has not yet spent a cent on marketing, the popularity is based solely on the functionality of the font management software. The world-wide euphoria has also meant that within a relatively short time period, Linotype has received thousands of responses from beta users expressing wishes and pointing out bugs. Four updates later, all suggestions have been taken into account and integrated into the official version of FontExplorer X – a fully mature release thanks to the dedicated support of typographers and font users around the world.

Many users are familiar with FontExplorer as an electronic type catalogue. While this product remains available, FontExplorer X is a complete font management program with considerably more to offer. Comparable to the iTunes model, FontExplorer X not only allows users to sort fonts and view samples, it also provides access to Linotype’s comprehensive online library for seamless licensing and downloading of fonts. Yet Linotype was pursing this vision already long before iTunes became a sensation. In the continuing struggle to convert pirates to users, Linotype Managing Director Bruno Steinert explains his conviction very simply: “It has to be more fun, faster and more affordable to licence a font than to organize a pirated copy.” With FontExplorer X, this vision has become reality.

There have been comments concerning the potential misuse of a seamless online connection between the user and Linotype. Yet Steinert assures the connection is only to streamline the licensing process as well as to provide services and alert the user of updates. The one-time, online registration process permits the transfer of no other data to Linotype than those that are specifically provided by the user. The concern about “spyware” is thereby completely unfounded. FontExplorer X 1.0 supports the management of all fonts a user has on their computer, regardless of the source. As Steinert puts it, “It would not be in our interest to violate the trust of our customers. If we were to implement spyware, sooner or later the public would find out and the long-term damage to our reputation and our business would be irreparable.”

Steinert also finds it important to point out that FontExplorer X Version 1.0 is not exclusively for Linotype fonts. As an open standard platform, it is designed for the management and licensing of fonts – period. For a minimal commission per transaction, third party foundries are thereby able to offer their fonts via the same seamless platform. A platform which one day may well become a world-wide standard. Already during the beta test phase, agreements have been reached with foundries such as primetype, P22, Font Diner, x and y Ltd., Dutch Fonts, and Virus Fonts, who will now offer their fonts for licensing via FontExplorer X Version 1.0 as well.

As one of the world’s largest font libraries, Linotype feels obligated to not only sell high quality original typefaces but also to develop and share applications that make working with fonts even more efficient and the licencing process more attractive. In the case of FontExplorer X 1.0, the software is provided completely free of charge. At the moment, the software is only available for OS X, however, a PC version is in the making and should be available for beta testing within the next few months. But Mac OS X users have to wait no longer, the tried and tested version of this exciting font management tool is available for immediate download at www.linotype.com/fontexplorerX.

Linotype GmbH, based in Bad Homburg, Germany and a member of the Heidelberg Group, looks back onto a history of 120 years. Building on its strong heritage, Linotype develops state-of-the-art font technology and offers more than 6,500 original typefaces, covering the whole typographic spectrum from antique to modern, from east to west, and from classical to experimental. All typefaces
(in PostScript™ and TrueType™ format as well as more than 2,500 fonts in OpenTypeTM) are now also available for instant download at www.linotype.com. In addition to supplying digital fonts, Linotype also offers comprehensive and individual consultation and support services for font applications in worldwide (corporate) communication.

Linotype GmbH
Du-Pont-Straße 1
D-61352 Bad Homburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 404
Fax: +49 (0) 61 72 - 484 - 5 24 60
E-Mail: info@linotype.com
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (64 kb)
German version (68 kb)

English rtf version (716 kb)
German rtf version (716 kb)