Sunday, March 25, 2012

MacOS fonts on OSX

Finding out about Susan Kare and the fonts she designed and writing the very brief blog article on her, I wanted to do the text in one of her fonts, but OSX and the modern world doesn't seem to have them.

Where to get them?

Well MacOS 9 and prior had some of those fonts eg Chicago and Geneva, but most of the Macs I have are too new. Ahh but I do have an old iBook, and the original disks, which is old enough to be still shipping with Classic, according to everymac, and the disks say they shipped with OS9 and OSX 10.4.

Next problem: the iBook is currently running 10.5x Leopard, and I don't want to wipe that, so I need another drive to install 10 for it. PowerPc based Macs cannot boot from USB, so that means finding a FireWire drive.

Eventually I found an old LaCie firewire drive and got OSX 10.4 installed, and then installed OS9 / Classic. Time warp! Inside the Classic System Folder is the fonts folder.

As far as I can tell, of the default OS9 'city' fonts which Susan Kare did for Apple, only NewYork and Chicago are not present:

OS9 also had some other lovely fonts I'd forgotten about, such as Palatino

though some of them, although potentially not lost, were only ever bitmap fonts and so don't really work in the modern ie OSX world, eg Athens and Los Angeles. The Apple article has a great breakdown.

Here's a summary:

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