The Adobe/Macromedia merger isn’t even near completion, and already a product has spun off (see "Adobe Swallows Macromedia" in TidBITS-777). The hoary and lovely Fontographer type design program will be licensed by Macromedia (which acquired it along with Altsys in 1995) to Fontlab, the software’s only real competitor. Fontlab will offer upgrade paths for users of Fontographer and their own products. Fontographer 4.1 for Mac and Windows costs $350; registered TypeTool users can buy Fontographer for $250.
I have fond feelings for Fontographer, as I used it as a critical part of my senior project in graphic design at Yale College. At the suggestion of a mentor, I recreated the Berthold Wolpe typeface Albertus with some tweaks to make it slightly more modern and regular. I documented the drawing, scanning, and font-creation process, and received an A-minus on the project.
The font was released as shareware under the name Furioso in honor of the university printer who had suggested the idea to me, Roland Hoover. "Orlando Furioso" is an epic poem, which translates to Roland the Berserker, hence the name. As an early shareware product in 1990, I wound up receiving nearly $500 in checks from well-wishers. This was a godsend to someone just graduating from college.
The shareware version was $10 and I released just the titles for free; I sent a disk out with the full typeface for dollars. So it was really an early demoware or partialware rather than true shareware. It’s still available for download. In 1994, I let the font go for free, asking people to donate $10 to NPR in memory of Berthold Wolpe.