The guys at FontShop have released a beta plugin for Adobe Photoshop CS5 and 5.5, giving designers access to live font previews within their existing artwork.
You get dual benefits – the preview shows you font variations within designs you’re already working on, so you can experiment with options during the design phase. Then, when you’re ready to get client sign-off, you can show your client a small selection of options before splashing out cash on buying specific fonts for use in the project.
Your existing text options (layout, alignment and so on) are maintained, and font previews can even be applied per-layer if required.
Here’s a short video with more details:
Rather like Apple’s own App Store, this is a nice example of the changing nature of software distribution. Of course, FontShop is a commercial outfit and wants people to buy more fonts. So here, it’s investing in software to bring the shop directly to the place on your computer where it will be most useful.
Instead of having to leave your work and turn to a browser to preview and buy, you’re given the chance to do those tasks inside your current work document. Stock photography agencies, among many others, take note.