Font server are mostly used by big publishing houses, mostly newspapers, to ensure that every change in design can be reproduced on all editorial PC's. This helps to avoid mis-communication based on different display of the same page in case of missing fonts. Otherwise design and text-flow, etc, could not be discussed properly.
It was (or is) also a means of paying less for font licenses, as not everyone will use all the fonts at the same. In this scenario needed fonts are copied temporary onto the PC, and are afterwards removed. This is usually done by the editor software or it's extension (Quark's XPress and CopyDesk installation had XTension for such tasks).
With all that said it has to be noted that running a Font Server is not a standard carved in stone. These are almost always specialized in-house developments for the specific workflow.
The concept usually is:
- maintain a list of available fonts
- assign a list of required fonts to each project (ad, article, whatever)
- when the editor opens a document, the required fonts are loaded (copied) to the local PC
- when document editing is finished, the fonts are removed (deleted)
The implementation mainly depends on the available system and the software in use. The font server approach has been quite outdated by the use of PDF files, where fonts are embedded anyway, so no display mismatch can happen.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 05:06 PM.