Chapter 12. DESIGNING YOUR OWN TYPEFACE

Designing a typeface is not for the faint of heart. In most cases, designing a full-blown, professional-quality typeface should be left to those type designers, letterers, and calligraphers who have a foundation in letterforms and a strong interest in typeface design, as well as the time, patience, and perseverance to pursue it. But if your heart is hardy, read on!

Your design concept might be one that is for your own personal use, a custom job for a client, or a more serious typographic venture that you might want to make available to others. In any case, be realistic and allow your first exploration to be a learning experience more than anything else. No matter how terrific your first creation might seem to your own eyes, a type designer (and a high-quality typeface) is not made in a day. Learning how to draw with Bézier curves takes a lot of practice and can be very frustrating until you get to the point where it begins to feel natural and instinctive. In addition, understanding the concepts of spacing, kerning, and hinting are not the same as applying them to an actual typeface, just as appreciating music or fine art is not the same as creating it. So be patient when honing your new skills; your next type venture will most certainly improve from an aesthetic as well as a technical standpoint. Keeping this in mind, it is best to start simple; save your more complicated ideas for later.

HANDWRITING FONTS: A GOOD PLACE TO BEGIN

A relatively ...

Get Type Rules!: The Designer's Guide to Professional Typography, Third Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.