new career in font creation

Post general font related questions (e.g. how to install, convert and use fonts) and requests (looking for fonts, designers etc.) here.
Post Reply
Will Dunn
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:48 pm

new career in font creation

Post by Will Dunn » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:52 pm

not sure if im posting in the right section.
but i wanted to introduce myself. My name is William Dunn, and I've been wanting to get involved in font creation, and so decided to go ahead full-throttle and really try to do it as a second job. I am willing to work long hours if need be, I have some good ideas and really want to get into this as much as possible. Any advice?

William
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1997
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England
Contact:

Re: new career in font creation

Post by William » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:54 am

Welcome to the forum.
Will Dunn wrote:not sure if im posting in the right section.

Well, it might not be as the FontCreator - Discussion section is intended for discussing the FontCreator program. Maybe the Font Related Information section would be a better location.

Yet, this is a very friendly forum, so do not be concerned. One of the moderators might move the thread to another forum, so if it disappears from the FontCreator - Discussion section please look for it elsewhere.
Will Dunn wrote: but i wanted to introduce myself. My name is William Dunn, and I've been wanting to get involved in font creation, and so decided to go ahead full-throttle and really try to do it as a second job. I am willing to work long hours if need be, I have some good ideas and really want to get into this as much as possible. Any advice?

Well, my advice is as follows. It is inadvisable to have a second job as such. A person needs rest and relaxation and some idle time in his or her day. This allows for taking up the slack if other things arise.

However, spending some spare time as a hobby that might one-day lead to a career is a possibility. That way, if there are unexpected demands on your time, the hobby can be left untouched for a while until time is available again.

Also my experience with learning things is that long hours are not what is needed. Shorter sessions are better for me, with time for ideas to sink in and time to think over how to proceed. However, different people learn differently so what suits me might not be what suits you.

Long hours and pressure might work for doing repetitive tasks with little intellectual content, such as loading boxes into a van, yet it can be counterproductive for tasks that involve learning and complexity.

The following might be of interest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerkes%E2%80%93Dodson_law

Views may vary on this, but my advice would be to try to produce something and publish it in the Gallery section of these forums. That way you will have generated output that can be considered. To start, producing a font that has only a few letters in it would be fine. That can get you started. The first font that I ever published had only one character in it. It was the then-new to Unicode character Hot Beverage. It was only one character, yet it got me started. I had published a font and I might have been the first person to publish a font containing that character.

Also, as you want to learn about font creation, it can be helpful to have some knowledge about the way that characters are encoded, that is, that each character has a code number: also which character code is used for a letter E, which character code for a letter e, which character codes for Greek letters, which character codes for Cyrillic letters and so on so as to begin to gather a background knowledge of character encoding.

http://www.unicode.org

I suggest that you join the Unicode public mailing list.

http://www.unicode.org/consortium/distlist.html

Looking in the archives is interesting.

http://www.unicode.org/mail-arch/

I hope that this helps.

William Overington

6 September 2011

Edited on Tuesday afternoon to remove the word "for" that was in the wrong place in one sentence, and to clarify another sentence.
Last edited by William on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bhikkhu Pesala
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 8345
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 5:28 am
Location: Seven Kings, London UK
Contact:

Re: new career in font creation

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:02 am

There is a lot more to creating high quality fonts than first meets the eye. You may be very creative but to make money at it may not be so easy. Here's a few key points:
  1. If you want to produce commercial fonts, you need to buy the Professional Edition of FontCreator
  2. If your designs include fine strokes, they won't look good on screen without hinting. FontCreator doesn't yet support character hinting, so you may need other tools to add it.
  3. Study your target market carefully so that you're producing fonts that people want. Fonts without accented characters are no use to anyone in France or Germany, but trying to support every language in Europe adds a whole lot of work if your target market is North America.
  4. While you're learning, don't fuss with the details of getting every curve perfect. You can sketch ideas on paper and scan them in, you can draw them directly in FontCreator, or you can draw them in your favourite Drawing Program and import them into FontCreator via PDF or AI vectors, then refine them in FontCreator.
  5. Spacing and kerning are hard to get right. Get the spacing right before even looking at kerning. Create a rough draft of your font design, install it, and use it in Windows Applications for some time to see how well it works in practice.
  6. Include all of the recommended glyphs. Including outlines when creating a new font will give you a head start by including Smart Quotes, punctuation, numbers, etc. You can replace the default glyphs with your own designs to suit your font later.
  7. Last but not least, don't duplicate work. Create the glyphs in the right order and you will do far less work. For example, create capital O, copy it to Capital Q then modify it. Create Capital P first, then Capital R. Create lowercase n, then lowercase m. Copying whole glyphs and serifs, not only saves work, it helps to ensure a consistent font weight and design.
My FontsReviews: MainTypeFont CreatorHelpFC12 Pro + MT9.0 @ Win10 1903 build 18362.356

Post Reply