Help with Font Modification

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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:32 pm

Help with Font Modification

Post by dwr » Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:42 pm

I am new to font editing and FCP, so I'm throwing myself on the mercy of other users to get pointed in the right direction ...

We use a slightly modified copy of the standard Windows Arial true type font on our NT system (the slight modification being a new character that was added with FCP) - no problems.

However, we have had user complaints about discerning the 6 and the 8 (neither is modified), and are looking into changing the 6 to shorten the "hook" (sorry for not knowing font terminology) at the top to make it more distinct from the 8.

When I modify the font in point mode (even if I only move one point on the glyph), the 6 looks awful. I'm viewing in MS Word at 11 point size. The change I've made is reflected, but the circle at the bottom of the 6 changes & becomes "blotchy" - it is very narrow on the top and bottom, but regular thickness on the sides. It also seems to cut off the bottom few pixels, leaving a flat bottom.

I'm assuming that I'm ignorant of some basic thing that needs to be done here, and I'm hoping that someone can get me pointed in the right direction. Any help is appreciated.


Bhikkhu Pesala
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Modifying Arial

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 08, 2003 1:22 pm

:idea: While you could very easily modify Arial and get the results that you want using Font Creator, a more sensible solution might be to use Tahoma instead. If I remember rightly, this font was designed with on-screen legibility in mind. The requirements for printed text and display on low resolution devices are different.

:arrow: If you want to modify the top hook of the 6 in Arial, the easy way to do it is to select in point mode the six points at the end of the hook together by dragging around them with the mouse. Then delete all the selected points. That gets rid of the overhanging hook. Then shape the end of the hook to a flat or round shape as appropriate by moving one or two points. Move an off-curve point to get a curve, delete the off-curve point to get a straight line.

:? Not sure what you have done to change the lower circle of the six, but it might help to point out that there are two "contours" making up the six - the outer black one, and the inner white one (if you right-click on the inner outline, and choose "Change Direction," it will turn black). Resizing the outer contour only, will alter the relative thickness of the strokes, top and bottom or left and right. Making these kind of changes will spoil the character's carefully designed proporitions.

8) I have spent a lot of time adding accents to fonts, but designing one from scratch is a whole new ball-game. Add a Euro Symbol € to any font and try to make it look right, position correctly, and space correctly, then you will see how difficult it is to design fonts.

There are lots of useful links on the web for Typography and Design standard. See my post under "Specification" and try to read at least some of the advice there. Microsoft Typography might be a good place to start. ... efault.htm

There is a good tutorial on Point Central.
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