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How Long Does it Take to Make a Font?

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:02 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Some new users are surprised when they start font editing. They have no idea how complicated it is to make a good font. Though it can be done in a matter of hours, it would be more reasonable to take at least a week to create one font with four typestyles.

This discourse came to mind while editing my latest set of fonts, which has so far taken twelve days for seven typestyles, and is still not finished.

The Chariot Maker

Budding font makers might find it a useful reflection.

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:36 am
by johnmcork
It took me 4 weeks to produce 1 font the first time arround.

After that, I would allow 4 weeks per regular font, given its a full character set i.e. first 256 plus most used extentions for things like open and close double quotes.

But if you want a real fancy script then 8 weeks plus.

Posted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:12 pm
by MiddleEarthNet
For my font, it took me nine months working by hand to create the script (every individual character) and so far about an hour putting it through Font Creater but I have a few more to scan. It took so long originally because I was designing each character from scratch to look realistic.

At Least a Month!

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:15 am
by Dave Crosby
I can select a font similar to what I want as Sample, drag in caps and lower case in a half hour. If I wanted to do "rip offs" I could turn out 5-6 per day.

To push points around to change it into the new font I want takes another day.

But to shape it into something I’m proud of takes a month per font minimum, and a year later I find I’m still fiddling with all of them.

Re: How Long Does it Take to Make a Font?

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:16 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
With the latest update to FontCreator 9.1, exporting a set of fonts just got a lot quicker.

Although it still takes just as long to create a good font, it is now considerably quicker to update a set of fonts with the same set of changes. If you modify the OpenType features in the Regular Type style, the OpenType Layout Feature Definition script can be exported, then imported into the other type styles. Kerning can be updated to suit the other style with Autokern, and only a few manual changes are then needed.

Check that the export options and revision numbers are correct, save All projects, then Export All to export both *.otf and *.woff versions with one click.

Re: How Long Does it Take to Make a Font?

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:52 pm
by PJMiller
I have not voted because I don't know how typical my experience is. Maybe I am just slow. Kelvinch is my first font and if I was starting it again it would be a lot simpler and a lot quicker.

It still isn't finished yet and it has been about fourteen months so far. But it's getting pretty close.

Optical Metrics only covers Latin characters and there are a lot of non latin characters in Kelvinch.

Re: How Long Does it Take to Make a Font?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:06 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Looking back, I see that my first version of Garava was published in July 2005.

I just updated it to version 3.75 to fix a problem with Initial Forms. Eleven years gone by, and still not finished. The swashes really need a lot of work to be usable.