Most of the font work I do is with FontLab, but lately I’ve been taking time to experiment with both Glyphs and FontForge. I have test fonts going for both, because there isn’t any better way of learning font design software than creating the letters from scratch (merely opening an existing font and fiddling with points doesn’t get you anywhere).
While at TypeCon 2013: Portl&, I took a workshop that allowed me to experiment with many different types of pens and nibs: brush pens, calligraphy nibs, spencerian nibs and sharpies. One of the calligraphy nibs was 3/4″ (19.05mm) wide. It was literally like drawing with a shovel. So fun!! I drew the whole alphabet with it, and decided to use those drawings as the basis for my Glyphs test font “shovel face.”
I don’t have all 26 lowercase letters digitized yet…this is just a side project (and oh, there are many…ha!). But the results are kind of fun, I think! Pardon my poor spacing. It’s all a work in progress…
A couple of years ago, I finally completed my thesis project for grad school. It started with a font I created. I really liked the design, and the meaning I had ascribed to it. But all I had time for were the lowercase letters – and being so new to type design, I had not the slightest idea how to create complementing capitals. Even months later I was still at a loss. But I knew that one day I hoped to finish the design and release it.
This is where I left the design two years ago, with a half-hearted attempt at some uppercase letters.
Since leaving grad school I’ve learned a good deal about designing type, especially text faces (vs display faces). I’ve learned how to harmonize a regular face with an italic face, and that capitals don’t have to mimic the lowercase exactly, as they began life as two entirely different alphabets anyway.
So with all that in mind, a couple of months ago inspiration struck and I spent a weekend re-sketching the Coalescence design, smoothing out the rough places and bringing a little more consistency.
Coalescence is far from finished…but I like the direction it’s going so much more now. And once the design for the capitals, numbers, and punctuation is decided, I intend to work on the two more complex versions of it as well.
So stick around for a completed version of Coalescence! Oh, and if you’re curious about my full thesis, you can find the published version here. If you want to pay basically $1 per page…
A sample of how my text font is coming along. Still editing capitals and letter spacing…and next week, I’ll be adding numbers as well. For my japanese stab binding readers, I promise that my next post will be either a tutorial or a new bind!
As part of my training at my new job with SIL International, I’ve been practicing drawing and digitizing Roman fonts. One day I will move on to non-Roman scripts, which I’m very excited about. But for now it’s been fun to mess about with this design.
My parameters were to design a Roman lowercase, with medium ascenders and descenders. The goal was to make it compact but not compressed, readable in longer articles and text. It should have pointed-nib contrast, but some transitional elements with straight stems and slab/angled serifs. Medium weight. The digital version hasn’t been critiqued yet, so changes are coming!
My working font name is ‘fluffybunny’ (don’t ask…). If anyone has a more clever idea, please leave a comment!
First shot at digitization (the ‘j’, ‘f’, and ‘s’ for sure need work):
I was told before leaving Cooper that my capitals were too formal when paired with the lowercase. Since the lowercase has the effect that I wanted, I am rethinking the caps. The R and K needed the most help anyway so I started with them. I’m also evaluating the thickness of the serifs on my lowercase as compared to the upper.
Previous R and K:
Current R and K:
Still needs work, but I think these are headed in a better direction.
Today is the last day! I fly out of NYC tomorrow. It’s been a great learning experience, and while I might be ‘finished’ here, I’ve still got a lot of work to do on my typefaces! I’ll still post my progress from time to time, because I know everyone is anxiously awaiting the design of my ampersand. And the back slash! Ha!