I'm working on a project where I want to make a font, but it's more like a pattern generator.

Here are 2 pictures to show what my concept is:

enter image description here

enter image description here

With some scripts is it possible that I want to do?

I found a typeface, called Duffy Script, where the designer wanted to achieve the same result as me with Contextual Alternates, but it's just pseudo-random. If I open the preview panel and hit (for example) the a a few times then delete it, and do it again, i get the same order again and again. So it's not different every time when I hit the a key.

If any more info needed to answer my question, let me know!


1 Answer 1


Its not possible for the font to be random. Mainly because that would make the document different every time you rerender it*. The font program reads its state from what is written.**

You can still do something like this by making certain fonts invisible that prime local seed after this the psoudorandom chain is different. However there are easier ways to generate random sequences***. What is your usecase.

* While it could be interesting that the page looks different every time you scroll off page. Identifying separate prints not so useful.

** Note this used to be possible in the postscript font era.

*** You can embed postscript, it can behave like this.

  • Thanks for your answer! First at all, I want to let the users to decide how should the pattern look like. They can easily do this if they press the mentioned keys. But I want to give them the choice to make a total random pattern where they don't have to decide what they want to use. How can I achieve this then?
    – 22_4
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 8:24
  • @DanielVarga not possible sorry.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 8:25
  • One other question! I made modifications on some features (like em-square and truetype-specific metrics) to make the patterns infinite (so no gap between the vertical lines, etc.), but i'm not sure if it's the right way to do this. Could you please have a look on it? I generated an OTF from Fontlab.
    – 22_4
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 8:43
  • @DánielVarga im floating on a raft of wood all i have swimtrunks phone and a floating devoce and a watertight pack for my clothes, so not right now no.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 9:40

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.