Questions tagged [font-design]

Questions about the creation of typefaces and storing them into font files.

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89
votes
5answers
61k views

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

Capital letters add a lot to text in various ways, for names, brands, emphasis (although capitalisation for emphasis is frowned upon) Why then, are there no upper case numbers?
51
votes
10answers
188k views

How to make a font with Adobe Illustrator?

I have recently created my own font/typeface with Adobe Illustrator, and I would like to use it as a real font (e.g I would like to use it as I type something). Is this possible in Adobe Illustrator ...
41
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is the minus sign not on the same height as the plus sign?

I noticed that the horizontal lines of - and + signs are not on the same height for non-monospaced fonts. That looks ugly to me. What is the design principle or reason behind that?
30
votes
7answers
10k views

Where do professional designers go to look for typefaces?

I was reading The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and was very impressed how on almost every page, Ms. Williams seems to "pull out" some beautiful typeface which I've never heard of. I'm ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between a well constructed and a poorly constructed font?

I'm speaking of both, fonts optimised for print, and fonts optimised for screens. Serif and sans-serif doesn't matter. Commercial or free — also doesn't matter. What matters is the quality of the ...
28
votes
2answers
22k views

Is there any open-source alternative to Fontlab out there?

I used to work with Fontlab Studio to design and compile my fonts. Years have passed and my former Fontlab install vanished into the voids of a crashing harddisk. Now that I'm gaining interest in ...
26
votes
5answers
8k views

Why do these letters have gaps in them?

Not sure what the correct name is. Check the picture: why do these letters have gaps in them? I could understand the letter "O" having gaps because the spray-paint-mold had to hold the inside area. ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I really need an ſ (long s) in my typeface?

From what I can tell, the long s (ſ) is obsolete. According to Wikipedia (that well known fount of infallibility), it fell out of use in the U.S. and U.K. in the early 1800's[1] and it mainly survives ...
25
votes
3answers
14k views

What does a “normal” British pound sign look like?

I'm working on creating a glyph for the British pound sterling for a typeface I'm working on, and I realized that not only is it a bit of an oddity, it's an oddity that I, as someone from the United ...
22
votes
8answers
11k views

What characters are good to start with when designing a typeface?

Given many characters in a typeface build on others and even just a couple of characters can reveal a lot of the features of a given typeface, what characters are good to start with when designing a ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Will typeface design ever “stop”?

This mainly refers to serif and sans serif typefaces used for everyday body text, not "wacky" display typefaces. I've been looking at a lot of typefaces today and it occurred to me that there are SO ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

What are some common kerning pairs?

Setting up good kerning is one of the most important parts of designing a typeface. Cheap or free fonts often have bad or non existent kerning and it gets incredibly tedious having to manually kern ...
16
votes
1answer
693 views

When designing a latin-based typeface, how are diacritics handled?

I was looking into designing a font that could include characters with diacritics but outside of knowing any other language besides English I was unsure if there was a reference or method designers ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How much alteration to a font constitutes a new variation?

I have been looking at many of the questions asked about similar fonts or alternate fonts that can be used in place of a more expensive or popular one. One of the interesting things to look at is when ...
15
votes
8answers
17k views

Handwriting font that at random picks characters?

First, I don't know much about creating fonts. I work with a childrens book author and want to create a font from her handwriting. This means that I have to have more then one character per letter ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Helvetica: trailing leg in lowercase “a”

Why sometimes I find Helvetica with the letter "a" with the right leg straight and other times I find it with the right leg turned to the right: Letter "a" with right leg straight: Letter "a" with ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a typeface be designed to have characters depend on previous characters within a typed word?

I am embarking on a project to design my own font for a personal project that will resemble my handwriting. I have read a few good guides to get a broad view of what it will take for me to achieve ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are there so many variations on the ampersand design?

Most characters have a single shape or form - for instance the letter C always looks like a C. The end caps may be different, it may have serifs, the terminals may end at a different angle, but the ...
11
votes
1answer
203 views

Should I care about diacritic collisions?

When designing a typeface, how should I treat diacritics that would collide with adjacent glyphs—including other diacritics? You can see in this example that there are a lot of collisions: That is ...
10
votes
2answers
274 views

Making a typeface – should I check if it resembles any non-free or copyrighted typefaces?

I want to make a typeface that I would also let others to download if they happen to like it. But if I use it on the net, and if I also let other people using it, can I have copyright problems? It’s ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a general rule regarding font spacing?

Lately I've been looking into designing my own font. As practice I did some small family jobs, like I had created this design with 3 letters, the whole thing was pretty much a "custom font". I was ...
10
votes
3answers
916 views

What skills, techniques or methods can I use to help teach my child typography?

I'm teaching my child, who is 5, how to write and I wondered if it would be a bad idea to teach the foundations of typography and if any skills or techniques exist for children that can help show them ...
10
votes
2answers
607 views

How should I approach designing special characters I am unfamiliar with when designing a typeface?

When designing a typeface there are a number of characters that I, as an English speaker, have never used, rarely seen and simply don't understand. These characters fall in to a number of different ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to design the letter ß (eszett or sharp S)

When designing a typeface, how should I design the letter ß? Looking at existing typefaces there seems to be a some variations of how the character is designed. It seems that the letter (called an ...
9
votes
3answers
243 views

What is the rationale and market value for designing a new font face?

There are countless fonts at this point. Free ones and commercial ones. Serif and San-serif and everything in between or beyond. A vast majority of the questions we get asked on this site is looking ...
9
votes
2answers
466 views

Why add extrema points when designing fonts?

It's apparently import to add anchor points at the horizontal and vertical extrema of your paths when designing the glyphs of a font. Most font editors have functions to add these for you and will ...
9
votes
1answer
618 views

Why is Bounce (and Tumble) rarely done these days?

In the days of hand lettering and letter presses there was a specific decision given to the Bounce of the text. That is manually tweaking the line height on a per character basis. Excerpt from Letter ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Fonts: screen vs paper

One thing I keep reading, especially in discussions about fonts for the Kindle, is that some fonts were designed for print but that nowadays designing fonts for onscreen use should be a consideration, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I create accented letters in a font where the glyphs look wrong?

I’m translating to Italian an English manual for a game about 1980’s Poland and it often mentions the Solidarity movement, which is spelled Solidarność in Polish and Solidarity in the manual. Here in ...
8
votes
3answers
772 views

The description and interpretations of TrueType font points and curves

A question was asked recently on another forum that made me rethink my understanding of vector formats. TrueType fonts are in a vector format and - I had previously thought - that if a vector editor ...
8
votes
1answer
257 views

Is this Dutch IJ ligature suitable and readable to native speakers?

I'm designing a display typeface and have designed, for the Dutch capital IJ digraph, a ligature that combines the "I" and "J" to form what looks like a broken "U". Here is a comparison of my "IJ" ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How to create my own font?

Can someone tell me which program I use to make my own font? I am aware that letters in a font file are vector-based, and that I can use a vector program like Adobe Illustrator to design and export ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Consistent angles in my font

I'm early(ish) in the process of designing a font, and need some advice. All the vertical terminals (excluding top/bottom of stems) end with a cut at a specific angle. This is consistent throughout ...
8
votes
1answer
129 views

Is there a “monobright” font in which every character uses the exact same number of pixels (not necessary monospaced)?

I am solving the following problem: I want to display numbers on a huge indoor display (size 32x32 pixel -> "bright light bulbs" / LEDs). Now I want every displayed number to be equally bright, so ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I export an Inkscape SVG to a TTF file?

I have tried my hand at designing a font, and have made the individual SVG files for each character on Inkscape. Looking at other things about this topic, the answer always seems to be something along ...
7
votes
3answers
268 views

Is kerning lacking in the Gentium font?

I seem to recall from my reading (a while back) that kerning was a problem for the Gentium font in accented Latin characters. Is this still the case? And why would the kerning be different for ...
7
votes
2answers
554 views

Can a typeface be very thick in “Regular” style, or does that one then need to be “Bold/Black”?

I am working on a typeface and have started with a somewhat thicker style that would usually be called "Bold". Can I make it "Regular" or is it unusual for a certain thickness?
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Type Design: Background and guidelines for designing the Umlaute (ä Ä, ü Ü, ö Ö) of a serif typeface

I am working on the editorial design of a book and Lucas Bihan of Bretagne Type Foundry was kind enough to give me access to a trial version of his serif typeface »Self Modern«, which I am now using ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

Which glyphs to design according to the needs of a particular market?

Sometimes I make my own typefaces. Most of the fonts are very incomplete. I concentrate a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and some punctuation marks. I want to make a more complete font. But find it hard to decide which ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

Are there any benefits to using kerning pairs over kerning classes?

I've been learning how to use FontForge and am now getting my feet wet with kerning. I see that there are two options to do kerning: classes and pairs. To me, classes seem to have no downside. When ...
7
votes
2answers
165 views

Why don’t catchword fonts include indefinite articles?

I’m currently browsing through a plethora of catchword fonts1, trying to find a good fit for the title on a book cover. Most of these catchword fonts contain many of the same words—some only in ...
7
votes
1answer
44 views

What are the general rules for heights/widths of punctuation marks when designing a font?

I've been getting into font design recently, and I'm pretty clear on the various widths and heights for the letters, but I realized I'm at a loss when it comes to punctuation. I can kind of guess that ...
7
votes
3answers
386 views

What methods exist for determining if a font is similar or derivative work?

I've always assumed that the vector outlines contained in a font file are essentially mathematical formulas describing each of those shapes; and that no matter how similar two fonts might appear, the ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Can TrueType fonts contain color?

Google's Noto Fonts include, in addition to Noto Emoji, the color TTF font called Noto Color Emoji. Can TrueType fonts have built-in colors?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

FOSS Font editing or creation tools for windows

What are the best free or open source font editing/creation tools available for free on the Windows platform?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I extend an existing font to include punctuation and numbers?

I'm in the process of developing a site for a client, and she really likes the font Sell Your Soul for the main headings. Only problem is that it's incomplete - it doesn't contain numbers or any ...
6
votes
2answers
128k views

Placing text inside shapes

This may be a silly question but... Im pretty new to Illustrator and I have the number 12 and i need to type text inside each number without it going outside the lines of the numbers. How do I do ...
6
votes
1answer
366 views

A font with custom ligatures (for music)?

I want to make a custom music font that can be typed in Microsoft Word 2010, but I cannot get custom ligatures to work. In Word 2010, I have in Font > Advanced the Ligatures option set to 'All'. I ...
6
votes
1answer
82 views

How can I build up 'structured knowledge' of the space of significant font families?

I'm not a graphic designer by trade, and my design work has been limited to posters and flyers for social activism, as well as scientific on-screen presentations and a couple of conference posters. ...
6
votes
1answer
904 views

Line Height of Font

I am designing my own font with Type 3.2. I have exported the font as an .otf and it is working well. However, for some reason the line height seems to work differently with my new font than the ...