Banoffee font created on the ipad pro with apple pencil

Ah, Banoffee font, my latest script typeface. It feels like an eternity since I last created a font. You see, I've been somewhat preoccupied lately, dabbling in the realm of oil paintings, all thanks to my trusty iPad Pro.

Banoffee font wasn't crafted in the traditional way with pen and paper. Oh no, this one came to life on my iPad Pro, using the Procreate software.

Let me tell you, when you pair up the iPad with the Apple Pencil, you've got yourself a formidable creative arsenal.

The main joy is looking at where you are drawing, nothing beats that. I've not touched the Wacom tablet since getting this Ipad. The other benefit is not having to scan in and clean up my drawings, my design process is now paperless—how cool is that!

Creating the Banoffee Font

First I set up a rough type template for procreate (in illustrator). The template included a bunch of guidelines. The baseline, ascender and descender (see below). I also added in slanted line as I wanted to slant everything ever so slightly.

Working in Procreate

In procreate simply create a new layer above the template and drawn on top of it. I just keep adding new layers for more glyphs. The layers are very much like photoshop layers, you can add and delete them with ease. The lines help me constrain everything and make it easier to convert to a font using fontself.

For any budding font creators, I can't stress enough how important those lines are. From those lines comes everything. If you don't work out your highest and lowest points early on, you might find yourself in a whole world of pain later on.

Converting the Bitmaps

Procreate does not create vectors, it's a bitmap drawing app. I knew that once I had drawn the glyphs I would then export them to illustrator and trace them. My process is something like this:

  1. Draw Glyph shapes in procreate
  2. Export to illustrator
  3. Trace in illustrator
  4. Convert to font using fontself
  5. Use glyphs app to tidy up and kern

Drawing the Glyphs

So I just drew all the glyphs I needed using one pen style at the same width. The good thing about using the iPad is that you can quickly undo any mistakes. Plus if you are as blind as a bat like me, you can zoom in and out. I found myself drawing and re-drawing the same letter multiple times until I was happy.

The look I was after was a kind of fun handwriting style. I was designing a few cards a while back and was looking for a simple but quirky handwriting font for them. Everything I found was too formal, too serious looking.

Over to Glyphs

After I had them in glyphs app I realised that I needed a bunch of ligatures. I just went back to procreate and created them and got them back into illustrator and then back into glyphs app. For me, it's very rare that I get everything perfect first time. I quite often re-draw them in procreate and tweak the hell out of them in glyphs app. If I'm totally honest, nearly every glyph was cleaned up in some way or other in glyphs app. Illustrator has a tendency of making crappy curves, and the auto-trace can add weird lines. There are still a few letter combinations that I really don't like, but there you go—such is life.

Banoffee Font Use

I think the font looks really nice as a kind of label font. To give the impression that you had handwritten it. Banoffee is a bit kooky it tries really hard to look like real handwriting, with ligatures, terminals and realistic looking connections. The character set covers western, central and south-eastern European glyphs. Ideal for greetings cards, recipe books, packaging, posters and anything where you want that personal handmade touch. To complement the font I have put together a small collection of ornaments. They consist mainly of speech balloons, stars and lines.

The Banoffee Font Includes:

  • One weight (regular)
  • One set of decorative ornaments
  • Upper and lowercase glyphs
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation & Symbols
  • Initial and terminal forms
  • Western European characters
  • Central European characters
  • South Eastern European characters
  • OTF