How to create your own typeface my tools of choice
Before we dive into the world of creating your own typeface, a quick note – this blog post might seem a bit outdated. However, I've left it here for the sake of Google's vast knowledge.
Designing your very own typeface can be quite the adventure. You draw, you scan, you meticulously refine those scans, and then comes the inevitable question: What's next? Well, you'll need a software package that can transform your creative sketches into a fully-fledged typeface. Mastering such software can be quite the challenge, so selecting the right one is of utmost importance. Here, I've compiled a list of the best tools I've come across to make the journey of creating your own font a tad less daunting, or so I hope.
Firstly, I must confess that I prefer crafting my vectors within Illustrator – it's my go-to drawing tool. Therefore, I won't be delving into the drawing capabilities of the following tools. Instead, I'll focus on their conversion and other functionalities. However, it's worth mentioning that I might consider transitioning to sketching directly within a dedicated font design package. Breaking away from Illustrator, which I've used for countless years, is admittedly a daunting prospect.
Fontographer by Fontlab
Fontographer was my chosen tool, the very one I used to create my Airbag typeface. It boasts fantastic features and is relatively user-friendly. However, it appears to have remained stagnant in its development. I encountered numerous bugs, such as exporting my typeface only to discover messed-up kerning and font installation issues. Strangely, the software allowed me to export fonts with errors without providing clear error details. To rectify these issues, I had to import the project into Fontlab and painstakingly address glyph-related problems.
Fontlab Studio by Fontlab
I eventually made the transition from Fontographer to FontLab. It excels at detecting font problems and boasts a slightly improved interface compared to Fontographer. However, its main advantage lies in its ability to identify issues within the font and specify problematic glyphs. This feature allows for efficient troubleshooting, making Fontlab Studio a superior choice.
Marketized as "The font editor for everyone," GlyphsApp made a lasting impression on me. It seems like the new kid on the block and offers an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly interface. Additionally, it provides valuable tools, such as automated accented glyph generation, saving substantial time during the font creation process. While I still need to explore its capabilities further, GlyphsApp appears to be a strong contender.
FontStruct is an excellent online tool that offers a wide array of features. However, it leans more towards being a creative toy than a fully-fledged professional tool for typeface design.
Conclusion on Typeface Creation
I'm aware that numerous font creation tools are available in the market. Nevertheless, in my experience, GlyphsApp currently stands out as one of the top contenders for crafting fonts.