Saturday, May 14, 2016

Font Design and Editing, A New Hobby

FontSturct.com
I've put this off long enough. I've observed, studied, dabbled with font designs for years but I've never gotten around to taking the plunge until now. Plunge you say? Well yeah, every graphic designer knows that font design is not for the feint of heart.

That designing a font can be intimidating not just because of the actual design complexities, but because of the commitment involved. I figure if I can devote 7 years to writing a novel and designing its book covers and about 12 different book trailers to go with it, that I'd probably be good at designing fonts.

I figure this is a good way to let my writing incubate until I get back to it. I have an exciting writing project I've been working on but I need to step back for some time and for me, designing fonts is a good alternative.

One thing I overlooked altogether was how much fun designing fonts really is. So far, all the technicalities and challenges of learning something new doesn't seem all that steep after all. For me it feels like figuring out a puzzle piece or I can compare it to just about any design problem you face when confronted with a number of particular requirements in a package design, for example.

I've got a few years of Photoshop design experience to help get me through it and getting good with the Beizer curve and path tool is important so I'm not going in totally handicapped.

The Easy Way To Design Fonts

If you've thought about designing your own fonts as a hobby, here's a website that caters to the "lazy person's way to font design". It sure takes out any apprehensions you might have about getting started designing your own fonts. And best of all, it's really fun.

FontStruct.com

Here you can build fonts with bricks. After a while it gets easier and you start to figure out a number of design problems that you can solve with a particular brick shape. There are some limitations to the selection of bricks, but it's a great way to get your feet wet. You can even download your fonts in a ZIP folder.

Here are several fun fonts I've designed with FontStruct (TM) as practice. You can see a lot more about these fonts on my new Blog here:

Typeface Design by A.R. Arias
AMERICANA FONT




Once you get good at this cheat-sheet method of designing fonts, take a look at FontLab's line of professional font editors.

Right now I'm trying TypeTool 3.1's Demo and having a great time so far. It's easy, fun to use, and although it's a basic entry level editor, it's a great way to get started.

Think you're ready to start designing your own fonts? Check out these great resources. It's more fun than you think.

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