I love typefaces. The angles, curves, serifs, script, san-serif, and kerning, leading, it amazes me how it all comes together. A minimum recommended 186-characters is needed to create a single typeface. These glyphs combine into a cohesive piece of art that is reworked to create different weights. And yet, these masterpieces of art and conveyers of information are often overlooked and minimized. So, I thought I’d take the dive and experience the journey of font creation.

The Beginings

The journey began nearly a decade ago. I thought making a font would be fun, so I looked around at the various programs to build them & discovered the prominent font creation software was expensive and complex. And although I already worked in complex programs, learning the details of making an actual font from scratch became overwhelming. I purchased a piece of software (Type 3.2) that was affordable for non-commercial use. Unfortunately, in 2013 the tools weren’t intuitive, and the process was incredibly time intensive. I shelved my interest for a while..

fontself screen shot

A few years later, an exciting extension for Illustrator & Photoshop came to market — Fontself. The extension made getting characters into a font easier, but there was still all of the fine-tuning that needed to be done, and this is where I again became distracted by client work and put my font creation on hold.

glyphs webpage

Another Attempt

Here we are in 2022, and again, I decided to give font creation a go. I watched a great training video Making Your First Font with Dan Cederholm from Dribbble, and was excited about the recommended software (Glyphs 3), but it’s for Mac OS only, and I don’t belong to it the cult of Apple. I loved the features which made font creation a smoother process, so I started looking for Windows or cross-platform alternatives.

glyphr interface

I found Glyphr Studio, which wasn’t bad. It didn’t match up to promise of Glyphs, but I gave it a try. Following the guidance provided by Dan Cederholm, it wasn’t long before I had the base 186 characters built and in Glyphr and set about creating kerning pairs, ligatures, and setting typefaces overall kerning. I thought I was good, but I got an error on export. So, I pulled out Type 3.2 and found it’s come a long way in the nine years since I purchased it, (including a free update which surprised and thrilled me). I imported my typeface, and I’m in the process of clearing errors and setting the kerning. I’m still struggling to find why Windows doesn’t recognize the exported font, but I am encouraged that I will figure this out.

type 3.2 screenshot

Fingers crossed that soon NDS Fonts will have their first font accepted for release on MyFonts.com. I’ll keep you all updated as the journey continues.