What the Computer Font Design Process Actually Looks Like in Practice

Have you ever wondered how to create a computer font?

Creating a new font isn’t easy as you think. Computer font is a group of characters used to present the graphics of a text. It consists of letters, punctuations, numbers, and other symbols.

Fonts affect how a user sees and feels about a text. There are hundreds of thousands of fonts available out there. Do you want to create an effective font that can represent the emotions you want to get across?

Continue reading and find out how to create a computer font.

1. Learning the Basics

Before creating a font, you need to research first and discover what the market offers. This helps you determine the value of font typeface made when put on sale. Besides doing research, it’s necessary to study the terms used when creating a new font.

We need to know the structure of the typography. Baseline, cap height, x-height, and overhang are the structure of the font.

The baseline is the part where the bottom of the letters sits. The cap height is the length of a flat capital font measured from the baseline. The height of lowercase letters, such as x or z, is the x-height.

Overhang is the curve of the letters that cross below the baseline. These are what make letters like O and B bigger.

2. Creating Our Font Design

Next, determine whether your font is for design or display.

The font design needs to be simple if it’s for plain text. Developers opt for a creative design for display fonts. This allows them to grab readers’ attention from the get-go.

Other than those, decide if the design suits best in small sizes or larger sizes. You can opt between serif and sans serif.

You can also get inspiration from available fonts and default fonts. It helps us determine what we want for our design. It motivates us to create a unique font design.

Once settled with those, we start to sketch the design in mind. It’s best to draw using a pen and paper than to use the computer right away. It allows us to make changes fast and add specific detail without struggling.

3. Transferring to the Computer

Once you’ve finalized your font design, it’s time to transfer it to the computer. You can do this by either scanning or taking a photo of it.
Scanning is the easiest method to move the typeface to the computer.

It gives an accurate copy of the design. Taking a photo can affect the design when there is glare when captured. However, you can adjust when taking a photograph. Apply focus to prevent a blurry image.

We trace the letters using a font design program like Adobe Photoshop, glyphs, and more.

4. Selecting Software

A font creation program is vital when creating a custom computer font. It allows us to turn our designs into usable fonts we can use. We use software to create, edit, and export our font typeface.

The software used produces TTF or OTF files.

There are several programs you can pick to use in creating and editing your font. The typical software used in the industry is Glyphs App, Robofont, and FontLab Studio. FontForge is another option for beginners.

Every program has its complexity when in use. However, the basics of font creator apps are similar.

5. Building Our Computer Font

Import the scanned photos into the software and start tracing the design. Adjust and make changes to the typeface if it’s lacking.

It’s time to consider the height and structure of the font, creating a uniform typeface. Begin to adjust the measurement and align the letters according to their high point.

Keep note of the outcome as a whole and not only focus on a single letter. Consider the spacing between the letters and lines as it can affect the look of the text.

The space between the lines of text is the leading, and kerning is the space between letters. Fonts have these features in them. It’s a default metric to the letters yet changeable.

Consider the style of text bold or italicized when adjusting the spacing. You can also expect ligatures.

It’s normal to repeat this process, and it often takes time to complete it. We proceed to export the font typeface for testing.

6. Export to Test

Export your new computer font for testing and to see if we need more modification. Choose between 2 file types to convert our design: True Type Font or Open Type Font.

Apple and windows developed the True Type Font format. It’s a binary file that contains many tables. TTF is the standard font used in both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Open Type Format is the same as TTF. However, it offers more features and is better for complicated fonts. Thus, most type-designers opt to use OTF.

Test the font typeface after exporting. It’s necessary to try it out to different styles, in many devices, and more. We use the font design in paragraphs, headlines, and even the other characters.

Testing ensures that the new font is readable and understandable in every way. This allows you to check if the spacing is enough or if we need to adjust it more.

It’s necessary to install the file first before using it. Check SetApp.com and learn how to install fonts in Mac OS.

The Creation of a Computer Font

Creating a computer font isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are many things to consider: purpose, style, and more. Create the initial sketch on paper before transferring it to the computer for specifications and adjustments.

Choosing the software to use in creating and editing is vital, too. There are programs offering features that aren’t available in others. Editing the font design takes time, and choosing the best program helps.

Now, it’s time for you to create your custom computer font. For more tips, check out our other blog posts. We also have great articles on web design and creation!