6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2011 9:39 AM by terrypasencio

    Questions on designing a font



      My name is Collin. I'm a sophomore in high school, and I am thinking about going into a career of graphic design. I love art, and logo design. I actually just got done making a tshirt a day ago. Recently I have been extremely intrigued with fonts, and the effect fonts can have on a design's mood and feel. I would really like to play around with some font ideas. I know that the software for this can be pretty darn expensive, and I dont really feel like paying for it. I do have CS5.5 design standard, if that helps, but i dont think it does.

      I'm just looking for some guidance on where to go with this, if anyone could help I would be immensly appreciative.

      Also, if anyone would like to share ANY ANY advice about graphic design, I would really appreciate it. ANYTHING!


      Thanks guys,


        • 1. Re: Questions on designing a font
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



          For purposes like those described, you may simply create the lettershapes, or change the shapes/appearances of letters of existing fonts.

          • 2. Re: Questions on designing a font
            Level 5

            If you want to create and edit fonts, there is a very capable, yet free, program:


            • 3. Re: Questions on designing a font
              John Danek Level 4

              I'd recommend starting with a tissue pad, a pencil, and a very good eraser.  I wonder if you've ever done some hand lettering?  You are correct in that typography has a huge impact and the look and feel of the final piece.  Go to your local book store and take a look in the Graphic Design section for books on typography and Designing with Type books.  Might not be a bad idea to have one or two in your personal library.  I'd also look for art history books having to do with the history of typography.  And, there should be a book on the modern method for creating type and what type of applications you'll need to create a font and a font family.  Most of the applications in the so-called Creative Suite do not create type.  You can sketch your entire font alphabet ( i.e. tissue tracing paper ) and then scan the letters.  Then you could create each letter using Illustrator.  You will need to have mastered lines and line segments, the pen tool and anchor point manipulations.  Fontographer used to be a good application for creating Postscript fonts.  You may want to do some research on how it was done with that application somewhere on the internet.  If your passion is type, typography and type design, then go for it!

              • 4. Re: Questions on designing a font
                callmecollin Level 1

                Thank you very, very much for everyone who has replied to me. @John: I have played around with some hand lettering, for instance the tshirt I mentioned. I came up with a pretty simple design, made a stencil, spray painted it, and then got it scanned to put on a shirt. That might seem kinda strange to people who know what they're doing, but i wanted to get the spray painted look.


                Also, I spend some of my school days dreaming up fonts, drawing on book covers, and whatnot. I know, I know, I should focus in class, but what can i do? I have ideas, so thanks for the suggestions of making them reality. I'll be sure to see what i can find for books.


                I'm wondering how difficult it is to get from a scanned sheet of paper, to individual letters shapes in illustrator, to an ACTUAL font that could be used in other applications (word, etc...)


                I may be getting way ahead of myself, but I was just wondering.


                Thanks again,


                oh, and call_me_collin

                • 5. Re: Questions on designing a font
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                  You can create different looks, such as that of spray painting in Illustrator.


                  Creating a font includes certain settings (made in the font creation application), key ones including em, kerning, and leading.

                  • 6. Re: Questions on designing a font
                    terrypasencio Level 1

                    A good selection of fonts are great for both inspiration and evolution of your design style, updating your font folder with a few more additions every once in awhile will help you develop new concepts and ways of arranging information. Here’s a great selection of freely available fonts to play with (Font Collection, includes the ones above plus more! ).