As you are diving into the world of typefaces, you can see how many interesting and cool fonts to play with. It has become a popular topic in recent years and discussed extensively. However, new illustrators and designers who want to try creating their own typefaces may not know where to begin.
There are plenty of short courses on font designing that you can take both online or offline. However, if that is not possible for you, don’t worry. This article will give you some creative tips on how to start creating your own cool fonts.
Create a clear vision
The first step is to have a clear vision of what you are creating. Designing typefaces can take a long time and sometimes requires a lot of effort since you have to test them for various purposes. Therefore, it will be easier for you if you have a clear vision at the very beginning before you even start.
To create a vision, you will need to do research and reflection on how your fonts are going to be used. You may need to answer these questions to understand what your visions are:
- Is it for a specific project, formal or personal use?
- Is there a problem that you want to solve with your fonts?
- How does your typeface fit into a space of similar designs?
- What are its unique selling points?
In the beginning, you will have to make some choices that will determine how your fonts are going to look. Here are some of the choices that you will need to consider before designing the typeface:
- Will it be a serif or sans-serif typeface?
- Will the typeface is going to be based on the writing implementation or geometric?
- Whether it will be a text face, small-sized typeface, fonts that are suitable for long documents, or decorative fonts that look better in large size?
In this second step, you will have to work further on how your typeface is going to look. To make your work easier, you will need to work on this decision early on.
Start from scratch
The next step is drawing the sketch from your own handwriting. This is a good start and a good way to exercise your handwriting. However, handwriting is very individual, and it can be difficult to implement such font for other uses due to its personal nature. Therefore, you will need to refine the handwriting so that the fonts have more wide variety of use.
You may also want to avoid creating a typeface from an existing font. While you can use other fonts as inspiration, creating one that is based on them will not help you create a better font nor helping you grow your skills as a typeface designer.
Drawing by hand
You may be great at using your computer and drawing software. However, it will be best to start creating a typeface by designing by hand instead. Even if you are a master at drawing lines using your computer, creating a font while you are still establishing the design can take a lot of time.
Try drawing smooth and graceful shapes and lines on paper instead before refining them using your computer. You can only draw a few characters on paper and draw the rest digitally by matching the important features you’ve created.
Last but not least is setting the style of the fonts you are creating by designing certain characters first. Once you design a few characters, you will be able to create other characters based on the first few that you have drawn. By doing this, it will be easier to bring the characters into harmony between one and another.
The characters drawn first here is called the ‘control characters’. For Latin characters, these control characters include ‘n’ and ‘o’ for lowercase and ‘H’ and ‘O’ for uppercase.
Once you work on these five initial steps, you are ready to work on creating your cool fonts. Remember to test everything down before releasing or use them. By testing the fonts, you will be able to figure out whether the typeface that you’ve created suits the intended use or theme or not.