Creating a typeface: draw > scan > trace?

iota's picture

Just interested in what methods people employ when creating their typefaces.

ie. whether you draw the characters up on paper then scan them in and trace them in illustrator/freehand, or draw them straight on the computer, or a combination of these 2 methods.

i'm just interested because sometimes you draw a typeface up on paper and it looks good, then you try and recreate it digitally using your sketches for reference and it doesn't seem to look quite right.


kris's picture

I have just started this whole type thing. I start on paper, usually gridded, and use the divisions for stroke weight. I then devise a grid on the machine and translate the design from paper to screen. It then takes ages to make it 'look right', because paper is inherently different to the pixel.

hrant's picture

FYI, there's a lot of good stuff on this in our archives.


iota's picture

yeh thats basically the way i work too kris. although most of the typefaces i've worked on recently have been geometric display faces so the translation from paper to computer has been quite easy. although i'd imagine if you were designing a serif typeface for body copy it would be worth drawing all the letters on paper, scanning them in and tracing them on the computer.

thanks hrant i'll have a look around.

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