I wanna design fonts - how do I get started?

jsbr's picture

Hey everybody,
I'm brand new here so bare with me if this simple question has been posted before!

I want to learn how to design a font! I'm working as a graphic designer and have basic knowledge about typography but I want to learn more! I want to do it the professional way.

Where is a good place to start? What application do I need and so on...?

Show me the way to typography heaven!


paul d hunt's picture


and check out the other FAQs

also, you can always search on a topic as a good start to finding information.

blank's picture

Read Leslie Cabarga's books.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Hello Jesper Winther, it's a well, we see typefaces on the surfaces.
You want to start from hand-drawn rough sketches or from a whole alphabet of tight drawings. You want always to sketch something first (rather than starting from scratch on the computer), but you know already that most of the real design work happens once you get the shapes on the computer screen because we read and write words not letters, so don’t get sad if you spend less time drawing on paper. The iterative process of shaping letters on screen and proofing them at different sizes on various machines is where the designing happens.

clauses's picture

Hej Jesper
Lad mig lige anbefale bogen 'Designing Type' af Karen Cheng. Den har alt til at komme rigtig godt fra start.

jsbr's picture

Hey there,
Thanx for quick response - this site rocks!

> Clauses - 'Designing Type' is just what I need! (Super fed bog!)

The thread in the FAQs are good too.


Quincunx's picture

Karen Cheng's Designing Type is a very good book. Actually, I just ordered it a couple of days ago myself, after reading it at school.

ebensorkin's picture

Searching Typophile - maybe via google is best - is your single best source for diversity & richness of information. But it will require a lot of reading, and evetually re-reading because the assumed shaded ( or not shared ) contexts which you might not get yet. There are also many good books but there is no single best or complete source for this topic. You have to assemble your own picture of this question from the parts available.

Partly this is an accident of history, the way people think about type has undergone several revolutions in the last 100 years, partly this is because what looks like one thing is hyper-complex. Plus, it's not a question just of how you make type but rather how type is used; actually that's just history; instead it's a question of what it's used for, and then you can work back. Erik Spiekermann has a nice quote about that which I don't seem to be able to find just now. Anyybody?

The one book that I know of that does the best job of attempting to circle the whole field is Ellen Lupton's 'thinking with type'.

ISBN-10: 1568984480 ISBN-13: 978-1568984483


That might be a good place to jump in from.

Ellen, if you read this: I would like a bigger inside margins so I don't have to break he spine of the book while reading it - see page 141!

Good luck!

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