first time creating typeFace...

haloosinayeshun's picture

An introduction to myself -- so you can understand where I'm coming from.

1) i'm a student (graphicDesign/photography)
2) have not taken very many design courses
3) eager/willing to learn

So, here are the steps that I've taken -- mind you I have zero training in this department :)

1) sketches (hundreds).
2) photograph/scans.
3) streamline/illustrator vector.
4) import EPS -> fontLab

So here's where the problem comes up. I'm vectoring the letterForms perfectly fine in illustrator. However, upon importing into fontLab, I'm finding apparitions at the ends/tips of the curves. I do not have sample images at the moment ( im at work ), however, I'll post some later.

Nevertheless -- some questions...

1) am I following the accurate steps?
2) are theres any webSites that can describe to me how to draw a serif typeFace

I apologize if this was a cumbersome post, and thanks for reading through. Also, thanks in advance to all who respond.


attached are some early sketches...

typeEX_d.jpg404.69 KB
typeEX_e.jpg399.3 KB
HaleyFiege's picture

I'm no expert on fontlab, but it's system of drawing bezier curves is different than illustrator so that could account for the differences. When that happens to me I usually just edit the glyph in fontlab because I like its drawing tool better for typefaces.

And here is a website that is good for beginers.

Quincunx's picture is also very helpful. Also the book Designing Type by Karen Cheng.

Your steps seem fine. What is causing the vector inconsistencies, I don't know. You can also try to just copy paste from illustrator to FL, but that also is not the most accurate way.

haloosinayeshun's picture

thanks very much guys.

both links were a GREAT help!

russ_mcmullin's picture

Why is copying and pasting from Illustrator to FL considered less accurate? That's what I've been doing, and it seems to work fine.

In FL I make a box from the baseline to the cap height line and I cut and paste it into Illustrator. In Illustrator I scale my alphabet so the caps match the height of the imported box. Once all the letters are scaled up I can cut and paste them into FL and they are all the same relative size.

ultrasparky's picture

The trouble with pasting Illustrator paths into Fontlab lies in Fontlab's strict use of coordinate points. In Illustrator, you can place a node and it's control handles anywhere and adjust them in very fine increments. In Fontlab, the nodes and handles can only lie on its grid system of unit coordinates. For instance, if your Fontlab file is using a 1000 UPM value, the nodes must sit somewhere on a grid based on one thousand units per em square.

When you import or paste a path from Illustrator, Fontlab will nudge the nodes and control handles into positions that fit onto the grid, basically altering the shapes just a bit. If you're seeing changes in the fine details of your curves, maybe set your Fontlab file to a higher UPM value (the new Cleartype fonts use a 2048 value, for instance) and see if that translates the Illustrator paths with greater accuracy.

crossgrove's picture

Or, save steps and just work in FontLab. We use Illustrator because we're used to it; FL is much better for putting a typeface together. FL has auto-trace tools and will save you time. Just let go of Illustrator, learn the FL tools and you'll be happier.

hrant's picture

Many of my students cling violently to Illustrator, no matter how much I darkly hint that they'll pay for it eventually. In fact all but one have visibly regretted it towards the end of the semester.


ultrasparky's picture

Working directly in Fontlab will definitely causes fewer headaches, yes, especially once you adapt to how its drawing tools work. (In "Learn Fontlab Fast," Leslie Cabarga does an incredible job of showing how to manipulate paths in Fontlab in 4 easy-to-digest spreads.)

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