How to get inspiration, technically

manard's picture

I use fontlab, but I need to learn the nuances of designers that are better than me. I wonder if loading their fonts into the interface might be some sort of 'dust' of copyright infingment.
How do you learn? Do you print out large samples?


blank's picture

I constantly crack open my Bitstream and H&FJ fonts to answer questions. As long as you aren’t copy/pasting anything into your own work there really isn’t a problem.

Nick Shinn's picture

Doesn't Fontlab "decompile" fonts, which is usually prohibited by EULAs?

blank's picture

I don’t see how opening a font and looking at its details in Fontlab is decompiling any more than doing so by looking at the font in Illustrator or Indesign. There’s a point where a line is crossed—for example, going in and poking around through someone’s Opentype code, or saving it as a VFB for whatever reason, but I don’t think that just looking at the letters crosses that line.

Dr jack's picture

I'm a newbie too, and I'm poking around inside & outside(installing and using) every font I have.
System installed fonts, great designer's fonts, great foundary fonts, crappy free online fonts.....anything I can get my hands on.
Everything I own will be looked at and learnt from. I never resave, adjust or make any changes to any designer's fonts. The legal implications aside, that's the respect they deserve at a minimum.

I don't want to adjust other people's fonts, I want to learn from them.
I have a special folder of completed various fonts I've collected so I can use as a constant reference, from the widely spread Arial & Helvetica, to display fonts, old fonts, and through to grunge and ultra modern.

In my early days as a Graphic Designer I've pulled apart Graphic Design Companies free Clip Art to see how they did gradients, patterns and any other tricks I valued.

My rule is to learn from the best and build new stuff using any skills or techniques you can grab from them.

You can't create in a vacuum.
Take it all in. It's there to be learnt from.
You won't be a newbie for long.

aa101's picture

I think its healthy to study something you appreciate.
However when you create your own, try to reinvent and have your own signature style.

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