Redrawing letters

emilie's picture

Hi all,

I'm considering drawing a script font using existing handwriting. I never did any script fonts so starting from something existing seems a little reassuring for a start. It's all photocopies so a little bit rough. I'll also have to extrapolate a lot of punctuation signs.

I was wondering if anyone would have advice or tips on planning for drawing scripts? Any common mistakes I should avoid?

Also, do you believe it is harmful/beneficial to one's skills to redraw letters to make a font?


hrant's picture

(OK, I guess I'll reply here. ;-)

First of all, I can't imagine any legal barriers to making a font from somebody's handwriting. But of course the ethical requirement to ask for permission is there. If he gives you a good reason why you shouldn't do it, I don't think you should. But if he says no because he's become a crazy old man, ignore him (but still be kind). And if he's dead, a token seance attempt would be a nice gesture. ;-)

I've never really made a script face (TMF Roupen is not an original design), so I hope others can help you more - I do remember some threads on Typophile addressing script design (with Stuart and Mark giving good pointers IIRC), but in the technical realm I would point out this: If it's an irregular script (as most handwriting fonts are), take time studying letter adjacency frequencies (something Excoffon took very seriously). If you do, this might be useful:


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