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  1. #1
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    designing a new font?

    Hi all,

    I'm designing some site flats for a friend and he's interested in using a font he's designed himself (currently just pencil sketches).

    Can anyone suggest a good program for designing custom fonts or recommend a professional service that could help?

    thanks,
    Last edited by Chas; May 23, 2002 at 07:45.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    The only program worthwhile is Fontographer by Macromedia.
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  3. #3
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Yup, agreed. Fontographer hasn't been updated for many many moons, but it works VERY well!!

    I warn you now, font creation is VERY time consuming, and if you put this out to an agency, they will wack you for LOTS of money! I did a project like this for a client quite a while ago, and it took me a whoile day of solid work. If you want to do it yourself, here are the steps:

    1>Scan in your friends type (at fairly decent resolution).

    2>Turn into greyscale.

    3>Play with the levels, so you have a nice solid black, and white...basically you want well defined edges, no gey in the image!

    4>Take into Freehand/Illustrator/any decent vector application, and use the auto-trace feature to turn the image into vector outlines. I think you can do this step in Fontographer, but I prefer to use Freehand at this stage.

    5>Tweek the individual outlines, bitmap trace features are ok, but they always need cleaning up (having a well prepared scan can help a-lot!).

    6>Export each character out as an eps, and import into Fontographer into each character box.

    And thats basically it...read the Fontographer support files on kerning pairs if you want to triple your work-load. I warn you now, this kind of production is only suitable for arty/grungy type fonts...if you want to create a real tight formal font, you are going to have to work very hard!!

    Personally, if he just wanted his sketched out font used on a few titles here and there, and not on loads of stuff (esp not printed stuff!!), I would be tempted to do the scanning and clean up stage, and then piece the headlines together in Photoshop...just depends on how much it needs to be used now and in the future. Balance in your mind the time required to actually create the font against piecing it together in Photoshop as required for bits and bobs. Whichever is shorter, take it up!! Personally, as it's a friend (and I presume they are paying little or nothing for this work), I would go down the piece together route, as I would personally charge UKú200 to do the font creation work alone, and would not really be prepared to do that much work for a favour!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
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  4. #4
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Ahhh, just realise it's you Chas... no doubt you will be doing some Flash work on this one!! You wouldn't want to piece it together in Photoshop if you want to bodge the job quickly into Flash. Take it into Freehand (or even Flash itself!), auto-trace the image, and you will get vector outlines that you can turn into symbols for Flash animation!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    ey chas, take a quick squiz at this thread..

    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=60394

  6. #6
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    jonny, there is going to be Flash work with this one - i like the sound of your high res scan's an import them into Freehand or Flash! (he's a friend of a friend so standard rates apply)

    thanks for your help all

  7. #7
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Yea, to get them into flash, import the whole scan as a greyscale tiff into Freehand, auto-trace it, give it a quick clean, and copy>paste it into Flash! Sometimes this doesn't work quite as it should, if so, export it out as a swf from Freehand...you know the rest!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
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  8. #8
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    And if Macromedia Fontographer is a bit too steep on the $$$, I recommend you look into trying a program called "Font Creator" version 3.0. Its really very easy to use.
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  9. #9
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Indeed Sparkie...looks good! However, in this instance I son't think there is really a need to produce an actual usable font, just vector outlines will do for Flash work.
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips


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