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Seth Taylor Graphic Design

Display font (work in progress)

Create-a-font-in-30-minutes exercise. It’s a display font, not meant for body text. I included a few alternate characters. Inspiration came from the cross hairs in my camera view finder.

Notes from July 15, 2010

Tracking value in InDesign – directly correlates to adding units to both the left and the right of the glyph in TypeTool.

Sometimes you’ll notice that fonts display on screen differently depending on what zoom level you’re looking at. This is based on the position of the anchor points of the curves. If all the points have been plotted on easily divisible even numbers, then it is more likely to display consistently with various zoom levels. Highly geometric fonts, by definition, will display on screen more consistently.

notice the exaggerated bounce in baseline and cap height alignment.


This has the desired amount of bounce in cap height and no baseline bounce.

Unicorn Graphics The most amazing resource — Wood Type Museum

Setting up Illustrator to work with font creation:
Preferences – Units = pts

grid = 10 pts with 10 subdivisions
clipboard = aicb preserve paths, uncheck PDF
More details here

Quick links

mucca design uses this guy for type design devicq.com

Notes from July 14, 2010


Christian Schwartz – lots of great fonts including this recent revival of the Empire State Building lettering.

typeandlettering teacher of type posts found lettering.

adhesion text – generates sample text with available letters

Certain files crashing when trying to print?

Poorly made fonts with overlapping trajectory bezier handles can cause post script errors and produce crashes in software.

When printing and previewing font, print in both landscape and portrait because printers will render them differently.

Pics from the field trip coming soon.

Notes from July 13, 2010

Optical vs Metric spacing

In design software like Illustrator and InDesign there is a palette drop down to choose between optical and metric spacing. Metric reads the spacing generated during a final stage of font creation by the font designer — if care was taken to customize kerning pairs. Whereas, Optical spacing uses an algorithm designed by Herman Zapf (of Optima and Palatino fame). Zapf built the algorithm to read the amount of color in a character and its counter spaces and produces calculated spaces between the characters.

If the font in question is a carefully designed font, then metrics will be the best option to select and only occasional custom kerning will be needed. If its an amateur/hobbyist font, then avoid the metrics and hope the optical produces reasonable results, but be ready to spend a lot of time correcting specific kerning pairs.

Galaxie Casseopeia

Charles Jenkins painstakingly took 2 years producing an amazing connecting brush script font called Galaxie Cassiopeia. Each letter has 7 tail alternates and 4 intro strokes. Take it for a spin. Notice how when you type character sets like “lll” and “lol” or “lal” how the joins reflow to make an appealing connection. This not only demonstrates the quality of the font, but showcases Opentype capabilities that weren’t previously possible in TrueType or PostScript.

Quote from an unknown source

The more frequently type glyphs are seen (even in literature, display or digital), the more the personalities —whether pleasing or annoying — will catch attention. Sweat the details.

Guest Lecturer Charles Jenkins from Vllg.com

Charles Jenkins – Brilliant type designer behind the brilliance of the Blackberry font, Infinity used by ATT and Verizon – at various times, custom type for big magazines and a few other gems.

Future of type: will add personality in unexpected places.

Type is a community more than an industry.