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I've added a couple of new font design tutorials including a basic tutorial at My First Font on using Font Creator from High Logic. These tutorials show the steps that different designers go through to create fonts. Some focus on the thinking and inspiration process. Others describe what software to use and how to use it.

It's not too terribly difficult to . I've done it a few times. Making good fonts gets a little trickier. Beyond having good font creation software, to really design high quality fonts, especially those that are for more than typing short decorative headlines on personal projects, you need to be able to do more than just scan in your handwriting or doodling and spit out a TTF file.

Learning typeface anatomy is one key to good font design. The shape and size of various strokes, counters, and serifs give a font its personality and style. Understanding how these bits and pieces fit together, where uniformity is desirable, and where some quirkiness is acceptable, can make you a better font designer. And if you want to market your fonts, knowledge of type history, typeface classifications, and typeface design standards become more than just "nice to know" type trivia.
Related categories: | | Practical Typography Tutorials
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Graphics by J. Bear
June 29, 2006 at 7:20 pm
(1) HB says:

Out of the whole wide world and the internet why is there only one program that makes fonts and it isn’t freeware.

Is this patented or something?

July 5, 2006 at 4:29 pm
(2) desktoppub says:

There are several programs for making fonts (Fontographer, Font Creator, FontLab, etc. http://desktoppub.about.com/od/fonteditors/) . Why aren’t they freeware, you ask HB? Well, creating fonts is no simple matter and the software to create them (to do it well) is complex. It requires hours and hours of programming and the programmers need to be able to feed their kids and pay the rent so they have to make money for their efforts.

While a freeware version might be doable if someone had other means of making a living, it’s likely that tech support would be practically non-existent. It’s highly specialized software too so chances of it appearing as open source software probably aren’t good – at least not anytime soon.

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