Making My First Font

Guess what? I just started learning how to make my own font!

Last month, I signed up for an online course through Every-Tuesday. The instructor, Teela, is fantastic. She goes through all of the steps in an easy to understand way. She also responds very quickly if you have any problems with the software or your font. I would highly recommend her course if you’re thinking about making your own font!

The process so far sounds simple, but it really takes time to get it right. First, you have to draw out the entire alphabet in lowercase and uppercase. Then, you also have to draw out the special characters like ~, &, *, etc. This is what I came up with:

alphabet (1)

Once I was satisfied with my letters, I have to scan my drawing and import it to Adobe Illustrator. What is cool about Illustrator is that you can import your drawings and turn it into a digital art by using this tool called Live Trace. Once you use this tool, you can manipulate your drawings on your computer instead of redrawing certain parts by hand.

Here’s what it looks like once it went through Live Trace:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 8.43.04 PM

As you can see, there are all these points per letter. Ideally, you want as few points as you can get. This helps decrease the file size and it helps make everything look cleaner. Since I have loads of points and it looks like certain parts of my letters are not straight or even, I have to clean them up so that it looks nicer as a font.

Now, I have been using Illustrator in my spare time for the past two years. I am not that great at it, but I am not a beginner either. It still took me a long time to get comfortable using the pen tool and the pencil tool, which is needed to clean up the characters.

Here is how it looks like before cleaning:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 8.47.13 PM

Here is how it looks like after cleaning:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 8.47.49 PM

You can see how much nicer it is to look at the “after” picture. Just by continuously cleaning up the letters, I was able to practice using those tools in Illustrator. Keep in mind that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet and you have to account for the lower and upper cases, in addition to all of the special characters. That’s a lot of practice in itself!

Here is my final result after all that cleaning:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 8.51.54 PM

Hope that you like my font so far! The next step is to put them in Glyphs, a software that helps you to actually create the fonts. Excited to get started on it soon!



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