Type Design 101 - Learning the Basics


Friday 30 October, 15:00 (180 minutes)

Dr Ted Harrison, President, Fontlab Ltd.
Mr Adam Twardoch, Product and marketing manager, Fontlab Ltd.
Jim Gallagher, Tech Support Manager, Fontlab Ltd.

This all-day workshop will provide an introduction to the mechanics of type design. It assumes some basic familiarity with fonts and some experience in using drawing tools to manipulate Bezier curves. During the course each student will design a small simple font. At the end of the workshop participants will receive a Karen Cheng type design poster. The workshop is presented in four modules: Introduction, Drawing, Metrics, and Preflight. In the introduction we will delve into the structure and function of digital type; see what actually constitutes a font; and learn how to prepare for type design. The second module gets right into the nitty-gritty of glyph drawing. The student will learn about the special tools involved in glyph drawing and will draw and refine some glyphs. By the end of the session they will create a draft font. In the Metrics module the students will learn about proper spacing of characters. We’ll discuss manual and automatic ways to do metrics and kerning and perform them on the draft fonts. The final, Preflight, module will be devoted to conversion of a set of glyphs into a finished font. We will review font formats, encodings, font naming, styles and other font header information. The student will apply these concepts to their draft font and generate a final, usable version.