Making a Font?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by monke, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Is there a way to make your own font?

    Can you use Photoshop to do it?

    I've heard of people using photoshop before but I can never seem to do it.
  2. macrumors 601


    It'd be a lot of work! :rolleyes:
  3. macrumors 65816


    I knew it would be alot of work, I wanted to know what program to use anyway.

    I'm not going to try and make one myself, just wanted to know for some friends.
  4. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

  5. Moderator emeritus


    Really helpful and interesting reply there... :rolleyes:

    iNeedtoSwitch: To design a font well, you need to create shapes that scale up to any sizes without any jaggies (vector work) which is why Photoshop is not the ideal tool. What's more, every character in a font also contains a set of instructions about how it's spaced between other characters... then the resulting file needs to be converted into a file that other computers 'see' as a font, not as a series of little images.

    There are a number of font designing tools out there and it's a pretty specialised task to come up with a full character set i.e. Caps and lower case, punctuation, symbols etc.

    TypeTool for US$99 is probably most suitable for a beginner. FontLab Studio at US$649 is for professional typographers and would just be overkill.
  6. macrumors 601


    It's a queston... why? He didn't state that his friend was interested in making a font before I made that post; it's common curiosity.

  7. Moderator emeritus

    No, saying it would be a lot of work was pointing out the extremely obvious, something I've noticed that you're not a stranger to, and the addition of the sarcastic smiley was completely unnecessary. And what relevance does a friend doing it have to the topic anyway?

    Besides that, have you got any valuable information and advice about designing typefaces to add to this thread? Because if not, I suspect that you're just spamming this thread to raise your post count.
  8. macrumors G5


    Fontographer was just resurrected from the dead and made OS X compatible

    (I maintain an OS9 machine pretty much for running Fontographer 4 plus some Applescript database actions I haven't got around to upgrading. Fontographer was old enough that it didn't run on G3's, it had to hav a soft-FPU program to emulate the math co-processor in 68030 Macs...).

    One thing you can do is to work on your letterforms in Illustrator or Freehand, and then import the paths to Fontographer.
  9. Moderator emeritus

    I've never managed to get Fontographer running in Classic without it going completely haywire and/or bring Classic to a shuddering halt. :(
  10. macrumors 65816


    A friend of mine has a bunch of really old books with cool typefaces, and I wanted to scan them in and trace them in Illustrator. I wonder if it would be infringe on any copyrights considering the age of these books.

    I will definitely try out the suggested programs -- should be a fun project.

  11. macrumors G5


    Basically -- typefaces do not have copyright protection.

    The names of typefaces can be trademarked, and
    The computer code that describes the curvature of the lines that make up the letterforms can be copyrighted (which is why it is illegal to pirate computer fonts electronically)
    But the visual form of the letters is not covered by copyright.
    If a company wants to protect a logo they can go for trademark or industrial design protection - but not the alphabet.

    A bunch of companies did exactly what you are thinking -- printed out, scanned and retraced fonts, and sold them as knockoffs with altered names: Achin' Back instead of Aachen Bold for example.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    I get that all the time on here. Ask a question, and instead of an answer, get a "Why" instead. Really isn't helpful, is it. Imagine all the time we'd save if every reply was a genuine answer to your question...

    The only question you should ever get in here as a first reply is "What do you need to use the finished thing for" so people can better help you.

  13. macrumors 6502a


    Canada Ram is basically right but for a few more points. The rights to the design of "Old font faces" are still owned by Font Foundries, such as Monotype, Adobe, ITC, SSi, URW, etc. You can tweak a font slightly and give it a different name and call it Your own but that's a pretty weak excuse for designing a font. You can "Patent" a font if it really is unique and strange say as a new kind of Display font like Zapf Dingbats or something.

    Do some research into "Goudy" since Mr Goudy only recently (well several years ago) passed away, there is a lot of information on the font that carries his namesake.

    As for Copyright

    As for a bunch of help creating fonts check these out

    Have fun and Good Luck :cool:
  14. macrumors 65816


    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I've found out quite a few things in this thread.

    The reason I actually asked the question of how to make a font was because one of my friends told me he used Photoshop to make the font called Abaddon. Found out he was never the creator of it, and now (from this thread) found out you can't make a font using just Photoshop.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Been pondering the font thing myself - i need to generate a font for a friend also - before you ask :) - he's come up with a new phonetic alphabet and wants to be able to type it in. I used Fontographer years ago but it killed my machine on more than one occasion and the price is even more frightening.

    I'll take a look at TypeTool - thanks BlueVelvet - very helpful.

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