Want to Create a Font-1

شاکرالقادری نے 'Typography' کی ذیل میں اس موضوع کا آغاز کیا، نومبر 16, 2009

  1. شاکرالقادری منتظم اعلی

    So you’re a brilliant designer, a master calligrapher, and you’ve learned all about serifs, side-bearings, and kerning. Now you want to create your own font. (What! You haven’t learned all about serifs, side-bearings, and kerning? Well, make sure you read all of the articles on iLT before you embark on font creation! You’ll need all of the knowledge you can get if you plan on being successful! And if you’re not a brilliant designer or a master calligrapher, well, don’t worry—you can still create some beautiful fonts with a little hard work, a lot of knowledge, and a little inspiration.)
    The Crux: Font Editing Software

    [IMG]
    All the brilliant design, precise calligraphic work, and deep knowledge of kerning won’t mean anything if you can’t translate your work into a computer-friendly format, which is why you’ll need a good piece of font editing software at your disposal. Font editing software comes in a variety of strengths and prices, and works on a variety of platforms. The major players are listed below:
    Font Editing Programs


    • FontLab Studio is what I use to make my fonts. It is more or less the industry standard, and, as such, isn’t exactly cheap, coming in at $649 (US). A 30-day free trial is available, if you want to try before you buy. It’s available for both PC and Mac. I’ve used FontLab Studio pretty extensively, and can vouch for its excellence, and the vibrancy of the user community.
    • FontForge can ostensibly do everything that FontLab can, and it’s free and open-source. That said, installing FontForge (at least under Windows) is not exactly a simple matter (you’ll need to install Cygwin first). Also, the program is not as well documented as FontLab. There was an interesting thread recently over at Typophile about FontForge that you might want to read, if you’re considering taking the open-source plunge. FontForge is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. (If you’re a Linux user, FontForge is more or less your only choice.)
    • For those rolling in cash, DTL FontMaster can do everything FontLab can, and more, but it’s quite expensive. FontMaster comes as seven different modules, which I find altogether cool and intimidating. It’s available for PC and Mac.
    • FontCreator is another choice, more affordable than FontLab. The program works only with TrueType and OpenType fonts—no Type 1 fonts—and is for Windows only.
    • TypeTool from FontLab is a more entry-level product along the same lines as FontCreator. The company says that TypeTool is “for students, hobby typographers and creative professionals who occasionally need to create or customize fonts”. PC and Mac.
    • The original king of font editing software is Fontographer which languished in non-development purgatory for years until FontLab bought the code and recently updated it for the Mac. The last version was really showing its age even in the late 1990s, so I’m hoping that Fontlab did an impressive rewrite for its new version. It’s half the price of FontLab Studio, but I can’t vouch for its new user interface, not having tried it. Fontographer is available for PC and Mac, though only Mac users get the latest version.
    All of these programs operate on the same principles, differing in specifics, interface, and levels of options and power. So do some research before you buy—download and try some demos, read the rants and debates of other font creators out there, and figure out which font editor works best for you. One path I’ve read about some people taking is to start with TypeTool, see if this whole font-creation thing is something they genuinely love, and then eventually upgrade to FontLab Studio once the limitations of TypeTool become an issue.
    Once you have a good font editing program, there are three basic routes to creating a font.
    Method 1: Draw it on paper

    Tools You’ll Need

    [IMG]
    Are you artistic? Have cool handwriting? Well, get a good pen, a stack of good paper, and start drawing your alphabet. (Don’t overlook your choice of pen. Is your font going to be something thick and juicy? Try using a Sharpie. Or will it be calligraphic? Break out your calligraphy pen set. Will it be thin and delicate? Pick a fine-point precision pen for your work.) Draw big, so there’s plenty of detail to capture, and make sure your characters are all the appropriate height (you might want to add ruled lines in pencil to your paper before you begin). Don’t forget to draw all of the characters a good font needs! That means punctuation, tildes, accents, parentheses and brackets, and numerals. You’ll also want to include obscure characters like the thorn and eth. Create a new font in your font editor before you put pen to paper, and look at the standard glyph table it presents you with. There will be characters there you’ve never heard of, but there are typesetters out there who will be expecting to see those characters in your font!
    [IMG]
    Scan your beautiful work into Photoshop, and then turn your image into a bitmap (black and white—no shades of grey).
    [IMG]
    Almost there. Open your bitmap image in FontLab’s ScanFont. This nifty little program (which comes bundled as part of the Mac version of FontLab Studio—lucky Mac users!) allows you to take bitmap images and convert them into font glyphs. (Font editing programs work with outlines, which are basically vectors like those used in Illusrator. Scanners and programs like Photoshop work with bitmaps. ScanFont bridges the gap between these two media.) Once this is accomplished, you can either save your font in ScanFont, or copy individual glyphs from ScanFont into FontLab Studio. (Hey, nobody said this would be easy!) And once you have all of your glyphs in FontLab, you can begin the long, arduous, fun process of editing your font towards perfection!
    Method 2: Draw it on a tablet

    Tools You’ll Need

    You can skip many of the above steps by using a Wacom tablet to draw your font glyphs directly into a vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator. FontLab Studio, for one, supports copying and pasting directly from Illustrator. One cool thing about using Illustrator to draw your alphabet is that you have a wide range of brushes to choose from, so that you can change the style of your entire alphabet with a couple of mouse clicks. One thing I’ve discovered is that, as good as tablet technology has gotten, there’s really no substitute for pen and paper—an alphabet drawn on a tablet will be different from the same alphabet drawn on paper.
    [IMG]
    Method 3: Draw it in your font editing software

    Tools You’ll Need

    • Mouse
    • Font Editing software of your choice
    • The Steady Hand and Patience of a Deity
    I’ve created a couple of fonts entirely in FontLab Studio, with just my mouse, a steady hand, and a healthy amount of invoking the Undo command. It can definitely be done, and you’ll potentially be able to generate more precise fonts this way, as opposed to drawing your glyphs outside of your font editor and then importing them. There are, as you might expect, lots of tools in font editing programs that are geared to this process: tools that generate straight lines and perfect curves, and guides that help you align everything with the utmost precision.
    [IMG]
    Coming Up Next…

    Now you’ve got the tools of the trade, the desire to create a font, and a basic idea of the process involved. Of course, the devil is in the details. In the next instalment I’ll address some of the specifics of font creation and editing. Read So You Want to Create a Font--part two.
    rashidsre اور اشتیاق علی نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  2. شاکرالقادری منتظم اعلی

    [So You Want to Create a Font — Part 1]
    The sheer number of fonts out there (MyFonts.com sells over fifty-five thousand) is a testament to the fact that there are nearly an infinitude of creative choices that can be made when designing a font. Of course there are the basics: serif vs. sans serif (and the numerous subcategories of each of these); handwritten vs. precision print-quality; wide vs. narrow; bold vs. light. But beyond these obvious choices are some specifics you may not have thought of:
    • closed or semi-open or open 4?
    • three-line or two-line Y?
    • descended or base-lined J?
    • two-storey or one-storey g?
    • two-storey or one-storey a?
    • crossed or joined or rounded W?
    [IMG]
    Examine a bunch of your favorite fonts to get ideas about these specifics and others—see if there’s a method to the decision-making of others. Do three-line Ys seem more traditional to you? Is that what you’re going for with your own font? Does a descended J fit your font, or are you just trying to force it in there?
    Here are some other issues you may not have pondered:

    • the height of the horizontal bar of your e
    • the number of points in your *
    • the degree of the slant of your #
    • do your y and q have tails?
    Don’t get so bogged down in details that you never get to the actual font-creation. But it does pay to think about some of these things before you dive into creating your font. A little well-spent time outside of your font creation software can save a lot of time inside of it, correcting problems or recreating glyphs.
    Vertical Metrics

    Another set of decisions to grapple with concern vertical metrics: the measurements that define the heights of your glyphs. Here’s some terminology for you:

    • The Ascender line defines the position of the top of lowercase characters (usually the topmost point of b)
    • The Caps Height defines the height of the uppercase characters (usually the height of H)
    • The x-Height is the height of most lowercase characters, like v
    • The Baseline is where your glyphs sit
    • The Descender line defines the position of the bottom of the lowercase characters (usually the bottom point of p)
    Questions regarding vertical metrics you should definitely address before you start creating your font include:

    • Will your tall lowercase letters ascend to a line higher than your capital letters? (Many fonts do this, but not all.)
    • Where will your x-height lie? (You can achieve interesting effects by raising or lowering the “standard” x-height.)
    • How low will your descender go?
    There are also some rules of thumb to consider when dealing with vertical metrics of your font.
    [IMG]
    Glyphs that curve at their bottom generally descend a small amount below the baseline. Likewise, glyphs that curve at their top generally ascend a small amount above the standard x-height or caps-height.
    [IMG]
    These rules of thumb are in place because generally speaking if a rounded glyph doesn’t ascend or descend more than a straight glyph, it appears to the eye that the rounded glyph isn’t the same size as its straight counterparts. That said, there’s no law that says you have to observe this. If your font works better where all of the glyphs are on exactly the same baseline and heights, than that’s what you should do. But doing it because you didn’t know any better isn’t really a great strategy.
    Horizontal Metrics

    You will be spending a great deal of time dealing with the horizontal metrics of your font. The major horizontal metric—kerning (to be addressed below)—can take many hours of fastidious work to get right. (Surely you’ve read Johno’s article on kerning, right? No? You really should. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.) But before we get to kerning, we should think about sidebearings.
    Good sidebearings can help make for easier kerning, saving you some of those precious hours you’ll be spending at getting your horizontal metrics just right.
    [IMG]
    Sidebearings are the spaces on the left and right of your glyphs. In the image above, the “U” has the same symmetric left sidebearing as right. This is generally the case, but needn’t be. In some cases, one sidebearing can be positive and the other negative—that is, one sidebearing can be inside the font:
    [IMG]
    Notice that the left sidebearing (LSB) for the j is inside the boundary of the actual glyph — it actually cuts off part of the glyph. Why would you want to do this? Well, here’s how this j interacts with neighboring letters:
    [IMG]
    The inside-sidebearing tells your computer to render the j closer to its left neighbors than it would otherwise be. If the sidebearings were more symmetric, the spacing between the j and its left neighbors would be vast and unappealing:
    [IMG]
    This could all be fixed with kerning, but if the j is always (or nearly always) meant to be closer to its left neighbors, then having the negative left sidebearing means that you have less kerning to do, and that for users who don’t use kerning (most word processors, sadly, turn kerning off by default), the letters will be reasonably well-spaced.
    Kerning

    Having read Johno’s article on kerning, you’re up to speed on the basics, right? Well, here are some specifics about how kerning will pan out for you as a font designer.
    Having good sidebearings is like having a head-coach who has a good overall gameplan — you’re preparing your font for those who don’t use kerning, and making it presentable in most cases — but to really make things work beautifully in specific cases, you’re going to have to have a good offensive coordinator who gets his hands very dirty with the details — you’re going to have to kern.
    One thing I like to do right after setting up the sidebearings is print out a list of my font’s pairs and visually inspect it for trouble spots that will need kerning help. In fact, I wrote a script to generate an Open Office document with these pairs; the document is available here for downloading. Just open in it in Open Office, select all of the text, and change the font to your font. Print and examine.
    [IMG]
    Once you’ve identified problematic pairs, it’s time to get your hands dirty and fix things. Here’s an example of one of my fonts, and how the V-e pair looked after generating sidebearings, but before kerning. Notice how big the gap is between the glyphs.
    [IMG]
    And here’s how it looks after kerning:
    [IMG]
    The idea is to make the letters flow naturally from one to the other. I often like to think of kerning as making my glyphs snug against each other.
    A couple of things to keep in mind about kerning:

    • If you find yourself making kerning adjustments to every pair in your font, you might have a problem with your sidebearings. Good sidebearings should generally mean that some of your pairs are set up not to need individual kerning.
    • People will tell you that you only need to kern the most used pairs. For instance, with q you’ll only need to kern qu and maybe qa, not qz, because who the heck is going to be using qz in print? I, for one, kern every pair I can, no matter how obscure. Purists may faint and/or gasp in horror. But who am I to constrain the users of my fonts to only having standard pairs be beautifully kerned? If someone wants to print out qz, they should have qz print out beautifully.
    • Most font-editing programs have an auto-kerning feature. This can be a good place to start, but the received wisdom is that after auto-kerning you should really still go in and tweak things by hand. There’s no algorithm that the human eye can’t best.
    Scratching the Surface

    We’ve really just scratched the surface, here. And, if left untreated, font-itis might set in. I hope it does. After a couple of years of font designing, I still learn something new every time I fire up FontLab Studio. And I hope I always do.
    اشتیاق علی اور محمد اقبال فانی نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  3. مبشر شاہ قلمکار

    یہاں کیا ہو رہا ہے ؟
  4. مبشر شاہ قلمکار

    مجھے بھی فونٹس بنانا سیکھنا ہیں بالتفصیل ۔ لیکن اردو میں ۔رہنمائی فرمائیں
    Shahid Javed نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  5. Shahid Javed قلمکار

    مجھے بھی فونٹس بنانا سیکھنا ہیں بالتفصیل ۔ لیکن اردو میں ۔رہنمائی فرمائیں
    مبشر شاہ نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  6. اسداللہ شاہ قلمکار

    بہت مشکل ہے فونٹ بنانا
    مبشر شاہ نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  7. شاہ جی 90 قلمکار

    جناب والا
    اتنا مشکل کام ہمارے بس کی تو بات نہیں
    شاکر بھائی کبھی ملاقات ہوئی تو تفصیل سے سمجھیںگے آپ سے
    مبشر شاہ نے اسے پسند کیا۔
  8. راجہ صاحب منتظم

    Urdu main Tutorial yahan hain
  9. جواب: Want to Create a Font-1

    Creating a font is a complex task. Thanks for explaining it in easy way. I'will try in future to make a font.

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