fontographie

Early rising to Kreuzberg and after a time to wake Matthi up in Reichenbergerstr. Breakfast peanutbutter and coffee, talking across queer and politics and Berlin and so to work.

My project for the coming months is for Daniel Schlusser, better known as our man in berlin, though he isn’t. In Berlin, I mean. Theatre director and rather talented to boot, and perhaps other things to write of with him shortly.

A new website. Excitement of jQuery, some ideas for typography. Matthi is a typographer and genius in FontLab and Illustrator, so I ask him how to dismantle a font, remove various bits that make up a letter, all of which have names I don’t know. I thrill for beautiful typography, and it’s what I enjoy possibly the most in design, but actual making of fonts is deeply unfamiliar to me. So this is a story of how I learn about fonts.

The two things I wanted to do were convert a font into an outline (not to be confused, I think, with a outline font), and chops bits off. My approach, as Matthi laughed, was very Photoshop. Much messing around ensued, and without his help, I’d have been doing it for months in my awful untrained way.

So…

Using the serif font, Tenderness from dot colon and opening in FontLab Studio, which to be uncharitable strikes me as an application ported to OSX without much thought towards standard user interface behaviour. Then opening a single letter or glyph in its own window and exporting as .eps. Now for playing.

Opening the .eps file in Illustrator and first hacking away bits (which I haven’t done in my test glyphs as I was more interested in workflow possibilities), and then turning it into an outline. The process is quite simple, once I learnt it, but I wouldn’t have stumbled onto it on my own.

Selecting the entire glyph and then setting the fill color to transparent and stroke to black, gives a one pixel outline. Opening the stroke pane and setting the weight to 6 pixels gives it some width. Then the important bit, selecting from the menu – Object – Path – Outline Stroke makes the vector path the width of the new 6 pixel outline. Saving as .eps again finishes the work in Illustrator.

Copy-Paste, back into the glyph in FontLab, aligning with the original, then shift-selecting to select the original before deleting (fixing up the mess, I called it), and saving the results…

First to export as something useful, .ttf, though it seems to not preview properly in FontExplorer… nonetheless! My first attempts at font stuff. (I’m not sure it will even be used, and there’s more work to do yet…)

celebrating 6.4.2010 a little early
celebrating 6.4.2010 a little early