Creating a Display Typeface: A Beginners Guide | Ryan Welch | Skillshare

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Creating a Display Typeface: A Beginners Guide

teacher avatar Ryan Welch, Designer, Illustrator, Type Nerd

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Build Your Letterforms

    • 3. Fine Tune Your Font

    • 4. Upload to Glyphs

    • 5. Export & Design

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to take your display font from vector letterforms to a working font file in a few easy steps.

My name is Ryan Welch. I've been designing fonts for over 4 years now. I created my first font for fun and just wanted to experiment to see what I could do. What was a fun activity at first became a passion of mine and is a creative outlet for me when I'm not working my 9-5 design job.

I was intimidated my first time creating a working font. I wanted to create this class so that you don't feel the same way and can follow a few easy steps and be on your way to creating any font you wish.

If you need illustrator to create vector files, a trial can be downloaded here:

If you need Glyphs to create your font files, a trial can be downloaded here:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ryan Welch

Designer, Illustrator, Type Nerd


I've had a passion for art ever since I was a kid. As I grew up, this evolved into my passion for graphic design. I specialize in illustration, typography, sports design, and a little bit of everything else.

I run Fresh Pressed Fonts, my font store on Creative Market (I'm also part of various bundles across the internet here and there). Typography and font creation is a huge passion of mine and I love providing affordable fonts to fellow designers and anyone alike.

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1. Introduction: hi and welcome to my class and how to create your own display types. This class is meant for beginners, and there's gonna be four easy sections on how to create your own typeface. The first section we're gonna learn how to build your letter forms, an illustrator or any vector program that you have well, start by creating foundation letters and then taking those and building at the pullout. The next step. Transfer all of your letter forms in factor into glitz. Free program you can download online will set your vector file up for import so you can grab each letter and bring it into cliffs. Easily. Transfer your whole alphabet in and they will be going into the next step. We'll find two in the fun. Well, just the turning spacing sizing of each letter so that they all match up when they work well together. And then we'll be testing your found cliff to make sure every letter or 12 the next and last step is to export your phone. This is a quick, easy step, and then what I want you to do is build a great here image that with this way your new fund thanks and I hope you enjoy the class 2. Build Your Letterforms: Okay. In this section of the class, we're going to be building detector winter forms an illustrator. But first we want to dio create a new document. The details of this aren't too important, but you wanna create. Maybe Web profile doesn't really matter the size. I usually just make it gigantic. So let's go for the 4000 and then 1 50 uh pp Eyes fine for this. So then so what I'm gonna do is take you through a previous font file that I've created Would I recommend, usually for the first time is to create a line based fund. Let's make it easier. Do paint letter shapes and create as many layers as you need just off a few lines. So the first thing I need to do is create the letter A what? Will Dio? Yes. I'll go through. I created the first time around. See jewelry line. I usually go with black. This easiest to see. I have this one set to 15 point stroke. You can do whatever you need. You can go down so one If you want in front, you go huge. I don't stick with 15. So what I do is Usually I'll have an idea in my head. But what kind of fun I want to create for this one? I wanted to slightly extend in front that did a little geometric at the same time. Had it's an extra little shapes that, uh, make it unique for the A. What I did was just use the pen tool and then I stuck with 45 degree angles to keep it simple over. And then here you have the base of your a. What I did next was great crossbar on a and then already you have your A You also have a lot of flexibility when she do this. So if you decided the last second good condensed front, you just you see y era tal k dr all the points you want and move them around as you like. The next step I find helpful to then create some guides for your fun so that you make sure every front is the same height and consistent with. So what I do is used the the ruler seeking use shirker key command are and we'll come upon the town. You just dragged right down and step top of your and then do it again for the bottom. We also find it helpful to mark off for a year. First cross burns for an A, and then you can add some additional guys as you go along and create things such as cars for crossbar for the B. That's another one of your first letter, and your guides start to make additional weather form. So something that I started doing right away would use based shapes from my first letter to create additional levers. What you can do is you'll notice that on the be down here, the same angle is a. So drag this over and manipulate your points using the pen tool so you can get rid of these and then again using the A wayfarer tool and drag things around justice you need. So I usually do that first, and then you could just start moving shapes around. I'll reflect this that, and create the bottom of the B drag that sort of walk up to the bottom of the A, and you can already see it's lined up correctly and then continue creating different points . So now, as you can see, we already have top of the B and then you'll duplicate that. And then usually you want the bottom of the B or, as I've done it here, to be a little bit thicker. So gravel, these points drag up. A. The last thing we need can use a line tool or you connect two points themselves. But I like to keep him of its secret, and then you need to adjust that with so that it matches You were a and what you can do quickly. It's just drag like you would be coming over. See how the with his working and I've seen admitted a bit, too. Why do you want to go more narrow and then you ever be? I'll go ahead and turn it into a few more letters? Did the sea. You can see it at the same exact angles of the previous ships. Copy that rotated. You know, those were already close that finishing up. See, I added angled corners on the ends. Hold, shift, draw that 45 degree angle coming up from it points the same thing at the top. Just the with a little bit, too. Why, and you have a C pretty quickly. You'll notice that start to get good amount of letters passed with a simple display typeface like this, you can great, do you really quickly and same goes for other certain letters A bit difficult. I'll skip ahead, grab my previous letter from side, right, right shapes ensure you how I went about creating this K. So I usually use the pen tool and I'll create a rough shapes. I might start somewhere along the he ate center. Okay, John Angle and go up. Have that matchup there. And enough. Start the bottom and go So you'll notice This isn't what I ended up doing. But this is something I usually do is just create a quick, quick warm based on whatever whatever I've done in the previous letters. So the angles don't necessarily have to match up for something like this since the case Bit of a different shape, then once I draw the original shape all of just a bit. So I think this top part of the canyons even a little bit taller, and that's obviously what I was doing the final. And then it feels a bit too, too simple and doesn't quite match up with the rest of the letters so I could drag this over adverts base, which also helps grounded a bit more the rest. And then it'll look a little off balance here. Since I made this base a little bit too long, I can drag this over and pull that up so that it connects to the K just a bit too. Metropole, Final Final looks like and you okay, but I want to spend too much and to each other. But now you have the tools to your full out. A couple more things to note. I shall see. That is you go to the middle. Yeah. Prevent. You can use a lot of the original shapes you create from the beginning. It was okay. See that? Bottom of the K. It's used again, and they are, and and other things like that. So as you're going through, definitely used previous letter forms to help you create the rest of the alphabet. You don't need to be to be guessing what they were for. You don't need to wing it. You can grab a lot of lot of previous shapes and use them in other lawyers. And it'll be going a lot faster. Once you're done, you'll have a full alphabet like you see here and then we're ready for the next step. 3. Fine Tune Your Font: so the next step in the process will be to transfer all of our letter forms into glyphs. It's a free program condoning on mine, and I think as well as many other took designers that it's It's the best program out there . It's really easy to use, and it's really flexible and very designer friendly. We're first going to do is get our goose file ready. I'm using with many right now. You go to file new and it'll automatically create a new find fire for you. So going to file, find info and set up your phone. So my father was called my Ladan. It's all name it. That style will be regular for now because that's all I'm going to have put in your information and then you're ready to go. I'm not gonna get to any of the details of these different settings for the purpose of creating one Wait before it is displayed. Typeface. That's all you need to know. Then, once you're ready clothes at the info and go back to your illustrator file, we'll do. Let's grab all of your creative letter forms that air currently line based, copy them over holding the all key and dragging. And then what we're gonna have to do is resize them. So you have to make him pretty big to Dragon to glimpse. Once you drag up, goto object, expand and it okay, and then I have This is a shortcut key over here. But if you go to a window and pathfinder, you want to hit the top left icon, you know it will close all shapes together and form one object that close of all the different different separate shapes that you have and what you need to do is UN group all of those, so that their each their own. But it for me. So what you'll do, grab your a copy that go into cliffs. And then here's the capital. A double click that and copy in. And what will happen is it will probably a little bit off. So there's two things you can do. You can resize and glitz like this by grabbing the transform tool holding any point resizing. What I prefer to do, though, is to slightly tweak inside of illustrators will make these a little bit bigger, copy your a again and then paste it in and still with it off you keep doing that will keep re sizing until you get the right proportions. So what I've already done to save time do that up here. These are the correct slides is an illustrator. So the now also you had a copy them into Griff's. We'll grab a capital a copy that, and I already in the correct cliff. Face that and always correct bounds. It will line up to the booth baseline in any of the first letter copied over next. What I usually do is all it's like be hold, shift and go all the way to see Open that up and as you'll see a bunch of empty cliff files right here, so move over and then follow the same process you did for that. So let's let to be copy that pasted down and that'll be copied in. So you will continue to do that process until you have all of the letter forms created and as you go along, these things don't line up perfectly, but that will be fixed once we get to the next state. After that, after you get all of your letters created, we'll be moving on. Teoh edit the turning so that each of these letters works properly with with the whole system 4. Upload to Glyphs: So once you get your whole font brought into bliss, you ready to adjust the current? So what? I'll do select a through Z double goes to go in and edit, And then I'm sure you had just the turning is that we fix all those mistakes that were happening in the last last video to here. You'll see I have 40 40 spaces to the left and zero to the right. So our letter is right up against the edge. So if a protectorate next to be you would see this weird effect were the and the beer touching. Obviously we don't want that. So we're gonna fix that by going in and adding 40 to the right as well. Usually it's an experimental process. You want to go through your letters and add certain numbers to see what feels right. So I'll add 40 again and 40 to the right as well for the B. And we'll start to see how these letters feel spaced out on whether or not that's the right number. So if I wanted to be a little tighter, I could go back to be a at 30 and the left, so again right that could do the same for the B. Let's see how that feels. So maybe this is a bit too tight and we'll go back to 40. You need to go back and forth a lot. I'm sure to make sure you get the right spacing. But that's what the process is like. And then in the sea will have 40 on the left, 40 on the right. And as you go through all your letters, start to see that it will be fixed and will feel much better. These letters feel pretty evenly spaced. And what I find with simple display typefaces such as this one where it's a mostly geometric, uh, feel throughout all the weather's uneven space on the left and right for every letter often works. Um, in some instances, that won't work, and you'll have to adjust for that. So a lot of the times the letter s next to T. What you see already in the preview might feel kind of funny. So in this version, I've got 30 on the right side of the S and I left the 40th. I left the tea at 40 but if there was 40 on the side of the s like I have it here. If it was a little bit too spaced out, kind of awkward, So we'll go back down to 30. You don't have to make a lot of little adjustments like that, but one of the best ways to test your going to make sure it, except if you're right, it's too close at all these letters when you're in your main front with no letter selected hit command T, and this will open the preview mode and you can start typing anything you want, so I'll take out skill share. And as I've already adjusted most of the letters in this fun, you can see that it works well. But if if I had my ill set up with incorrect turning and say I accidentally had 70 on the right side, you can go back. Start are fun and you'll see when he's amount that this area with the two s's next to the l very spaced out. So the best way to fix that is to go back. Adjust your l herring, etc. Here in the preview again that it feels a lot better than the spacing is much better So my suggestion once you go through and at the current of each letter, just like before to start typing a lot of words. So you start to see how the words work together. Have you seen this preview? This didn't come across as I had hoped, but you get the idea. You'll start to notice and trends such a some letters feelings. They might be too close to each other or some like they might be, too, too far apart. Another quick note is that you can adjust letters Inglis as you're making them. So instead of going back to illustrator and in adjusting your illustrator file, you already have these creditable forms and bliss. As I mentioned in the previous video, if you feel that your letters might be a little bit too wide or too narrow, you can grab the points almost just dizzy. Would an illustrator, which the selectable up in the top tab, select these points and he could move them around and everything was day stay vector based in glyphs. So once you're finished adjusting on your letters, go back out to your main named file and you'll be ready for the next step, which is where we're gonna export the file and have it ready as an O. T. F 5. Export & Design: in this last step will be exporting your font file into a no TF so you can use it in any program you wish and that once you have your file already, everything's good to go. You go to the top file, make sure you do a quick see just so you have it. And then what we'll do next is go to export and then leave everything checked here. Make sure you're in the top ot F tab and then you can choose your export destination. I'll just leave it. Actually, I'll change it from downloads to the desktop, which is saving the previous files. Choose that and hit next. So from there, it'll just export right to the desktop. And then you can go check that out and you see, right here I have a glass file and the OT a file. I'll get out Space bar to make sure things there and then what you need to do next. You can open with your font book or whatever font, compiling permanent use for your computer and install that fun. Give that a minute here. Inside the funds, you'll see your new fund and then from there, goingto illustrator or whatever program you previously used to create the font file. We'll go in and create a new document. And as I've laid out in the project description, you want the with to be 1000 to be 600 even RGB and 1 50 as will be showing it on the web and then open that up in here. You can then use the textile on the left, type out anything you want. I'll type in skills here, make that bigger. And then upon the top, under the text drop down, you could find your new phone in mine right here under my island on. I'll put that in the center. I encourage you to be as creative as you want and make any and he ad for your new funds that you can think of for mine. Obviously, I ended up selling my phone. I've got something right here, which is just a nice a nice design that displays the font big and bold in the center and advertise its for sale. So I hope you enjoyed my class. And I hope you enjoy learning how to create your own display typeface. Thanks for to seeing your work