Making a Font from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, Fontself and Fontlab | Emma Make | Skillshare

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Making a Font from scratch in Adobe Illustrator, Fontself and Fontlab

teacher avatar Emma Make, Teaching, Creating and Making

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

11 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Intro Video

    • 2. How to draw a font in illustrator

    • 3. How to Make a Multilingual Font

    • 4. How to Make Ligatures in Illustrator an Fontself

    • 5. How to Make Ligatures in Fontlab

    • 6. How to Kern in Fontself

    • 7. How to Kern in Fontlab

    • 8. How to Export in Fontself

    • 9. How to export in fontlab

    • 10. How to draw a Bold Font in Illustrator

    • 11. How to Change Font Weight in Fontlab

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About This Class

In this tutorial I'll be taking you through the steps of making a font in Adobe Illustrator.

I'll be using both the programs fontself and fontlab. I find it useful to use both when working but the tutorial is designed so that you can use just one if you need to.

This class will begin with drawing the font using the line and shape tools, and then going through multi-lingual fonts, kerning, ligatures and weights, as well as exporting.

By the end you should be able to produce your own sans serif!

If however you're still in need of a font, ponte, the font designed in the lessons is available from my creative market shop.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emma Make

Teaching, Creating and Making



I'm a designer from England living in Lisbon Portugal.

Having completed my BA degree and pursued a career in Architecture; I have over 8 years of experience in Photoshop, Illustrator, CAD as well as general design. I decided last year to challenge myself by learning and making as much new stuff as possible through local classes and online ones to try and evolve my digital and handmade work outside of architecture. Which is how I found Skillshare.

Since starting my journey into pushing my design limits I've come across many questions and techniques that I feel more people should know about who are going on a similar quest to become digital designers

You can check out my work and feel free to follow me on; Creative Market Instagram ... See full profile

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1. Intro Video: hi. In this tutorial, I'll be taking you through making a son Serra, fun from Georgia and illustrator to importing it into a front program. We'll begin with the line tool, where I'll show you how to utilize guides, grades and strokes. Then we'll move on to car. Name the spacing between your letters. This is a hard process, but necessary for good and complete funds. From there, we'll look at Lee. Get shoes, part of the farm where more than one letter makes its own symbol. Finally, will look at changing the weight of your fun by designing a bold front in illustrator and thin front in front lab. The tutorial beginning illustrator but uses both oneself in front life to edit fronts. You don't need both programs to make funds. One should be enough that you can use both in the entire process the classes for all levels of designers. And if, at the end, you'd like to purchase the fund, it's available on creative market as part. So let's begin 2. How to draw a font in illustrator: Hi. In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to make a font in Illustrator with Funds Self, which can also be imported into front. Love to begin with. I've already designed my lower case letters. Now I'll be starting with my upper case ones. I want to set a guideline. So using control are to bring up the rulers are drag a guideline down to my base Before starting, I also made sure snapped a grade was on, as was my grid. I'll also satya. I grid toe 100 pixels with intervals at every time. I'm going to start with my A. For this, I'm using my pen tal with a straight size of 20 points. After drawing my first half, I can edit this land by selecting the two points, then pressing Oh, and holding done old while left clicking. I can reflect my shape vertically to make the end straight. I then goto object, expand, and then I draw my rectangle over my ends. I then use the Pathfinder tool to unite my shapes and then subtract the box from it. I can then hide my guides to check out my shapes. I decided I wasn't happy with my A. So I started again. If you want to watch the rest of my process and how the other letters were made, you can watch on. The speed has been sped up by four, so you'll need to slow down video if you want to watch in real time. You can do this in YouTube by going to settings playback speed and setting it to north 0.25 If, on the other hand, you want to skip ahead, you can go to 10 minutes, 17 seconds. - It's once you've completed your alphabet, you'll need to expand it. I usually make a copy, then selecting all Go to, edit, object, expand and use the Pathfinder tool to unite. Once all your letters air expanded and grouped, select a tizzy as well as the guideline on drag your letters into font self. 3. How to Make a Multilingual Font: in this tutorial, I will quickly go over how I make my fonts multi lingual. The first thing I do is go into Wikipedia on open three pages. These are Latin extended, a basic Latin and Latin. One supplement. From these, I can see what letters I need. Then I go into Illustrator and copy my letters down with the guidelines on repeat my letter the number of times it appears in the unit codes. To make things easier, you might want to expand your art board. You can do this with the our board tool. Click the icon, then dragged the edge of the art board as far as you'd like to expand, starting with a copy of the letter 10 times as this is how often it appears in Latin Extended a and Latin one supplement and make the accents the same line way as my phone. I then start with my line accent above the a, positioning it high enough that it won't intersect with my letter, but close enough that they go as a pair. I also want some with variation, so I'll use the width tool to edit the ends of my accents to make my second accent. I copy my first accent across, then reflected by typing, Oh, then holding old while clicking. If you want to watch the rest of my process and how the other accents were made, you can watch on. The speed has been sped up by four, so you'll need to slow down the video if you want to watch it in real time. You can do this and YouTube by going to settings, playback speed and setting it to north 40.25 If, on the other hand, you want to skip ahead, you can go to five minutes, 25 seconds. - Once I finish my accented letters, I expand them, group them with the Pathfinder, unite to I, then select all my letters and drag them with the guideline into from self. Using my Wikipedia pages, I can copy the letters in for itself to check. I have them all there 4. How to Make Ligatures in Illustrator an Fontself: In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to create ligatures in Adobe Illustrator Font Self and Front Lap. The tutorial also applies. If you only have one of the programs to begin with, I'm going to start with double F. I'm going to copy my F a few times along my grid line by pressing Olt and dragging with my mouse click. Well, then position my F switching off. Snap to grid. I'll then position my ankle point using the selectable. Once I'm happy with my shape, I'll goto, object, expand and then unite the shapes with the united in the Pathfinder tour. I'll then make my F i F J f h f b f L f K on Ft. Luggages to see these being made. What, Sean otherwise, skip ahead. - It's once these air done, I can drag them into font self great, a ligature. Just type the two characters and then select standard when prompted. This means the ligature will be automatic in your front 5. How to Make Ligatures in Fontlab: to make a ligature in front lab. First making you cliff. Go to fund generate cliffs, then in ligature type in your ligature. To build your ligature, go back to your font tab and open up the cliffs you'll need. In this case, I'm using F and F H. Just select with the Element Pointer, then enter control C and control V to paste. Position your cliffs with the element pointer again and then position the points with the Contour pointer. The left and right side need to be spaced correctly. Go to Windows panels. Cliff, then in the box, changed the left side to 50 on the right side to 52. This will achieve the desired spacing. I need to rename my cliff so right click on the cliff and go to read a. Then add an underscore between each letter with your ligatures made. You now need to enter your features panel. Goto Window panel features Type in sub f f h were space between each letter by F f h semi colon with underscores between the letters and press the play button disaster Ligature. Go to the sketch board and hit T on your keyboard to type, Then enter your letters, then click the features button and select ligatures your ligature. She'll appear 6. How to Kern in Fontself: In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to Kern and for himself. I tend to use a mixture of front self in front lab. They both have their advantages, and disadvantages typically are set up my groups in front self and Kernan Front Lab. But if you want, I only use one will be covering both to start with all open for myself. Then I'll go to advanced and then to turning here. I can set up my groups or as they're called in front lab classes, by setting these up. This will save us time by not having to Kern every single belief. So, for example, if you have an upper case A on A with an accent, both will follow the same cunning. To do this, I just typed my master letter into the space left and right. The letter. We want to follow the same coming rules. Then we do this for the rest. I then want to set up my spacing. I generally only do this for anomalies as my other letters will be canned. In this case, it's the why the G and the F to start off with all type my G in between the ends that I can either type in the value I want to space by in the panel to the right, all I can manually space by clicking on the letter and dragging the lines to the side of it . Then I will edit the rest of my letters once this is done, or move on to turning, I start this by clicking on Kearny. Here, you can see for itself provides me with a taste, which shows up where letters will need to be turned. I normally can my letters by working through this list. It's very long, so don't be surprised or disheartened if turning ends up taking the days. It's a long process. You can also address letters by typing them in the Kern. I can click on the letter. I want to turn and move it closer or further away from its pair manually, you can also entering the value in the tab to the right hand side to set up pairs. You can either type them in the preview window will type them in the tub to the side. Once you're done canning your lower case letters, you can move on to upper case lower and uppercase together, punctuation and more. The triggers to go for what looks right visually. And if you're still unsure, I recommend looking at existing funds such as Georgia or Aerial. 7. How to Kern in Fontlab: in this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to Kern and Front Lab. The foreman using was exported from font self. To see how I did this, go to my earlier video. This will also show high grouped or classed my cliffs. If you want to add it or see the classes goto windows, panels, classes here, you can see how the letters a group. This means that the letters will follow the same cutting rules to add to occurred in class selected cliff and click Add. To add a new Kernan class click, add new Kernan class to edit spacing on either side of a cliff. You can double click with cliff in the front window, then to see how it spaces with the other letters. You can select the type tool and end to either rose or ends to then, as it in the spacing, select the cliff and either manually shift. The spacing will enter in the panel above. You can go toe window nuke earning tub, then type T to type. Here you can enter in text to help you come. I like to use the text provided by font self, so I go back into illustrator and copy my text with control. See, then I paste this into font lab using the type tool. Once this is in, you can hit escape on your keyboard to come. You can either can manually by clicking on the cliff all by entering in a number by double clicking the number If the window switches to edit mode. Just open a new canning tab again, work your way through the text and then go back to Illustrator and copy the other Kernan text coming takes a long time. So don't be disheartened if you spend hours on 8. How to Export in Fontself: to export my fund, I go to home than fund info. Here. I can enter the name of my fund, the licensing information and parts about myself. If you're using Creative Market to sell your fund, you can enter your shop details here. Finally, I go to save wagon exports as an O. T. F. 9. How to export in fontlab: before exporting in front lab. I need to make sure my front info set up. I go to file front in Fe here. I can enter the name and weight of my fund. I then go to Creator where I can import info about myself in my shop. Finally, I go to legal where I can copyright my work. Then I go to file export Fontas on from here are select ot a file. 10. How to draw a Bold Font in Illustrator: In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how I make my front bold in Adobe Illustrator and later importer into font self. To start off with a copy, my original fund Down with the guidelines. You can do this easily by selecting everything with the selectable, then holding down old and shift to drag. My original fund started out as a thickness of 20 points. I want my new way to be a thickness of 30 at its thickest points. To help guide me, I draw a box at 30 points, which will act as a guide. I also use existing funds as a guide and you'll see me in this video type letters, an aerial over down a font to see the difference between the bold and regular weights to watch me make this be bold. Watch on, otherwise, skip ahead to 5 25 It's another tool I like to use is the path offset path tool. To use this, I go to objects path offset on entering the value of five or 10 points. Although this might seem like a simple solution, the X height, base and cap pipes will not be the same, which is key in a bold front, so make sure to edit accordingly. As you can see here, if you want to see more of me making my font bold, watch ahead. Otherwise, skip to 39 53 Theo Way, way, way it's It's It's Way, Way, - way . Once my front YSL drawn, I import all my letters into font self, making sure to include a guide as the base line. I then fill out my phone info, making sure to include the fact that it's a bold fund they then export to save. If you want to turn your fund as before, you'll need a regular fund that was exported from front self Go to advance on import spacing. Do the same for turning. If, however, you've made a Fontaine fault, lab will have to import, turning their to see this. Go to my next video 11. How to Change Font Weight in Fontlab: hi. In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to change the weight of a fun and fun lab. Using the bold effect to start off with. I have my regular fund open in front lab, then highlighting all my cliffs with control. A. I go to tools actions with the actions when they're open. I could go to effects. Bold change weight here. In this effect, I can either make my glyphs. Boulder will thinner. As you can see, the tool retains the vertical heights. It's fun it should when it changes weight. However, when I apply it to a few of my geoglyphs, they still need editing as fault line itself, says the tour is no replacement for creating weights. However, in this case, it provides a very quick way of beginning a new phone. Wait, Now I can add it. My glyphs, which didn't transformers well, for example, starting with the are we can see that the shape has become separated. I can edit this with my selectable. I have the same problem with my you, so I'll edit this too. Another thing to note is that since I'm usually on existing fund, all my ligatures and carting Stay the same. So I didn't have to edit this. After editing my Griff's, I can save my fin fund. I can do this by first going to fund info here. I can input the information for my thin front, including its families name then to export, I go to file export abs.