Type Design: Draw an Italic Font | Kyle Wayne Benson | Skillshare

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Type Design: Draw an Italic Font

teacher avatar Kyle Wayne Benson

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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

9 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Overview

    • 3. Italic Types

    • 4. The Fundamentals: Sporting Grotesque

    • 5. The Letter O

    • 6. The Letter V

    • 7. The Fundamentals: Condensed

    • 8. Production Tricks

    • 9. Outro

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About This Class

Designer and Illustrator Kyle Wayne Benson is here to help you discover your inner type designer. Join him as he walks you through drawing an italic font in this 20-minute, project-based class. By watching and joining along you'll learn some intermediate to advanced techniques on editing vectors, making optical corrections, and improving your production process. Through this experience you’ll gain a better eye for recognizing good italic type, a sense of scope for adding italics to a font, and more quality time spent with your ol' pal Kyle "an Italic" Benson.

Meet Your Teacher

I'm an illustrator and type designer in Oakland, CA. I love clicking the computer mouse and doing graphic designs, and showing others how they too can work the technology.

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1. Intro: 2. Overview: Hey, skill chair. I'm kind of way events in a designer and illustrator here in Oakland, California. And in this class, we're gonna learn how to draw metallic. We're gonna go over some fundamentals of glitz, but it does help. If you have some existing knowledge of type design, the stuff will go over will work if you use Robo Bond or if you use illustrator or if you have a general sense for lettering. We're going to go over a little bit about the history, about the different types of the talents. And at the end, we're gonna go over some production tips to make sure that the point you make is totally production ready and, yeah, so let's get started. 3. Italic Types: because this is a slightly more advanced class. It will help if you taken the class that I did before this on how to make a display fund or even just had a little bit more familiarity with Haub lifts or type design works. If you haven't, that's fine, too. I think there's still a lot that you can learn here, um, a little bit of background on italics. Historically, it wasn't necessarily that metallic needed to go with the Roman, and we're gonna skip over that whole old history and just jump into type families that do have a Roman or an upright that pairs with a metallic. So a lot of typefaces there italic is just a slant. Just essentially, take the existing Roman drawings slant. Then we're share them and just ship it. And that is the Attallah version. You could do this in illustrator with just a normal Roman font, so it's not very special, and there's some kind of weird optical things that make it not particularly beautiful. But a lot of legitimate type foundries will ship and sell that exact version of a metallic . Another way is a more kind of cala graphic or um, or historical model, where there is a method or thought process that goes with the atomic drawing. Lots of times these characters will actually look different. We'll have completely different features. They'll be more condensed or have, like, a little bit more character to them. We're gonna be doing something kind of in between that we're gonna take on existing type family if you have one. And if you don't download an open source one that we can work on, I'm gonna be working on sporting Grotesque, which is an open source tight family that doesn't have an existing metallic. So everything I'll be doing will just be self referential and uh will be just kind of exploring in that space. So we're going to take an existing drying and slant it and then optically correct it so that it feels intentional. And it feels beautiful in the way that a metallic should. Let's get started with sporting grotesque 4. The Fundamentals: Sporting Grotesque: I'm just gonna pull into the letter A and we'll talk about a few problems That may be your drawings have that will get in the way of this process. One of the very first thing that stands out to me is they have thes zero with handles. I this plug in called remix harmonizer, which is a lifesaver, and if planned to spend more time doing this, I would definitely recommend getting it. Um, I'm just gonna do this extract handles so that I don't have any more zero with handles. And the reason that I extract the handles is because when we slant them will be able to have a more fine tuned control over the tension and the curves to be able to make those adjustments more quickly. And more predictably, Thomas Jock, in who is a type designer that I once interned with, told me the way that he looked a tallix waas half slanted and half rotated, and I think that's pretty accurate. So if we take this and say, we're going for a 10 degree italic and we slanted five degrees and rotated five degrees, Um, that's essentially what we want to get out of that and just looking at this comparison of a few different ways of drawing an italic, it matches up pretty well with my final result, which is a much more lengthy process. So the first stage of my process is to do a full slammed. So I'll do the whole 10 degree slammed and something that will make this easier for us, as we work in the slant is if Cliffs is aware that we're down working in italic, so you can do that by going here into your master settings and switching this zero degree to a 10 degree. So now we have that line. That's kind of Ah, visual Guide Post. The first thing I'd like to point out that you might not notice if you don't spend a lot of time looking at these figures, but hopefully you'll notice by the end of this video. Is that what happens when you slant a character is you push weight out of this area and into this area. Just try and focus your eyes, or in this area and this area here, you'll notice that they kind of look pulled. This. They look like they carry a lot more black weight than the rest of the character, and that is most obvious here in here. But you have to keep in mind that it's done it in small ways all throughout this character , and you might not notice it in the A. But in a line of text where all of the characters have been scientist that way, the way it kind of carries a mo mentum that, if you were going for it, could look very beautiful. But because it's kind of an accidental part of the process, it's are still look mechanical. Isn't his visual visually pleasing? So start out by doing the obvious parts, which is taking the top on the bottom and just pulling that tension back over here. I would rather early on go too far with something like this, and then correct back then, just do subtle changes and never see what it could be or what it should be. Now that we've done our tops and bottoms of our interior curves and our exterior curves, we're gonna do the sides and the way that I like to imagine adjusting the tension on the sides is, uh, take your talent angle and figure out what a perpendicular line would be to it and probably looks something like this. And this is where the 50% rotation that Thomas Drunken said comes in. Imagine it, Maura's irritation so kind of draw that line with your mind. And if we want to meet that line in the same way that the A was, we have to take the things on the right side and kind of shift them down. And I'm holding the all key so that those stay in a good line. They'll do an even better job if that's locked. But on these smooth curves, I'm not gonna hold the all key. I'm just gonna kind of go for it. And on the left side, you're gonna go up a little bit so right side down a little bit, left side up a little bit and just kind of keep massaging that in places where you don't have handles on on curved handles, you'll have to do those adjustments with with ease off curve points. So again, we're bringing tension into this corner. We're bringing black into that corner, so you can do that by increasing the length of these and possibly decreasing the length of thes. This is looking kind of ugly, but that's okay. It's a good start, Um, and you'll notice there is more black here. It's not as congregated over in that corner, another tool that I use for refining this process, because this is a lot of big jumps and because the talents are much harder to see because they're often not as symmetrical in their curve. Tension as a Roman is is be punk, which is another great tool. And if you plan to do this more often, I use this thing all the time. So immediately you'll notice that when I shifted these over here and I'm not sure if these curves were completely smooth, but by shifting them over there a kind of ruined that transition. So I'm just gonna hold the all key and shift and smooth those back out lots of times. If there is wackiness from doing these kind of hasty you shifts just by bumping it all around, it can be remedied by a few seconds in speed, punk. So just going through these kind of like this, it feels like it's because that handle is too long and this one's to shore. So just really feeling open and like expressive about how this new drawing will be. You have to stop thinking about it as a Roman and start thinking about it as an entirely new character. And sometimes that will mean that like this terminal angle that you created, which looked really good in the Roman maybe doesn't necessarily work that well in the italic. And you might need to do adjustments all over to make the angle feel as dramatic as it did in the Roman. I slanting this A. You've kind of made this terminal over here into a pretty neutral terminal, so I don't know, I might intensify. It just depends on your taste. 5. The Letter O: This is not by any means done, but it might be a good starting point to then go into more fundamental characters. So let's go to the oh, so start off. Same as we did the A scientist. 10 degrees. And hopefully you're beginning to see we have dark areas here in here and kind of lighter areas here in here. One visual trick that I like to do, um, which doesn't always universally work, is to just shift it over until these are exactly lined up. So right now we're nine units apart, so we'll just go right there so that lines up and same here, get those signed up to their zero. Um, no, I have to do my interior counter, so I'll do yet another nudge this way and that way. Now we have to do our sides. So think about that perpendicular line that crosses through the middle, do a few nudges this way. One that way, we have a truly want you looking out. So let's open speed, punk, and see what happened. So yeah, all over curve transitions there a little halted. Gonna do the same as I did on the A train. Clean those up really quickly, and I'm holding shift in. Ault. When I drew the A talent for Cardinal grotesque, I ended up going through the alphabet and completely redrawing it again. Because you experience right now is not just in slanting letters. It's creating a new style. It's creating a new alphabet. And, uh, so problems will come up along the way that you just can't forecast this early on. So I've got on my transitions good. And one nice thing about speed, punk, is that problem we have of weight getting shifted into these corners. It gets demonstrated with speed, punk. Now, one thing that you want to be sensitive to is you don't really want to strip all of that weight distribution out. Um, some of putting the way in the top, right? And bottom left corners gives it the moment, um, that you want for a metallic, you'll notice this one is still pretty tense. Whereas this one is not really. And I'm gonna try and put some back in there. So let's try and get those to the same kind of red hot color again. This is not a thing you have to do. This is just a thing that I think will from my taste, make it look better. And this is close. This is definitely one that I would come back to and find problems with later. But the weight distribution is better again. Look here, look here. It still feels like it has that 10 degrees slant to it. And it's nice to have the other italic characters that you've drawn kind of sitting side by side so that you can judge whether it feels like it's still a Talic. 6. The Letter V: another character type to go over with. The Tallix is diagonals. The uppercase V or A in the lower case V or W is going to have some very obvious tells when it's been slanted. So let's do some measurements. If you measure this diagonal A sits at about 1 52 and 1 50 So in this particular font style they're almost identical. A little bit of bias toward the left side, probably, but otherwise really close. So in a case like this, I'll actually open the corner here and try and get these points as close to or just on the baseline as possible. So let's slanted that 10 degrees. And let's just start off by measuring this. So now the right side is 1 36 and the left side is 1 60 Significant way is on the left side and has been stripped from the right. And if we take this to its extreme, let's just go super crazy s o this I don't know. We clicked 60 now puts this at 91 1 50 A lot of weight redistributed. So if you want to shift weight from this side to this side, you can start by doing this. Just a quick jump of all those interiors over Do some measurements so still a little biased towards the left side. But you'll notice that as I move it, I have a kind of significant taper over here. And that's just the nature of how slant works, what might have been symmetrical when it was an upright. Now, specific curves will move in different ways when you slant it by degrees. So I don't really want that significant of a taper from 1 36 1 53 So I'm gonna bump thes around a little bit, get that to be a little more to my liking, and now this side feels a little too dark. So I'm gonna select this guy over here. These Anais Air also complicated because they don't always feel like they're the right metallic angle. Lots of times, When I was working on cardinal grotesques italic, I would move the the bottoms a little more to the left and a tops a little more to the right. I probably wouldn't at this point create a finished V. I would focus most of my attention on your control characters and h on Oh, a lower case and in a lower case, Oh, so that once you have those really dial, then you can go through the rest of the alphabet and use them as control characters toe flank them on both sides to make sure the color and the height proportions, everything feel correct. 7. The Fundamentals: Condensed: So now we've learned some of the fundamentals on how to create that hybrid italic, slanted Roman, which has better color proportions. But the things that I show it really only worked for that type of font. Condensed fonts, which have more rigid walls, are display. Fonts that have crazy characters might have some of the same traits, but you won't be able to follow the same tricks that I showed. So I'll show you a condensed form and how some of those tricks cannot like that, so that you can reapply these as needed with your father. So let's go straight to the control character will open this. So So I'm gonna slam to 10 degrees and let's go in here and put the Talic ankle again. When I first drew these and slanted them, my got was telling me, Oh, these air fun on. I thought It's not noticeable. No one will care. But by the time that I got done with my wider proportioned characters and came back to these, my eyes have been a little more fine tune. I was starting to see problems, so let's just apply the tricks and see how we feel about it. I'm gonna copy this one and paste our new one right next to it so that we can compare us. We go so immediately. Let's do that trick of aligning your outside and inside Contour. So now there is zero. But then we're going to do that adjustment to the interior. About three pixels. Same to the bottom. That about three in. And the way that I do it to the exterior on these is just by doing the on curve points. So I'm gonna take these and remember that perpendicular line this is pretty far off. So we're gonna take the outside, bring it in a little so that that lines up with the interior perpendicular line. Do the same over here. Bring it up and then we're gonna take the entire left side, bring it up about five units. So it's halfway there and then the right side and bring it down. About five units. We're not completely there. It looks like I still want to go a tiny bit this way. Drying metallic is one of those great examples of once you feel good. Save it. Close your file and come back to the next day. you'll see all these problems that you didn't see so comparing this Oh, to this. Oh, now it feels night and day. There's so much color in that right corner and so little here and these curves the transitions field. Just much more Smith. Let's turn on, uh, speed, punk. It's a little harder to see when the fader is so blown out like that, but you can even see with speed punk. I'm just going to do some quick adjustments on these that look at all this red in this left corner. It's reminding us, looking all that tension, whereas thes feel like a more smooth tension, assuming that's what you want to go for. But let's try a really tricky character, which both has a diagonal and some curves. So I'm gonna go ahead and slam that 10 degrees. We'll just go ahead and correct those. It looks like when we slanted it. Some weight got, uh, pulled out of this left side, so there it's fine, but here I had to put it back in by shifting this over about a unit. But you'll notice that right here in the middle, we have this diagonal. So here worried about 25 which makes sense if you remember slanting that V that all the way went into the left side. So let's start off by doing the perpendicular trick. So imagine a perpendicular line to this. In order to get that, we'll pull these down a little bit, holding all. Does they use the air? Okey. Now you'll notice this perpendicular line is a little bit better. We're also going to shift the entire spine up toward this, and that will give us a more smooth transition here. But it doesn't solve our weight problem. One of the ways I saw that is by taking the off curve handles and pulling that in a little bit. That might shift to get a little more tension down and there and already that's feeling a lot more smooth than we saw before. 8. Production Tricks: one of the more difficult parts of creating a fund is making sure that their production ready for anyone to install them on any operating system. So we're gonna go over a few of the production tricks that I have to make sure that you have no errors or bugs that people have to email you about after your ship. It the postscript name table must not be any longer in the 63 characters and is restricted to a printable Ask E subset. So they're a bunch of characters you can't put in the name, and there is a length limit. So if you have a name say, Cardinal, Grotesque, extra convinced regular a Talic, you're probably going to meet that limitation. One of the ways that you can get past this problem is for your default names to be say, in this case, wreg it for italic, and then you can put in in your export values here a preferred name well, for your family name and for your sub family name. So in both of these categories, I would put sporting grotesque and then for preferred, some family name, regular metallic, or possibly just a talent, depending on your naming style. So even though here it will show up as wreg it on the person's operating system when they install it, these two names will show off instead, another one of the problems of the Tallix you might have noticed as we were drawing When you slant them, it moves the character a few units to the right, putting them into negative side margins and in some characters, like a no, a big, positive space on the left. If someone was designing and they had Roman figures that were then interrupted by a Talic figures this might mean that your italic figures collide with the Romans. When I'm done drying in a talent, I'll take just Theo character. Go here to transformations and adjust the X axis so that its back as many units as I feel like is necessary to fit squarely in the middle of that box. That will change for you based on your talent angle. And the way that drawing is. I like to choose a symmetrical character because it's easier to judge that So 50 is pretty close again. It doesn't really matter. Um, a lot of this is taste, but I like it to feel about in the middle. You'll also notice that my metrics here update to show me what the exact middle is. So negative 53 will put it at 67 67 which is fine. I'm gonna hit, cancel. And then presuming that these air all done, I would go and I would apply that to all of them at once. 9. Outro: Okay, so that's it. You might have noticed over the course of this video that I changed my outfit and my hairstyle on even the things on my desk many times. It took me a few years to make because I was changing my ideas about drying italics. Those are eternal ideas, but because I am terrible at talking into the camera. So any part of me being bad this got in the way of Hue learning italics. Feel free to reach out to me, send me an email or reach up to me through the platform. I'm totally happy to answer your questions and please. Supposed to project. I want to see what you're working on. I want to see if I can help. Um, and thanks for your time.