Build a Better Font: An In-Depth Guide To Creating Fonts | Jamie Bartlett | Skillshare

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Build a Better Font: An In-Depth Guide To Creating Fonts

teacher avatar Jamie Bartlett, Graphic designer and left-handed letterer

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

    • 1.

      Course Trailer


    • 2.

      Design Considerations


    • 3.

      Sketching Your Font


    • 4.

      Refining Your Sketches


    • 5.

      Image Trace Test


    • 6.

      Tracing With The Pen Tool


    • 7.

      Tracing With Image Trace


    • 8.

      Positioning And Scaling


    • 9.

      From Illustrator To Glyphs Mini


    • 10.

      Spacing Groups


    • 11.

      Powerful Features of Glyphs Mini


    • 12.

      Testing Your Spacing


    • 13.

      Adding And Removing Glyphs


    • 14.



    • 15.

      Testing Your Font


    • 16.

      Thank You!


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About This Class

For this class I’m teaming up with my husband and fellow skillshare teacher, Jake Bartlett to give you an in-depth guide on how to create a professional font. This is something we love doing together and wanted to share our process with you. I’ll start by getting your thinking about your own font design, then we’ll grab our sketchbook or tablet and draw out our characters, make any revisions so that all our letters look cohesive, then go into Illustrator to get them ready to turn into a font.

Once the characters are vector, Jake will get into the nitty gritty of making your font function properly with Glyphs Mini. If you don’t have Glyphs Mini, don’t worry you can download a free 30-day trial. Glyphs Mini is an incredibly powerful tool that makes the process of converting your vector illustrations into a working font extremely easy. Jake will show you how to get your charters into Glyphs, correctly space and kern your font, and then test and refine until it’s a perfect font ready to use, sell or share with friends.

Let’s jump in and get started! I can’t wait to see the font you create!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jamie Bartlett

Graphic designer and left-handed letterer


Jamie Bartlett is a graphic designer and left-handed letterer working out of Denver, CO. She graduated from John Brown University with a degree in Graphic Design and now runs a shop for her hand lettered designs and fonts. Her work reflects everything she loves in life: a good cup of coffee, nerdy design terms, tandem bikes, road trips, and so much more.

Check out all Jamie's classes to learn her tricks of the trade. 

To see what she's up to now, follow her on Instagram and Dribbble.


  &... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Course Trailer: Hey, guys. I'm Jamie Bartlett, and for this class I'm teaming up with my husband and fellow Skillshare teacher Jake Bartlett, to give you an in-depth guide on how to create a professional font. This is something we love doing together and wanted to share our process with you. I'll start by getting you thinking about your own font design. Then, we'll grab our sketchbook or tablet and draw out our characters, make any revisions, so that all our letters look cohesive, then go into Illustrator to get them ready to turn into a font. Once the characters are vector, Jake we'll get into the nitty-gritty of making your font function properly with Glyphs Mini. If you don't have Glyphs Mini don't worry, you can download a free 30-day trial. Glyphs Mini is an incredibly powerful tool that makes the process of converting your vector illustrations into a working font extremely easy. Jake will show you how to get your characters into Glyphs correctly spaced and kern your font, and then test and refine until it's a perfect font ready to use, sell, or share with friends. For the class project, you'll be designing and building your very own font. Even if you've never designed a typeface before, you'll be able to follow along with our lessons, and by the end of the class you'll have a working font. Let's jump in and get started. I can't wait to see the font you create. 2. Design Considerations: The way we're going to be building our font is; first, we're going to decide what type of font we'll be making. Then once we have a good idea, we'll start sketching our characters out. Then we'll move on to refining them and depending on if you want your font to look more hand-on or clean, then we'll take into illustrator, and we'll either image trace it, or use the pen tool. Next, we'll bring into Glyphs Mini, which has the free 30-day trial. We'll set the spacing and kerning, and get everything professional looking so that you're ready to export it and sell it or share it with friends. Now, we're ready to start thinking about what we want our font to look like. So, when you think about your font, think about how you want your font to be used. Do you want it to be a display font where it's best used as headlines in big bold places, or you want it to be more used for a paragraph where it's easier to read at a smaller font size? There's a handful of different classifications of font. There's Serif, Sans-Serif, and Slab-Serif. There's lots more, but we're just going to stick to those right now. A Serif font is one font has these little embellishments on the ends. They look like feet. Then there's a Sans-Serif, and sans means without. So this one has no serifs. Then the difference between the Serif and the Slab-Serif is just the type of Serif. Now, with the Serif font, the Serifs flow more naturally into the letters whereas, with the Slab-Serif, it looks more like a block that was just attached on the end. This one's much more heavier and makes it more chunky in casual look. Then let's think about what style we want our font be. Do we want it to be bold, light, or even italic or it can just be a pretty standard regular font? Then there's the width. We could do something that's more condensed, or wider, or just again a standard regular font. We need to decide on the look of our font. Do you want it to be more of the standard clean edged font or do we want something with more textured that looks more hand done? You can look around at other fonts for inspiration and see what characteristics of those fonts you like. I'll be making in all-caps display font, so I only have to do capital letters, and I don't have to worry about the lower case right now. To keep things simple, you should do the same thing for this class. You can always add lower cases and more characters later. I'm also going to do numbers and limited punctuation, which I'll include a list of the ones I did so that you have something to work off to and refer back to when you're drawing your characters. Since my thought is a display font, I've decided to make it big and bold. Once you have a good idea of the font you want to make, you can start sketching. 3. Sketching Your Font: I'm going to be drawing here on my iPad Pro and Procreate. Now, you don't have to be doing it on an iPad, you can just as easily go grab some paper and a pencil and draw on that. I would choose a graph paper just because it's easy as I'm drawing to gauge the width of the letters and the height. That helps a lot to keep things consistent. After I finish here in Procreate, I'm going to take it into Illustrator and live trace it there. So, if you're going to do that as well, make sure that you draw your letters at least 800 pixels wide to make it high enough quality to get a good live sketches. The reason I'm going to do live trace, because I am going to have some texture around the edges of my letters. If you plan on doing a more normal font, where you want it really clean, then you're probably going to be using the pen tool so you don't have to worry as much about how big you're drawing your letters. So, now that I'm ready to sketch, I'm going to start with drawing an H. The reason I'm going to start with H, is because it's a really simple letter and some of the characteristics of an H will help me easily draw some more letters after that. This is just a rough, we're still trying to figure out what we want our font to look like. So, it doesn't have to be perfect, this is just a rough sketch. So, I'm going to draw mine. I'll do two squares thick. Mine is going to be pretty thick, remember it's a display font. Crossbar, I'm going to do the crossbar that's a pretty simple H but, that's what I'm going for. So, now that I have the basics of my H, I know that my letters are going to be about two squares thick and the main parts of it then I did more of one and half squares or the crossbar to make it a little skinnier. So, I can easily know what my I is going to look like just by looking at this portion of the H. So I'll draw my I next. That's my I. I'm keeping my letters really geometric. So, an E would also work for mine. So, as you think of the letters in your font, that's also going to have a strong vertical line here. So, mine that's going to an E but maybe your font you on your E to be something more like this. That's not going to work for yours. But for now, I'm going draw my E, quickly sketch it out. So, I decided to have my horizontal lines a little skinner more like one and a half squares. So I'm going to keep that consistent with the H there. The reason I'm doing that is just to have some variation in my font to make it a little more unique. Also, when you're drawing fonts, your I naturally makes those horizontal lines look fatter. So, if I were to deal two squares, here I look at that like E part of the shape and thinks that that part is fatter than it really is. So, it's an optical illusion. Then I will draw the E there and F will also be easy to draw. Again, this is really rough. We're just trying to hash out what we want the basics of our font to look like. We can make lots of adjustments later. Then an L will be a good one. Let's do an L quick and you can go on from there. So, once you get all the letters that are made up of similar shapes and you could move on to something like an O. An O is a good round letter to start with next because you can base a lot of other letters off of the roundness that you decide to do for that O. So, for a D, you can use the same round shape that you decide for your O. Same with a Q and so on. I want my O to be pretty close to a perfect circle. I just draw N, little wider. Another thing with letters that have a rounded part to them, you're going to one go a little bit below the baseline as well as a little bit above the top part of your letters. Because again that's another optical illusion. Where if you match the height of your O to the height of this L here, your O is going to look a lot smaller than your L. So, you just want it to be a little bit higher. So, just start with an O like that, it's a little fat so let's make that inside a little skinnier. We'll do something like that. We'll start with an O like that. That looks a little big. We'll adjust that when we do our revisions. So, now that I have the shape of my O and I know that it's pretty much a perfect circle or close to it, let's do a D next because we can use the characteristics of the H and the O to make the D. As we have the vertical bar here and then we have the round part of this O, to make a D. Might just keep redrawing that little shape until I feel like it's where I want it. That's just what sketching is for. Nothing has to be permanent yet. From there, we can go back to the O and we can do a Q, we could do a C, a C would be an easy one. Then from here, you just want to build out the rest of your font using any of the characteristics we already determined based on the other letters. Now, there are some other letters that aren't going to be as influenced as this like an S for example, you're not really going to be able to take any parts of these letters but still you want it to look like it belongs to the font. So, it just keep that in mind as you're drawing it and make it look like it belongs to this set of characters. So, now I have most of my letters sketched out. I have another layer that has all the rest of them, but here I just want to point out a few things. So, I said that my letters were very geometric. But because of that, I'm still not going to limit myself from creating more unique characters. So this R for example, I could have easily just done a slanted leg like that and that would've been fine there's nothing wrong with that. But instead, I created a more unique leg where I got a little skinnier up here and it was curved, and the same thing for the K over here. So, when I decided on the R, I also decided to bring that characteristic into my K. Another thing when I created this U, I simply did a U then I thought, "Well, I want my A to look like that too." So, I basically flipped the U upside down and added a crossbar for my A and I also based the Y on the U as well. That I can easily use that Y to give me a P and an R and you can just go from there until you have all your letters done. All these unique characteristics and the R, and the Y and the A, help make my fault look a little more original rather than just all these blocky shapes. I wasn't able to fit all my letters on this page so, I just made another layer with the rest of mine. 4. Refining Your Sketches: Once you have all your characters sketched out how you want them, we're going to go back and start refining them. For my font, I went ahead and did A through Z, and then I did numbers one through zero, as well as, some punctuation. I'll put a list together for all the characters I did. That way, you can refer back to that and do as many as you want to include in your font. If you're drawing in Procreate, go ahead and make a new layer to start refining your sketches over. For my font, I said earlier that I wanted the edges to have more of a texture to them, so I'm going to use my prickly pen set that I've made. I'm going to start here with the H again. If you're doing this with just pencil on paper, you can always use some tracing paper and just trace on top to refine your sketches, or you can redraw them a little nicer on a new piece of paper. If you're drawing on paper or digitally and you're planning on using the pen tool to create a really clean font, you can skip this next step altogether because you're going to refine your sketch and make it clean and nice inside of Illustrator with the pen tool. Remember I'm live-tracing because I want to preserve that texture. So I'm going to test out my line to see how much texture I want and keeping in mind that these letters are going to look a lot smaller when we actually use this as a font. All right. So that looks like a good amount of texture there on the edging, and we'll need to test that before I get too far in. I'm going to start by drawing the H as a whole. Procreate has this awesome feature where you can draw a line, freeze at the bottom, then it snaps straight, and you can drag it wherever you want. If your font is straight like this, this can come in really handy in refining it. Just going to quickly draw. It makes the process a whole lot quicker. Going to have my shape lined in, and can quickly just fill in each of those shapes, and there's my H. Now, it does have these white lines where Procreate couldn't fill it correctly, but that's probably going to be fine once I bring into Illustrator and live-trace it, so I'm not going to worry about that. Before I get any further, I need to take my letter into Illustrator and make sure that the live-tracing is going to work and my texture is going to show up enough. 5. Image Trace Test: So, I brought my H inside of Illustrator to test out the live tracing function to make sure that my texture shows up as well as I want it to in the end. So, I'm going to go up to image trace, like that and am going to go over here to this icon to get the image trace panel. Then I have all my refining options to adjust my image tracing to get it how I want it to be and there's an advanced option, so you can just click that down arrow and you get even more. So first things first, I'm going to say ignore white and I can see that there is no white. If I kept that checked, all the white background from my jPeg is going to remain there. But, we don't need that. So, the texture does not look how I want it to look. It looks a little too fake and unnatural. So, I'm going to do some adjustments to help it out. And my mode right here set to black and white, because you can only have one color with a font, so we don't need greyscale or color. We need to be using black and white and I can adjust my threshold. This will make more or less the texture show through. I actually want to be turning mine down. But, if I turn it down too far you can see those gaps are starting to show through. That does not look good. Those just about fine tuning to get what you like. All right. So, I have my threshold set to 74, then am going to start messing with the paths. By turning it up is going to increase the amount of paths that show up and you can see down here that my H now has 221 anchor points, and as I increase the paths it's also going to increase the amount of anchor point. We want to be aware of that, because the more anchor points that there are, the harder it is for the computer to read the font and it's going to slow things down. So, I would try to stick to under 500 anchor points, but really the smaller you can get the number and still looking how you want it is going to be better. So now, I'm going to adjust the corners a little bit and that will make this pointier or softer with that down a little bit. Noise is for getting rid of more dust and things like that so that might not really be appropriate for live tracing our characters, but you can give it a try and see what it does to your letters. I'm going to increase my paths just a little bit. So, right now I have snap curves to lines checked and if you look right here I'll uncheck that. You can see how it softens up those lines and it doesn't make the points go straight like that. So, depending on the look of your font I'm going to keep that unchecked. Just so it's not so harsh, but you might want that on. I'll zoom back out, soften this up a little bit and I'm going to finish adjusting and that looks about how I want my final letters to look like. Remember, this is probably going to be shown fairly small, so even if you zoom out on your ladder a little bit, you can see how small it can be and you still seeing that the edges have a little bit of texture to it. This font has pretty subtle texture. I just wanted to give it a slightly hand drawn look to it, a little more organic, but you can totally go way more on texture if you want. Just keep in mind the anchor points as you're doing it and once you get the image trace, how you want it for your first letter and if everything looks good then you're ready to make a preset, so that all the other image tracing of your characters goes a lot faster. So, to make a preset you're just going to go up here to this and manage presets, save a new preset. You can name it whatever you want. Since I already know that the name of my font is called Milkbox, I'm going to title it that and if you don't have a name for your font just name it whatever you want. Click okay. Then you can go up here and see that under the preset menu you now have a Milkbox option. So, when you bring all your other letters in all you need to do is click on Milkbox. It will give all your letters the same settings as this H here. Then the next step, we just need to expand our H right up here in the menu and it gets rid of it as a JPEG and we now have a vector H ready to go. Now, if you aren't happy with the way that your letter image traced, then you might want to just go back into procreate or go back on your piece of paper and draw it larger. So, if you're doing it digitally you can just take your sketches, and increase the size of that and then redraw over them so that your letters are a higher quality. Then your image traits will be higher quality as well. And then once you're happy with the way that your letters are converting to vector, you can finish them all up which is what I'll go ahead and do now. 6. Tracing With The Pen Tool: So, now if you're not going to image trace to your letters and you don't want that hand drawn look and you want more the perfect clean font look. I'm going to show you how to use the pen tool in Illustrator to do that. So, first we're going to make a new document and we're just going to make that 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. Make sure that color mode is set to RGB and the screen is set to 72. Click create, and now I'm going to bring in my sketches. So, move this on aside for now and we'll start with the H just like I did when I drew it. But before I do that, I'm going to make a new layer, going down to my layer's palette and clicking this icon and I can lock these layers for now just so I don't have to worry about them moving. Since my H is just rectangles, I'm going to use the rectangle tool and make my shape, make sure that it's filled in with black and no stroke and I'm going to switch to my selection tool hold option on the keyboard until I get these two little arrows and that means it's going to duplicate that shape. I'm going to click and drag and then hold shift to get in the exact same positioning. Put that where I want it and then we'll do one more rectangle. Simple as that. And one thing I want to point out is that up here I have it set to a line art pixel grid, which just means that all of my anchor points are aligned to exact pixels and that's really important when you're doing a clean font like this. So, make sure that's on and before I move onto my next letter I want to do one more thing with this font. I'm going to round the edges slightly. You can either do this by clicking on these circles and dragging it to get as round as you want or you can just double click on it and put an exact pixel number in here. So, we'll say 10 and see you at 10 looks like. Maybe that's a little too much. More like eight and I'm going to keep all my rounding consistent so I can just go on here and type in eight and it does that for all the corners and if you're happy with that H you can move on to more characters based on those components. So, I can do the same thing, hold option, click and drag and I have my I. So, continue to do that with all your letters and we're making the H and the O first just like when we do them because now we can base a lot of other letters off of those shapes. So, it's last drawing we have to do since I know I want my O to be almost a perfect circle. I can just grab my elipse tool over here, get an idea where the center is. Hold shift option, no scale from the center. Get it close. I'm just going to make my circle shape into a stroke by swapping the film stroke for now so I can see the inside of my circle, make sure it's lined up. Now I'm going to copy and paste in place so I have another circle for the inner circle. So, to do that just hold command C or copy and command shift V to paste in place and then drag that to the middle then I switch both of these back to fills and this one we're going to need to use the Pathfinder tool on, I have mine open but if you don't have yours open you can just go up to Window and Pathfinder and you can just press the minus button and that will put a circle inside the other circle. Now I'm going to show you one more, let's do the U and I'm going to use the pen tool for this one. So, you can go over here, get your pen tool and I'm going to startup here on the left and I'm only going to focus on doing the left side of the U. So, that I can use the left side and just mirror it. Will start at the top and this is straight till about here. Click and drag that handle down just a little bit while holding shift to keep that handle nice and straight. Then I'll guess where this middle will be. Now click and hold shift drag out. I want to make sure that that left handle doesn't go past that point because if I pull it past it starts to get a little kink in it and you don't want that. Let's make sure we keep it within that space and we'll go back and adjust this once we get all this rest that you've done. So, then this handle will make this all wonky so, I need to pull this handle back in by holding option on the keyboard and pulling that back in to there to make it straight and then I can just hold shift and go straight up from there and I'm going to line up where this point is and again I don't want that bottom handle to go past that bottom anchor point, right there. Then will go up to the top and connect it. So, now I just need to do a little bit of adjusting but first I'm going to swap my fill and stroke just so it's a little easier to see. I'll switch to my direct selection tool like on this point and this handle here needs to be dragged down. So, now I just need to adjust my anchor points a little bit and then mess around with my handles until I'm happy with the shape of my U. Okay, and then I'm going to switch to my outline mode just so I can look at the path and see if I'm happy with it. That looks pretty good, I don't really see any kinks in it but these top two are not aligned so I'm going to select both of those and just align them to the top. Once I'm happy with the left side of the U I can select it. I'm just going to copy and paste in front by pressing command C to copy and command F to paste in front them and or right click on it and say transform. We're going to reflect that on the vertical axis. Look okay, and I'm going to turn on my smart guides and that member that just command U. That way they snapped to each other. So, now that they're in the right position I need to get rid of these two lines by switching to my direct selection tool. Selecting those two lines, pressing delete on the keyboard then I'm going to make a direct selection around these two anchor points. Move to object, path average, make sure both is selected. Click okay and now they're right on top of each other so I can press command J to join and do the same thing for these bottom two. Object path average then press command J to join. Remember to round all your corner so everything's consistent then once you have all your letters done, you can move on to the next video. 7. Tracing With Image Trace: Okay, so now we have all of our characters refined and ready to bring into Illustrator. So we're going to create a new document, we're going to make it a thousand pixels by a thousand pixels, make sure our color mode is set to RGB 72 DPI, and we'll say create. Now, I need to place my characters inside of Illustrator, and I'll start with the first set of letters and we're going to go and choose our preset that we made. Now, your preset might look slightly different on this set of letters than it did on gesture H because it's doing all of the characters at once. So, if it does look different and you want to make some small adjustments, feel free to turn down your threshold, that will help bring in some more texture and also increasing the paths is a good one. But the preset is a good starting point. I'm going to zoom out to see what that looks like smaller, that looks pretty good. Let me just try turning it down a little more, and that looks pretty good for my characters. So, once you're happy with it, just make sure to do the other one before you expand it. We'll use our preset over here, and then we'll just remember our numbers. We've got 92, 90, these were the only two things we've changed. We'll change that to 92 and 90. Double check those, make sure we're happy with that. It looks pretty good to me, and now we can expand both of those. If you want to check the anchor point count on any of your characters, just go up here and select the direct selection tool, select your letter, and then go up to object, path, simplify, and then click preview here and it'll show us that it has 259 points. So that's looking pretty good, but we don't actually want to simplify it so we'll just click cancel. Because the A is in the right range of the anchor points that we want, we can be pretty sure that everything else is going to be close to it. 8. Positioning And Scaling: Now, that we got our font all live traced, we need to start setting up our document so that it translates better inside of Glyphs. First, I'm going to go on to Glyphs Mini, and show you some of the default settings they have. The cap height is automatically set to 700, which is the size of an uppercase letter. Then, we have x-height which we don't have to really worry about now because we're only doing uppercase fonts, but we'll set that up just so you know how to do that If you want to use that for future fonts. Then, we have an ascender as 800, which none of my letters have ascenders. That just means it goes above the cap height. Descenders, it goes below the baseline. I think the Q is the only one on mine that has a descender, and then we have some other settings that we don't have to worry about. All of these values are in relationship to the baseline which is where the letters sit on top of. Now, the units in Glyphs are not exactly how they're like in Illustrator. When you're building a font, it's based on the size of an uppercase M. Glyphs has it set to 1,000 units, which so that means 1,000 units makes up one Em. If you're typing out a font, the Em is set to whatever size font you're typing it out to. So, if your font is set to 72 points, then one Em equals 72. So, since Glyph uses 1,000 units in an Em, that's why we set up our Artboard and Illustrator to be 1,000 pixels, so that each pixel translates to a unit. So, now that we have that set up, we need to set up our capital letters to be the cap height of 700 to match what it is in Glyphs. This is all just to make transferring your artwork to Glyphs easier. So, cap height is 700. Let's go back into Illustrator, and now we need to resize our letters. So, first, let's add some guides. We'll, just go to View, down to Rulers, Show Rulers or you can press Command R on your keyboard. Make sure they're set to pixels by right clicking on your Ruler and selecting Pixels, and then just click on your Ruler and drag it down. It doesn't matter where you put it because we can easily go up here and type in that exact point in pixels where we want it to be on the Artboard. So, if your guides are locked and you can't just click and move, go up to View, Guides, and make sure that Lock Guides is unchecked. So if we go back to Glyphs, we can see that the descender is set to negative 200. So, that means that our baseline needs to go 200 pixels up from the bottom of our Artboard. So, our Artboard is 1,000 pixels tall, so we need to go 800 pixels down from the top, because it measures from the top. So, we can just type in 800 in the y-axis, and that will move that guide right to where our baseline should be. So, from here, it's 200 pixels for our descender. So, now we have our baseline. So, we need to set our cap height. Lets just go ahead and grab another guide. So, now that we have a baseline set up, we can readjust our rulers, so it measures everything based off on this point instead of the top of our Artboard. So, now this point is set to zero. You can see that the area between these two guides is almost 700. I almost put that right there. So, I'm going to select this guide and you can see it's set to negative 703, but it needs to be negative 700 because that will be negative 700 pixels away from this baseline. Change that three to zero, and there we have it. So, this is 700 for our cap height, now we have ascender and descender. If you do have an x-height, make sure to set that. We can go back in the Glyphs, and that set to 500 or it can be whatever your x-height for your letter is, because that might not be the same. All these numbers in Glyphs are just set to the default. So, you can change them if you want, but if this is your first font, I would just leave them how they're at and base your font off the defaults. So, now I'm going to lock my guides by going to View, Guides, Lock Guides, so that way they don't accidentally move them. Then, I need to select all of my letters by pressing Command A on the keyboard. Then, I'm going to move my H since I'm basing the height off of my H, centers. No ascenders or descenders or anything like that on this letter. I'm going to put up at the top of my cap height, make sure it's as close as I can get. Now, if your font is smooth and clean, make sure it's right on that guide. But if your letters have textures like mine, just get it as close to that guide as you can. Then, we'll grab my scale tool, put it right there on that corner. You can see the purple stuff coming up as I'm moving this around. That's just saying that I have my smart guides enabled which is really helpful. If you don't have that enabled, just press Command U on the keyboard. So, now that I have my anchor points set with my scale tool, I'll just go ahead and hold Shift and scale it down, so that my H sits right on top of that baseline. Since I scale them all at once, they should all be the same cap height relative to the H. If you look over here at my A, you can see how it goes slightly above that cap height, and that's because it's a rounded top and I want that top to go slightly above, so that it doesn't look like it's too small and doesn't belong with the same size as the other fonts. So, now we need to ungrouped all the letters and get them on the correct spot on the Artboard. So, with all my letters selected still, I'm going to press Command Shift G on the keyboard, and that should ungroup everything. Make sure everything and even all my stuff over here. There's this little mark up here that came through, so I'm going to delete that. Select all my letters again. Then, I'm going to click on my H, and that's going to line all my letters to the H, and that's called Align to Key Object. We'll press the Align to Center. They'll also do a Align Vertically. Now, everything is matched up vertically and horizontally centered on that H. Then, I'm going to go up here to this icon and change it to Align to Artboard. I'm going to do the center horizontally and now it's right where it should be. Next, we're going to put each of these letters on their own layers. So, we're going to go over here to add to our layers palette. Click on this menu button and we're going to say Release to Layers Sequence. That just puts everything on its own layer, and these two blank ones on the top are actually our guides. We're going to select all those layers, and then we're just going to bring them outside of layer one, and then we can delete layer one down here. We don't need that. Now, to make everything organized,we're going to go through and just rename all these layers with whatever letter they are. So, I'm going to do, so just V, Z, C and so on. Then, we're going to combine these two guide layers. So, I'm going to drop that air down and bring that guide into layer two. We can delete layer three and let's just rename this guides, and then we'll lock that, to make sure it doesn't get moved. Now, we're going to just quickly go through and make sure all of our letters are the correct size and positioning that we want them to be. So, I'm just going to turn off all my layers. Start with the V. You can see this V is a little small, and this is all just because I drew this by hand, so it's not going to be perfect. So, you can't really do 700 exactly since it has texture on the edge. I'm just going to do it by eye. So, in order to scale it from the center, I need to hold Option Shift, and then it'll drag it up top and bottom, that looks pretty good. You can always make more adjustments to the letter once were in the Glyphs, if it's not looking right once it starts getting typed out and combined with other letters. But we want to do as much as we can ahead of time before we jump into Glyphs. Now, the C is about 700 pixels tall but it's rounded on the top and bottom. So, we want that to actually be a little bit higher than 700. So, let's do that and just keep going through all your fonts until you are happy with it. I'm going to jumped onto the Q to show you one with a descender. So, my Q, the entire letter is centered within the 700 pixels, but it has a descender. So, we're just going to want to nudge that down to about there. Say want a little bit up here, but then I also want a little bit coming down on the bottom. So, I am going to enlarge this a little bit and then nudge it down again, about like that. Let's compare that to the C. I'm going to press Command Y on the keyboard and that will show me the outlines of both of those letters, so I can see a little clearer what I'm doing. So, the C is up there. Actually, it looks pretty good. So press Command Y again, and this happens to be the only letter in my font that has a descender. Just be aware that yours might have more, and so just adjust them appropriately. Now, all my letters are the right size and in the right position. So,we can bring them into Gylphs. So, if you have it already, go to and download the free 30 day trial of Glyphs Mini. Now, Jake's going to take over and teach you everything you need to know about Glyphs Mini and getting your font ready to use. 9. From Illustrator To Glyphs Mini: Hey, this is Jake, and I'm going to show you how to move your vectorized characters into Glyphs Mini, and actually make this into a font that you can use. I've gone ahead, and rearranged all of my layers, so they're in alphabetical order, just so it's easier for me to jump around between the different characters. But, the first thing we need to do to prepare this document to be transferred into Glyphs is do a little bit of repositioning. If I turn off all of my layers except for the A, and just select that, copy it, Command-C, go into Glyphs, and by the way I'm switching between programs by pressing Command-Tab. That's an easy way to jump back and forth. I'll close out my font info, and then double-click into this letter A. This A that you're seeing in the background is purely a guide. But, these lines that you're seeing are directly corresponding to the guides that we set up in Illustrator. So, this is the baseline guide. This is the x height, which again we don't really need to concern ourselves with on this uppercase font. This is the cap height, the A center and the D center. This corresponds directly to what we have in here, so you'd think that with this copied, if I paste it should line up pretty perfectly. Well, let's see what happens when I paste. The A goes way down here, and it just looks like I randomly placed it down on this bottom right corner. Well, the reason for this is because Glyphs measures from a specific origin point of the baseline, this bottom left corner. This point right here. So, this is zero, zero on the x and y coordinates, but in Illustrator, those coordinates are based on where your artboard is positioned. So, just like you can have objects positioned within an artboard, your artboard can be positioned within your canvas. I need to come over here to this boundary here, the artboard tool, and click on it, and then take a look up at these values up here. First of all, we're measuring the distance from the reference point of the center of our artboard. I'm going to move this to the top left corner, so that our x and y values are reading zero, zero. This is telling us that the reference point of the top left corner is what Illustrator reads as zero, zero. But, remember the baseline is the zero origin point for Glyphs. We need to account for that in the positioning of our artboard. Fortunately, this is pretty simple to do. Just make sure that this button right here is checked. Move slash copy artwork with artboard, in that way if we move our artboard, the art's going to move with it. Then, I'll make sure all of my layers are turned on, and then I simply want to move my artboard up along with all the artwork in it. The same distance as my A center from the baseline, which again is 800. I'm just going to come up to my Y, and simply move my artboard, and all of the artwork within it up the same distance as the A center height, which is 800 pixels. I'm just going to come to my Y value, and type in negative 800 to move it negative eight hundred pixels upwards, and then I'm going to select my guides, which if you can't select your guides just make sure your metrics layer is unlocked, and View, Guides, Lock Guides is not checked. With those selected, I'm going to go to my Y position, and subtract 800 pixels from that as well. Now, all of my guides, all of my artwork, and the artboard have moved up, so that the baseline is corresponding correctly to the baseline inside of Glyphs. With that repositioned, I'm going to select my A, copy one more time, delete the parts that I have inside of the Glyphs, and then paste. There you go. Now, on the y axis, this is aligned perfectly. Now, it is not aligned on the x-axis, but that's actually something we don't need to worry about yet. There's a very easy fix for that that we can do all at once after all of our characters are inside of Glyphs. Now, I'm actually going to undo one more time, just before I paste that in, and go back to my font info. There's one last setting that you need to be aware of, and that's this grid spacing right down here. By default, it's set to one to one. With grid spacing set one to one, all of your paths' coordinate values are going to be rounded off to the nearest whole number, which you may want. Remember, if you're designing a very precise font, a clean font with the pen tool, you had your align art to pixel grids set up inside of Illustrator. That means all of your paths' anchor points are snapped to whole pixel values, but in the case of a textured font something that looks more hand done, you're probably not going to want that rounding to happen. You want to be able to preserve any of those in between values, so that the hand done look of your font is preserved. To make sure that happens when we transfer all of our characters over, change your grid spacing from one to zero, and then your anchor points won't be rounded when you paste them in. I'll close that out, paste one more time, and I can be sure that that's correctly positioned, with all my anchor points exactly as they were in Illustrator. Now, I just need to repeat this process for every character that I have inside of Illustrator. But, before I do that, I want to make sure I don't lose any of my work, so I need to save this. Let's jump back into the info, and name our font. Right up here we have new font. I'm going to rename it Milkbox. Now, this regular is what's referring to the version of the font you are working on. Fonts usually have regular, bold, light, italic, things like that. But, Jamie got creative with the naming of this particular font, and we're going to called the textured version Organic. You can fill in all of this information now or later, but you can put in designer, your website, the version number, copyright, all of that stuff right down in these fields. I'm going to leave it all blank for now, and save, Command-S, and I'm going to put mine right on the desktop. Now, that that's saved, I can move on pasting in all of my other characters. Unfortunately, you can't do this all at once, so I'm just going to do this one by one really quickly. Just target my next letter B, copy, double-click into B, and paste. Select C, go into C, and paste, and I'm going to do this for the entire font. All right, there we go. I've copied A through Z into Glyphs, and what's awesome about Glyphs is that if I double-click into this letter, and then press the T key, that switches to being type, and I can immediately start writing something out. I could say hello, and I get an immediate preview of how this font is working. Down here, you can zoom in and out. But, something to note is that I was holding down Shift that whole time because if I were to type in EU right here without holding Shift, then I get a lowercase E, because I don't have any paths in my lowercase Glyphs. If you're trying to type something out, and you're wondering why in the world is it not displaying correctly, that's why. Your font is case sensitive. The next step is to make sure that all of our paths are cleaned up, and Glyphs has some really great commands to automate this. I'm just going to close this tab out. Then, make a selection of all of my characters inside of here. So, going to select A hold down Shift, and click Z. First thing I want to do is come up to Glyph, and say Add Extremes right down here. It's okay if you don't know what that means, but go ahead and do it. Then, we're going to come up to Glyph one more time, and say Correct Path Direction. Then, again come up to Glyph, and say Tidy up Paths, and then finally come up to Glyph, and say Remove Overlap. Those four commands will make sure that all of your paths are set up correctly to work well as a font. 10. Spacing Groups: All right. So, I'm just going to quickly type out the alphabet and clearly this font is not aligned very well. If I go into any one of these characters like the I, I'll double-click on it and then double-click on it once more to edit the paths. I'll press Command-0 to zoom to fit, so I can see this path nice and close. You can see that these paths are shifted over to the right edge of our bounding box. You can think of this box as the artboard for your letter. All this extra space on the left side of my I is going to be seen up against a letter that it's typed next to. So, we have this huge gap between the I and the H, and then the G and the H are running right into each other. I'm going to zoom in here by holding Option and scrolling in, and I can actually edit the paths directly in here. So, you can type out any text you want and then just simply double-click on the letters to see the edit mode. So, double-clicking on the G, it's clearly way off to the right, and the H, same thing. Same thing down here for the W, the V, the X, everything is spaced incorrectly, and that's just because of the way that we pasted it in. Remember the Y alignment was correct, but the X alignment left and right was not. But, like I said, we can fix this problem very quickly inside of Glyphs. So, let me go back to my Font tab and make a selection of all of my characters. So, I'm going to click on A, Shift-Click on Z, and then take a look at this little panel down here. This is something that we'll be using a lot inside of Glyphs. We've got all these grayed out values that say multiple values. I'm actually just going to deselect really quick, select just A, and we have numbers here. These numbers are the left side bearing and the right side bearing, and then the width of the actual character. Left and right side bearing is literally the spacing on either side of the character and it's based on the widest point of the character. So, the left side bearing on the A is the distance between this point and the widest point on the left edge of the A. We can see these values down here as well inside of edit mode. So, 231 on the left side bearing and negative 169 on the right side. So, the right side bearing is negative 169 pixels from the right edge. To fix this, I just want to put equal spacing on each one of these bearings. So, I'll just click on this number and then double-click to edit the whole thing, and type in say, 60 and then press Enter. That's going to put a value of 60 between the left edge of the A and the actual left side bearing. Then, I'll do the same thing for this side. Double-click it, actually triple-click it to make sure I get that negative sign as well, and type in 60, press Enter, and now I can know that that letter is perfectly centered within its left and right side bearings. We take a look at the A, it's now way off over here because the B is pushed so far off to the right. But, the A is now correctly positioned. Now, that 60 number was kind of arbitrary. I just picked a number that I thought might work for the distance on each side. We can adjust this later very easily. But, now that you understand how that works, I'm going to select everything again. Shift-Click to make my selection, and then where it says multiple values on the left side bearing, I'm going to click and type in 60, press Enter. You see all of my letters just shifted over to the left, and then I'll go to the right side bearing and type in 60, press Enter, and all of them shifted one more time. But, now if we take a look at the alphabet, everything is spaced out much better. It's not perfect, but we don't have any overlapping letters now. There's equal distance between the extreme widths of all of these characters. These left and right side bearing values are called spacing, and getting the spacing right is the first step into making your font usable. After the spacing is set as best as we possibly can, then we will move on to kerning. Kerning is the spacing between two specific characters. It only applies when those two characters are right next to each other. More specifically, when the specific edges of those characters are next to each other. Spacing on the other hand is the overall margins on either side of a character, regardless of its relationship to any other character. So, first we're going to focus on the spacing and then move on to fixing any issues that still exist through kerning. But, before we go any further, one other thing I want to point out is, if I select just one character. Remember this value down here was the width of the character, but it's not actually the width of the paths, it's the distance between your left and right side bearings. Unless you're making a font where every single character is going to have the exact same width, these numbers are going to be different between characters. In most cases, it's the spacing between characters that will be similar or even identical. So, don't worry if the width of some of your characters is much wider. For instance, the W is 864, and the I is only 323. But, that makes sense because 60 pixels on each side of the I is going to be much thinner than 60 pixels on each side of the W. So, how do we know if we have good spacing set up for our font. Well, you basically have to look at your font as a whole and in different combinations of letters to gauge visually how they are being spaced out next to each other. So, for instance, between the H and the I, I can tell that that's a pretty good gap. If I were to just look at the word HI, that's pretty readable. If I zoom out really far, I can still tell the difference between the H and the I, no problem. I zoom in nice and close, that gap doesn't look too big. So, my estimate of 60 is actually probably going to work out just fine for characters that have flat edges. However, if we take a look at this B,C,D. It looks like there's a much bigger gap between the C and the B, and the C and the D, than the H and the I. That comes back to the optical illusion that Jamie was talking about when you are drawing your characters. Just like characters that have round tops and bottoms need to be pushed a little bit beyond the cap height and below the baseline, characters with round, left and right edges, need to be spaced less than characters with straight, left and right edges. So, for instance, this O probably needs to have less left and right side bearing distances. So, I'm going to turn my 60 down to 40 on each side of the O since it's pretty symmetrical, and just by looking at that with my I, it looks a lot better. The spacing between the O and these edges looks much more consistent with the spacing between these two edges. The two flat edges. So, I could go through and find similar characters like the C, the G and the Q and manually type in that same 40 by 40 for every character and that would work just fine. But, another really awesome feature of Glyphs is that you can base your spacing on other characters values. So, since I've already set the left and right side bearings from my letter O, I could come to my letter G, which is going to have the same left and right side bearings and instead of typing in a 40 here, I can just type in a capital O, press Enter, and then in parentheses we're going to see that 40. I'll do the same thing for the right side bearing capital O, and I've got that 40 on the other side as well. So, it's inheriting the left and right side bearings of that O. So, I can come into my full font view and find all the letters that I want to apply that to. So, first I'll start with the left side bearing. So, the C and the Q are the only other two letters that have left side bearings that will be identical to the O. So, select both of those, come down here and type in capital O and press Enter. Now, the Q might not have exactly the same as the O, but I'm going to start there. So, I'm going to keep Q and C selected, I'll select my D. This is holding down Command while clicking to make a selection of specific characters and those three characters are the only other three they have the same right side bearing. Remember we already did this G. So, I'll select the right side bearing, press Shift-O, and press Enter, and now all of those rounded characters will have identical spacing based on what I've set the O to. Next, I'm going to do the same thing for all of the characters that have flat edges and I'm going to base it on the H. So, my H is set to 60. I think that's going to be fine. So, I'm going to go back into my font view and find all of the left flat edges. Now the A isn't flat 100 percent of the way, but I think it's going to work out just fine. So, A hold down Command, I'll click on B the D, E, F, I, K, L, M is kind of the same as the A, N, P, R, W is similar, and I'm going to take a guess that the X and the Z are going to have similar spacing as well. I forgot to include the U, so I'll just Command-Click that as well. Then, on the left side bearing, I'm going to type in capital H. Press Enter and they're all based on that value now. Then, I'll deselect and do the same thing for the right side. So, A, E, probably F, and I'm saying probably because these are values that we can change later. But, to give us a starting point, I'm just going to guess that the F's right edge is going to have the same spacing as the right side on the H. The I, the J, probably the K, the M, N, the U, the W, the X, and the Z. I'll make all of those H as well. All right. Those are all the ones that I'm willing to take a guess on. All the other characters have some unique characteristics like the Y is wider at the top than it is at the base. Same thing for the T. The S is definitely unique because it has these rounded edges in different places. Same thing for the R. So, I'm not going to base any of those on other characters, but if we take a look at our alphabet again, we'll get rid of the spaces around here, the spacing hasn't actually updated, we've just changed the relationship of spacings based on the capital O and the capital H. 11. Powerful Features of Glyphs Mini: Glyphs Mini is actually not mini at all. There are tons of tools inside of this program that allow you to make fonts. In fact, you could make your entire font directly in Glyphs Mini. If I were to double click in to say this D, I could zoom in here, nice and close and grab the pen tool, and start drawing a letter just like I can inside of Illustrator. There are all kinds of guides and tools inside of this program to help make the font building process easier. I'm just much more comfortable with the pen tool inside of Illustrator and I'm guessing that you probably are too. But that doesn't mean that you can't use some of the vector editing tools that Glyphs Mini has. So, if there was a problem with one of your characters that you noticed after you brought it in, say the O was too small, you can make a selection of all of these paths and then come over to this panel over here transformations, and scale it up or down, that's what these buttons right here are. So, this is scale down and scale up, and by default, it's set to scaling by increments of 10 percent. Because there's a little lock is locked, the X and Y scale are going to be linked together, so you'll be scaling it from the center point. Right here is the reference point that it's going to be scaling from, you can change this to any point, but this will scale 10 percent up or down on both the x and y from the center of the Glyph. So, if I click this a couple of times, you see it scales up, click it a couple times down it scales down, and maybe that's too much. I'll drop this down to just one percent and now we can scale this down in much smaller increments. I also could just grab these transform handles, hold shift, hold option to scale from the center, just like in Illustrator, I'll undo command Z, and there is some basic rotation controls as well. Again, you've set your angle and then you rotate it left or right, and you can even slant characters. So, this could aid you in making in a teller conversion of your font. Then we have a bunch of alignment tools just like an Illustrator, and even some of the Pathfinder tools. Now, because we did such a good job of prepping our font inside of Illustrator, I don't really need to use any of these tools. But be aware that they are there because one day you may want to be building your font directly in Glyphs Mini. There are so many features of this app that we're not going to be covering that are extremely useful for font building. There's a great section on with tutorials specifically for the mini version of Glyphs, plus a great support forum, and a very thorough handbook for this app. So, if you're really interested in taking advantage of all the tools you have access to in this program, make sure that you do your research. Look at the tutorials and read through the handbook to learn about what you can do with this program. Another really great feature of Glyphs Mini is that you can open up any existing font inside of it and see how it was built. So, I'm going to open one now. I'm going to go to file, open, and I'm going to search for this font that I know I have on my system called BebasNeue. Now, just open up the bold version, click on open, and now I can browse through this entire font and really see how it's built. Now this is a very flashed out font with lots of special characters, it covers different languages and all different kinds of symbols, but you can narrow down your search just by going to your category. So, I could click on the letters only and see how that works, but that still brings all of the special characters. I could narrow it down even further and click on Latin characters, or basic characters in the Latin characters. So, this is A through Z on the upper and lower case, and you see that both the upper and lower case are upper case letters. So, this is an all caps font. But this is a great way of researching how other type designers have handled certain characters. So, if there was a piece of punctuation that you weren't sure exactly how it should sit relative to the baseline, you could look at a similar font to the one you're designing and see how they handled it. So, we go into say the colon, we can see that the bottom portion of the colon sits right there on the base line, and in the second square is about that far up. You can get an idea for how big to make your parentheses and how to space them. So, don't be afraid to take advantage of Glyphs Mini as an inspector of other type designs. 12. Testing Your Spacing: To really test out how this spacing is shaping up, we need to use some sample text of how these different characters look when they're placed next to other characters. So, this is where you need to load in some sample text to glyphs mini. Come up to glyphs mini and go to preferences. Then come to sample strings. Anything you paste inside of this text box will be available as samples strings. When you make a new line, it will be made available as a separate string of text. This is the standard text that comes with glyphs. So, I could change this to whatever I want. I could even delete it and just click on standard and it will come back. So, I'm just going to select everything and delete for now. Then I'll click on open file and on my desktop I have this spacing sample string with all these characters. This is one of the sample text files that you can download in the attachments under your project tab. I'll click "Open", and that loads the text rate into my preferences, I'll close that out and then load it up right here in my fonts. So I'll go up to edit, select sample text and I can just have that selected and click "OK." It loads that in so I can start comparing these letters. The reason each line of text follows this pattern is so that you can see how every character in your alphabet is spaced compared to an O on each side of the character, both the right side bearing and the left side bearing, as well as, how two O's or two round sides are spaced out from each other, and how two of that same character are spaced out next to each other. So, just by looking at this string of text you can very quickly see if there's any spacing issues for specific characters. For example, I think that this C looks like it's a little bit further spaced from the O, than the O is from itself. That's probably because there's this cut out in the C, so this circle is not being completed. That makes this gap look bigger than this gap right here. I want to try and make that equal. So, I'm going to put my cursor just before the C so I have that loaded up in my info down here. Instead of having O for the right side bearing, I'm going to type in a custom number. So, maybe I'll try 30. That's a little bit closer, you see that all the Cs updated when I did that. I think just that little bit might be enough. I don't want to go too far because if I were to change that down to say 20, that might look okay between the C and the O, but if I put an H right there, that C might be a little bit too close. So, I'll set my C back to 30 on the right side bearing and call that good. Now, it is important to note with this sample string set, you shouldn't be modifying the right and left side bearings of the O. That should already have been set properly in the previous step when I set it all up here. Instead were just looking basically at the first character in the line. So, this is A, B, C, D, all the way down through the alphabet. So, we're only paying attention to the A's spacing not the O's spacing. I think the A looks pretty good between all of these. The B, B looks good too, we already adjusted the C, D looks pretty good, on both the left and right sides, those look like equal gaps. E looks pretty good, F looks good, G looks good. H, I, and a lot of these characters remember have very similar characteristics. So, there's a very good likelihood that they're going to be fine since they're based on characters we've already set up. Making sure that your H line looks good is very important since we based a lot of the character spacing on the H and the O. If this line looks pretty good, then there's a good chance that most of our other characters are going to work out pretty well with their spacing too. That line looks good, the I's look good, J looks pretty good to me. It looks like there's a pretty big gap between the K and the O on the right side of the K, but if you look at the K next to a K where there is a flat edge, the gap doesn't seem quite as big. The left side bearing looks pretty good between the K and the O. So, this is a case where spacing isn't what we're going to want to use to fix this gap. Instead, we're going to want to kern these letters, but we're not going to get to that step just yet. Again, we just want to get as far as possible with the spacing before we move on to kerning. Same thing with the L, the gap looks pretty big between the right side of the L and the left side of the O, but when an L is right up against a flat edge, the gap looks pretty symmetrical compared to the left side of the L. So, I'm not going to change the spacing there. The M looks good, N looks great, P looks pretty good, it will need some kerning, Q looks great. R is pretty good. You really can do this pretty quickly. As long as there aren't any glaring issues with your spacing, the font should be pretty well set. S, T, U, O, look good. V is definitely going to need some kerning but that is a very typical scenario. That slant on the V is always going to need some kerning. W looks good, X looks pretty good, but I might actually close the gap a little bit because there's such a gap between the middle sections of the X. I think I'm going to pull that in a little bit. So, on both the left and the right, I'm going to drop it from 60-40. I think that makes the spacing just feel a little bit more consistent with the other gaps between characters. The Y is a little bit hard to tell, I'm going to put an I right between these two. I think that actually looks pretty good between these two gaps. So, I don't want to close the spacing any further than that. I'm going to leave Y as it is, and then take a look at the Z. I'll do the same thing, capital I. Yeah, those gaps look good. So, I'm not going to bother adjusting the spacing because I'll just have to counter correct for that one, so I go to kern, but really take your time with this, make sure that you've looked at this as a whole, zoom out so that you're not looking at it too close and make sure that none of these characters look to close together. Once you've gotten this spacing set as well as you can, we can move on to kerning. 13. Adding And Removing Glyphs: Now by default, Glyphs is also generated in the lowercase alphabet. I want an only uppercase font. So in the end, when somebody types lowercase letters, I want these uppercase letters to fill in. Now, Glyphs Mini can do this for us automatically, but only when we export. So you're not going to be able to test out that functionality from within Glyphs, but I still want to make sure that I remove all of the lowercase Glyphs so that they're not exported with the font. To do that, just make a selection of all of them and then click on this little minus sign right here. They'll ask you if you actually want to remove those Glyphs, I'll say, remove and they're gone. Now, this automatic filling in of the lowercase letters requires that you're on a certain version of Glyphs Mini. If you come up to Glyphs Mini and about Glyphs Mini, make sure that you're on at least a version 2.0.2. Now, as of the recording of this class, that version is not the version that is automatically downloaded from the website. So, once you've installed Glyphs, if you're not on that version, make sure you go to preferences and say, show cutting edge versions under updates. With that checked, click on check now and you should be able to update to this latest version or newer. Then when you export an uppercase font, both the upper and lowercase letters will display only the uppercase letters. Okay, so we also have all of our numbers right here 0 through 9 by default. I'm only going to deal with the alphabet for this class, but you can fill this in as well. If there are other numbers that you'd like to do, say, like the fractions, you can add more Glyphs in. To do that just come over to these categories over here and twirl down the one that you're looking for. So, under numbers, we have decimal digits. If I click on that, it only shows me those decimal digits, and we have a check mark saying that we have all of the possible Glyphs in that category. But if I wanted to come down to fraction, I don't have any zero of 27 possibilities. So, if I right click on that, I could scroll down and find one-half. If I click on generate, that's going to give me a new Glyph with the preview of what that Glyph should look like. I could do the same thing for one-quarter. I could shift click on three-quarters, one-eighth. Do as many of this as you'd like for your font. Then if you click back on all, you'll see those show up. Same thing for the punctuation or any other type of character. You can go through this and add in whichever ones you'd like. Just right click, find the name of the Glyph that you're looking for, and fill it into your font, and you'll want to do the exact same spacing process for all of the characters in your font just like I did with my uppercase letters. Make sure all of the gaps between characters looks consistent throughout your entire font. 14. Kerning: Now, we can move on to kerning, and you could just start typing out letters and seeing how they look next to each other and guessing what letters might be next to each other as people type out words, but it would be extremely unlikely that you'd get every single pair that you really need to. Fortunately, there are some really awesome people out there who have put together sample text, that seems pretty nonsensical, but it does a really good job of covering the most likely pairs between characters in both upper case and lower case scenarios, as well as numbers and punctuation. We can load that into Glyphs, exactly the same way we did for spacing. So, I'm going to go to my preferences again, and then I'm going to go to my sample strings, and click on open file one more time. I have two other text files here. The first one is for a complete alphabet. So, this is going to give you both upper case and lower case examples. But I've also made a stripped down version for just upper case. So, this is not going to have any lower case characters, and it will make the list a little bit shorter for you. I'm going to click on open, that'll load in all of these strings and I can start kerning. Now, I'll just go into one of my characters and press T to type, come up to edit, and say select sample text. I can see all of my strings. Now, you're going to want to kern in the order that these show up in, they're designed that way. So, we're going to start with this first string, and click okay, and then I'm just going to zoom out a little bit and scroll up to the top. Now, these are a whole lot of different words, that are all designed to put characters next to each other that are going to show up in the real world when people are actually using this font. It's not really a readable line of text, but these characters are very likely to show up next to each other in real world use. So, this first word is a great example. Let's look at this lynx. There is a pretty big looking gap between the L and the Y, even though this edge of the Y and this edge of the L is pretty much the same distance away from each other, as this part of the Y and this part of the N. But because there's all this empty space in the L, there looks like there's a much bigger gap than there actually is between those two characters. This is why we need to kern. We can say whenever this L is next to this Y, that there should be less space between them, which will make your font much more consistent and professional looking. Now, we could just go through this one word at a time, and find issues like this and kern them as they come along, but there's a much quicker way of doing this within Glyphs Mini. Just like we were able to take the spacing values of the O and apply it to the G, we can assign kerning groups to specific characters and borrow those values that we set for the kerning of those characters to other characters with similar properties. So, just like before, let's start with the capital H and the capital O because, those have round characteristics and boxy characteristics that are used in lots of other characters. To assign a kern group, we need to set our cursor just before the character we want active. So, I clicked right before this O, and that's what's being displayed in my panel down here. Remember, these are the spacing value, use the margins on each side of the character. But out here on the edges, we have kerning. So, this is the kerning between the O and the character on the left of it, which in this case is the capital R, and this is the kerning between the O and the G on the right side of the character. But below those two boxes are kern groups. Now, these are empty right now, but if I select this and type in a capital O, you can name this whatever you'd like, but for simplicity sake, I'm just going to name this kern group after the character it belongs to. We'll say this is capital O, and then on this side, we're also going to call it capital O. Now, that I've set those groups, my kerning has a lock symbol on it, and that means whatever I put in here is going to be locked in to this kern group. So, let's actually set some kerning for this O. Taking a look at this word FROGS, it looks like there's a bigger gap between the R and the O, than there is between this O and this G. So, I'm going to put my cursor right there on the left side of the O, and I can adjust the kerning a couple of different ways. One way is to just type in the value that I want to kern it by in the kern box. So, I could say negative 20, and that shifted the character over to the left by 20 units. But there's also a keyboard shortcut that can make kerning much quicker. Believe me, you're going to be doing a lot of kerning, so knowing this keyboard shortcut really is going to help. It's control, option, and then the left and right arrow keys. You look down here at this number as I tap the left and right arrow keys, it's moving by an increment of one. Now, that's very, very small. If you look at the O, it's hardly moving. But if I also hold down shift, while holding control and option, then that's going to move in increments of 10, and it's much more noticeable. I think I'm going to leave mine at negative 40. That looks like a pretty good gap between the R and the O, compared to the O and the G. But let's say that I type a G here, to see that G next to the R. There's now that gap, that same gap has appeared, that we originally had in the O. But if I go to that G and I assign the kern group by clicking into this left side kern group and typing a capital O and pressing enter, there you go. I've got the locked kerning with negative 40, which is letting me know this is locked to being the same as my capital O group. Because that's locked, that's basically saying it's linked to the O. So, I can adjust the kerning of the G now, and it will update anything that uses that capital O left group. I'm going to assign the same kern group to the right side of the capital G, capital O there, and that will allow me to only need to kern one of these two letters for the kerning to be applied to both of them. So, what I want to do really quickly is jump back out to my main font, and then do this same process of assigning kern groups to similar characters. So, with the capital O, I've already done the G. But, let's start with the left edges again. We've got the capital C and the Q that both have rounded off left edges. Now when I come down here to my kerning, left group, and type in capital O. Press enter, and there we go. Now I'll select all of the right edges. D, we've already got the G, and then the Q. I'll go to the right current group, type in capital O, and press Enter. Now, you can edit any of those characters, and the corresponding Kern groups across all of those characters will always be updated. Let's do the same thing with the capital H. I'm going to assign the Kern groups, capital H to both the left and right of the H, and then I'm going to find all the characters with those same flat edges. So, starting with the left, Capital A B D E F I K L M N P R U W, and I think I'll also include the Z. Now you can assign these at anytime, but I'm just trying to do it as much in a batch as I possibly can. You can always unassign a Kern group. So, this is for the Left group. I'm going to put the capital H, and then going to do the same selection for the right edge, so capital A E F I J probably K M N probably R U W and will do Z again, and I'll assign H to the right group. Then finally I'm going to make a T group, and apply that to both the T and the Y because those are both very similar. So, I'll select my T, and name those capital T on both the left and right, and assign the same thing to the Y. Now, you can see as I did that all of these grey boxes appeared around those characters, and that's letting me know that I've made changes to those, which only leaves the S V an X. So, those three characters are the ones that I'm not quite sure about. I don't think those three characters are going to be able to borrow from either the H or the O. Now that those groups are assigned, I can go back into my sample text, and start kerning. Let's start with this L, and Y. I'm going to click between them, and then hold down Control Option Shift and press the left arrow key, until I think that gap is closed enough. Let's see what that looks like. It's much better. I think I could close the gap even further. So I'm going to Tab it in a couple more times, and these two characters even look like they're overlapping a little bit now. If this L was raised up here, the L would probably be touching the Y. But zoomed out that gap looks much more consistent with the rest of the font. Let me zoom back in here, and now this is literally just a process of you going through the text, and looking for gaps that seem awkward. The gap between this P and H looks a little bit big to me. Not by a lot, but enough to notice. So, I'm going to select there, and then hold down Control Option Shift, and press the left arrow key. As I do this you can see this is affecting multiple letters. So, down here between the P and the R, it's also affecting the gap between those two characters. That's because the R and the H both have the same left kern group of capital H. Anytime a P is next to a capital H kern group, it's going to be affected by this kerning. This proxy word jumped right out at me. There's a huge gap between the O and the X, so I'm going to select between those two, Control Option Shift, and tap the left arrow key, until that visually looks like a good distance from the O. That looks pretty good. From there, you just continue down the list. The V looks like it needs to be a little bit closer to the Es, so I'm going to select that, tap the left arrow a couple of times, and then do the same thing over here. This definitely could be closed up a little bit, and as you do this, this might shift things around quite a bit. You just need to make sure that you're scrolling around your mouse, zooming in and out whenever you need to. Now this is a case where I'm closing this gap on the right side of the K and the W, but it's affecting a lot of my other characters. So, if I zoom in here on the word awkward, you can see the gap between these two has really closed up. The reason for that is because I assigned the H group to the right side of the K, and it looks like that's not actually going work out. I'm going to undo until I'm back to where I was with the original kerning on the word awkward. I'm going to select between those two one more time, and take a look at the kern groups. The W has the H on both the left and right sides, and so does the K on each side. So, if I adjust the kerning, it's going to bring in gaps on both sides of every H group, and that's not what I want. Instead I want to kern specifically between the right side of the K, and the left Kern group of H. So, this is an example, where I set the Kern group for the right side of the K to something that's not actually going to work out very well. So, I'm going to make sure that my K is selected, and get rid of that H group. Press enter, and now I can kern this freely. If I click between the K and the W again, this is now going to adjust the kerning between the left H kern group, and the letter K. Hold Command Option Shift, and tap the left arrow key until that looks better. I think that gap is much better. You saw that much fewer adjustments were being made across this text because I took that assignment of the right side kerning group off of the K. So, if you've assigned Kern groups to many of your characters, be aware that sometimes you're going to need to remove the Kern group from specific characters that aren't working out so well. Moving on. I think the B and the Y up here need to be moved together a little bit. Close that gap, keep on scrolling. Again, I'm doing this quickly just kerning through my text, looking at the characters that I think needs some work. So, this P S and Y. That definitely needs some help. So, I'm going to go between the P and the S. There are no Kern groups on the S, but that's okay, it's one of those unique characters. Hold down Control Option Shift, press the left arrow key, and close the gap between those two just a little bit more. I'll do the same thing for the S and the Y. Think that looks a little bit better. Even the Y and the C looks like it needs a little bit of help. So, I'll go between there and bring that in a little, and now looks much better. This V and S definitely needs to be close so, I'll bring that in. Just continue this process through the entire list. This is a very big list, but it's important that you go through it completely, and you may even want to go through it more than one time, because there are so many combinations of characters within this list that you really do need to account for. Also be sure that you're looking at it at different scales. Sometimes you might over kern things, and then when you zoom out, it could look like those characters are being bunched up together. You want to maintain that readability at any size. Once you're happy with the kerning of this line of text, then you're going to want to come up to edit, select sample text, and go to the next line, and this is just another combination of text, that's going to be a really good test for your kerning, and something I'll point out is that there are some punctuation showing up in this text. If you plan on doing punctuation, you really should have those characters in before you start kerning. Because kerning applies to any glyph, not just letters. You'll just continue this process through all of these lists. The next one has a lot of punctuation in it, so you can test things like quotes. You've got text to check out numbers, and how they all are spaced next to each other. You've got numbers with punctuation. All different special characters. Finally one other thing that you need to make sure you're adjusting the spacing on, is the actual space bar. Right here, where you see this gap, this is a space, there's a space here, space here. Those spaces might be wider than you actually want them. Just like any other glyph, you can adjust the size of a space. By default, it's set to 600, but maybe you want to turn it down to 400. I'll do that, and now my spaces are closer together. You can also kern your spaces. Now, from my experience, that's something that's pretty rare, but be aware that you can do the exact same type of spacing, and kerning to a space as any other glyph. Once you've made it through this entire list, and everything is working out well, you're ready to test out your font. 15. Testing Your Font: Here is the completed Milkbox-Organic font. You see, I have all of the uppercase letters, numbers zero through nine, as well as some special fractions, and a nice spread of punctuation. Now, I'm ready to actually test out my font. So, I'm first going to make sure that under my info, everything is set the way that it should be. So, under the designer, this should say Jamie Bartlett, we've got the URL, Jamie's website, version one, and then copyright. With all of that info filled out, I'm going to come up to File, export, and under options, you can leave remove overlap and autohint checked. Under export destination, make sure this is checked. Then click on this path right here. Then we need to go to a very specific path. So we're going to come to your hard drive, Library, Application Support, Adobe, and then scroll down to Fonts. If you don't have a font's folder, you'll need to make one. So, I'm going to open up a Finder Window, and go to that same path. Library, application support, Adobe, come up to file,new folder, it's going to ask me to type in my password, and then type in "Fonts" with a capital F. It's very important that that's a capital F. Press enter, now that folder exists, so I can go back to Glyphs, and select that "Fonts" folder, choose "Open," and now that path is in my export destination. I'll click on Next, Glyphs will export the font, and just like that, it's ready to use in Adobe applications. Now, if you created that fonts folder with an Adobe application open, you're going to need to restart that program, before it shows up. So, I'm going to open up the illustrator, and will test out the font. I'll make a new document and just use 1920 by 1080, select my text tool, and then find the Milkbox font in my fonts list. There it is, Milkbox-Organic. I can click, and type out anything I want. I'll make it nice and big, and there we go. I now have a working fine inside of Adobe Illustrator, just like any other. At this point, it's a great idea to just start using it. Type out different phrases, try using it in your own designs, and just make sure that all of the characters are working well together. It's also a great idea to print out this text and see what it looks like on paper, and using the sample kerning text is a great way to do that. What's great about having it on paper, is you get to see it in a different format, and you can easily highlight mistakes that you want to go back and adjust. And what's great about this Adobe fonts folder, is that you can export and overwrite that same font, and it will immediately update inside of the Adobe applications. This is a much better way of testing out your font, rather than actually installing it through font book, every time you make a new version. Once you're completely happy with the way that your font is working, it's done. 16. Thank You!: Thank you so much for taking my class. I hope you're able to have fun and learned a lot about creating fonts. As you're building your font, make sure to upload your progress and final font design to your class project, and if you shared on Instagram be sure to tag me at Jamie Bartlett design. Feel free to ask me any questions on the community tab, and Jake and I, will be happy to answer those for you. If you're not already be sure to follow me here on Skillshare that way you always know when I make a new class. Thanks again so much guys. I'll see you next time.