29th May 2018 - 2 comments

Accidentally designing a typeface.


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Designing a typeface by accident??

So. Have you ever started creating a bespoke wordmark... and before you know it you've created the good part of a typeface?

Well, I was working on a branding project where the client wanted to see 2 different concepts, and before I knew it 'Concept 1' started to look like a typography project!

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Concept stage.

Depending on the style of wordmark, and what letters the word contains it can get quite easy to design individual letters from eachother.

For example, if you make an 'I' you can start to make a 'T', or part of a 'H' from one-another. Create an 'E' and you practically have an 'F' – that sort of thing!

So before I knew it, I had the start of a pretty sick typeface.

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So, in context it didn't look too bad. I mean... it wasn't perfect, but it had the makings of a potentially nice visual identity!

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So the client thought it was shit!

Yeah ok, so the client didn't like this concept in the end. But it was worth the experimentation and time, for the start of a typeface alone.

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How did the branding look in the end?

Well, for those interested in which direction the branding went in, follow this link to the full project! Worthington's Project.

Whats next?

Finish it off!

What a lot of designers do, including myself is make a typeface in Adobe Illustrator, then import it into a piece of software specific for making a typeface. This could pose a few issues, like having to redraw/tweak designs... This sounds a lot of work!

There are easier ways these days to make your own typeface, straight from an illustrator file. Some examples basically work on a drag-and-drop system! We all love the sound of that right.

Fontself is great example of this!

I've never actually used Fontself myself yet. If any of you folk have, let me know how it was, either in the comments section below, or via email!

Below you'll also see a few examples of how I see the typeface being used! Again, if you have any comments, make them below! 🙂

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Published by: Jason Booth in Typography


21st August 2018 at 4:44 pm

Hey Jason,

Thanks for sharing this, really interesting read.

I’m fairly new to design so forgive the very basic question. When creating a bespoke typeface like this in Illustrator, do you develop each letter from scratch, or do you use another typeface as a starting point and begin to cut it up and tweak it from its original state?

Thanks man!

    Jason Booth
    20th March 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Hey man! So sorry… only nearly a year till a reply. You can tell i don’t login to my site much!

    It depends. When i first started, i had no clue where to start. Everyone around me seemed to be in the know and I felt all flustered because I didn’t have the foggiest!

    So i started trying to draw my own, (Pencil and paper) scanning it in then digitising it. I also started to trace over the top of some fonts and exaggerate the forms till i have something that seemed unique.

    This particular design though is based on Georgia. The two next to each other are very different, but this process helps with laying down some basic principles (in terms of xheight etc etc)

    Did you ever give it a try since you first messaged?

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