By Gary simon - Mar 20, 2018
While I've designed for 20 years, I've never actually designed a font. I've wanted to in the past, and the farthest I've ever got is to design a few characters here and there for wordmarks.
One thing that held me back was the costly software and a lack of understanding of basic concepts. Well, I decided to give font design a go. With the help of the extension Fontself for Adobe Illustrator CC, I spent a single evening designing a single weight, style of just the upper and lowercase letters of a font.
The work involved in designing a very small font project is impressive. I tried to convey this through the timelapse video above. But this example is hardly indicative of what goes into a serious font project.
I decided to call it SlasherX due to the 45 degree angles of negative space that are cut into most letters.
It's more of a title font, so I designed a wallpaper for it in Photoshop using the font:
Some fonts are built for very specific purposes and only require a single weight & style. Even still, under these requirements, it can take a month or more to produce a solid font.
Others, however, can require full font families that can include a wide range of font weights, styles and languages. Collectively, they can contain thousands upon thousands of glyphs.
A single font weight with a single style can take anywhere from a week to a few months. The larger projects with a lot of needs can take years to develop.
In fact, an article from typography.com states:
"So far, our record for the font with the slowest gestation is Ideal Sans, which between its first drawings and its initial publication, there passed twenty-one years."
Of course, the time it takes not only depends on the project specifications, but also on the size of the team and the skills of the typographers.
Again, quite a subjective topic here! Depending on the skill of the typographer, a small project as defined above could cost a few thousand dollars, whereas a more robust project could cost close to $xxx,xxx!
In either case, if the end result is good, these guys earn their money. The process would be incredibly tedious and monotonous to your average individual.
The software that I personally used is:
There are, of course, other alternatives.