Practical Font Design

2nd edition (This book is included in the new third edition)

A rewritten, expanded edition updated to FontLab 5 giving a practical walk through the process of designing a font. This is not about artistic considerations, but the practicalities of putting a font together.

The basic procedure we use for font design is found in this book. It is a step by step following of a new font design with tips and comments along the way. This is the book we use for training our new apprentices.

It's available at Amazon, but Lulu's version is better printing.

A book to guide you through the process of font design in fontlab 5

Practical Font Design book cover

Kindle: $8.99

iPad: $8.99

PDF Download: $9.00

ePUB: $8.99

Premium paperback: $12.95

Amazon Paperback: $12.95

The ebook formats are stripped down to html standards for the current level of ebook design. They might not be quite as pretty but they'll read correctly. The PDF version is identical to the printed book.

Here's a copy of the font created for the book:

Arome Oldstyle prelease Font Sale!

This is the only source for the actual font designed in the book. Buy it now for only $7 for the OpenType Pro version. The only bug that I've seen it that the name comes up as Arom Oldstyle in the font lists after installation.

FontLab's Website

Buy Fontlab Studio
FontLab Studio
Buy Fontographer

Some useful Pieces

2 free base fonts

SerifBase & SansBase

How to automatically generate composite glyphs

Here's a list of composite glyphs in the 8-bit list you will need to generate after you have the caps and lowercase glyphs designed. You will also need to have the accents completed.

Go under the Glyph menu in FontLab and choose Generate Glyphs. paste in the list found below. Set up the dialog box as you see below and click OK.

The Glyph List:

Adieresis Aring Ccedilla Eacute Ntilde Odieresis Udieresis aacute agrave acircumflex adieresis atilde aring ccedilla eacute egrave ecircumflex edieresis iacute igrave icircumflex idieresis lslash ntilde oacute ograve ocircumflex odieresis otilde uacute ugrave ucircumflex udieresis Scaron scaron Yacute yacute Zcaron zcaron Oslash oslash Agrave Atilde Otilde AE ae OE oe ydieresis Ydieresis Acircumflex Ecircumflex Aacute Edieresis Egrave Iacute Icircumflex Idieresis Igrave Lslash Oacute Ocircumflex Ograve Uacute Ucircumflex Ugrave

An OpenType Features file to get you started

Two additional feature sets that are more limited. One for display and one fore bold italics. In both of these cases, I am convinced that fancy features are not used so I do not take the time to generate the glyphs.

The bold italic set, for example: drops the small caps, numerators, denominators, swashes, ordinals, and some of the discretionary ligatures.

Display feature set
Bold Italics feature set

A text file to add to your metrics window

This will aid you in setting your basic letterspacing as well as providing hundreds of potentially problematic kerning pairs for you to adjust, if necessary.

Test documents
to proof letterspacing

Here's a little sheet of body copy to check your normal letterspacing. The zipped folder contains an InDesign CS4 doc, a Word doc, and a rich text formatted document.

Book design fonts

These are pages of fonts designed for page layout of books, magazines, and booklets specifically.

Serif book fonts

Sans serif book fonts

Decorative & Script

New Fonts in 2009

New Fonts in 2008

New Fonts in 2006-7

Fonts a la carte

Here on this page I can discount as much as I like & you will find discounts from 45% to 75%. Here you can also order all of my font designs beginning in 1983.