John Roshell suggests places to look for type ideas and inspiration, including existing letterforms in comic books, posters, books, prints, and signage, from ancient to modern, with the goal of identifying elements to incorporate into your work in order to arrive at something new. He shows the process of creating the Enchanted Forest font for Zynga using these principles.
- [Narrator] As you're starting to think about…creating your font, you may already have…a specific idea in mind, but it always helps…to look outside for influences and inspiration.…Observe existing letter forms.…Identify bits you like, and make them your own.…I keep folders full of images of lettering I love,…from old comic books, art nouveau, and horror movie posters,…though I don't love horror movies,…book jackets, and wood block prints,…and all other kinds of typography.…I also try to find ideas in places…other people might not notice.…I'm always on the lookout for interesting letter forms,…whether I'm in a museum, or on the subway,…or maybe venturing a little too close…to a fence that could kill me.…
Draw from lots of sources.…A great way to come up with something new is…to try to combine two or three ideas that are different,…or even contradictory, and see what you come up with.…For example, the game company Zynga asked me…to create a font for their Enchanted Forest game.…They wanted it to look old-world, but also have…
Join professional illustrator John Roshell as he shows how to design an alphabet of letters from scratch using Glyphs, a popular software for type designers. John familiarizes you with the qualities of a successful onscreen font, and explains how to design with pencil and paper—and then import those hand-drawn letters into Glyphs. He also demonstrates how to set up a Glyphs file and trace imported letters manually or with autotracing software, and then refine the letter shapes to maximize their readability and personality. To wrap up, he shows how to finalize and output your design, including how to efficiently create missing letters and numbers to complete your creation.
- Why create your own font?
- Designing with pencil and paper
- Setting up a new Glyphs file
- Tracing letters with the pen tool
- Auto tracing letters with Capture
- Cleaning up letter shapes
- Refining angled and round letters
- Setting spacing and kerning
- Fine-tuning for screen use