Free Markets, Free People

The obvious question

I find something really interesting. In my previous post on creating the 2 Quickscript fonts, no one asked what I’d think was an obvious question, which is, "Wait. You made fonts? How the hell do you make a font?"

I find it fascinating that, especially today, when we have daily access to electronic typography, there’s so little interest in what fonts are, or how to make make them. Especially when literally anyone with a computer can make their own fonts. There’s even a free, online bitmap font creation program called Fonstruct. We spend our lives surrounded by typography and almost no one cares about it at all.

Which brings me to a trilogy of fantastic documentaries about design by a film-maker named Gary Hustwit: Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized. All three of them are enormously interesting, and one of them is about a font, Helvetica, which every single person in the Western world sees every single day of their lives. You should watch all three of them.

Also you should go read my latest auto review at Medium: Doctor Hoon: 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP. And you should "recommend" it after reading, to make my Medium stats shoot up really high.

Dale Franks
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10 Responses to The obvious question

  • I figured you bit mapped it…I just figured everyone would know.   Sorta like “why is there air”.

    • It’s 2013. Why would I use bitmap fonts like some kind of animal?

      • heh
        You have to remember the time warp I’m stuck in.
        GREEN SCREENS and function keys rule!!!!!!!  They’ll never be replaced, this GUI WYSIWYG touch mouse thing is just a passing fad!

      • Y’all are just pixilated.

  • I have been fiddling with my own fonts for Chess documentation. The old way to show chess moves was a letter for the piece and a square identifier made of a letter for the column and a number for the row. Now the square identifier is still Roman alphabet and Arabic numeral, but now a figurine is used for the piece.
    Unicode has code points for chess pieces, but the standard glyphs are terrible: ♔, ♝, ♘

  • gonna have to try that

  • I tried fonstruct, but it made some terrible glyphs when downloaded as true type. I am using Typelight to create my chess font. It is free, easy to create glyphs, but limited in ability to manage several related font files.

  • “Wait. You made fonts? How the hell do you make a font?”
    I got a graphic design degree – I know how you make typefaces. So, thus, didn’t ask.