Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Process of Creating Fonts

While perusing "Made with FontFont: Type for Independent Minds", I came across an interview featuring Christopher Burke, the designer of the typeface FF Celeste, FF Celeste Sans, and FF Parable. The interview ranged from his influences, to how he became a typographer, and etc., but what really interested me was his process of creating FF Celeste. He did a lot of initial sketches with no particular direction. He mentions that designers, when starting to create a new font, tends to disregard the normal typefaces because they use them and don't see anything special about them, so they tend to create type that is really different. He worked with variations in traditional letterforms by hand and then moved on to text proofs. He blew his type up, to easily see what needs to be edited.

"The idea about Celeste is that it refers to the tradition of the 'modern face' -in the sense of traditional type classification; meaning that it has vertical stress. Yet it has the hint of a calligraphic element: to use the terms of the Swiss type theorists, it has a combination of the static and dynamic principles".

FF Parable, the font Burke designed after FF Celeste.

I didn't realize how long and arduous the process of creating fonts were and how technical it can get. Especially when you view the more typical fonts of everyday usage. Sometimes it just all looks the same.. That is, until you learn about it.

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