Initial fontening: success!

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 8.14.12 PM

Yeah, I think this is gonna work. There’s a lot of stuff about making fonts that still feels pretty mysterious but I’ll figure it out.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 6.49.12 PM

There’s only one copy of each letter in the font right now. The first order of business is to write a few sentences that include enough of the letters missing from the image above. I definitely need an uppercase Q; it looks like I never used it in Absinthe chapter 1 at all. I may never use it. But it’ll be nice to have it. And several lowercase q’s, and z’s, and a bunch of copies of some uppercase letters and all those digraphs I’ve saved a few copies of. And numbers. And probably some other punctuation like +/*()%$#@^&;:. I need six of each of them, so I can make the font cycle between all these different instances of each letter to make it look more organic. That’ll be a few more hours of mindless tracing in Illustrator, plus somewhat-less-mindless cutting-and-pasting into Glyphs.
Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 8.26.29 PM

My test words are, um, interesting.

(Glyphs has this cool feature where you can type a bunch of letters, then stay in one window to quickly edit the horizontal metrics of the letters, and to tweak the paths that make them up. I dunno if this is a standard feature of font editors these days; the last time I tried making one was around 2001.)

Right now the font’s called ‘Five Glasses’ but I’m probably going to change it to something like ‘Thieving Raccoon’ or ‘Procyonid’ or somesuch. I’m kinda tempted to use it as the human dialogue for Drowning City, too – I need to see how it looks against the ornate calligraphy I’ll be using for the elves.

Edit. Here’s the acid test – I took page 1 and turned off the layer with the hand-written dialogue, and typed in this font. Barring the lack of an apostrophe and italics, it looks pretty much the same as the hand-lettered page, albiet a little more regular (and a little bit smaller and weirdly leaded, I need to figure that out.). This is definitely working.


      • The things I want to know about (which their site isn’t clear on):
        – does it support right-to-left layout metrics?
        – does it support ligatures in the cheap version?

        The first feature is a nice to have, the second is a requirement since I seem to keep on designing languages where everything is a ligature because apparently I hate myself.


          Mini: “Automatic OpenType feature generation for localized forms, fractions, ordinals, small caps, discretionary and standard ligatures” vs. “Custom OpenType feature code, and wide range of automatic features” in the full version.

          And I think that’s “standard” ligatures as “ones that always happen” rather than some “standard” preset selection of ligatures.

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