I’ve written a lot of tutorials and blog posts, and they’re scattered here, there, and everywhere. So for my own reference (And for yours, too!) I’m creating this one central post where I can find all of my blog posts, tutorials, and general rants about fonts and lettering in one place.
Creating a font from scratch, using all free programs – This was a very early post that covered some font-creation basics using Inkscape, GIMP, and FontForge. I don’t use those programs on the regular myself, but if you want to dip your toe into font creation, it’s a decent way to start to see if you like it.
What’s your process? – Or at least, what was my process back in 2016? I’ve upgraded font creations programs since then, but most of these basics are roughly the same.
Creating a font from geometric shapes: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 – You don’t need to be an artist or an illustrator to make a font! I recently made the font Berryfield from a base of a couple of circles and a couple of rectangles.
Creating a connecting script font – Some basic concepts on how script fonts connect, with a side dish of how to make consistent letters.
Creating a sans-serif font – Another set of basics. (And despite the post title, I cover a hand-written sans and touch on a slab serif here too.)
Refined construction 1: recycling basic shapes – This gets more in-depth into the creation of a more mechanical sans-serif, and how you can re-use shapes for consistency.
Refined construction 2: spacing and kerning – The second half of creating that mechanical sans, discussing the little fiddly work of font construction.
Customizing your own font in seconds – If you don’t want to fully construct your own, there are sites where you can use dials and sliders to customize your own font!
How to identify a mystery font – Some tips, tricks, and websites you can use to identify a font from a photo.
Advanced font identification techniques – Expanding on the previous post, plus how to tell if it’s a font, or if it was written by hand.
Manly fonts for dudes – Some suggestions for font styles that are a bit less girly and curly, and more suitable for masculine work.
Finding rare and unique free fonts – Yes, lots of freebies are everywhere. But there are a ton of great free fonts that are rarely used, and right under your nose!
FONT MYSTERIES & GENERAL QUESTIONS
Which program should I design in? – Eight of the most commonly used design programs for crafters.
Managing your font collection – Sorting and storing your fonts, and some thoughts about font management programs.
Font vocabulary 1: categories & styles – Basic concepts and terminology when it comes to types of fonts and styles of fonts.
Font vocabulary 2: anatomy and OpenType – A look at letter anatomy, and the features coded into OpenType fonts.
The difference between OTF and TTF files – On that note, a deeper look into why OTF is almost always better than TTF. Illustrated with kittens.
Cut-off text in Microsoft programs – Why does it sometimes happen, and what can be done to fix it?
My PC wants to open SVG files with my web browser – Why it happens, and how to fix it.
Dear Fonty – A collection of font-related questions, including licensing, commercial use, and stretching fonts.
DESIGN & CREATIVITY
Basic color theory – A quick and dirty guide to the basics for font users.
How do I pair fonts? – Some basic concepts on how to combine more than one font, with an emphasis on script and handwriting fonts.
Jazz up your designs with font elements – Use punctuation and a few easy techniques to spice up your design with items you already have!
Using letter parts to add flourishes – Chopping parts of letters and adding them to other letters can give you some awesome alternates!
DIY folded pen for lettering – Did you know you can make an awesome ink pen out of a cola can and a chopstick?
Laying out a quote – Some basic concepts and ideas when you’re making a text design.
Mocking up products in Photoshop – How to create your own product mockups, and a look at Photoshop’s Smart Objects.
Developing your own clever and unique phrases – A splash of my secret sauce for how to develop phrases for your designs.
DESIGN SOFTWARE TUTORIALS
Inkscape: in-depth look at the Path menu – A look at all of the elements in the Path menu, possibly the most important part of Inkscape.
Inkscape: fitting text into a shape – Editing and adjusting letters to fit within any kind of weird shape you like.
Inkscape: adding shadow and stroke effects – Creating outlines and drop shadows to give your text some extra flair.
Inkscape: creating a 3D effect – Take your text from plain and flat to cool 3D blocks.
Inkscape: knockouts and perspective – More cool ways to manipulate text, knocking letters out of shapes and changing perspective.
Inkscape: DIY swashes – Make a cool custom swash or flourish attached to your text.
Inkscape & Illustrator: a stitch effect – Create the look of stitches in your text; two tutorials for two programs!
Illustrator: warping text – How to warp text along curves.
Photoshop: applying distressed effects to fonts – Create your own distressing and roughen up your letters. The tutorial is for Photoshop, but the principles apply to almost all design programs.
Procreate: a neon look effect – Create a cool neon sign hanging on a wall, entirely within the Procreate app.
Procreate: water drops effect – Make your text look like it’s written in water on a surface.
Procreate: shadowy mist effect – Create backlit text projecting a long shadow and surrounded by spooky mist.
COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARKS, & LICENSING
Basics of copyright and trademarks – A lawyer can help you with more in-depth answers, but these are a few basics about copyright and trademarks.
Dear Fonty – A bunch of general questions, including ones about licensing and commercial use.
Tracing and the Monogram It app – Why using an app to create text designs isn’t just stealing, but poor-quality stealing to boot.
BEING GENERALLY JUDGY ABOUT FONTS
My seven deadly font sins – A list of things that people do to fonts that will kill all respect I may have had for them.
Logo layouts and font choices – A look at a bunch of logos, and how the font choices and designs work … or don’t work at all.
Fonts on vacation: Las Vegas – Heaps of fonts spotted in Sin City; some are used well, and some very much are not.
Fonts on vacation: Disneyland – Mostly good choices, but even the mouse can make a few font missteps.
Let’s judge books by their covers – A look at font use on book covers, and how the mood of a book and its cover font need to match.
The hot fonts of spring 2017 – This didn’t turn out to be a regular thing, but here you can see what all of the crafters were using in early 2017. (Funny thing, a lot of these fonts are still in heavy use a year later. Makes me want to point out the “finding rare and unique fonts” post.)
That’s it for now, but I’m sure I’ll have more to add in the future. Because I have opinions, and I’m not afraid to share them. 🙂