Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

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Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby Harishankar on Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:41 am

I've posted the re-lettered version of episode 4 of The Legalease here:
http://harishankar.org/blog/entry.php/t ... -episode-4

I created my own font to avoid legal issues with using Blambot fonts (in case I decide to publish it as a book later). So I wanted to create my own font for my work. I don't necessarily mind paying the license fee for a font, but I also wanted to add a personal touch with the lettering of my comic.

I'd love your feedback on the font - whether it's readable or character spacing needs refinement. It's not pro quality I know and it shows, but I want to know if it's reasonable considering that it's my first attempt at such a thing. If it looks too bad, unreadable or unsuitable, I'll re-letter using a pro-quality font later.

I'd love specific feedback on which characters appear too close together or too wide apart and which chars look badly misshapen.
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby RobertBr on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:09 pm

Looks okay. It has a very hand done, rather than the professional look of a blambot font. What program did you use to create it?

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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby Harishankar on Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:54 pm

I used fontforge. Open source font creation tool in Linux

http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/

I think the next time I create a font, I should use a felt tip marker to draw the characters on paper and scan them in. Doing with a thinner pen makes for some irregularities...
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby RobertBr on Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:19 am

Well, that is quite a cool little tool. Had a quick go myself:

Image

And realised there is a lot to learn. There are a huge amount of tutorials to read through. I suspect you did the same thing I did, which is hand draw the font then use the autotrace function to match to it (unlike me it seems you remembered to create a space character - duh!). It seems to work okay but looking at the letters they have a certain raggedness to them. I think you need to learn how to edit the various control points directly so the font has the character of a hand-drawn font without looking like a hand drawn font. Its that which makes the blambot fonts look good.
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby Harishankar on Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:37 am

Correct. I hand wrote the characters and then scanned them in and auto-traced them. And actually the printed output looked quite a lot better than on the screen. I suspect that is because the screen tends to make the font's weight thinner than it actually is (must be something to do with DPI resolution). In print, the characters seem quite a bit thicker and blacker than what I see on the screen. Anti-aliasing also seems to be the key here.

I know there is a bit of character unevenness in my font which I have to sort out. As you say, the control points and the curves need to be adjusted a bit. Actually I did modify the original characters considerably and added a bit of weight and slant...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think you are much better than I am at creating an artistic font. :)
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby MaddByrd on Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:28 pm

I like the font a lot, but I have a weakness for hand written fonts. You may want to adjust the kerning on some of your letters and lower the "y" a little.

Thank you for posting the program you used. I think I will give it a try.
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby Harishankar on Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback, MaddByrd. :)
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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby RobertBr on Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:30 am

I decided I would try creating my own font for my next project so spend the week sketching an idea up. Instead of using the autotrace function I followed the tutorial on how to put your own points in. Comparing the two the autotrace uses a lot more points, I think it over-fits itself to fairly small wiggles you didn't intend in the original. In some cases I found taking a point out actually made a better more elegant line - so I think I would use autotrace for a hand-lettered look and manual tracing (actually not that slow once you've followed the tutorials, takes about 10 minutes a character) for more professional looks.

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Re: Feedback needed on my own font for comic lettering

Postby Harishankar on Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:03 am

Robert, yes, it does make sense that manually tracing would give a smoother feel to the font.

On the other hand, I think that keeping the original "wiggles" or imperfections actually humanize the font a great deal, especially when viewed at smaller sizes. Gives it that hand-written feel. It's a matter of taste actually.

Also about hand-written fonts. I'm sure with a bit more effort I could come up with something better, but I felt for my current need it was not really worth taking too much trouble over.

I'm glad I could introduce you to FontForge. ;)
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