Letter Matters

Creating a font is like forming the dna of a human body. A tweak you make on one letter affects the entire physical trait. Good genes results in a linage of happy children while mutations can get wonky.

IMG_0047So here today we were at a workshop that taught black letter, which watered the seed to creating our typeface.

It started out with practice for the ideal letter form and proceeded to picking them out and blowing it big.

Tracing over designs is nothing new and imperative for every designer to improve a logo or a whole layout. That’s why photoshop layers are called precisely that. People used to lay paper over paper to design. We traced over, erased, refined the unique forms of our own handwriting till perfection. An experienced eye like Jean, helped to amend curves that were misaligned. His hands were like magic!

IMG_0049The next wonderful revelation was that each portion of the letter is related to another. So, the top half of the ‘n’ forms the top of ‘p’ and each letter helps to build the next. With enough patience, we started giving birth to the rest of the family.


Soon, we scanned the letters in and started designing in robofont. What’s different about this software is that it allows more precision to tangents and anchor points. Typing out your own letters feels amazing.


So ta-da! a 2 day workshop passed so quick there wasn’t time to finish a whole set but we had already learned a fraction of how to build a family of type. Time for more patience, craft and creation.


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Out in the wild, up to the occasional mischief and making something new. Surprises are fun, nonsense is intriguing, passion all the more enticing and the rest is rust and stardust.

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