Font creation template

Hi, we would much appreciate your input to ease the creation of fonts with templates, so please share about your own experience and needs:

  1. Did you already use the Fontself template and for what type of design?
  2. Did you get issues when using it?
  3. Did you customize it or create entirely new ones?
  4. How could it be improved to fit your needs?
  5. Would you use the template in any other tool than Illustrator or Photoshop?
  6. And if you had the power to easily make your own templates on the fly, what key features would it have?

Feel free to post sample images of the ones you currently use or your ideal templates.

CC @Hybi @badspark @mark_allsebrook @graphicxtras @Dejan_S @Vocal @designedby @everywherebrand @myersmac @Laura @twinbrush @TotalImage

Hello Franz,
hello Fontlovers,

I’d like to contribute my thoughts and suggestions about this topic.

I never used the Fontself template, because I had my own solution before Fontself published their template.
So I can’t compare, but I’d like to give some hints.

Often characters consist of two or more overlapping outlines in the creation phase (see screenshot below).
But Fontself maker can’t handle this, so the paths has to be merged.
So if you want to make changes to the character later, it’s much more difficult than with the separate outlines you had before.
For this reason I have two Layers “Work” and “Final”. I draw the characters in the “Work” layer and copy them to the “ Final” layer, when I think I’m ready. There they can be merged without loosing the original paths.

Different fonts may have different x-heights. Cap-height and descender may vary too. So the guidelines has to be adjusted.
To simplify selecting them I have four sub-layers for the different types of guides.

So to select all the appearances of one type of guides is just one klick away (on the very right side of the layers name).

The “Temp” layer is for temporarily needed support of any kind (and it’s used regularly by me).

If you want to take a closer look at my template:
Voilà, here it is:

This PDF can be opened by Illustrator.

The displayed character set contains the whole “Adobe Latin 3 (CE)” set plus a few from Adobe Latin 4.
For commercial use you should add all this signs to your font.
If you want your font just to be for private use, you may skip a lot of them.

@Franz: Please feel free to take up whatever you want to use in following versions of your template.

All the best and happy fonting :wink:

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Thank you very much @Hybi for sharing your process and the tips about selecting guides.

Just curious about the Adobe Latin 4 characters you included, which ones are they and how did you end up adding them? While the Adobe Latin 3 set makes sense for a rich text font, it might be overkill for some display fonts that will only be used on titles and covers.

And FYI, Fontself now automatically merges overlapping shapes, so no need to duplicate/use Pathfinder on them manually :wink:

Hi Franz,

it’s only a few I use from Adobe Latin 4:
⅓ ⅔ ⅛ ⅜ ⅝ ⅞ ■ ▲ △ :arrow_forward: ▷ ▼ ▽ :arrow_backward: ◁ ◆ ← ↑ → ↓

The current character set is my standard and will be used for every font I’m planning to publish.
Yes, this might be “overkill”. You may call me a prig or a perfectionist or even just crazy :wink:

“Automatic merges”? Whaaaaa, this is awesome! Nobody told me :scream:


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To extend our research on templates, how much would you value the following capabilities if you could generate custom templates on the fly?

  • Display a different set of characters (if so, which ones)
  • Display a different font of your choice below the template grid (if so, which type of fonts)
  • Display a custom modular shape (if so, what type of modular font would you create)
  • Start drawing in another app than Illustrator (if so, which app)

Custom font templates are an excellent choice thanks.