Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Typography is like fashion. While clothing is essential, we don’t need  brand new items all of the time, but there are constant trends and styles that lead designers to create a particular look or feel to their finished pieces that they know customers will want and purchase. The same is true for new type designs - there are countless fonts out there, but new ones are still created to keep up with demand in the web design and art industry. Whether it be clothing or typography, designers often create based off of existing themes, or combine various elements in a contemporary way.

One of our graphic designers here at Archer has created her own font! How cool is that? According to Ashley, it is an easy process that anyone can do - designer or not.  When it comes to the development of designing a new typeface, the first element you will need is inspiration. Ashley found her inspiration through the natural calligraphic forms as well as the industrial feel of a slab serif. While researching these different types, she came across various farmer’s market posters that caught her eye and lead to her creation of her typeface, Slabby.

If you’re looking for some more insight about developing your own font, Ashley has shared the four major steps she followed while creating hers:

  1. Start by hand drawing your own alphabet by using a calligraphy nib and ink on a basic lined sheet of paper. Once you’ve completed your alphabet, and the ink has dried, you can then scan the sheet of paper and print out each letter individually at a large size.
  2. Trace over the outline of the letters and scan them again. Once you have created the outlines, you can open the files into Adobe Illustrator where you trace the letters you’ve created with the pen tool - this is how you begin to form your very own typeface!
  3. Begin morphing your calligraphy into how you want your typeface to look through Illustrator. Once you’ve completed your alphabet, begin the numbers, and punctuation.
  4. Then you bring the font you’ve created into a program called FontLab where you can adjust the kerning (spacing between letters) and ultimately create a usable, downloadable typeface.

To see more of Ashley’s font, Slabby, click here!

You may be wondering why designers are constantly creating new typefaces when there are already so many out there. Why does it matter? In web design, typography is an important element for your company and for your target audience. When applying typography to a website, it needs to be clear and readable while still personifying your brand. Being consistent throughout your website is a crucial aspect to keep in mind as well. Limit yourself to 2-3 typefaces throughout the various web pages to allow for your information to come across in a clear and concise manner - rather than confusing your readers with multiple, decorative fonts. When you apply a limited number of typefaces to your site, you are delivering a hierarchy of design that eases your visitors navigation through the site.

If you’re interested in having a new typeface designed for you, contact us today!