In Digital Publishing you need to co-ordinate your efforts with many people. Web designers, developers, server techs – the list goes on and on – and the more you know about how those people go about their work, the better off you will be.
With fonts, the “collaboration” might take the form of a purchase, or a free download, or just a link to the font in your HTML. But there is a font-maker somewhere on the other end of that transaction. And the more you know about how that font came to be, the better off you’ll be. And unlike a lot of things in today’s fast-paced environment – where it’s hard to separate the side-shows from the main attractions – a knowledge of fonts and how they’re made won’t be obsolete in just a few years. Changes in font technology come at a snail’s pace, and what changes do come, are incremental. So what you learn about fonts will pay dividends for as long as you live. Really.
Have A “Practical” Christmas
David Bergsland’s Practical Font Design is now in its Third Edition. It’s greatly improved in many, many ways from the Second Edition. (Bergsland not only listens to reader feedback, but he acts on it, too.) It’s still the only book of its kind, and it does a simple thing: it tells you, in a friendly and to-the-point manner, how one experienced font designer and teacher – David Bergsland – goes about his work. It’s a must-buy for font designers. It’s a should-buy for any web designer, graphic designer, or anybody involved with digital publishing.
Not much interested in the technical details? – It’s worth the price just for the “history of type” section and as a flip-through reference. If you’ve ever used Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, you already know more than you necessarily need. And a demo download of FontLab Studio – the professional level font editor referenced in the book – is available for Mac and Windows free.
Here’s a little piece to give you an idea of the tone:
“My plan is to go through my decision making process so you can do the same as you develop your fonts. There is no right or wrong here. All you have to guide you in the process is your personal sense of style – what’s right and wrong.”
Practical Font Design, The Links:
David Bergsland sells his fonts at:
And blogs here, dispensing technical tips and helpful font-making tools: