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Specialty Font Development


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I've been working on Chronicles again and have developed a set of characters for use as a runic alphabet within the story. Here's my challenge - how does someone as artistically challenged as myself convert these characters into a usable and scalable font? Does anyone know someone who can pull that off? Any idea on costs?

Any help or suggestions are appreciated.


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You could - if you want to do it yourself - try a font creation programme like 'FontCreator'


Creating a unique font is fine for a printed work - or if it's delivered as a PDF with embedded fonts. But it's important to remember that people who read the story online will have to have the font installed on their computer for it to work.

Better, maybe, would be to create the runes as a graphic block, and include that in the web page.

I hope this helps!


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Thanks for the feedback - I do appreciate it.

I found an open source program called FontForge that looks like it will do what I need - the issue now is finding the time to learn another fairly complicated piece of software.

Like Murphy said:

Nothing is as easy as it looks,

Everything takes longer than you expect...



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  • 2 weeks later...

Rick -- I hesitate to promise anything, because my situation will be precarious this year in many ways.

But -- I used to be a Fontographer user, and did some font work in the early 1990's. That didn't result in a finished typeface submission, but I learned a lot. I hope those files are still readable and stored on CD or other media I can get to and import into...something. If not, I'll have to start from scratch. Major aggravation. Fontographer is no longer supported. Old, old, old.

Last year, I bought FontLab. Mucho dinero, muy caro (expesivo). If I can ever find/make the time, I'll learn it. -- I have committed to create an "alien" font for an author and fan community, so it has to happen, sooner or later.

Yhis is a very roundabout way of saying that, go ahead on your own, but eventually I expect to be proficient enough with Illustrator and FontLab, so that I could do a fun project like you're thinking of. I will let you know as I make progress. My spare time is very limited, even though, frell, learning FontLab and Illustrator (I was a Macromedia Freehand user) will give me money-making skills. So...keep on yourself, but don't count me out quite yet.

Some advice:

Either: Draw out your art on the computer in Illustrator or CAD and save vector art and .png bitmaps; or in Photoshop or PaintShop as .png.

Or: Draw it out on paper and scan it at 150 to 300 dpi and straighten the scan in P'shop. Then trace into vector art with Illustrator or comparable program, and save the vector art and new bitmapped art.

The idea is to get it into a format, either bitmap or vector, that you can cut and paste into the font creation program and trace, if bitmapped, or use directly, if vector images.

That includes any special letters or symbols your font needs. For example, if your font has a letter for TH or AE or OE, accent marks, or something truly unique, include those. You'll want to produce, at minimum, the Unicode (think ascii) for every typewriter character, 32 (space) through 126 and 127 (see ascii and Unicode), plus a few common things like echoing the curly quotes and em- and en-dash and bullet character, the basics for most typeset fonts.

You can still email me; same old email addresses.

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