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Practical Font Design - FOG ed.

Practical Font Design - Fontographer Edition

Revised and Expanded for Fontographer 5PFD-FOG cover

by David Bergsland

Buy the e-book

   Available as an e-book (PDF and ePub formats) download for US$9.99

Buy the bundles

Fontographer 5.1 for Mac OS X (for Mac OS X 10.4 or higher) PLUS David Bergsland's Practical Font Design, FOG Ed. (eBook) US$408.99 Convert the price into another currency

Fontographer 5.1 for Windows (XP, Vista, or 7)PLUS David Bergsland's Practical Font Design, FOG Ed. (eBook) US$408.99 Convert the price into another 

About the e-book

     A rewritten, expanded 3rd edition plus new materials giving a practical walk through the process of designing a font and families with Fontographer, v.5. This is not about artistic considerations, but the practicalities of putting a font together. On the other hand, the design approach is fine art. David's training is as a fine art printmaker: etchings & stone lithography.

The basic procedures used for font design are found in this book. It is a step by step following of creating new font designs with tips and comments along the way.

This is not a book for programmers and scripters. This is a book for graphic designers and typographers who love type and want to make their own fonts?either for themselves or to sell.

In the process of writing this book several things were developed that you might find useful in your design process. In general these are pieces of copy or files that will save you the time required to make your own. There are lists of composite glyphs to generate, an OpenType features file, and a text file to use when generating metrics and kerning tables. You can find them on this page.

Other linked resources include:PFD-FOG pages

A standard 256 character font to start from.

A 371 character OpenType font and feature file.

A text file to use in letterspacing and kerning by hand.

A 577 character OpenType template with the feature file.

Three more OpenType templates.


Here's an abridged table of contents for you to see what is in the book:

Fontographer or FontLab?
Which one should you use?
Who is this book written for?
The key role of Fontographer in the font revolution
Defining typography
Some type terminology
How do you draw with paths?
Type drawing tools

The Fontographer Toolbox
The transformation tools
The Pen Tool
A Revised Decorative Font
The Font Info dialog
Using the Layers palette
Modifying a font
Building a pieces glyph
Pasting in the components
Fixing all the special characters
Moving on: a new font
Setting up the font
Doing the caps
Developing a work style
Doing the lowercase
If you do not like my serifs or weight decisions
Finishing the lowercase
Looking at letterspacing conceptually, What is the goal?
Auto-spacing in Fontographer
If you are going to sell your fonts
Accents (diacritics) and composites
Currency glyphs & other specialities
Ligatures, Swashes et al
OpenType features
Designing oldstyle figures
Building the small caps
Finishing the letterspacing
Auto Kern settings
Dealing with the small caps
Finishing the font
Fixing the rough glyphs
Doing a bold version
This is where you find out how well you drew the original font
Dealing with the different weights
Adding an italic
Generating a font
Web fonts
Beginning a new font of your own
Type Classifications
The entire oldstyle period
Sans serif classifications
Current fashion
Mimicking handwriting
Starting to draw a new font
Dealing with scans & stuff
Developing a standard procedure
An order of creation
Letter construction tips
Number construction tips
Appendix A: Advanced Letterspacing
Hand letterspacing fonts
Fontographer?s Metrics panel
Letterspacing as you draw
Conforming your options to reality
Using the Metric Panel
Some letterspacing tips
Appendix B: Dealing with OpenType & Resources


Richard Fink wrote a review of the 3rd edition (very similar) here.

If you're really interested in following the text and learning by doing, a companion spiral-bound workbook is available from Lulu .