Jump to content

Create Fonts from Start to Finish in Affinity Designer


Recommended Posts

I create my vector designs in Affinity Designer, but a big part of my designs is the fonts that I use. I wish the fonts were my own, just as the design is my own. Affinity Designer focuses on creating vector designs but the font is just as important to the design as the art. The use of fonts is also much more prevalent in vector software than it is in any other software. Text is used when creating logos and other types of designs for companies that are heavily personalized. Because of my constant reliance on using fonts in Affinity Designer, I want to be able to design them within this software, but also complete the entire process and be able to export ready-to-use fonts. I want to skip the process of using other software, websites, and templates from other sources in order to be able to create my own font. It would be very helpful to me if I could create fonts from start to finish within Affinity Designer. I want to be able to use these fonts in Affinity Designer but also in other supporting software that I work with. The ability to create my own fonts is one of the features that I would really love to have in the vector software that I use.

I hope you will consider making this feature available in future versions of Affinity Designer.

Thank you Affinity team 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was possible to export to TTF way back in the days of CorelDRAW! 3.0, but I think anything more than that is beyond the scope of a general purpose vector app like Affinity Designer. A modern font creation app needs to be able not only to deal with adjustable sidebearings and glyph mapping, but also to allow scripting for full control of a huge range of OpenType features. Given that the current incarnations of the Affinity apps can’t handle right-to-left Arabic and Hebrew text or left-to-right OpenType Indic scripts, I can’t imagine even simple TTF export being high on the developers’ priority list.

Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.9.2 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.9.2 • Designer for iPad 1.9.2 • iPadOS 14.4.2 (iPad Air 2)

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Alfred said:

It was possible to export to TTF way back in the days of CorelDRAW! 3.0…

It's still there. Type 1 format, too. Screenshot of CorelDRAW 2020's export dialog:

image.png.c85ca97f4b67752e9afaf68db9f3dcc8.png

Even though Fontographer 1.0 was actually my very first exposure to Bezier-based drawing, I've always applauded Corel's inclusion of this. It can be a wonderful thing to have in a drawing program; not necessarily for full-blown typographic fonts, but for monospaced 'clipart' fonts. It's always been quite common for the actual glyphs of fonts to be drawn in mainstream Bezier-based drawing programs, even when the font file itself is built in a full-blown font program. So, like Corel, why not provide bare-bones basic exports for a couple of formats?

Like Alfred, I wouldn't make it a priority for Affinity, with so many other far more immediately important things still under development. But having said that, the fact that actual typographic font design is quite involved does not render it inappropriate for a mainstream general-purpose Bezier drawing program to provide a couple of basic font file format exports. (One thing that comes to mind is that it could be a boon to embroidery hobbyists.)

It can still be a very handy way to provide a company with cross-platform, accurate, scalable vector graphics requiring no real learning curve to empower office workers to insert identity marks into internal and external documents or databases. Many of the identity packages I've built for clients have included custom standalone fonts or modified copies of their style guide font with their logos (when appropriate)—and often additional secondary elements designed to go along with them (custom bullets, etc.)—for just that purpose.

One of my very first vector-drawing projects was the creation of a PostScript font that served to automate the creation of data-driven diagrams in a Hypercard stack for configuring the body sections and seating plans for school buses. The live profile drawing of the bus was actually alpha-numeric characters of a calculation performed on entered variables, merely displayed in the special font. The drawing auto-updated as the myriad of order parameters were entered.

On the one hand, one can argue that open SVG makes vector spot graphics more available to office applications, database programs, etc. On the other hand, that's still more tedious for an office worker than simply typing a particular character in the font that the Marketing department has specified as the company's standard. We're still waiting for SVG fonts to become mainstream and for a font format to support open paths (so-called 'single stroke' fonts). So exporting font formats is still arguably as appropriate for Bezier-based drawing programs as even before.

So, no, I'm not saying drawing programs should be full-blown font creation applications. Quality font creation, and the applications built to facilitate it, continue due to a relatively tiny community of dedicated and highly skilled typographers who are worthy of support from professional illustrators and designers. One of the nice things about having a copy of Fontographer or FontLab is that you don't find it time to upgrade every few months. Another is that FontLab now has some of the most innovative ideas in vector path interface design. Any serious vector-based illustrator can derive a lot of delightfully 'new wrinkle' thinking from just dinking around in it. Any illustrator or designer particularly interested in typography should consider it a matter of professionalism to at least have a working knowledge of such things as kerning and why font glyphs are sized by measures relative to their em squares, not by the numbers you key into the illustration or design program. Font design programs enable you to 'see and touch' such principles, even if you have only infrequent need to build or modify fonts.

Altsys Fontographer was part of the deal when Macromedia acquired Aldus. Fontographer became one of the applications bundled with FreeHand Graphics Studio. When Adobe acquired Macromedia, Fontographer was saved by its being acquired by FontLab. Fontographer 5 is still sold by FontLab today for $259.

JET

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure I get the correlation that you create logos and thinks in Designer that it is logical that you could create your own fonts with it as well. You would still have to create fonts separately outside of the logo design. Other software use fonts heavily as well, Publisher/Indesign as an example. I would say more fonts are used there as logos are generally using 1 to 2 fonts. All forms of print from flyers to magazines, books, cards, etc use a whole host of fonts and I would say more then you would be using in Designer. So by that logic it would make more sense to have Publisher be able to create fonts. 

This is another area where there are a lot of options for creating your own fonts, from free to pay. I could be wrong but I just don't think there is a high demand to be able to create fonts in Affinity software. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, wonderings said:

Not sure I get the correlation that you create logos and thinks in Designer that it is logical that you could create your own fonts with it as well. You would still have to create fonts separately outside of the logo design.

I'm a life-long motorcycle guy. One of the things I've always admired about Honda is the way it has historically created its own demand for the things it builds. Another little company known for that is Apple. ;-)

Suppose I create an identity package for Acme Coyote Co. It includes a logotype and several stylistically matching related dingbat graphics such as explosion bursts, dust devils, a road-runner's footprint, etc. In CorelDRAW I do not "still have to create fonts separately outside of the logo design." I can export those individual graphics directly from CorelDRAW into specific character slots in a font file that I name "AcmeFont". I can include that font file on the CD that contains all the other images, documents, graphics that comprise the project. The client can load that font on his or his secretary's computer and they can 'type' a logo with one keystroke anywhere they want in any office application they are using. I don't have to buy or use a separate font creation application for doing that.

Here's an example. The glyphs were drawn in FreeHand and pasted into key slots in Fontographer. But the whole thing could have been drawn in CorelDRAW and directly exported as a ready-to-use font file because there's no need for kerning pairs or other esoteric settings that would be needed for, say, body text fonts:

image.png.e4602940e12d2f7cb770fbbba6609d5b.png

Quote

I just don't think there is a high demand to be able to create fonts in Affinity software.

There's a lot of things worth implementing in mainstream drawing programs that conventional wisdom does not presently consider 'high demand'. Not to hijack this thread from its topic, but just by way of example:

Currently, my foremost desire for Affinity Designer is the ability to rotate a bounding box relative to its content. Why? Because Affinity designer is one of those programs determined to make on-page transformations dependent upon infernal bounding boxes instead of providing transform tools. Why the assumption that if I need to disproportionately scale a selection, I only need to do that in the two perpendicular directions of its bounding box? I very often need to scale a selection while in its current rotational orientation in a diagonal direction that does not correspond to the bounding box handles. So why can't at least one of the ridiculously redundant five rotation handles on its bounding box (the silly lollypop handle being the obvious candidate) allow me, with the press a modifier key, to freely rotate the bounding box about its content in order to thereby orient the scale handles to the direction in which I need to scale the selection?

I've never heard anyone else ask for that, either. That doesn't mean countless others wouldn't find it invaluable, too, once delivered.

JET

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope someone noticed the motorcycle chain and tire tread in my two-decades-old Trials font. You know our shared disappointment of Affinity Designer's 'Vector Brushes' not really being what everyone expects vector-based brushes to be? Do you see the at least partial functional correlation between Illustrator's Pattern Brushes and what can be done with a custom dingbat font (which is entirely vector-based) when applied to text bound to a path? ;-)

JET

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, JET_Affinity said:

I hope someone noticed the motorcycle chain and tire tread in my two-decades-old Trials font.

I hope no one failed to notice those, James!

Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.9.2 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.9.2 • Designer for iPad 1.9.2 • iPadOS 14.4.2 (iPad Air 2)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.