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Bad_Wolf

Creating fonts in Affinity Designer

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Hi all,

I like to create a font in Font Creator which convert fractions written as 3/4 in the proper fraction format where the nominator and denominator are above each other with a dash in between.

I like to create the font characters in Affinity Designer and then import them in Font Creator. I am more used with Affinity Designer.

I intend to create one document which will contain all the font glyphs.

1. In the "New" dialog, which type do I use (web or print) and which resolution?

2. For a proper fraction, I need to scale the numbers so they fit on one rule when placed above each other. What height do I need to draw the nominator and denominator? Just use their full height and when imported in Font Creator scale them down until they fit vertically?

3. Maybe the wrong place to ask this question. How can I automaticly convert a fraction typed as "3/4" so the nominator and denominator are placed above each other with a dask (-) in between?

I will appreciate your advice very much and will thank you in advance.

Have a nice day;

Chris

 

 

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And we've got @Raymond Larabie here too, using Affinity apps. (It's always strange to "meet" famous people you know of for long ;) )

Perhaps we'll have tips and more in the spotlight site about the way Mr Larabie uses AP and AD. I'd like to read this.

 

Oups, edit: I think I need to add @KateM for pushing this idea.

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For the nut (stacked) fractions part, it is best that Chris continues the thread on HL's forum. There is a sample/demo font file called nutso (and a second one, nutso2) that can be opened in FC that will demonstrate arbitrary nut fractions. It's not a process I would consider easy for a beginning. Heck, properly working normal arbitrary fractions (slanted fraction bar) can be difficult enough for someone new to font design.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Thank you all for your very usefull replies which I appreciate very much.

As a typesetter in the past, I read the "Typography is impossible" page which is very interesting. Also the link about the comic lettering by Milos, interested me a lot.

I already found out that I can draw the glyphs in Affinity Designer and export them directly into Font Creator. In the Font Creator manual it is mentioned to draw the glyph in a box of 300 x 300 pixels. I feel more comfortable drawing in Affinity Designer than in Font Creator.

Like Mike W said, creating fonts is a difficult process. I am a complete beginner, however I am very interested in this subject.

Our small daughter use different numbers than we are using here. So besides the fractions, I will also create the numbers and letters she is used to. I persue to make a difference in our small ones life and hopefully many other children in Botswana.

To make things easier for me, I took a look at Bhikkhu Pesala Sukhumala regular, Nutso2 and Cadman (PJ Miller) fonts in Font Creator. I am now thinking besides of the normal numeric, alphanumeric, punctuation and operators, to create the fractions like 1/2, 3/4 for example ready made in my font. Therefore I intend to create smaller numbers from 0 to 9 and then copy them in their specific glyph locations. I think for a beginner this is easier and I gain experience by doing it. Scripting at this stage, is not for me. I first have to walk then to run.

Thank you again everybody for sharing and helping me.

Wish you all a very nice day and all the best.

Chris

 

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Hi,

I just play with the idea to use "artboards" with a size of 300 x 300 pixels for each letter. The layers panel will be much more organized and when creating other versions (bold, italic and bold italic) I can make a duplicate of the whole document and just change the individual artboards. In this way, for example the glyph "A" will be in the exact same position over all the versions. Just thinking after I finished my former posting.

Chris

 

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34 minutes ago, Bad_Wolf said:

Our small daughter use different numbers

Hi @Bad_Wolf ,

Do this means that she uses another way for counting or others symbols for numbers that you want to draw? I'd like to see an example if you've got one or the name of a font, or some examples from your project.

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A great resource for learning the language of OpenType features is The OpenType Cookbook by Tal Leming:

http://opentypecookbook.com/index.html

It has a chapter on dynamic OpenType fractions (feature tag “frac”) as well. Scroll down a little on the linked page below:

http://opentypecookbook.com/common-techniques.html

You might also want to have a look at the specification:

https://docs.microsoft.com/de-de/typography/opentype/spec/features_fj#a-namefrac-idfracatag-frac

Hope this is useful for you … :)

Alex

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41 minutes ago, A_B_C said:

A great resource for learning the language of OpenType features is The OpenType Cookbook by Tal Leming: ...

I use a variation of his fraction feature in my fonts. Easy to recycle once it is written so it can be reused in future fonts.

capture-001928.png.b826d2103d9f73cc58d2b14a10d8d866.png

I've reused the code in 30 or so fonts. But I like I can turn on the frac feature globally.

A font from scratch is a daunting task and made all the more daunting if also trying to figure out feature code. If I were Chris I think I would combine one, two or three open source fonts into a single font. So for instance, I would start with a good font for the body, add in Nutso2 for the arbitrary stacked fractions (along with its OT feature code) and add any specific characters Chris desires.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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If you just want to create prepared nut fractions, I think the simplest way is to make them directly in font software like Font Creator. There's less learning curve that way. Copy the numerals to a new font. Scale the target size. Copy the numerals to empty glyph locations. Offset vertically. Make a bar. Copy and paste to make your nut fractions and put them in the A-Z, A-z locations for easy access. Even if you can get all that OpenType stuff working, it's hard to get a nice visual balance for nut fractions without aligning each one by eye. And this way you can change the bar width as needed.

I don't recommend importing from vector applications into font applications unless it absolutely can't be avoided. The way vectors work in fonts isn't the same as how they work in drawing apps. With fonts, you're usually dealing with a coarse grid of about 700 units tall for a capital letter and fonts require extrema points on each curve. The points and handles are forced to snap to the coarser grid, causing all kinds of distortion. I'm not saying it's impossible to import from a drawing application but I find it takes more time to clean up the mess that it would have taken to redraw it in the font application.

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As a side note to what Ray has said, these grid-snapping features for nodes and handles will be added to version 1.7 of Affinity Designer. So it should be possible to draw glyphs in Designer then … :)

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/52300-sneak-peeks-for-17/&page=21&tab=comments#comment-311315

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On 6/24/2018 at 9:36 AM, Wosven said:

About the second point, you can learn tips from this page: Typography is impossible,...

I finally got around to reading that page. Very informative, explaining quite a few things I vaguely knew a little about, fully & in easy to understand language. Thanks for the heads up!


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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