Do you Know Digital Font?

December 19th, 2009

A TrueType or a Type one font is a group of vectorial drawings. They can be scaled with no loss of quality. The vectors that explain each character are stored in a file, which we shall install in order to make use of the font. In the PC platform, the TrueType files have a .TTF extension, and the Type 1 files are composed of 2 files: a .PFB and a .PFM file. This last file stores the metrics information. In a Mac system the file structure is someway different, but this is a small difference: the procedure of designing a font is pretty much similar, only selecting another saving option in the last step.

To create a digital font, we only have to

1) draw the shapes

2) export them as a .TTF or a .PFB + .PFM file. Well, this sounds like Monthy Python’s How to write a novel! There are plenty of programs that will help us in the first part, drawing. However, the second part requires more specialized software.

Fortunately, a very common program, CorelDraw, includes a font-export filter. What is more, the entire process can be completed from within CorelDraw. For this reason, we will focus the techniques of fontmaking in using a drawing application such as CorelDraw (and its user’s manual includes detailed information.) The tools these drawing applications include are usually easier to use and more powerful than those in a font-making program, but the fine details in a font file (kerning, spacing, hinting…) need them.


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